MULLAWAY mum Alison Heagney looks set for success when variations of the home recipes created for her toddler son are launched in 300 Woolworths supermarkets across NSW, Victoria and Queensland this month.
"I was a single mum completing a Masters in Project Management when Daniel was younger and I used to make these meatballs, basically a meal in a meatball, for Daniel - they were healthy emergency meatballs," Alison said.
"When I completed my study I thought 'what am I going to?
"So I started to work up the idea and look at the viability of making these meatballs for retail."
Alison started attending Coffs Harbour City Council's Six Degrees Coworking space in Coffs CBD to collaborate and exchange business ideas and tips with other solo operators. It was there that Alison was introduced to the 'Pitch Your Passion' event - modelled on the lines of TV's The Shark Tank where entrepreneurs pitch their product ideas to investors - in this case, a panel of local experts.
"I delivered my Pitch in September last year," Alison said.
"Everyone tasted and loved the meatballs, and through that Pitch I was put in touch with a commercialisation expert.
"I knew that I could either go bottom up, starting at markets and grow the brand, or go top down, straight into factory production, which is the higher risk option."
Alison was able to secure the help of Bradley Wardrop Brown, a consultant famous for the Recipe to Riches television series. "He redesigned the recipe, conducted all the necessary testing and nutritionals. I then engaged a broker to help present to the supermarkets and I'm very lucky to be given a chance at Woolworths."
Alison's original 'meal in a meatball' will be found on the shelves packaged as 'Al and Dan's Home-Style Magic Meatballs'.
The chicken meatballs include five vegetables, fresh lime juice and lime leaves, coriander and garlic, while the beef meatballs include mushrooms, carrots, egg, broccoli, celery, smoked paprika and Tamara (soy). All the ingredients are Australian grown.
The next 'Pitch Your Passion', is in the Creative Hub at Coffs Central Shopping Centre on Wednesday, October 7, from 12 noon to 1pm. For more information or to book a Pitch, call 6648 4089 or check the website.
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