We understand that small businesses are facing an unprecedented time of disruption resulting from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. While sadly many businesses have no option other than to close their doors, here at the Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC) we are hearing about business owners who have been able to innovate and find a new direction. This series of posts is about sharing ideas from WA small businesses that have found a way of doing business differently.
Latasha’s Kitchen is a Mount Hawthorn-based supplier of concentrated food pastes and condiments. Founder Latasha Menon has used her background as the daughter of Southern Indian parents and upbringing in Malaysia to create a range of flavour bases such as concentrate pastes, simmer sauces and condiments that can be used to create Asian-inspired meals at home. The award-winning range is also suited to many dietary needs, including gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian diets.
With her products usually sold through events such as farmer’s markets, pop-ups, as well as via Australian retailers and through distributors to customers around the world, COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sales. The cancellation of upcoming events and potential export orders has left the business with excess stock and a 70 per cent fall in income. The pandemic has hit at what would be the busiest time of the year for the business, the autumn-winter season. To add to the challenge, her manufacturing kitchen has requested payment before delivery of new stock, due to their own supply chains being affected.
In response to this, Latasha has:
- heavily promoted online sales via her website, which also features a range of easy to follow recipes
- offered free delivery for her products throughout WA, including personally delivering orders within 50km of her Mount Hawthorn base, and flat rate $10 shipping to the rest of Australia
- started meeting with her production team by Skype
- made plans to create short cooking demonstration videos.
Latasha says, “There is no doubt the situation has affected my creative energy and made staying mentally focused a daily challenge. However, I’ve been enveloped by a sea of consumers, old and new, who are rallying around our small business by sharing us with their wider community.”
“Although we all feel a bit powerless now, I feel sure that we’ll continue adjusting to our new way of life. One thing we can all do is support each other and our local producers whenever and however we can.”
Thanks for sharing your ways of doing business differently Latasha’s Kitchen!