Yigal Kitchen and Catering proprietor Yigal Benchmo

LIKE many businesses in the restaurant and catering sector finding the going tough at the moment, Mildura’s Yigal Kitchen and Catering has adapted its operations to provide a takeaway service for the customers who love their Mediterranean menu.

Proprietor Yigal Benchmo, originally from Israel, has lived in Mildura for 24 years and is married to a local lady, which has cemented his love of the region.

With the onset of the coronavirus, and the social distancing regulations, Yigal soon realised that he had to change the way he was doing business if he was going to survive the pandemic.

“I had to change things very quickly, and so I began producing takeaway,” Mr Benchmo said.

“The Mediterranean cuisine that I offer is something I learned to prepare when I was young, watching my mother work in the kitchen at home. I honed my culinary skills working alongside some celebrity chefs around the world and here I am today in Mildura. People have been utilising our service, and we have been busy.

“The food we prepare is all made from fresh produce, as much local as I can source, nothing is frozen, and the result is healthy, tantalising food, which is great to be able to offer.”

Mr Benchmo said that his kitchen is very conscious of cleanliness in the preparation of its food.

“For example, we soak our cabbage for 20 minutes in vinegar and water with a little bit of salt, that eradicates the little microbe bugs you don’t see with the naked eye – these can cause problems, even three or four months down the track, so it’s important to be thoroughly clean in everything you do,” he said.

To order takeaway from Yigal Kitchen is simple. You can view the menu on their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/yigalkitchen or call or text Yigal on his mobile – 0403 712 302.

People can pick up their order from Yigal Kitchen, which is located at 73 Seventh Street, Mildura, or have it home delivered on both sides of the bridge, as far afield as Gol Gol.


Aussie Disposals keeps on a truckin’

The news in mid-April that Aussie Disposals had gone into voluntary administration was yet another tale of woe from the struggling retail sector in Australia.

Citing a combination of drought, bushfires and the coronavirus pandemic, the iconic Aussie camping goods retailer, established in Moe in 1962, announced it would close some of its company-owned stores – mostly in major shopping centres – but franchisee stores would remain open.

That news was no doubt pleasing for Mildura Aussie Disposal’s franchisee Jason Cook, who plans to continue running his Langtree Mall store that he says is currently trading well below its normal level for this time of the year.

“Business has been down significantly since the majority of stores closed in the Mall, however we have enough trade to stay open,” Mr Cook said.

“The local support has been great. We are selling a lot more workwear gear, but not the traditional camping gear we normally sell. So, the items are different, but we are selling enough to stay afloat.

“The main thing going against us at the moment is that there is nothing else open around us, so it shows that customers are coming purely for us and their specific needs, which is a positive,” he added.

Mr Cook said Aussie Disposals going into voluntary administration doesn’t immediately affect him.

“It’s more about them streamlining their business, shutting down the stores that aren’t performing, and basically doing a reshuffle to get the business plan back on track,” he said.

“While it was surprising, it also makes sense, and by the end of it, it will make them a stronger company. A lot of locals have contacted us and said that it’s great that we’re still open. It’s good to feel the love from our customers.

“While it is tough at the moment, we are confident that we will get through this, when things open up again, and camping, fishing and getting outdoors are allowed, we’ll be ready!

“People won’t be going overseas, they will travelling locally and that’s where we can help.”