Meet our local food heroes

Jason - Woodgrove Deli

“The thing that I love about the community in Melton is the big European culture here - they’re really friendly…”

Jason has worked in the food industry for over 20 years – a journey of European food discovery for him that has always been inspired by the great Antonio Carluccio.

“My number one food Hero is Antonio Carluccio. I’ve obviously grown up with a lot of the products I sell here at the deli, a lot of the cheeses and small goods, and seeing the way he develops menus and produces his food is inspiring to me”.

Since Jason opened Woodgrove Deli, he has attracted a loyal following of Maltese people from the local community. Word has spread quickly about Jason’s diverse range of authentic Maltese smoked meats, sausages and cheeses.

“We have a big Maltese community here at Melton, so we offer a lot of Maltese products. We have a lot of Maltese people coming in and asking for particular items, such as the Maltese Gbejniet (type of cheese) and the Maltese sausages and the drinks”.

Many of the products Jason sells today were food staples during his childhood. Therefore he is able to explain to his customers the ins-and-outs of what tastes best and what goes well with other condiments. His passion for flavour combinations and cooking forms a big part of Jason’s cooking at home.

“My signature dish that I like to cook is gorgonzola pasta. I love my cheeses. That’s why if I could only eat one thing for the rest of my life it would be Camembert.” 

Jenna - Baker's Delight 

"What I love about the community here in Melton is they are loyal and happy to support local businesses.”

Jenna’s food journey started when she took her first job at Baker’s Delight. Little did she know that this would be the beginning of a life long passion for baking and building a business to call her own.

“The thing I love about owning a Baker’s Delight store, is meeting great customers and serving fresh quality products. The opportunity of work-life balance, owning a franchise and joining a supportive network were big incentives for me”.

The bread at Bakers Delight is made & baked fresh onsite every day by a team of professional bakers. Using the highest quality raw ingredients, Jenna’s staff work around the clock to deliver a diverse range of fresh bread products throughout the day.  

According to Jenna, one of the most popular products in the local area is the High-Fibre, Low GI loaf – a favourite for making delicious, healthy sandwiches due to its GI rating of 55.  

Bread isn’t the only food passion in Jenna’s life. She is just as enthusiastic about cooking at home as she is about baking for the community here in Melton.

“My signature dish that I love to cook at home is spaghetti bolognaise. But If I could only eat one thing for the rest of my life it would be our Baker’s Delight custard scrolls!”

Leo - Demaria's Fruit and Veg 

“One of the things I love about the community here in Melton … there’s real authenticity to the people out here…”

The Demaria family have been in the fruit game for 40 years. After starting out in the wholesale markets, the business then diversified and decided it was time to bring the freshest quality fruit and vegies straight to the people.

“We were banana wholesalers back in the market, and it’s something no one else in Melbourne is going to be better than us at. The things we do best are we run a very clean, fresh quality shop, and we make sure we have rock-bottom prices for our customers”.

Like all successful family businesses, Demaria’s put people at the heart of everything they do. Leo is committed to getting people to eat healthy, helping his staff get the most out of their work and making sure his customers are 100% happy with the quality of produce at Demaria’s.

“Generally customers want to know seasonality of the product, and we’ll let them know what’s in season, what’s cheap in market on that day, we will be able to give them that feedback on a day-to-day basis”

A love of food has always been at the heart of Leo’s upbringing, with his Nonna being a guiding force for cooking dishes from scratch using fresh ingredients.

“My Nonna is my number one food hero. She was capable of taking anything out of the cupboard and putting a dish together that was probably one of the best tasting dishes you’ll ever have…”

Dung - Woodgrove Bakery 

“The community here in Melton is good, they come and say hello and always ask something about my shop because I am new here…”

Dung’s love for baking started when she was just eight years old. Growing up with her four younger sisters and brothers in Vietnam, Dung would race home from school and bake cakes to share with the family.

“‘When I was small, I used to read recipe books. My mother would always tell me to make something. Teaching myself when I was young inspired me to continue baking as an adult”.

It’s the friendly and supportive community at Woodgrove that continues to inspire Dung’s love for baking. She says nothing makes her happier than seeing her customers enjoy her recipes.

“Decorating biscuits reminds me of my childhood. It’s one of the many things I love about being a baker. Making coffee is also another thing. I love the smell every time I make it for my customers”.

Woodgrove Bakery’s signature meat pies are made fresh every day by Dung’s husband and have become famous in the local area. Another local favourite are Dung’s biscuits which many customers have asked for the recipe, but Dung doesn’t give her secrets away so easily.

“Sometimes the customers ask me ‘how do you make these? But I won’t tell them!”.

Annette - The Butcher Club

“My number one food hero is my mum because she taught me the importance of a fresh product…”

New to the local area, Annette and her husband had always dreamed of establishing a first-class meat business that’s all about bringing the best cuts and best advice to their customers.

“My husband and I are new to the community here in Melton, and we love it. We find it to be a small, close-knit community. It’s country orientated yet close to the city. We always try and provide our customers with the best cut and the best instructions for how to get the best out of what they’ve purchased from us…”

Annette’s steaks have quickly become popular in the local area, especially their eye fillet which is aged to perfection. Adding to the stable are her nine varieties of gourmet sausages and five flavours of stuffed chicken breast. All prepared onsite at the hands of professional butchers.

“The top things I love about doing what I do is guiding customers to choose the right products for the right dishes, hearing feedback from them after they’re taken it home and cooked their dishes and tried it…”

When it comes to preparing her own favourites at home, Annette can’t go past a classic steak dished up with caramelized onion and fresh veggies.