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NSW Success Stories – Aplenty

Aplenty, SydneyCREDIT: Joey Clark

Aplenty’s ‘spread’ picnic boxes inspired by the Mediterranean.

#lovensw #ilovesydney

NSW Success
Stories – Aplenty

Aplenty, Sydney CREDIT: Joey Clark

Aplenty’s ‘spread’ picnic boxes inspired by the Mediterranean.

#lovensw #ilovesydney

Hashtags #lovensw #ilovesydney

After recently moving from London to Sydney, Aplenty owner Michaela Johansson was well prepared for lockdown, immediately pivoting her new catering company to focus on pasta kits, picnic ‘spread’ boxes and virtual cooking classes. 

Before lockdown, catering for events contributed to 80 per cent of Johansson’s income, so thankfully another arm of Aplenty’s business allowed for a swift and easy pivot. “My ‘spreads’, which are essentially a picnic box full of seasonal and fresh house-made food - were very popular during lockdown in London so I decided to introduce them here too,” Johansson said. The bountiful boxes, which are ideal for at-home grazing, include focaccia, pickles and dips with delicious cheeses and cured meats.  

Johansson has also been focusing her time on developing pasta kits, coupled with online pasta classes for people to join from the comfort of their homes. The pasta kits, which serve two to four people, feature a Southern Italian-inspired dish using locally grown vegetables. They also include a bottle of natural wine from the Southern Highlands by Ari's Natural Wine Co. and a fruit shaped candle by Nonna's Grocer. “So far we've sold about 150 kits,” says Johansson. Johansson says collaborating with other like-minded businesses has been instrumental in the success of Aplenty. “You tap into each other’s network and create something new that people will be excited by.” 

The idea to marry the kits with a cooking class, she says, was to create the ultimate night in, transporting customers to the Mediterranean during an isolating time. “They're more like cook-a-longs, and you don’t need to know how to make pasta to join,” Johansson says. “I try to make them feel as though we're all cooking together rather than it being a lesson. They're fairly simple recipes and it's more about learning a new dish, rather than perfecting your pasta.” 

Aplenty, Sydney CREDIT: Joey Clark

Blood orange and rosemary galette, Aplenty.

#lovensw #ilovesydney

Aplenty, Sydney CREDIT: Joey Clark

Blood orange and rosemary galette, Aplenty.

#lovensw #ilovesydney

Aplenty, Sydney CREDIT: Joey Clark

Aplenty’s ‘spread’ picnic boxes inspired by the Mediterranean.

#lovensw #ilovesydney

Aplenty, Sydney CREDIT: Joey Clark

Aplenty’s ‘spread’ picnic boxes inspired by the Mediterranean.

#lovensw #ilovesydney

The classes have attracted people from all walks of life, with more than 300 people participating since lockdown began. “We have some families, lots of couples, housemate groups and friends doing a virtual meet up, where they re-join after the class to have a dinner party,” she says. “They've kept me busy and there's so much engagement with them, with people posting class pictures and telling their friends.”  

The virtual classes have also helped to boost the sales of Aplenty’s ‘spread’ picnic boxes. In fact, sales on the website have increased by 50 per cent, while website traffic has grown by 200 percent.  

She also says that businesses who are doing it tough should keep trying different ways to engage and interact with their customers. “Everyone is looking for ways to engage — not in a social media engagement sense – but in a way that is actually just participating in something that is outside the monotony of lockdown,” she says. “Just give something a go! People are very forgiving in lockdown.”  

Johansson is also donating $5 from every Aplenty box to Bonnie Support Services, a women's refuge in South West Sydney. “I've donated a few pasta kits and held a private pasta workshop for some of the families. I think it's important to put into perspective our struggles and support some local organisations doing it much tougher at the moment.” 

aplenty.com.au 
Instagram:instagram.com/aplentyfood 
Facebook:facebook.com/aplentyfood

For more information on things to see and do in Sydney go to www.sydney.com.  

Share your favourite holidays in Sydney and NSW on social media using @sydney #ilovesydney @visitnsw #lovensw.  

The NSW Government via Destination NSW is sharing a series of NSW Success Stories – businesses of all types that have adapted their offerings to face the current environment and continue serving their community with a fresh approach and shining success. These innovative initiatives are nothing short of inspiring.

 

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