IT STARTED as a short working holiday in Australia but one young Kiwi has revolutionised the Airlie Beach dinner scene.
Four years ago as an 18-year-old, confessed foodie Hayley Firman landed in Airlie Beach and worked on charter-boats.
Two years later she started a fresh-meal delivery service, Slice of Nature, after being asked by friends to prepare healthy meals for them.
The popularity of the meal delivery concept has catapulted over the past few years, but Miss Firman was ahead of the game in Airlie Beach and much of North Queensland.
"My life literally revolves around food, she said.
A passion for food led her to study food science at university, but she realised a degree was not vital in doing what she loved.
"It's the positive feedback from clients that drives you to keep going,” she said.
Miss Firman relayed one mother's story of her autistic son who would cook and eat using recipes from a Slice of Nature only.
The business delivers from Mackay to Bowen, with delivery to Townsville next.
Full meal plans can also be delivered to the Whitsunday islands.
Food allergies, intolerances, vegans and vegetarians can all be catered for.
The demand for healthy and tasty food in the Whitsundays was so high, Miss Firman bought a fully equipped food truck from the Gold Coast.
The Lunch Box was well received by the region.
"So many tradies loved it, but we also did the office rounds too,” Miss Firman said.
Despite the success of the business, Miss Firman conceded she was too busy for the time being and was looking to sell the truck: "it was too much for one person”.
"I'd rather do one thing well, instead of two things just average,” she said.
Admitting the Lunch Box made "really good money”, after three solid months feeding the streets of the Whitsundays, she wants to focus on her "baby” and first business, a Slice of Nature.
The van is on the market for just over $60,000 and has an abundance of hungry frequenters awaiting its return.
Reluctant to sell The Lunch Box, Miss Firman said: "All the hard work has been done, it just needs someone to be an owner operator.
"I want the truck to stay in the Whitsundays and will provide a map of all the businesses and places the truck does well in.”
The Lunch Box presents the perfect business opportunity for someone in the Whitsundays with a passion healthy food; who is in search of a career change.