TASMANIA'S Shima Wasabi, or "Island Wasabi'', was a hobby for seven years before it turned pro.
Six years later, the winner of Telstra's microbusiness of the year is the southern hemisphere's largest producer of fresh wasabi and is on the brink of interstate and international expansion.
Founder Stephen Welsh (pictured) says he first focused on growing the business and is now finishing an expansion that will see the 3000-plant operation grow to more than 10,000 plants.
The next step is to juggle fresh prospects that have arisen since entering the awards such as a food tourism project likely to see the business set up a Victorian presence; and talks to license the company's production methods to Chile, Malaysia, Indonesia and South Africa.
But simplicity is the key.
"It is a bit daunting at times because I like to focus on doing things really well,'' Welsh says.
"I'd like to do one thing and then move on to the next.
"But now we can see the value of looking long term to think about what needs to happen to enable that next step, which will enable the next step after that. I wouldn't have done that without stopping and thinking about what we wanted to do in the long term.''