About The Tasty Kitchen

Homemade Fresh Paste Pots

The Founder of Tasty Kitchen, Sia, lived in Manchester for six years working in investment banking before she moved home to Donegal five years ago to raise her young family. Having married a Donegal man, it made sense to move back home to be with family. Sia chose to stay at home and raise her young family for the next few years, which was fortunate because when Covid hit, there were no childcare options available.

In January 2021, Sia felt she needed a change in direction in her life, and when she heard about the Grow with Aldi programme, an initiative that calls for new products for their shelves, she knew this was her chance. Sia has been cooking for years, having grown up in a restaurant her parents owned in Greece. She has been making the curry pastes for years with fresh ingredients and freezing them into portions. Sia found that these pastes were far superior to anything else and knew she needed to bring them to the market. In fact, friends and neighbours were starting to put in unofficial orders for batches of these pastes before the business even started.

She created a couple of batches and brought them down to Aldi in iceboxes as the product was initially envisaged to be a frozen product. They told her they loved the product’s taste, but she needed to work on the product development side of things. At this point, the product did not even have packaging, a logo, or a name. So, she began a fun-filled ten-month journey of getting a home-cooked product onto supermarket shelves. Thinking about her next steps, Sia approached the Local Enterprise Office in Letterkenny and enrolled on the Start Your Own Business Course and the Grow Your Own Food Business Course. The final assignment of the Start Your Own Business course was to do a business plan, but she took it up a notch and created her own business.

She bought a gazebo and table and began making food for the local Letterkenny Farmers market. She hasn’t looked back since – every week, the market is a near sell-out, and 80% of Sia’s customers are returning customers or have been recommended to come to try out her food. Many customers also buy Sia’s products in bulk since freshly made pastes can be easily stored away and frozen. They can also be cooked from frozen, just like a large ice cube, which is a massive benefit for people. The Grow Your Own Food Business Course she attended led to the Supervalu Food Academy, which enabled Sia to get the products on the shelves in several Supervalu stores. Now, Sia is selling her homemade, fresh paste pots online, too, and looks forward to having her products sold in more retail outlets.

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