What’s the inspiration behind your recipe, and can you recall the moment the idea was born?
I have always eaten home-made biscuits since I was a child as my Mother always baked them. Since I was gluten intolerant, my Mother made these gluten free biscuits that I loved. My idea was born a few years ago when I was living in London, I thought that supermarkets should have more delicious Gourmet GF products and fresh baked goods.
Who do you think your recipe is perfect for?
Everyone who loves good food, but especially for those who follow a Gluten Free Diet.
How has your recipe evolved since the first time you made it, and what were the challenges of preparing a commercial quantity?
My recipe is a traditional Italian recipe taught to me by my mum and she has been making these biscuits for years. I think the recipe is great as it captures the essence of Italian biscuits. The only amendment made was for one of the four biscuits was that I changed wheat flour to Gluten Free Flour and I played with quantities until I got it right.
Being Italian, I am use to cooking for 100 people when only 10 people are actually coming over for a meal. So I don't think making a larger quantity for batch up was too much of a stretch.
One of my biggest challenges was the tight time constraints and the high pressure cooking zone. I assumed that my assistants knew how to bake my biscuits and at times, I feel I didn't explain myself properly. I learnt that it's important to give clear instructions at all times and oversee what's going on.
What was the best piece of advice you received from the judges?
I learnt a great deal from the marketing discussions, especially the importance of needing to capture the buyer’s attention with advertising. One of the best pieces of advice was from Noby regarding naming the brand, I wasn't even thinking about the name 'Rosie's kitchen' but given I have so many food ideas in my range, I loved the idea of attaching my product to my personality.
What was the most surprising thing you learnt about the process of turning a recipe into a commercial product?
Having a great food idea is a great start but it’s not just all about the food. You need to consider all things from manufacturing your product in bulk amounts, packaging and marketing. Carolyn highlighted that when you sell GF products you need to have a GF free kitchen so no cross contamination occurs, this is so important as I want people that have food allergies to be assured that my product would not harm them.
From your experience, what advice what you give someone who has an idea but doesn’t know where to start trying to make a success out of it?
I always bake my biscuits as well as other GF products and share them with family and friends and seek there feedback. This is my idea of market research as I have an idea if my products are liked.
Research needs to be done this includes collecting the following information: what is the cost for you? can you make a profit/business from this? Who will buy your product and where will you sell it? I think farmers markets and local cafes/delis are great places to start a successful food journey.
Some good advice is don’t give up, consider all your options and apply for the show :-).
What does the future hold for yourself and your recipe? Any other great ideas in the pipeline you could give us a taster of?
I have so many food ideas for my range of Gourmet Gluten Free Goodies. I would love a range of fresh baked bread that is delivered daily and exclusive to Woollies. The bread range will include white, wholemeal, seeded and fruit. It will be soft, tasty sliced bread that is of high quality and affordable. I also want my range to include crumpets, pitas and a great deal more biscuits. My range also includes freshly baked cakes and muffins in various flavour including white chocolate and raspberry, hazelnut and banana, apple and cinnamon and choc chip.
I also have a range of easy meals (frozen meals) including Risotto (pumpkin, spinach, feta and pine nut, mushroom and chicken and spring vegetable to name a few), pasta meals in a variety of traditional Italian sauces including Lasagne and Ravioli, Arancini (Rice balls), Tuna Patties and more.
As well as an amazing Gluten free range of products I have a dog food range that I cook for my puppy, I have called this 'cocolicious.' It includes a variety of meals that have kangaroo, rice, lamb, chicken and vegetables and more - all natural and healthy. Coco also enjoys her range of dog biscuits/treats - Coco's favourite are honey, peanut butter and bacon cookies.
My food philosophy is tasty, natural and healthy. Just because I eat GF doesn't mean I should miss out on taste.