Loving Local: Eat Local Noosa

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Eat Local Noosa continues to be a driving force to connect the community with the best in local food and drink. Deb Caruso shares what they are cooking up next.

When Michelle Mason, Alesha Gooderham and I launched Eat Local Noosa during the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown the aim was to provide a free online marketplace where local businesses could easily connect with customers in an environment full of change and uncertainty.  

Local restaurants were scrambling to adapt, unexpectedly closing their doors, switching to takeaway and/or delivery, then reopening with a whole new set of rules. Communicating these changes to customers was extremely challenging particularly for venues without the resources or money to update customers. 

Likewise, local customers keen to support local businesses from going under were struggling to find out who was open and what was on offer.  

The solution? A free, online central marketplace where businesses could easily update what they were offering
as soon as things changed.

Project Manager Alesha brought Michelle from Social Tap and myself together to look at how we could use our combined skills, resources, networks and passion to deliver such a project and in April 2020 www.eatlocalnoosa.com.au was launched. 

For a few years, we had already been working with key industry groups including Noosa Council, Tourism Noosa, Noosa Eat & Drink, Food & Agribusiness Network (FAN) and Slow Food Noosa to use our combined network and database of more than 320,000 contacts to support the food and beverage industries. Every group mobilised to support the initiative, prompting businesses to list for free and encouraging consumers to find local businesses on one central website. 

More than one year on and marking its first anniversary, the Eat Local Noosa website has grown from being a collective of all the fantastic places to satisfy your tastebuds to include all the incredible ‘experiences’ you can enjoy. More than 210 local businesses now list on the website and this continues to grow. Likewise, visits to www.eatlocalnoosa.com.au continues to grow as locals and tourists use it as their little black book and also enter the monthly draw of $200 at their favourite venue or producer simply by sharing what they love about it. A new e-newsletter will regularly share information on new openings, specials and events and we are looking forward to launching more competitions and collaborations so stay tuned @eatlocalnoosa.

As part of our charter to support the industry, The ELN Industry Empowerment event will bring together anyone working in food, beverage and hospitality to discuss key challenges, learnings and insights. 

The event will be hosted by Matt Golinski with guest speakers including chef-turned-restaurateur Tony Kelly who currently runs eight venues with another on the way; award-winning speaker, author and marketing consultant Amanda Stevens who will deliver a high-energy, insightful and humorous session on customer experience; and Luke Butler who has worked in the hospitality industry for more than 20 years and is now a recruitment specialist focused on the hospitality industry.  

The industry event will add value to those in the food, beverage and agribusiness sectors, addressing areas of concern with a Q&A panel hosted by Matt featuring key decision makers and a series of networking events for attendees to connect, build relationships and open channels with key stakeholders.  

The aim is to inform, engage and empower the industry to confidently move forward.

Now that’s something we can all get behind.

Industry Event

Monday 19 July, 9am-3pm

Peppers Noosa Resort & Villas
33a Viewland Drive, Noosa

Join MC Matt Golinski and experts in customer experience, hospitality, recruitment and more for an engaging, informative and insightful day including a Q&A Panel Session and the chance to catch up with old friends – and make new ones! 

Tickets: $35 per person including morning tea, goodie bag, two-course lunch and welcome drink sponsored by Hastings People.

Bookings essential: Book Online Now!

Presented by Eat Local Noosa, Social Tap, IN Noosa Magazine with the support of Tourism Noosa and Noosa Council and in association with FAN, Slow Food Noosa and Noosa Eat & Drink. 

About the Author /


Deb has 25+ years' experience providing strategic communications and brand reputation advice to clients in the government, business and not-for-profit clients. She is passionate about Noosa and is an active member of her community, providing PR to Slow Food Noosa and other clients. Her passion lies in working with small businesses to help them succeed. She is planning to release the Tastes of Noosa cookbook with Matt Golinski in 2019.

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