Article by: Brands of Kin
Written by: Sophie Coldham
Here at Brands of Kin we are rather partial to good food, and even more so to a story of a generational family business. For this month's 60 Seconds we were naturally excited to catch up with Mimmo Lubrano, the CEO of Sandhurst Fine Foods, and learn how the business attributes its success to the finest quality produce and generations of passion for traditional family recipes.
Sandhurst Fine Foods was founded in 1988 by Mimmo’s parents, Vince and Geraldine, with the motto “A passion for food, a passion for family”. The idea was simple – to create pickles, preserves and sauces using methods passed down by generations (and still closely-guarded today) using only the finest quality produce.
With Mimmo and his brother, Ray, leaving the corporate world to run the business, this new generation is keen to keep their product ideas fresh while maintaining those standards set by their parents. We learn about how the business is innovating to the changes brought by Covid-19, and how Mimmo and his family still have regular time to enjoy delicious food and good company.
What do you believe is the family business advantage?
Flexibility. Family businesses are able to respond to a crisis quickly. They are nimble. They can move fast through the decision making process to make change. They are able to shift to changes and needs in the marketplace, to satisfy their customers.
What has been the most challenging time working in the family business?
I would have to say now. It’s the first time ever my business has had a 50% drop in turn over. I’ve had to dig deep and look in the mirror to figure out what to do. Things have changed forever. And as a business leader I need to rise to the challenge and figure out how to keep Sandhurst alive.
What has been the most rewarding?
When I see people in my team step up and rise to a challenge. It really brings me great joy. Right now we are in crisis mode and just watching staff express their gratitude to have a job and re-engage on so many levels is amazing. Watching them treat the business as if it is their own is heartwarming. It’s also amazing to know I always have the support of my parents. I can feel their support.
What’s the legacy you want to leave behind?
Passion for food and family. Connection. I want every Australian household to understand just how important it is to appreciate and nurture those family relationships, and the best way to do that is over a great tasting meal.
Food is everything to our family. Every day we sit down to a family lunch and this is the time we enjoy ourselves, share about each other's lives and just be in each other’s presence.
If you could give one piece of advice for those building a brand, what would it be?
Be honest. If it doesn’t feel right don’t do it.