Gluten and dairy free food dressings, including poppy seed, Persian beetroot and Cajun avocado, are considered “Henty staples’’ by visitors to the Farm Gate Produce Market pavilion.
The range of dressings and sauces can be sampled at the McGraths Fine Foods site at Farm Gate and will feature in the cooking demonstrations.
They can be found at supermarkets, grocers and fine food outlets in regional NSW, Victoria and Queensland along with Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra.
McGrath Fine Foods was established by Laurence McGrath and family after many years of operating successful cafes and restaurants in the Albury area.
Laurence “Chou’’ McGrath, a talented chef, is a passionate advocate for healthy eating and lifestyle.
He and his wife Jan ran many of Albury’s most popular restaurants including The Saucery, Laura’s at The Seaton Arms, Simply Fed and Canteen Cuisine.
Chou created a poppy seed dressing for a salad dish served at Canteen Cuisine and customers were left wanting more.
“His own particular spice mix was the secret to the dressing,’’ Mrs McGrath said.
“We started selling it in bottles and found there was enough interest in start wholesaling it.’’
Their sons Jessie and Jackson joined the company and for the last six years, McGrath Fine Foods has operated a factory in South Albury.
The range expanded to include Summer Rain, Curry Mango Tango, Sticky Fingers BBQ glaze Mary had a Little Lamb sauce.
“Our sons Jesse and Jackson wanted to enhance the existing business so they evaluated overseas concepts for an Australian audience,’’ Mrs McGrath said.
The result was the launch in February of Greentstreat located in the City Walk Arcade, Albury.
“It is health and flavour focused – Jesse and Jackson are strong on a healthy lifestyle but our motto is balanced eating full of flavour,’’ Mrs McGrath said.
“All of the menu is transparent so everything you order, you can see.’’
Fresh, gourmet salad ingredients make a colourful backdrop to the front counter, with produce sourced from Arnolds Wodonga, Ross Tomatoes, Willowbank, Valentines and White Owl Coffee.
Mrs McGrath said as the business grows, the family plan to source more regional produce.
“We welcome local growers to contact us regarding their fresh, seasonal produce,’’ she said.
This will be the fourth year McGrath Fine Foods have exhibited in Henty’s Farm Gate Produce Market pavilion.
“Henty gives us a lot of exposure to new areas, especially to the agricultural areas north of the field days,’’ Jackson said.
“It’s a successful event in terms of what is sold but we take it on the exposure rather than the monetary value.’’
Mrs McGrath said the Albury food scene had changed dramatically over the past three decades, and businesses needed to be conscious of the health movement to keep pace with changing attitudes.
Greenstreat has quickly garnered a huge following on social media since the eatery opened in February.
When it comes to social media, Mrs McGrath said consistent and interesting posts were the key.
“Jackson does the Instagram and uses vibrant, fun posts often involving the staff,’’ she said.
“Be creative, use quality photos which capture attention, and be relevant.
“When customers post for you, that can be a big engine for the business.’’
Greenstreat uses Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
“All three platforms are integrated so we are only doing one post and it automatically goes to the others,’’ Jackson said.
“Word of mouth is huge for us – if you are doing something properly, people talk about it.’’
Jackson admits maintaining the social media presence can be time consuming but also rewarding.
“The hipster movement is the vegan movement, and the vegan movement is growing faster than anything else in the world.’’