The Starbucks model in an Australian market

home made flat white made by me

Starbucks entered the Australian market in July 2000. At its peak, it had a total of 81 stores nation wide. Now it’s stores have been reduced to just 23 and out of the 4 outlets in Canberra, there is not one store left for the Canberra population.

I have read John Simmon’s book: My Sister’s a Barista: How they made Starbucks a home away from home and from reading it, you get the impression that Starbucks could do no wrong; their business model is almost flawless and can only grow from strength to strength.

The book was published in 2005 and a lot has happened since then. There is no doubt that Starbucks is an incredible story of innovation, niche markets and successful chain operations.

Something happened in Australia though. I didn’t quite work out. Continue reading

Pasta with red sauce again

Mostaccioli with beef and tomato sauce

Here is another variation of a red pasta sauce. This time I replaced the white wine with red and boiled the pasta with bay leaves. Another treat in this dish was sun-dried tomatoes as well as fresh ones. I cut the vegetables in bigger pieces. I sliced the onions and fresh tomatoes instead of dicing them and the sun-dried tomatoes were cut into thin long strips. Dried basil leaves were once again used. Dried oregano, cracked pepper and salt are the usual suspects. One cup of water to add volume to the sauce, I then reduced the contents over time to increase the intensity of the flavours.

Once the pasta boiled, I emptied the water, placed them back in, splashed some oil and added half the contents of the sauce pot. Cooking the pasta in the sauce again ensured the meal was served at a higher temperature.

Some instantly grated fresh Parmesan cheese was also a treat for this serving.


  • 250g Minced meat, low fat
  • 3 sliced tomatoes with skin
  • 4 sun-dried tomatoes cut in strips
  • 50ml tomato paste
  • onions cut into thick slices
  • Dried basil, oregano, cracked pepper, salt
  • olive iol
  • 1 cup of water
  • red wine (100ml)

Fettucine: quick, simple & delicious

Fettucine with red sauce

This isn’t the best shot, trust me it tastes better than it looks. So I’ve learned that there are different variations of the bolognese sauce. In order to avoid erroneous practises, I prefer to call it red sauce or meat sauce.

Not really much to write about here except for the combination of ingredients I used. They are:

  • 500g minced beef, low fat kind
  • One tin of peeled tomatos (I wanted to use fresh)
  • 100mL of tomato paste
  • Dried basil (fresh basil is out of season)
  • Dried oregano
  • Cracked black pepper
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • White wine (not red, it’s a secret)
  • diced onions
  • olive oil (this ingredient adds to the controversy) Continue reading