Interview - Gourmet Granny's - Brendan Mallett
Gourmet Granny's Gourmet Sauces and Gravy Mixes
Using a sauce or gravy can be the best way to finish off a delicious meal. Gourmet Granny’s offers traditional sauce mixes that are made up with just water. We spoke with owner, Brendan Mallett about his company’s history, products and raving fans.
FFW: Can you tell us a little about the Gourmet Granny’s brand?
GOURMET GRANNY’S: Gourmet Granny’s has existed in the NSW market for nearly 50 years with only one change in formulation in that time, some 20 odd years ago. The product has been manufactured in the same location for nearly 40 years on the southside of Brisbane. I purchased the business from the original “Granny’s” back in late 2013, revised packaging in 2018 and rolled out to several more states at that time and it is has grown exponentially since then. It’s still a 100% Australian family owned small business.
FFW: What makes Gourmet Granny’s mixes different from others in the market?
GOURMET GRANNY’S: The quality; we constantly get positive feedback about the quality and that “you would not believe they come from a sachet”. They are still very simple to make as well, most only requiring the consumer to add water. We are not targeting WW and Coles, therefore we have a strong connection with our retailers, whether independent butchers, gourmet shops, fruit shops or grocers.
FFW: Who is your product aimed at?
GOURMET GRANNY’S: Really anyone wanting to provide great food for themselves or their families with minimal effort. Often used as a special occasion indulgence, sharing decadent flavours with family and friends at a celebration. Our customers want convenience from the product, but they also want some ownership of producing this amazing accompaniment to go with their meals. Gourmet Granny’s offers this with pot-cooked, stovetop products that take five minutes to prepare, not liquid pouches heated in the microwave for 45 seconds.
FFW: Is it as simple as just adding water to the mixes?
GOURMET GRANNY’S: Yes, for most of the products, you simply add water. The 3 Gravies, Stroganoff and Casserole Mixes are water only. Cheese Sauce is made on milk and Pepper Sauce is made up on water initially then once boiled, add 100ml of cream to provide that creamy flavour to our flagship product.
FFW: What can you tell us about the ingredients you use in your mixes?
GOURMET GRANNY’S: We will simply not compromise on the quality of the ingredients; the recipe has remained unchanged for over 20 years and it will stay that way. Whilst we source as many ingredients as possible locally, we will continue to buy from wherever the best ingredients are found, for example we will only use Turkish Green and Black Peppercorns, as they work the best in our Pepper Sauce mix.
FFW: Would you say the sauces and mixes are ‘foolproof’?
GOURMET GRANNY’S: Yes, instructions are very straight forward; add water, boil, simmer. That’s it for most of them. Of course, the Stroganoff and Casserole base require protein and vegetable of your choice to be added.
FFW: How many servings are there in each sachet?
GOURMET GRANNY’S: There are four serves per sachet, making either 250ml of 300ml of gravy or sauce. A generous gravy boat full is the best way to describe it. Multiple sachets can be made up for larger groups simply by multiplying the liquid quantities. It’s very easy to make up a 1lt pot from 4 sachets if required.
FFW: What kind of feedback do you get from consumers?
GOURMET GRANNY’S: We are blessed to have an army of raving fans. I get messages every day on Facebook or Messenger sharing what a wonderful accompaniment Gourmet Granny’s products made to their meal, often an expensive roast or steaks, so you really want to be sure that whatever goes on it is improving the end result, not detracting from it. I have received many emails telling me the Pepper Sauce is consumed in the kitchen as they are so keen to taste it before it goes on the table. I always encourage our stockists to try the product as they become raving fans and on-sell to their customers without hesitation. I have offered a 100% money back guarantee on quality and flavour for the past five years and not one person has ever taken this up.
FFW: Do you find that small foodservice operators use your products too?
GOURMET GRANNY’S: It depends on what market they have and if the product is premium priced. We will not reduce the quality to sell in larger scale tubs or packs as it would diminish the brand. Therefore, if you want great gravy or sauce to accompany the food you are presenting then the only option is to use multiple retail packs. I have stacks of foodservice customers that do this, mainly because they love the product and believe it gives them an edge. For example, butchers that make their own pies, many of them use my Casserole Mix as a delicious base, or takeaways that use our Rich Roast Gravy as it is far more flavoursome than other brands available to them. Tasty Onion Gravy is also popular with foodservice end users that sell “Bangers and Mash”.
FFW: How are consumers using your products?
GOURMET GRANNY’S: Easier to do this by product:
- Rich Roast Gravy – Mostly used as the name suggest as a delicious way to top your favourite roast or any protein. It is really versatile. It is also amazing on hot chips.
- Chicken Gravy – Again, as the name suggests, roast chicken, turkey and even pork; this gravy is great with any white meat. In fact, it actually used to be called White Meat Gravy, but has grown in sales x 10 since we changed the name two years ago.
- Tasty Onion Gravy – This again can be used on any protein to provide that traditional onion gravy flavour with minimal effort. It contains 15% real onion pieces and as a result is perfect on Bangers and Mash as mentioned above.
- Casserole Mix – Really versatile mix, but main use is either in a pot, fry pan, pressure cooker or slow cooker as a base to your favourite casserole ingredients using carrot, celery, onion and beef. Perfect to make steak and kidney pie as well, just replace the vegies with kidney. Also used as a tasty meat pie base.
- Stroganoff Mix – Pretty much just as the name suggests, a great base for your favourite stroganoff; generally, add beef, mushroom and onions. Used as well on chicken and pork fillets and veal and pork schnitzels.
- Cheese Sauce – Perfect with broccoli, cauliflower or any veggies, really. Customers tell me they use it in mac and cheese, chicken casseroles and creamy homemade soups.
- Pepper Sauce Mix – Well if you listen to the raving fans on this one, pretty much eat it with anything, it’s that good. A great accompaniment to any steak, roast meat or really any protein or vegetables. Often customers add a little something of their own in at the end such as red wine, brandy or garlic.
FFW: Do any of your products accommodate any dietary restrictions?
GOURMET GRANNY’S: Gourmet Granny’s products are manufactured in a facility that uses gluten, so we do not recommend anyone who has a gluten intolerance to use our products. The range is based on decadent flavours that provide a great boost to any meal. They are an indulgence generally and as such the focus has not been at this stage to tick any boxes other than flavour and quality of ingredients. Changing the formula is simply not worth potentially impacting these principles that underpin the brand.
FFW: How do you make it easy for customers to do business with you?
GOURMET GRANNY’S: We make dealing with us easy; that’s the secret. We provide fast, friendly customer service with a focus on delivering customer needs ASAP. Whether that be fast order turnaround (generally 1-2 days + freight) or negotiating minimum order quantities or promotional support including free display bins that present the products beautifully.
FFW: What makes Gourmet Granny’s experts in the market?
GOURMET GRANNY’S: Well I guess after nearly 50 years we understand what people want from their favourite gravy or sauce product and that is quality, and most of all consistency of GREAT FLAVOUR!! We are not trying to compete with supermarket ‘bland’ sachet brands, nor their pre-mix microwave offerings. We are adding value to independent retailers but providing another reason or them to return to their shop, as they cannot buy it anywhere else.
FFW: Do you deliver throughout Australia?
GOURMET GRANNY’S: Yes, we do, via a distribution network that is growing each year. We are still looking for distributors that are passionate about supporting our products and gaining the rewards for doing so. Particularly in the southern states.
FFW: Is there anything else you’d like potential customers to know about the Gourmet Granny’s brand?
GOURMET GRANNY’S: Gourmet Granny’s offers a premium product that really delivers on homemade flavour, but at the same time offers convenience. Try them, that is the secret, if you try them you will join the raving fans in spreading the word/distributing the product to others.