Baker and business owner Bernadette Gee (Bets) of Red Beach recently produced her second book, after the first one, Magnolia Kitchen, was a runaway international success.
She says lockdown saw sales of the recipe book go through the roof locally as so many people took up baking.
Magnolia Kitchen has been in Silverdale Village since 2016. Six weeks before lockdown, Bets moved her business to a larger site, where she now has a café, retail and florist section and large kitchen, run with the assistance of 11 staff.
With the business set up in Silverdale, the family soon moved to the Hibiscus Coast too.
“It has been amazing being part of the community and getting our regulars,” she says.
The self-taught baker grew up in a family of cooks and gardeners. The art on Magnolia Kitchen’s cakes is often inspired by nature and plants – “being a florist is my dream job,” Bets says.
Creating birthday cakes for her daughter Charlotte was the start of Bet’s passion for artful baking.
Charlotte, now 18, works in the business but not baking – she is about to begin study at Elam School of Fine Arts.
Bets says her second book, Magnolia Kitchen Design focuses on the art and decorative design elements, inspiring people to create their own edible art and showing them how to do it, including how to paint on cakes and use fresh plant material. It also includes recipes.
“The book is about creating something for a special occasion, and anyone can learn how to do it,” Bets says. “I’m revealing plenty of my tricks of the trade.”
WIN this book
Hibiscus Matters and Bernadette Gee have one copy of Magnolia Kitchen Design to give away – but you will have to be fast! To get this done by Christmas, entries must be in by Wednesday, December 9. To enter the draw, ‘like’ Hibiscus Matters on Facebook and message us your name and daytime phone number, mentioning Magnolia Kitchen Design; or drop an entry that includes your name and phone number into our office at 21 Florence Ave Orewa. The book is published by Allen & Unwin, RRP $49.99.