Meet a member: Kate Lamason of Little Tuna
Tuna Australia member Kate Lamason recently won a silver trophy in the 2021 AusMumpreneurs Awards for her successful Cairns-based business Little Tuna. We spoke with Kate about the award win, Michelle Bridges’ love of Little Tuna, and future plans for her thriving business.
Can you tell us a bit about the Little Tuna business and your role in it?
Little Tuna is a popular food manufacturing company priding itself on Australian caught and made seafood goods. The star product is our high-quality preserved tuna in a jar available in five flavours and sold in over 100 stores across Australia.
My husband Rowan and I came to create Little Tuna by combining our passion for Australian seafood and the industry as well as healthy, clean living. The Australian seafood industry has sustainable and accountable fishing practices and is one of the best managed in the world.
Initially, I was heavily involved in creating our products. Now I have more of a behind the scenes role, where I manage the books, handle any emails and any company public relations so that I can balance work with our children. However, it’s not unusual to see me making tuna or packing orders when there is work to be done.
You won a silver trophy in food and beverage category of the 2021 AusMumpreneur Awards, which support and celebrate mums in business. How does it feel to be recognized for all your hard work?
When I was nominated for two awards—in the food and beverage, and production innovation categories—I thought it was a fantastic opportunity to be a part of a great group of women in business. To be included as a finalist among some of the most talented mums in business was a true honour. Then, to win a silver trophy was such an incredible feeling.
How has your business been impacted by COVID?
Our business has had the ups and downs from COVID as most businesses have. Being a 100% Australian company, we’ve been able to dodge the impacts of overseas shipping delays. We’ve been happy to see and feel the increased support for Australian businesses, as Australians become more conscious of where their products are coming from.
We’ve been lucky that people continue to purchase our food products, as we offer the convenience of not having to leave the house by purchasing online from our website and having it delivered straight to their door. We have, of course, felt the impacts of the occasional postage delay, but these have been minimal, and we offer a fully trackable postage system.
Personal trainer and TV personality Michelle Bridges is a big fan of Little Tuna products. How did she discover your products?
We originally met Michelle in Cairns in 2019 when she come up to do a presentation on life and we instantly felt how genuine and down to earth she was. I had a discussion with her about our tuna and left her a jar to try. A few days later she contacted us and mentioned how much she loved our tuna.
From there we were contacted by the team at Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation to collaborate with them and we are currently in the middle of our second collaboration with them. They really are a fantastic team to work with who genuinely love our product.
What exciting plans does Little Tuna have in the pipeline?
We have lots of plans for the business. We recently purchased a new location for production here in Cairns. As we fit the new space out, we are planning to grow and expand the product line to bring on more products and cover more species while still maintaining our high quality, excellent taste, and all Australian values.
What's your favourite way to prepare tuna?
I love to eat our tuna—the flavour and convenience as well as the high protein is something that fits in with my lifestyle. A lot of the time I am tackling hungry children and need something quick and easy to eat that is nutritious and has high protein. I always eat it fresh out the jar with avocado and tomato on crackers for lunch, or another favourite is tuna simply mixed through rice with balsamic vinegar. We also have a few dips we throw together to share when we have friends over.