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Organic popcorn is just one of the tasty treats at Perth’s newest organic outlet, as Julie-anne Sprague reports.

ORGANIC Growers Association president Annie Dunn and husband, Rick, have moved their home-based outdoor store into a dedicated grocer store offering a wide range of products, including popcorn.

Absolutely Organics has grown out of a strong customer demand for the couple’s organic produce, which they sold from a small shed on their Gwelup property on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

The new store, located on the corner of Karrinyup Road and North Beach Road, will enable Annie and Rick to provide a wider range of organic produce.

“We’ve got a popcorn machine and have grown the corn organically,” Annie says.

The pair also has acquired a hand mill for milling flour, and will sell organic meat products.

“We’ve got meat in through the Dalkeith Village Butcher, who is the only supplier in the area,” Annie says.

But aside from providing consumers with an extensive range of organic products, Annie hopes to provide an information centre for her customers and other organic growers.

“We want more growers out there. We’ve offered a bit of space to the Organic Growers Association so people know it’s there and can always get information there,” Annie says.

By creating an information kiosk, Annie not only wants to stimulate consumer awareness, but also wants to gain greater government support.

“I want to trigger the government to get this system going. I want to stir up the industry a bit and make people aware of what true organic produce really is,” she says.

Absolutely Organics is open from Tuesday to Friday from 9am-6pm and Saturdays 9am-1pm.

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It’s no news to anyone in the business that Perth’s catering industry is extremely competitive. But that hasn’t stopped a newcomer, Perth chef Michael Forde, from making inroads into the market. Michael will officially launch his catering company, Michael Forde food catering consultancy, next Wednesday.

Michael started the business last New Year’s Eve when he catered for the opening night of Luxe Bar and has since done numerous weddings and other event functions. He is keen to enter the corporate market but warns punters not to expect cold meat platters and run-of-the-mill food.

“I’ve turned down a few jobs because people want what’s (already) being done. I don’t do the platter type stuff,” Michael says.

“You could describe my food as eclectic.”

“There is a preconception of catering companies and I’m trying to break that.”

Michael is originally from Perth and has worked at Jones’ Restaurant, E’Cucina, and Lamonts. He also spent two years working at London’s award winning restaurant, The Sugar Club. More recently Michael worked at Ezard at the Adelphi in Melbourne, but decided late last year it was time to return home and do his own thing.

He aims to open a restaurant soon. If you want to have a look at the menu, and some great food shots, visit the website at www.michaelfordefood.com

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PHILIP Johnson from Ecco Bistro Brisbane is headed to Jackson’s Restaurant to promote his new cook book Ecco2. In true Neal Jackson style you’ll be treated to canapes on arrival followed by a four-course meal. Brookland Valley and Houghton Wines will accompany the dinner menu. Philip will be signing and selling his books. The dinner is on Wednesday June 5 and you’ll need to book.

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