At a time when more small businesses are looking towards having an online presence due to the global pandemic, Mt Hawthorn’s foodie – Latasha Menon – is bucking this economic trend by opening a “grab and go” Regional Indian, Southeast Asian, and Middle Eastern food store.
Latasha’s second foray into a brick and mortar store under her food brand ‘Latasha’s Kitchen,’ is not the first time she has gone against the grain to grow her business with an innovative and grass roots approach.
“When I first opened Latasha’s Kitchen Leederville in 2003, the Perth food scene was still blossoming and what I offered – homestyle regional Indian cooking made with a blend of mostly Australian fresh ingredients – was something new and different,” said Latasha.
“However, the then mining boom, increased rental prices and the rise of giant food brands made it a challenge to survive locally, so I closed down the cafe and cooking studio but not the business itself.”
In the eight years since the Leederville cafe closed, Latasha has kept in contact with her loyal WA followers with a pop-up stand at local events, having regular food stalls at farmers markets, winning 12 medals at the Australian Food Awards and producing a well-known pantry range, used by food service and purchasable at gourmet food stores and online.
Now her hard work is paying off – with customer demand for Latasha’s Kitchen products continuously increasing, even through a global pandemic – giving her the confidence to open a grab and go fresh food store late this month in North Perth.
“I decided to open the store for the strong loyal base of followers I have got to know over the years,” explained Latasha.
“Locals from all around Perth and across the state engage with me on a daily basis both online and offline – and have over the years become a wider circle of my dear acquaintances. They turn up with dedicated commitment at each of my events specifically to support and to stock up.”
“So to me, this latest venture is not an ego trip. Rather, it feels like a humbling final chapter towards a culmination of my food journey that began with local love and has come full circle to say thank you to the locals who keep small businesses dreaming and growing.”
Latasha’s Kitchen in North Perth will offer options of her home cooked Indian, Asian, African, Middle Eastern plant based, vegetarian and meat dishes. All “grab and go” meals have been made to be colourful, nutritionally dense dishes for 2 and 4 person households to take home and enjoy.
The full range of Latasha’s popular pantry range of meal bases including concentrated curry pastes, simmer sauces and table condiments will also be available.
Keeping up with her theme of innovating and delighthing her loyal customers, Latasha will also continue to share her cooking secrets in fun ways for everyone to get involved in.
“What will set this food business apart is the addition of bespoke cooking classes for small private groups and those planning their own dinner parties,” said Latasha.
Those keen for an early taste test of the new offerings at Latasha’s Kitchen North Perth before the store opens in late March can grab their fill at Latasha’s food stall at Perth Upmarket on Sunday 21 March, at UWA.