Cooking on a roof: From India to the folk festival
WHEN local reporter Katie Hall holidayed in India with her partner Zachary Dexter, she was inspired so much by the food they ate that it led to her resigning from her job, and running a food stall at the Woodford Folk Festival six months later.
The massive festival is estimated to have about 132,000 festivalgoers across the six day event ending on January 1, and it marked the grand opening for Bundaberg business Kulcha'd.
Ms Hall estimated their business to have served more than 3000 attendees including ABC gardening identity Gosta Georgiadis, and science commentator 'Dr Karl' Kruszelnicki.
But it was only halfway through last year when the idea for the business began. It originated in a northern Indian hotel room around the corner from the restaurant they ate at.
Ms Hall and Mr Dexter had eaten a type of local bread dish called 'Kulcha', which is stuffed with ingredients and covered in spices.
"We sat on the bed going 'how can we make this a business and where can we take it?'" Ms Hall said.
"And we immediately thought of Woodford Folk Festival. We though the people would love it here and it would be popular."
Since then the business model developed, Mr Dexter's family members were enlisted to help, and Ms Hall took a "leap of faith" and resigned from the NewsMail.
"I've always been the type of person to look at opportunity as the only way to get through life," she said.
"I couldn't just pass up on that opportunity, I couldn't let it go past me.
"Just the experience alone and working with the Dexters, it's just been life-changing, and that overrides the fear."
They returned to Northern India and gathered supplies while learned to cook Kulcha in an oven on the roof of a five-storey building.
They could not cook in the AirBNB they were using, so shifted the 200kg oven made from an iron drum and cement typically used by a street vendor.
The Woodford Folk Festival had been a success for the business, and it aimed to continue working at events such as BluesFest in Byron Bay in April.
"We're accessing our next move and hoping to get a physical location, and then branch out from there," Ms Hall said.