If you haven’t heard of Magnolia Kitchen, add visiting this amazing little sweet cafe on your to-do list this weekend. Located in Silverdale, this will make a fun mini road trip if you’re coming from Auckland or even further. Grab some family and friends and get ready for tasting the most amazing sweet treats like mini cakes, fudge and much more. (Good news: some treats are vegan and allergy free!) The drive will totally be worth it, trust me (Oh, and of course they have coffee).
In an interview with Bets Gee, the owner of Magnolia Kitchen who is a full time mother of three and wife, shared some insight of her journey with Magnolia Kitchen so far. She gives some helpful tips for other mother’s wishing to start their own small businesses and basically is living proof that if you put your heart and soul into something you’re passionate about, your hard work will pay off.
She started off making and selling fudge to her family every year for Christmas and cakes for her now fifteen year old daughter using pictures from books at the library for inspiration. She decided to pursue her hobby and made it a full time passion when she realized people would actually be interested in buying cake, after helping out a former co-worker. Her journey so far has brought us Magnolia Kitchen, a place where everyone can go to relax, enjoy the treats and reminisce while eating home-made fudge and coconut ice, an all time kiwi favourite. “I didn’t want to be in a mall or built up area focused on foot traffic, I wanted Magnolia Kitchen to be the destination”.
Two words that come to mind when looking at these amazing treats are “wow and yum”. Add ‘vegan’ and ‘allergy free’ to the list as well. You can still visit Magnolia Kitchen even if you have specific dietary requirements! “It warms my heart to know that for example someone with celiac disease who hasn’t had a fried donut in six years, can now finally have one”. On your visit there, expect to see a cabinet filled with mouth-watering treats. Half of the cabinet is vegan and allergy free (yum) like their mini cakes, brioche, donuts, cookies, fudge that you can bless your mouths with. Bets says “there’s always something for everybody, unless
they want sugar free… then grab a long black”. Her bubbly and humorous personality definitely reflects in her cakes. Bets draws her inspiration from art techniques such as oil
painting, water colour and bas relief (think gorgeous Greek architecture). “Cakes and macarons are definitely my favourite things to bake, the flavours are so versatile”. Bets has started selling ‘crackarons’, to translate: broken macarons. You can buy these from their online shop, along with offcuts of fudge, so customers can still enjoy them without wasting the ones that didn’t quite make it to the table.
“I’m all about fresh flowers on cakes, they’re absolutely incredible because you can do so much. I’ve always actually wanted to be a florist”. Some of the wedding cake trends at the moment we can see are ‘rustic and metallic’ features. “Watercolor is really popular too. There will always be typical trends, people pick up magazines and get their ideas from there but it’s nice to be inspired when someone wants something just slightly different”. Classy, elegant and beautiful is what you can expect your wedding cake to look like when asking Bets to make it.
Social media has opened up a huge platform for Bets to promote Magnolia Kitchen. “Instagram has been my success story and it’s what I prefer using. The videos I create have been amazing to provide regular content” and certainly has generated a lot of attention. The official Magnolia Kitchen Instagram account is currently at 173k followers! Snapchat is another app that Bets loves using and it gives people a taste of her personality and personal life that she willingly shares. “Snapchat is hands down the best social media outlet for my business. I can be myself, I share my highs and lows” and daily behind the scenes of Magnolia Kitchen. “People feel better knowing that they aren’t the only ones that struggle” and while that is true, Bets reminds everyone that it’s reality for us to fail sometimes and that’s totally okay. She also has tips for other mothers wanting to start a business and that’s taking it one day at a time, the rest will fall into place. And since you are guaranteed to feel like a failure somedays, Bets says that “instead of getting caught up with what you have to do and where you want to be, it’s better to look back at where you’ve come from”.