MEET THE MAKER: LORI FROM FLAVOUR STATION CAKES
I am Lori Hand of Flavour Station - The all natural cake bakery
How long has your business been operating?
My husband and I started Flavour Station after having a brain wave while backpacking around
Thailand 10 years ago! My mother taught me to bake cakes as a 12 year old girl and i would sell them to our neighbours and in Upwey Village on a Saturday morning to raise money for my orchestra and choir to travel abroad. When i met my now husband, Jimmy in 2006, i baked him some of the 'said' cakes and he was adamant we had to bake them and get the cakes to the people!!! That is when Flavour Station was born :-)
What do you make and create?
We bake cakes with all fresh and organic fruits and veggies. Our cakes are baked fresh for sale and contain absolutely no preservatives and contain 100% all natural ingredients. Some flavours are seasonal depending on local produce availability.
Tell me about the person you are in everyday life?
I am the devoted mother to my three kiddies Henry, Leo & Zara. Although they do not help in the prep and baking of the cakes, i love that i have been able to manage aspects of my business while having my kids by my side. Many of our customers are quite accustomed to meeting our kids at some markets and have seen them grow from babies. That direct interaction with our customers really brings to life the whole 'shop local' and 'support small business' ethos. As a family, we really do, do a happy dance every time we feel that support from within our community! Outside of business life, we love to travel, eat well, drink well... and by drink well, i mean hunt down amazing coffee! And... make a positive contribution to our community!
Tell me about why you love to create your products or brand?
We are passionate and proud! From baking my first cake as a little girl in 1991 with my mum, i quickly realised i got even more enjoyment from watching people eat my cakes and enjoy them. When we started Flavour Station in 2007, we would travel to regional parts of Victoria to fill up our market schedule - We still have customers from that first year that contact us to work out how they can still buy our cakes! It is amazing and it makes us so happy that we made an impact. That love in my heart for baking beautiful fresh cakes full of great REAL ingredients is what has touched people and i realise that now. Our brand is now widely recognised around the state of Victoria. At first quirky flavour tags made their mark and then we went bright and modern which feels fresh and inviting when looking at our range to select which cake flavours you would like. We get constant complements on our packaging as they look good enough to eat and they present perfectly as a gift for a friend or loved one. Our cakes really do appeal for any occasion
Tell me about the space you work in to create your products?
We initially converted the rear of our property into a small working bakery. It wasn't long before our domestic appliances just couldn't keep up with the demand and we had to consider a commercial space. After five years we made the leap and moved Flavour Station into a proper food production space. We are now located in Braiside and we have all of the facilities for our business to run seamlessly. Over the years we have been able to increase production with bigger ovens and bigger mixers however, every egg is still hand cracked, flour is hand sifted, fruits and veggies are hand peeled and prepped. We hand ice each and every cake and they are all hand wrapped too! They are a labour of love and there are very few short cuts when it comes to good food.
Does your family help or have any input into what you do?
We are a family business. If not wasn't for my husband trying my cakes and falling so in love with them, they may well have only ever been enjoyed in our family home. But he believed so strongly that the rest of the world needed access to these cakes. We both left our careers as Real Estate Agents and committed 100% to launching our cake bakery. My parents have been on call every step of the way and either been at the markets or helping with our children to make sure we've bender missed a beat. This Christmas our two boys helped package our Christmas cakes and informed us that they can't wait to take over Flavour Station when they are adults
What are your short term goals?
Our immediate goal is to get a website! It is madness that we are nearly 10 years old and are yet to do this!
What are your long term goals?
We want to spread the word about our new 100% organic range of cakes and create more goodies that cater for Gluten Free & Vegan too.
Why do you love being a part of the Mermaid Sorority Markets?
The culture of the Mermaid Sorority Markets is what i love. The calibre of talent is very high and each and every stall holder has one thing in common - Passion.
The range is amazing, the atmosphere is electric and everyone fells it. Makers, bakers, performers and shoppers. That is why we have watched this event grow in popularity among everyone who knows about it.
There is a very loyal customer base and we have had some exciting exposure to new wholesale and corporate clients.
It is very different from the Farmers Markets that make up the majority of our trading. Amber has been a huge help in the growth of our followers on social media and we are realising just how powerful social media is for a small business like ours.
THANK YOU for sharing your story and how your gorgeous cakes come to life! You can find out more about Flavour Station here