Home' Border Enterprise : Winter-Spring 2010 Contents 6 enterprise
SANDY Leatham has always
been an advocate for the slow
food movement, long before it
was fashionable and celebrated.
So it seemed logical that the
farmer and passionate cook start up her
own business Hook & Spoon.
The 'paddock to plate'-style store in
Benalla stocks meats and meals grown
and prepared with the freshest free range
ingredients on the market.
"Initially I really liked the building: it is
a gorgeous 123 year-old building and I
wondered what I could put in there,''
"Having catering experience and a farming
background, it just seemed like the obvious
choice and it all just came together.''
The mutton and beef is grass-fed and free
range at the family property outside Benalla
and then aged on-site at Hook & Spoon.
The meat is then sold or cooked into
beautiful pies, lasagnes and soups.
"I started the business wanting to
concentrate on the cooking I did at home,
slow food,'' she said.
"It is strange because it is the type of
cooking I have been doing for years and
now it is very popular.
"I love doing a slow roast with mutton
where the meat is so succulent or a
lasagne where we make our own pasta
using free range ingredients.''
The food is sold on-site or at various
farmers' markets including Collingwood
and the Hume Murray farmers' markets
"I think people are becoming more
aware of what they are eating and they are
appreciating these types of foods more,''
"I guess you could describe us as a
butcher and deli where we have really old
fashioned and delicious food.
"People can buy their own meat or take
home our ready-made meals.
"For example at the moment we have
a really delicious shank and vegetable
Hook & Spoon has been running for the
past four years with a large fan base across
And Mrs Leatham is no stranger to small
business, having started her first one
at the age of 22 and then successfully
running a pest control business, catering
arm and farm.
"Small business is something that I would
recommend to people but you need to do
a lot of research and keep ahead of the
game; know your market,'' she said.
She said starting a business in a smaller
town meant there was often not another
similar business to benchmark against.
"That's why you need to keep ahead of
things like market prices and know your
costings,'' she said.
"We are fine tuning things as we go along
and really enjoying what we are doing.''
● Finbar Jones, 3, of
Table Top, takes a fancy
to the pies on offer at
Sandra Leatham's Hook
& Spoon stall.
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