Local Stories

Nellie, Founder and Owner, Relish Mama

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Say hi to Nellie, the owner of Melbourne’s local home-cooked meal delivery service and online cooking school, Relish Mama. Food and gatherings were such an important part of Nellie’s childhood, and she’s always loved getting her friends together to share a meal.

Relish Mama began back in 2009 when Nellie decided to confess to a small group of her close friends her long-time dream of teaching people to cook. After her first cooking class immediately sold out, Nellie was convinced, and she says this was the moment she knew her life had changed.

Despite finally doing what she loved, the early days of Relish Mama were tough. Nellie worked tirelessly to secure licenses and permits, while developing a logo and branding. Her husband would work a full day at his job and then come home to help Nellie juggle running a business from home while taking care of three small children. She says it was a crazy time, but looking back on it, they had so much fun.

By 2012, Nellie was ready to move to a bigger space, and she moved into the warehouse space that is now home to the cooking school. Although a huge undertaking for Nellie, she says that everyday she arrives at work and walks up the stairs to a warm and inviting feel that will never get old.

Nellie was forced to close their doors to inhouse cooking classes for both public and corporate groups since March. While this is on hold, they’ve amped up their efforts around their home delivery service, where they cook and deliver gourmet home cooked meals to the Melbourne metropolitan area. They’ve also moved their cooking classes online so that their customers can continue to enjoy Nellie’s meals from the comfort of their own home.

Their customers have been amazing throughout the disruption and have been deeply supportive of all they’re doing. They’re always encouraging Nellie to keep going, which she says brings a tear to her eyes.

Nellie says throughout this time she has learned so much about herself as a leader and employer. Although its been exhausting, Nellie feels privileged to be able to look after her team and continue to provide for her community during this tough time.

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