The new year brings new resolutions and for many people that means adopting a healthier lifestyle and diet.
The good news is that local Karri Kitchen can help make this trip easier, with their hugely popular selection of delicious Southeast Asian dishes.
Healthy and nutritious food has been a cornerstone of the company since its founding nearly four years ago.
This spirit has paid off, with the company’s products in high demand, resulting in recent relocations to new purpose-built workplaces.
Owner Shera McLauran also has exciting plans to launch two new collections in March, focusing on protein-rich meals as well as vegetarian dishes for vegetarians and vegans.
Of course, the company will continue to make mouthwatering favorites such as Mango Chicken Curry, Chow Mein Chicken Noodles, Spicy Coconut Chicken Curry, and Black Pepper Beef.
Shira, who is originally from Indonesia but moved to Northern Ireland from Sydney in 2017, started cooking from her home in Portadown as a hobby for family and friends.
However, soon news started spreading about her delicious curries, and in just a couple of months, she had a queue forming outside her house.
It eventually moved to Mayfair Business Center before relocating last September to a 15,000-square-foot, purpose-built in the Karen Industrial Estate.
It’s been a fantastic journey for a business that has grown from supplying five stores last year to 31 stores today, with at least 10 other stores also interested in stocking meals.
Once a one-woman squad, Shira now employs 25 people and will be looking for more staff soon.
She said, “Demands have doubled in the last year. To be honest, progress is unrealistic.”
This year’s campaign slogan is “Eat Healthy, Eat Rich” and our focus is on improving health, well-being and feeling good about yourself.
“It’s about mindful or intuitive eating, and listening to your body. I believe in a balanced diet with little to no processed foods.
“In Curry’s Kitchen, we make everything from scratch and source everything locally, from meat to fresh herbs and vegetables.
“Sometimes, if you get hungry, it’s because you’re bored, instead of eating junk food, try more fruits, vegetables, and lean meats like chicken.”
Shira’s love for cooking goes back to her upbringing in Indonesia. In fact, the trade name “Kari” is a play on “Kari” which means curry in its mother tongue.
The 33-year-old was born in the capital city of Jakarta and grew up in a family of ‘cool’ chefs, particularly her mother who has helped her in the kitchen since she was a little girl.
From her I learned traditional cooking methods, herbs, spices and flavours.
Having moved to Australia to study for a degree in business, marketing and management, Shira has also worked part-time at About Life, one of the largest organic coffee shops and stores in the country.
Not only did she make her way within the company to a permanent management role, but she also learned critically about healthy foods and lifestyle.
“I’ve been working in the kitchen alongside chefs from Thailand, Korea and Vietnam, and because I’m curious, I’ve always asked them what they do and learned from them,” she explained.
In Australia, Shira met her husband Chris and the couple made the decision to move to his hometown of Portadown. They now have a three-year-old son named Joaquin.
“Sydney is very vibrant and sunny but there is so much to do in Northern Ireland. I love it here and we have really good family support.”
“I actually feel more at home here than ever before in Australia.”
Locals have certainly taken up Shira cooking with its focus on health, flavor, and convenience.
“A lot of our meals are high in protein and less than 500 calories, so they’re suitable for people who work all day and may not have time to cook but still want something healthy,” she said.
“I find that people here love the sauces, but there are a lot of sauces that are high in calories or have no health benefit in them, so every ingredient I use is good for you or low in calories.
“Asian food is the cleanest you can eat. Curry’s kitchen is all about home cooking and that is what makes people want to try the food. The product speaks for itself.”
Karri Kitchen meals can be found in most SuperValu, Centra, Spar and Nisa stores.
To find out more, visit the website www.karrikitchen.com
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