Friday April 30th, 2021
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) has continued its business transformation in response the pandemic, utilising its commercial kitchen and award-winning chefs to partner with premium Victorian food distributor Flinders + Co. on a new Home Chef Series range of products.
While MCEC is once again open to events, as a major contributor to the Victorian economy, the venue has also been exploring products and business model.
As a wholesale food project, the Home Chef Series was able to continue throughout Melbourne’s recent snap lockdown as an essential service, showing the valuable contribution the partnership is making to the community.
As well as the economic benefit, MCEC is also supporting the community by providing spaces for local businesses such as Flinders + Co. to work during these uncertain times.
Flinders + Co’s Home Chef Series includes slow roasted Wagyu beef with BBQ glaze, roaring forties lamb shoulder with green goddess dressing, free range pork belly with granny smith apple sauce and Braised grass-fed beef cheeks with red wine jus. The products are now on the shelves at 35 Coles supermarkets across Victoria and NSW.
Executive Chef, MCEC Peter Haycroft says it was an opportune time to form the partnership and fill a need within the community.
“This is just the start for our kitchen and The Home Chef Series. Our core business is about creating culinary experiences in an event context but working with Flinders + Co. made it clear we could offer restaurant quality food at home,” he said.
“This fills a gap we identified in the retail segment, creating a genuine additional revenue stream, and helping kick start the local economy.
“Both businesses are very excited about what we have created together and are already planning the evolution of the brand.”
James Madden, Managing Director Flinders + Co. said “COVID has presented immense challenges to many businesses in certain sectors. Both Flinders + Co and MCEC have been heavily impacted. The Home Chef Series is a great example of how an open and collaborative brainstorming of ideas can lead to innovations that we never would have thought possible prior to the pandemic.
“The idea of bringing restaurant quality product into a supermarket is not new – but COVID has been a catalyst that has spurred our two separate organizations on to innovate, and to turn the idea into a reality.”
MCEC continues to explore opportunities as Melbourne moves towards a ‘new normal’. Utilising the creativity and experience of its employee base, the business has already installed new virtual event studios and technologies for hybrid and online events, converted space into studios for a Hollywood blockbuster and held Australia’s first indoor drive-in cinema.