I love making pastry and that likely comes from my grandma in Canada. Sweet pies are a tradition there and we have made so many over the years when I visited her.
Throughout my career in cooking the focus has been on seasonal, organic, conscientious cuisine. I feel that when you’re producing a product that someone is going to eat you want great energy going into the food. I can tell when someone has put love into their food.
From working in restaurants in New Zealand, and travelling and working overseas, I gained the experience and inspiration to work towards my dream of opening my own bakery. Visiting Poilane, one of the oldest bakeries in Paris was definitely one of those. I tasted their pastries and galettes and I knew right away that I had to try and recreate that pastry when I got home.
Opening Bennetts cafe in 2009, and working as Head Chef for 5 years, gave me the opportunity to become more creative with my pastry skills.
The opportunity to move to Waiheke came when Anthony, a friend I worked with in London, and now my husband and business partner, was asked to help set up the Oyster Inn. Anthony had just spent 6 years running his own award winning restaurant in Dorset.
Before long, our shared interest in creating quality food and working for ourselves led us to build a commercial kitchen for the bakery, Little Tart and our catering company, Luxe Waiheke.
Little Tart Bakery began when Island Coffee set up the Annex on the island. The Annex was voted best Destination Cafe in Auckland 2017 and pretty soon other businesses were asking us to supply them with Little Tart creations.
Our wedding cakes have become one of Waiheke Islands most popular.
I believe Little Tart Bakery has found success because people miss handmade things and the taste of homemade cooking which, because of our busy lives, is now rare.