Tuesday, September 8, 2009

4 months on...and no time to scratch!

Frank, Food & Me has been up and running for about 4 months now, and has time flown!
In fact it has probably been that long since you last heard from me on this blog! I really had no idea how busy it was to run your own business, but feel a lot better of late, as I seem to have started to get my head around it all, and have some clarity to my thoughts!

So what has happened in those few months since you have had the last update?

So I had to do the boring stuff, ie. a business course, to keep Frank, Food & Me going. The whole time I was sitting there writing a 35-page business plan, I was thinking, “I wanna be baking...but you have to do it for the farmers!”. Afterall if I stuff-up the business side of it all, there is no point in baking! I have to admit, the big smiles I get when I walk up to the farmer's stalls at the market reinforces that I am doing it for the right reasons. We have developed a really lovely relationship over the past four months, they know I’ll be there come rain wind or sunshine, to get increasingly larger orders of rhubarb, apples, pears, oranges, lemons, nuts and dried fruit, butter and eggs. People keep telling me to get it all delivered, but then I would miss half the fun. I make the markets part of my relaxation time.


Talking about support, I am pretty proud to say that you can now find Frank, Food & Me cakes in 7 locations across Melbourne, which is testament to the owners for committing to locally produced ingredients and ultimately more flavoursome treats for their customers.
I had two phone calls in one week, where both people (who are now customers) had to blow up a photo from this blog, of the brownie wrapper, to get my phone number, to call and talk to me about the possible supply of cakes. It was hilarious, and very ingenious and detective-like of them to track me down, but it also made me feel pretty grand knowing that the appeal of the cakes made people go to that length. Alriiight!!
So now we trek down to Malvern East, as well as the northern suburbs for delivery too. The new store is called Servery and Spoon. They have the most amazing range of beautifully presented cakes that they make in-house, really wholesome and fresh. So it is an honour that they are choosing to support us as well. It was good to talk to a café owner that respected what Frank, Food & Me stood for. It was reassuring to know that our values ring true with people, and that there are other people out there that want to make the commitment to knowing and supporting where your food comes from.

A little lesson...
Back in May I had a phone call, from a chain store that sells frozen yoghurts. This call was a bit funny in two respects, 1/ the person calling said that they had been referred to me by one of my competitors, and 2/ they were a franchise (which scared me a little). Both respects ended in a great learning curve for me because I realized 1/ that the other people who bake cakes in Melbourne are REALLY nice people, and were supporting me too (I don’t know why I thought they wouldn’t like me, I felt a bit scared treading on their turf, as I am not a mean competitive type). Turns out they thought that I would be better suited to what the frozen yoghurt company wanted to do, so I felt very honoured that they had thought of me first, out of all the other little bakers out there! The second thing was, I had a realisation, that even though some of the most famous franchises are equally as famous for homogenizing culture, you can’t be a generalist and paint them all with the same brush! There are some out there that aren’t! and Igloo Zoo is one of them. I am so pleased to be involved with them, as they consciously choose to support small scale producers (like me), who support small scale growers, (like Di and John and Cihan,) to get the best possible flavour, with conscious thought to how it gets to be that way.
I was so impressed with Igloo Zoo, they have stores in Melbourne, Sydney and Queensland, and do not compromise on their values. They source local suppliers making a local version of their yoghurt in each store, but with the same quality and similar flavour. So it only took a little research to be more well-informed and make the decision to take them on as a client. We have been working happily together for about 4 months now. You can taste FFM crumbles made from Di’s rhubarb, and John’s apples, as well as the chocolate polenta cake, chai tea and honey cakes (featuring Happy Fruits fabulous muscatels), and the most divine pears straight from John Howell’s farm poached in a vanilla bean syrup. So next time you are moseying around that area, check them out…their pomegranate yogurt with organic halva is a tastebud festivale too! www.igloozoo.com.au

Moving on from there, we have done a little event cake baking too!
I recently flew down to Tasmania to bake, having Frank, Food & Me cakes featured as centrepieces on the tables of a fabulous fundraising function at the Salamanca Arts Centre. www.salarts.org.au
In the Long Gallery, a truly beautiful wooden space, where back in the early days Huon Valley apples were canned, there were 20 tables arranged, each with their own individual spotlight shining straight on to the Frank, Food & Me cake centerpieces. I was so proud of them, they truly looked like a decadent Marie Antoinette style feast, all they needed was Marie herself to be entwined among them. There they balanced with poise and grace, on vintage crockery, tins, eggcups and beaters, triangles of brownie piercing through teacup handles and cones of cherries reflecting the warmth of the room.
Oh how fabulous they looked! Unfortunately the photos don’t really do them justice (photography hiccup!!) But nonetheless I was proud, and heaps of people had such wonderfully supportive things to say.

And last Friday we extended another little olive branch, and started supplying some creative studios with our cakes too. Our first shipment went express post to Sydney, for the office of Terroir Architecture to enjoy… www.terroir.com.au They were pretty stoked to receive them, from all accounts an unsual bout of fisty cuffs occurred to sort out who would collect the mail. It was nice to be the instigator behind a little Friday office “love-in”, as I don’t think we have enough of these! And wonderful for Frank, Food & Me to have the support of such a wide community!
So thanks team Terroir, we are loving your support.

You can have cakes for afternoon tea too if you like…Just send an email to kath@frankfoodandme.com…look forward to hearing from you.

I also joined the 21st century today…I have been resisting joining stalker book (aka, facebook), but Frank, Food & Me can! So now you can see what’s happening more regularly on Frank, Food & Me’s twitter and facebook pages. Arrrgghhhh – what have I done!?

Thank you for your patience in receiving this blog entry, watch this space for more soon, and feel free to comment, tell us about your business/ ventures. It is always nice to know that there are other people out there trying to:
1/ do what they love
2/ live sustainably
3/ support local food and design culture
4/ enjoy themselves!

Bye for now….


joanna said...


I am so proud of you and your business. It's no surprise that you are doing well with such high quality and YUMMY cakes- and the awesome attention to detail that your photos show.

Can't wait to see you on Saturday and eat more yumminess!

Love Joey xx

Diane said...

Congratulations! Sounds like everything is going amazingly! What's your facebook/twitter names so I can look you up?

K said...

Go Kath go! I'm so impressed yet not at all surprised at how well you're doing...

K said...

Go Kath go! I'm so impressed yet not at all surprised at how well you're doing...

Love from Paris, Kailey.

Mufghett said...

Sissle, what's Anth's business called?
Your cakes look sexy. Wish I could come and visit you soon :(