A time for planning, networking, hoping & reflecting

As Christmas approaches, planning for 2013 is all important.  The feasibility proposal is taking a lot of time and brain power.  Other TO DO items include applying for grants and acquittal reports for previous grants, the marketing plan, costing for school lunches, menu for school market plus rosters and invoices. Phew, just thinking about what I managed to do this week makes me look forward to the Christmas holidays.

On Monday evening, I sold seeds and plants and jams at the Geelong Organic Gardeners meeting. What a great bunch of people, many of whom volunteer for Food_Skil.

There’s still no answer from DPCD yet on the grant, so I’m still hoping for good news.

On Thursday morning, I attended a breakfast meeting of Geelong small business people. It was an excellent networking session and it was good to hear first-hand from new Mayor, Keith Fagg that he likes what Foodskil is doing.  Later I attended the final meeting of the Geelong Future Proofing reference group for 2012.  In between these meetings, I worked with St Josephs to tidy up the vegetable beds behind the shop and found a new favourite café in Pako, Red Tarts.

During the week, I also discussed our goals with the Chamber of Commerce and Healthy Geelong Together.  It’s really valuable chatting with people at these business networks and linking up with other social enterprises.

Foodskil is investigating whether it should tender for the canteen services at Northern Bay College – it would be a three year contract.

On Friday, I met with Phillip who runs a gardening group with Pathways (Mental Health Organisation) at Urban Bean and explored how we can work together at the schools and also on the potato boxes at Labuan Square.  The week concluded with the Osborne House Market on Sunday. We sold an awful lot of goods at Osborne House, and it was great to have customers return and praise out produce, from Jams, Chutneys, Eggs and Honey. The new item was the Dips, very well received.

It’s reassuring how awareness of our activities is spreading around the Geelong region and leading to positive recognition and growing support. I wish to sincerely thank all the staff and volunteers for their hard work and commitment during 2012 – their efforts are the key to our success.

As the festive season arrives, keep happy and healthy and remember your 2 servings of fruit and 5 servings of vegetables a day.




Carrot and Apple Chutney Wins Third Prize at Royal Geelong Show

2 & 5 Shop

With the Royal Geelong Show held last week, we walked away with a third prize for our Carrot and Apple Chutney. This is just one of the many jams and chutneys available in our shop, and we this achievement, we now have proof that our jams are very tasty; I mean who better to say our creations are tasty than Royal Show Judges!

We would like to know more about you (our valued customers) and your shopping habits of fresh produce. Over the coming weeks, you may see us out and about in the Norlane and Corio areas asking questions and handing out surveys so as that we can better understand you. The more we know about our community, the better service we can provide and also adapt to your needs. We always welcome feedback and please feel free to let our lovely staff know of any comments about Food Skil you may have.

Did you know that we also provide businesses with Fruit Boxes? Providing fruit to employees helps keep them motivated throughout the day, is a healthier alternative to the usual unhealthy tea room snacks and also helps employees stay in good health. If you would like to know more about this service, please contact me.

Until next time, keep healthy and remember your 2 servings of fruit and 5 servings of vegetables a day.


Volunteer of the Month – Robert Lee

Volunteer of the Month, Robert Lee

I would now like to take the time to congratulate Robert Lee who is Food Skil’s Volunteer of the Month! Robert volunteers his time in the 2&5 Fresh Food Shop and has been selected as Volunteer of the Month for his commitment, work ethic, rapport with staff, other volunteers and customers and his helpfulness in all situations.

Congratulations Robert and I’m sure he will be more than happy to help you when you next visit the 2&5 Shop.

Did you know that the 2&5 Shop now stocks Jonesy’s Milk and Cream? Jonesy’s milk differs from most brands of milk that you will find at your local supermarket. Their milk undergoes minimal processing and they do not add anything or take anything out of the milk, so you are actually getting 100% milk. No water, no additives, no milk powders, just milk!

On Friday 26 October at Market Square Centre, Food Skil will be participating in Reclaim the Night’s fundraising event WOW Fest Food Swap Stall. Reclaim the Night is a global women’s protest against men’s sexual violence. This event aims to raise awareness of and speak out about violence against women and to provide an opportunity to women to share their diverse talents with the community.

For further information about this event, please visit www.reclaimthenightgeelong.org.au

Until next time, keep healthy and remember your 2 servings of fruit and 5 servings of vegetables a day.


Food Skil’s Annual General Meeting (AGM)

Food Skil’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held on Saturday, 15 September 2012 at Rosewall Neighbourhood House, Sharland Street, Corio.

The meeting’s agenda included:

  1. The election of the new Board of Directors
  2. Voting on the new constitution
  3. Review of Food Skil’s performance over the past year, and
  4. Present the Annual Report

Food Skil would like to announce its Board of Directors as the following:

Faye Allison,
Cathy Walker,
Geraldine Zuniga-Brant,
Tina Perfrement,
Paul Buttigieg,
Susan Tattersall,
Kylie Fisher,
Amanda Stirret.

Welcome to the new Board of Directors!

Food Skil’s Annual Report and AGM Meeting Minutes have been released, and can be downloaded here.

Food Skil would like to thank all of our volunteers and staff for their continued support over the past year, and we look forward to another big year ahead!

New Volunteer Wanted – Norlane Food Swap

2 & 5 Shop – New Produce Arriving Weekly

The Crunch program is well underway. This week I met with our mentors and started to put together an action plan for Food Skil. So expect Food Skil’s business plan to change substantially over the coming months – this is a positive step forward for Food Skil and I can’t wait to unveil our hard work in the coming months.

This week, we have seen two new food additions to the shop :
– Pear chutney (thanks to the Jam Group)
– Labna cream cheese that is made from organic milk

In the coming weeks the shop will also be stocking fresh beetroot – this will be just in time for the warmer spring weather. Fresh beetroot is ideal as a healthy addition to sandwiches and wraps. Or if you would like to be more creative you could also make a beetroot dip!

Did you know that we stock more than just fresh produce? We also stock white rice, brown rice, sultanas, red lentils, chick peas, rolled oats, organic flour and couscous. We also stock a range of jams, including carrot jam, grapefruit marmalade, onion jam and plum jam. These are just some of the items that we stock, but I’m sure there’s more in store that may tantalise your taste buds.

Do you (or anyone you know) have a spare hour per month? We are currently recruiting for a new volunteer for the Norlane Food Swap. The Norlane Food Swap occurs the second Tuesday of every month and would require a friendly volunteer to chat to Food Swap attendees and let them know what the Food Swap is and how it is helping our community. Contact me for further information.

Until next time, keep healthy and remember your 2 servings of fruit and 5 servings of vegetables a day.


Food Skil Successful with The Crunch Application!

On behalf of Food Skil, I am excited to announce that we have been successful in our application to The Social Traders’ The Crunch. This is very exciting news for us, as over the course of the next 6 months, we will be given the opportunity to turn Food Skil’s idea of reducing food insecurity in the Northern Suburbs of Geelong into a reality! As part of the Crunch program, Food Skil will be assisted by a series of workshops, tailored planning resources and one-on-one time with The Crunch Mentor team, which includes business mentors and MBA students from the Melbourne Business School.

I would like to thank all of our supporters and volunteers, as without your hard work, dedication and enthusiasm for Food Skil, we would not exist and we certainly would not have been successful with our application! We have some very exciting times ahead and we look forward to further developing Food Skil with your continued support as well as participating in the Crunch program.

On a different note, it’s currently school holiday time, so that means the School’s Fresh Markets are currently on holidays too! But that doesn’t mean you still can’t get your weekly fresh produce, as our shop in Labuan Square is open Monday – Saturday and stocks fresh fruit, vegetables, milk, yoghurt, fruit salad, jams and relishes. Come on in and see what is currently in season – you just might be surprised with what we have in store!

Until next time, keep healthy and remember your 2 servings of fruit and 5 servings of vegetables a day.


The Crunch

Food Skil was fortunate to be successful in our application to the CRUNCH.

Food Skil Crunch Application

The Crunch 5

The Crunch is run by Social Traders, who are they?

Social Traders is a small nonprofit organisation established in 2008 to support and encourage the establishment of commercially viable social enterprises throughout Australia.

Working with government, community, business and research partners, we aim to:

  • Raise awareness about social enterprise and demonstrate its benefits
  • Open up markets for social enterprise products and services
  • Increase finance available to start and develop social enterprises
  • Build capacity of social enterprises to trade successfully
  • Support the coordination of social enterprise development in Australia

What is the Crunch?

The Crunch takes selected participants through a challenging business planning process. Selected social enterprises are paired with business mentors from leading Australian corporations and MBA students from Melbourne Business School. All participants will work on their social enterprise idea by participating in a total of five workshops, commencing in late September. The workshops cover a number of topics including industry and market research, business forecasting, feasibility assessment, and business planning writing and pitching.

We completed two days last week and now have two business mentors, the future looks bright for Food Skil !




*NEW* BULK GOODS BUY BY WEIGHT. WE ALSO DO 10-25kg Bags on request








And of course we still sell all the beautiful fruit and vegetables

Sustainable House Day – Sunday 9th September, 2012

Last Sunday, I attended Sustainable House Day. Every year for one day only, Sustainable House Day gives people the chance to look inside houses that have been designed, built or fitted out with sustainability in mind. Sustainable House Day is also an opportunity for visitors to talk to the owners of the open homes and receive free, unbiased advice.

For those who know me well, you will know that I can’t resist promoting Food Skil and getting word out of who we are, no matter where I am! While getting some great ideas on how to make a home and business more sustainable, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to let other Sustainable House Day attendees know about Food Skil. Many attendees were very impressed with Food Skil’s initiatives, that they couldn’t resist purchasing some of our Jams and Olives!

On another note, next week (Tuesday 18th and Wednesday 19th September) will see the last of the Schools Market Stands for Term 3. They will recommence in Term 4 on Tuesday 9th October at St Thomas Aquinas School and on Wednesday 10th October at Northern Bay College, Hendy Street Campus. If you do need fruit and vegetables when the Schools Market Stands are out for the holidays, please come into out 2&5 Shop in Labuan Square. We would love to see you there and are always up for a chat!

Until next time, keep happy and healthy and remember your 2 servings of fruit and 5 servings of vegetables a day.


New Season, New Fresh Produce

2 & 5 Shop

Last week saw the Cloverdale Market finish. Although it was sad to see this end, we do have some exciting plans for the near future, so keep your ears open for some of our new projects.

With Spring upon us, we will soon be getting some new seasons’ fruit and vegetables into the shop. In the shop this week we have a beautiful tzatziki dip, vegetable soup, pumpkin soup, and some fresh fruit salad. We also have organic bath milk and yoghurt. Come in to the shop to see our new fresh produce, yoghurts, soups, jams and of course, our new shelving we recently got put in! We are continually adding new products to the shop, so you might be surprised to see what we now stock on your next visit.

If you are a local producer or know of a local producer that may be interested in selling / donating Food Skil, please contact me.

Until next time, keep happy and healthy and remember your 2 servings of fruit and 5 servings of vegetables a day.