What drove you to start your own business?
I have always found that baking is this magical scientific transformation from simple ingredients to create something sweet & delicate that everyone will love. Until I realised not everyone actually gets a chance to try it. Did you know that over 2.3 million people in Australia suffer from some sort of intolerance? 1 out of 70 Australians suffer from Coeliac disease and 1 out of 10 are intolerant to dairy. Growing up as a vegetarian in Germany in the 90s has taught me a thing or two about not having choices when it comes to eating out. And making a difference to people’s lives by turning a passion into a profession? You had me at donut.
What has been your greatest challenge so far?
Apart from creating a gluten-free donut that doesn't taste like a brick? Starting a business with your friends and family halfway around the world and about $170 on your bank account - you know you're in for a challenge. At least I can make a mean cup of coffee now, working double shifts as a barista next to baking for the farmers markets to pay rent and finally buy our first commercial oven.
What has been one of your best highlights?
Being named the Callebaut Young Inspirer of the Australian Pastry Scene last year as a self-taught home baker, that was definitely one to remember. But after opening our shop and kitchen in Balmain it is still all about the little highlights we experience here every day - seeing tears of joy (our serviettes are not only there for chocolatey fingers) after people with coeliac disease are driving over two hours on the weekends to eat their first donut and then get overwhelmed by all the choices, the big smiles on little kids' faces when they are eating their first donut after always missing out at their friend's birthday parties - it's priceless!
How do you keep motivated being a boss lady?
As Nutie’s CBO (Chief Baking Officer) I have 24-hour access to a freezer filled with vegan ice cream now. Ha, but apart from that, it’s all about the people that surround me. They say your vibe attracts your tribe - the inspirational Superwomen I get to be creative and baking with every day are what keeps me going. We definitely don’t have a “Yes Chef! No Chef” kinda kitchen. We dance, we laugh but we can also smash it for 18 hours if we have to. With so many events on our calendar including the Smooth Festival of Chocolate, Night Noodle Markets and Royal Sydney Easter Show, there is never a dull moment at Nutie.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
Katherine Sabbath is baking the world a better place. To me she is proof that you can turn your passion into success. That the safe way is not always the best. She has taken her own authentic path, showed strength and perseverance whilst always being bubbly and colourful. Watching her speak about cake is pure joy. Her creativity and passion are infectious. She is living “The Cake Life” to its fullest. Here´s to the Queen of colours and sprinkles! Because girls with dreams can become women with a vision.
What blogs/mags or insta feeds do you follow for you business?
Best part of the job apart from taste testing - frothing over all the food blogs we follow on Instagram. From full on buttercream Queens to vegan Ninjas, we follow them all. The wonderful @georgeats who just came to visit us from Melbourne (guess who was fan girling all day), @talinegabriel from Hippie Lane and Sam from @sobeautifullyreal are what I look at first thing in the morning. And even our in-house power gal Liz from @funkyforestfood to see which treats she’s bringing in for breakfast.
What is the best quote, book or piece of advice that has been given to you on this journey?
“If you can dream it, you can do it.” Walt Disney
What would winning the #BOSSLADYDREAM competition mean to your business? How will it change things for you in particular?
Where do I even start? A professional website would help us to create an online presence (seriously lacking) making it easier for our customers to get the information they need and to be able to purchase products through a seamless checkout process. This will save me so much time having to answer numerous emails, Facebook and Instagram messages I receive every day and to help boost sales!
Its not only the front end but the back end that is critical to growth! With up-to-date set of accounts and cashflow we will be able to make better informed decisions around key aspects of the business including key revenue drivers, costs and future growth projections. But you can’t build an empire from a kitchen (or can you?), an office without the constant distractions, the tools that I need and great minds to bounce ideas from will help make Nutie Donuts in Melbourne a reality. (I also lost my last laptop to a wave of peanut butter custard. Being able to work out of an office and not trying to build a desk out of Belgian chocolate boxes? Sign me up now.)