Capelli restaurant in Gympie.
Capelli restaurant in Gympie. Renee Pilcher

The new comfort food

QUALITY food in the comfort of your own home without the hours spent slaving away in a hot kitchen: too good to be true?

Not with Capelli Foods.

Established in November 2008 by husband-and-wife team Michael Hehir and Carolyn Mandersloot, Capelli Foods offers a wide range of options including take-home meals, a personal-chef service, and catering for any event from an intimate dinner for two at home to 600 guests at a function.

The culinary couple first moved to Gympie five years ago to operate Kingston House Restaurant, which they did successfully for three years until the lease expired.

Wanting to start a restaurant of their own they seized the opportunity to buy a house to renovate into a restaurant, which is now Capelli on Duke.

But they found that while people were keen to eat at a restaurant there was also a strong desire to enjoy restaurant food in their own homes, especially when they were too busy to cook for themselves.

“We wanted to do something so locals could enjoy the fine-dining experience in the comfort of their own home,” Ms Mandersloot said.

A fresh menu is emailed every fortnight and people can order one meal or many, which can be frozen or eaten fresh.

“People will do a big order for the month and freeze the meals,” she said.

“Being a mum, myself, I understand how busy it can get and that's who we were aiming to provide for.

“They'll order big batches of lasagne or curries, which can be broken up and frozen.

“And when you're busy you've got a fresh, easy meal that's been made with love.”

Cooking the Christmas lunch or dinner can be a huge stress and, with this in mind, Capelli has an extensive Christmas menu of take-home goodies including turkeys, hams and porks and all the trimmings.

“We found it's been very, very popular,” Ms Mandersloot said of the Christmas orders.

“We've doubled what we did last year.”

She said it was an honour to think that while she was tucking into rolled pork with her family on Christmas Day so were hundreds of other Sunshine Coast residents.

Whether it be at their restaurant or the catering side of the business Mr Hehir and Ms Mandersloot live and breathe food and their passion is reflected in their service.

“Michael is very hands on. He'll come out of the kitchen into the restaurant and talk to the customers, which they love,” Ms Mandersloot said. Touches like these saw Capelli Foods awarded the Gympie Chamber of Commerce Customer Service Award in October this year.

All Capelli Foods Christmas orders must be made by December 17 and will be available for pick-up on Christmas Eve.

For information or to place an order visit

Bon appetite.

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