Double Dipping

Yumi’s Seafood

Whether it’s a barbeque or a dinner party, nothing beats getting together with those nearest and dearest. Hosting a get together can sometimes be a hassle, though, when it comes to food. There is always bound to be a vegetarian or two coming along, plus someone who is allergic to dairy or gluten. Then there are the kosher followers to consider – not to mention the kids and the dieters…

Yumi’s Seafood knows how to make entertaining easy, with a wealth of certified kosher, dairy and gluten free offerings like dips, falafel, aioli, smoked fish, and more. Blended to perfection right here in Australia, Yumi’s dips are packed with real ingredients like decadent macadamia nuts, caramelised onions and roasted capsicums. Who said healthy couldn’t be delicious? Dipping has never been this delightful!

Family Tradition

Like so many other successful businesses, Yumi’s Seafood had humble beginnings. “The business started off with my brother Yumi, just as a fresh fish shop,” explains Company Director Michael Friedman. Yumi travelled overseas to Canada, acquiring recipes and technical know how for making fish dips and mayonnaise from their grandfather. Yumi started selling fish dips and mayonnaise soon afterwards.

“About two years later I joined him, and we started distributing around to other stores and not long after that got it into the kosher cold stores in the areas of Elsternwick, Balaclava in Sydney being Bondi and places like that. So you would say about a dozen cold stores,” says Mr Friedman, “And it grew from there. From fish dips, we went to other sorts of dips and as we took small steps we grew and built fridges in the warehouse around the corner and it kept growing.”

At the end of 1999, the Friedman brothers moved into a purpose-built site in Cheltenham but with the business growing rapidly, soon needed more space. “We rented space down the road for raw materials and then we ended up growing more and had to rent other places. Then we ended up buying another building across the road in Cheltenham so we worked out of three sites.”

At the time the brothers moved the business to Cheltenham, they were already supplying Woolworths, Coles and other major supermarket chains and independents. “It just grew from there and last year in November we moved into our new premises in Hallam.” The little shop where it all started is still doing business today. “Yes, we still have a fish shop in Ripponlea that sells fresh fish.” While not all the foods sold in the shop are gluten free, all Yumi’s products sold in supermarkets and delicatessens are gluten and dairy free.

Yumi’s Seafood has been kosher certified since its inception. “We are a kosher manufacturer, I only eat kosher myself,” says Mr Friedman. “Everything Yumi’s is kosher certified, top to bottom.” Yumi’s is under the kosher supervision of Adass Israel Kosher Certification Authority. “We have a certifier that comes every week for a visit. They’re in the loop about what ingredients we use and our suppliers, etc. That’s one of the main reasons why we’re dairy free, why we’ve always been dairy free.” Many Jewish dietary laws define kosher food. “One of the main rules in kosher is that we don’t eat meat and dairy together, so milk products and meat products don’t mix. We have separate kitchens for meat and separate kitchens for milk,” explains Mr Friedman. “Anything that’s not classified as meat and not classified as dairy – for instance, fish or vegetables – is neutral, called parev.”

Gourmet Blends

Although Yumi’s is certified kosher, everyone can enjoy Yumi’s products, which are sold in all states throughout Australia. At Yumi’s the motto is, ‘What’s on the lid is under the lid.’ “We use only fresh ingredients, fresh vegetables and the main ingredient is what it is,” comments Mr Friedman, who believes that Australian consumers appreciate a wide range of natural, fresh flavours. Hommus, for example, is very popular with shoppers. “I think they’re looking for something that’s real and when I say real it is what it is, it’s not just a flavoured cream cheese.”

Yumi’s products prove that finger food does not have to be unhealthy. Everything is fresh, healthy and made with love. Forget serving greasy sausage rolls and microwaved party pies from the freezer – get the party going with a generous platter of Yumi’s falafel with aioli for dipping. Yumi’s has a mouth-watering range of aiolis featuring blends like chilli with lime, dill and pesto. Put out some Yumi’s Baba Ganoosh, Hommus and Tahini with some Lebanese bread and voila, a delicious Middle Eastern style spread made in minutes. “My favourite product is Hommus,” remarks Mr Friedman, adding that Yumi’s hommus is said by many loyal fans to be the best in Australia. Within the next week, in fact, a new range of hommus will be available at Coles, with various toppings including Fiery Tunisian Harissa, Marinated Eggplant and Za’atar, Olive Oil & Sweet Paprika, Sweet Basil & Toasted Pine nut, Caramelised Onion & Oregano, and Charred red peppers & Herbs.

With dips like Spicy Pumpkin, Creamed Beetroot and Mediterranean Eggplant, Yumi’s has something to suit every palate. The Matbuka Tomato Salad dip is a light but spicy choice, containing 76 per cent tomatoes mixed with capsicum and hot peppers. For a creamy taste sensation, try the Italian Olive dip that has proved to be a massive hit since its launch. “It’s a high quality product and we don’t cut any corners,” says Mr Friedman. This delicious mix contains plenty of chopped Israeli green olives blended with whole egg mayonnaise. Or dip right in and enjoy the refreshingly different Cucumber with Pine Nuts dip. This innovative creation makes a wonderful dairy free alternative to tzatziki. Yumi’s Creamed Beetroot dip is another scrumptious blend. This bright fuchsia combination made with 61 per cent beetroot is a definite winner from the Yumi’s Classics range.

Rustic textures beautifully characterise Yumi’s Gold Chunky range of dips, and complement the bold flavours of the ingredients. The Macadamia and Sundried Tomato dip is a particularly gourmet offering with a sweet touch of honey. With 50 per cent real pumpkin, the Pumpkin and Pepitas dip is irresistible, finishing with an exotic hint of Moroccan spices. The nutty richness of the Cashews and Coriander dip is a unique combination enhanced by an unexpected touch of sesame.

Seafood lovers can also indulge guilt-free, with Yumi’s Blue Range dips characterised by a tuna base. Savour the supreme quality of tuna blended to perfection with caramelised onion. Enjoy the smooth texture and zingy flavours of the cracked black pepper and lemon varieties. The tuna dips featuring tomato and basil, tomato and olives are a match made in heaven; tuna has never tasted this good.

While Yumi’s takes pride in developing new, unexpected combinations, some products also have an inviting retro feel. There is a Traditional Egg Salad dip containing 53 per cent chopped eggs in a rich whole egg mayonnaise, and a versatile Corn Relish. Using real ingredients, Yumi’s makes these well-loved classics come to life. For a slick cocktail party with the girls, go for the Smoked Trout Mousse, perfect on rice crackers topped with Smoked Salmon. A Yumi’s signature dip, the trout comes from the beautiful Goulbourn Valley area. Yumi’s Premium Smoked Salmon comes from the pristine waters of Tasmania and uses natural wood smoke in the curing process. Nothing else is added, save for a little salt. There is also a tempting range of smoked trout products that turn up the heat with cracked pepper, Dijon mustard and horseradish.

Celebrating Flavours

Yumi’s makes eating healthy easy using only the finest, freshest ingredients. Yumi’s Seafood aims to be the top dip supplier in Australia, renowned for creating the best dips on the market. That target is closer than ever, with a number of highly popular Yumi’s products flying off store shelves. Currently, Yumi’s is one of the top dip suppliers in Victoria with a reputation for quality.

This year marks the 20th birthday of Yumi’s Seafood and the company will be celebrating its success by launching new products onto the market. Some fantastic variations of Yumi’s hugely popular hommus range are ready to tickle consumers’ tastebuds. Developing new products is “a lot of hard work” with new manufacturing techniques to explore. “What I’ve learned is that if you make quality products consistently, people will appreciate it and it will sell,” reflects Mr Friedman.

After all this time in business, for Mr Friedman the best part is still watching the company take the next step. Everyday brings new challenges to overcome but seeing the business succeed and expand into new areas is very rewarding, especially considering that the business had such small beginnings. “There are different challenges all the time; you just take them, deal with them, and do your best – and that’s it. The rest you leave up to God, I suppose.”

With the silly season just around the corner, why not stock up on Yumi’s select range of premium products that make entertaining anytime easy. “Try our quality products and you won’t look back.”

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Management is the art, or science, of getting things done through people. Sounds fairly straightforward – except for the fact that people are not robots waiting to do our bidding. People have their own minds, motivations, and goals. So how do managers keep operations – and the people behind them – running as planned?

December 16, 2018, 3:53 PM AEDT