Monkey Business Catering is a family business. A culmination of generations of women (and men!) who lived creatively, sought to uplift their guests and serve practically. They have served their God, their families and their guests through delicious fresh baking and wholesome foods.
To understand who we are you have to hear where we have come from.
Our family history
For over 100 years the family owned a dairy farming operation near Nanango. When the dairy industry was deregulated in 2001 it was no longer possible for my family to make a decent living with farming. My parents, Malcolm and Kristina, after much prayer and heartbreak made courageous decision to sell it all, … the land … the herd … the house …
This decision was life changing.
We moved to Toowoomba, and for the next 14 years various businesses were purchased and operated. One of the businesses purchased was the franchise for Michels’ Patisserie Kmart Plaza.
It was purchased for the best of reasons … to help and support another family member.
A tough marathon of experiences followed; family breakups, global recessions, changes in franchise management, legal battles and increased business competition.
In 2014, facing the franchise renewal another tough decision had to be made;
Should we renew with ongoing difficult retail and internal-franchise politics?
Or take up the opportunity presented by ongoing requests for catering outside of Michels’?
Another leap of faith …
Enter, Monkey Business Catering
In February 2015, Monkey Business Catering was launched. We started with a garage to commercial kitchen conversion, a handful of second hand equipment and $10,000 cash. My stash of domestic equipment was even sacrificed to the cause! For the first two years, I worked full time as the manager at Monkey Business Catering and part time as a business trainer for Aurora Training Institute. It was a crazy, intense period.
The 2020 COVID shutdown from March to September was another testing time. We saw a complete cancellation on bookings within the first two weeks of the shutdown being announced. So we grieved for a month and then made a plan for business development – converting our lean start-up systems into ones that would work well for us for the next 10 year (of those my favourite was going from paper recipe cards to digitised recipes viewed on iPads).
Knowing that our business needed diversification and change to survive the strange post-COVID economic times, we purchased iCooked (a frozen ready to eat meal business) in May 2021, employed a Head Chef (the wonderful Terri), had Kristina come to work in the business full-time and moved from our converted garage kitchen into a 260 square metre warehouse in Harlaxton.
The journey has been varied and challenging with many joys but also unavoidable and often heart-breaking moments. God has been a constant through them all.
We now see a tangible ‘’good from the ashes’’.
I would be so delighted if you join with us, as we share our food, our joy and our journey with family, community and the wider Toowoomba.