Karen Martin is the owner of Yanalla Farms on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland where she specialises in producing tropical fruits. Through experimenting with custard apples and different alternatives for the lower grade / ‘inferior’ apples, Custard Dust was born - a freeze dried powdered version of the leftover pulp.
Karen’s business plan was to develop this innovative new product to become a natural and healthier alternative to processed sugar that could be used in cereals, smoothies, teas and coffee. Before the F2F program, the product had only been tested by friends and family. Karen joined the F2F program because she needed assistance in getting the product to market and had minimal knowledge of food processing.
During the program, Karen undertook extensive customer interviews and reported that this has revolutionised her ideas about how to take her business forward to the next level. She is extremely excited about the potential for value-added products like Custard Dust to limit food waste and to deliver new revenue streams for producers like her.
At the end of the program, Custard Dust is still working through the development stage. Once the next batch of fruit is ready to harvest, the dried pulp will be tested for nutritional levels. Packaging mock-ups are planned, along with more Facebook Ads and development of an online sales platform. Karen is planning to do more customer interviews with manufacturers with the goal of adding Custard Dust as an ingredient in manufactured food products.