If a COVID-19 lockdown has taught us anything, it is to appreciate what we have access to in our local area. Here in Penrith, we are truly fortunate to have some incredible local talent who produce an assortment of food and beverage items. Read on to find out how you can Taste Local.
My Sweet Dreams originally started as a cake business in 2015 and four years ago, Michelle (who has lived in Penrith all her life) received her first request for decorated sugar cookies. This interest in cookies continued to grow and in 2018 Michelle renamed the business My Sweet Dreams. My Sweet Dreams recognised a demand in our local area for cookies and decided to make this her focus, specialising in royal iced cookies, which is what Michelle believes makes her business truly amazing! She says, “not only do the cookies look great, but they also taste great!”. When asked about locals’ favourite flavours, her response was “I have four flavour cookies to choose from, vanilla, chocolate, red velvet and gingerbread, but the vanilla ones are by far the most popular.” Have we got your mouth watering yet?!
COVID-19 restrictions have been difficult for My Sweet Dreams. With many parties and larger gatherings being cancelled, scaled back, or rescheduled, Michelle admits it has been challenging. “My business really caters for special occasions, so if there’s no celebration, there’s no orders” Michelle said.
Zokoko produce their own artisan chocolate, make confections, roast their coffee beans, and have a pastry chef that dishes up some delectable treats.
Owner of Zokoko, another Michelle, has been unable to travel on her annual purchasing trips due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, she says she’s fortunate to have relationships that have been built over many years to ensure she is still able to source the finest raw ingredients.
Throughout periods of lockdown, Zokoko continues to offer takeaway from their shopfront and Michelle comments that they are proud of playing a role in “building a sense of local community” and are grateful for the loyalty over the years, with a local favourite being the chocolate crackles!
Have you ever thought about where your eggs come from? Llandilo Farm Fresh Eggs is a longstanding local family business run by the Galeas, who started with 13,000 chickens in South Penrith and relocated to Llandilo on a larger property in the late 70s. They welcome all of us to visit them and pick up a dozen or two (or more!) of their farm fresh eggs.
As an essential service, Llandilo Farm Fresh Eggs continued to operate, albeit in a COVID-safe way. They have noticed a definite increase in the number of families wanting to set up their own chicken coop at home, for which they also provide supplies. The Galeas say “we produce our very own all-natural, dietitian-approved feed blend on the farm for our hens. This is also available for our customers to help take care of their own laying chickens and ensure they produce the tastiest eggs!” Their top tip: store your eggs in the bottom of the fridge and keep them in the carton.
Llandilo Farm Fresh Eggs supply to a number of local restaurants, cafes and grocers, so next time you’re baking a cake, making eggs benedict on a Sunday morning or wanting a fluffy omelette, check if you are reaching into your fridge for a Llandilo farm fresh egg!
Love Beans are passionate about roasting coffee. Whilst international travel remains restricted, whether you’re dreaming of Mexico, Indonesia or as far flung as Nicaragua, Love Beans can tantalise your tastebuds with their small local batch roasting. Tamara, owner and roaster, also offers a wonderful gift idea suitable for corporate giving or special occasions – personalised coffee pods that are suitable for a selection of machines! Who would’ve thought?!
Love Beans also supply their coffee beans to a selection of other local businesses which makes it more accessible to taste their brews.
There’s plenty of other local producers including Rusty Penny Brewery and Yum Artisan Creations from whom you can buy direct or through other local businesses. Check out our business directory for a full list of opportunities to Taste Local.
Image: Zokoko's coffee roaster (supplied).