Meet The Market Folk’s delightful dessert duo, Mel and Georgia. Baked by M&G has been a regular fixture at our markets since early 2021, and the girls are every bit as sweet as their popular treats. From creative, colourful cupcakes to indulgent chocolate brownies, they’re at the top of our wishlist at every market. Read on to learn about how they got started and the crazy schedule they keep to make Brisbane’s dessert dreams come true!
Our names are Mel & Georgia and we’re the twins behind Baked by M&G!
We’re an online Brisbane bakehouse specialising in artisanal desserts and bringing dessert dreams to life through our bespoke collection of Dessert Walls. We also pop up in different locations all over Brisbane!
While we were growing up, our grandmother (who we call Yiayia) was overjoyed to share cooking sessions with us, passing on valuable advice that her grandmother had given her. Watching and learning from the master, we began to acquire a knack for cooking and baking, and eventually started sharing our creations whenever and wherever we could.
Surviving the hardships of war, Yiayia taught us never to take food for granted and to cook with the utmost love and care. That’s why we spent almost 12 months planning, testing, creating and refining our products before officially launching our business at the end of 2020. (To this day, we continue to perfect our recipes, and ensure the products we bake always taste as good as they look)!
Baked by M&G was established in the memory of Yiayia who sadly passed away in 2017. While she isn’t here to see what her legacy has become, we know she would have been over the moon to see us similarly spread joy and happiness through our food.
We initially launched our online store offering Brisbane residents a selection of cupcakes, cookies and brownies to be delivered to their door. Fast forward 18 months and we have expanded our range due to customer demand to include other products such as dessert boxes, cakes, lucky dip cupcakes + more!
When we first launched our business, we didn’t envisage that sending a gift to someone would be such a prominent purchase reason. We certainly never predicted that we would have customers ordering from interstate, let alone overseas! Based on this, we have adapted our online offering for customers who want to send a gift to someone, and have tried to make the user experience on our online store as easy and seamless as possible for these customers.
We wish we could describe what a typical day looks like for us, but every day is so different which keeps us on our toes!
But generally, we would say the busiest baking days for us are Wednesday – Saturdays, and most weekends you would usually find us at different markets or delivering customers’ orders. Earlier in the week you will typically find us catching up on admin work, responding to customer enquiries, bookkeeping, and planning ahead. Throw in a bit more baking, delivery driving, social media management, and ordering supplies and this would usually cover a typical week for us!
Before we started Baked by M&G, we both had corporate jobs in our fields of study (Accounting for Georgia, and Marketing for Mel).
Particularly for Georgia, she never felt like she was getting the satisfaction out of the role that she thought she would. On Friday afternoons, she would dread going to work the following Monday. On the other hand, Mel enjoyed being in the marketing field, but started to feel a bit stagnant in her job and wanted to utilise more of her skills.
So naturally we thought, ‘why not start a business together?!’
We started attending markets back in February 2021 and we’ve absolutely loved being a part of The Market Folk family! TMF always have an awesome line-up of small businesses at each market (which we are frequent customers of!), and we’re always excited to see new businesses join the TMF family. We can honestly say that it is such a great little community that is so warm and welcoming, and we’ve made many friendships with other small business owners through TMF.
Attending markets has also been a great way for us to connect with our customers and chat with them face-to-face, as we only have a virtual ‘shop-front’ through our online store. We love seeing people’s faces light up when they see our range of goodies, and especially love hearing their feedback after they’ve tasted our treats! It makes our hearts swell with such happiness when our lovely customers continue to re-visit us at markets and stop by for a chat.
Not only do you need to be organised, but you need to be prepared to put in countless hours and effort into growing your business. Nothing happens overnight, so you need to keep in mind you’re in it for the long haul. What we found particularly helpful in the first few months of business was listening to other small business owners who said it took them at least 2 – 3 years to know if their business was going to be sustainable in the long run.
We would also say that you should surround yourself with people who can support you through your business journey. We’ve heard from many business owners that owning a business can oftentimes be lonely, and so we are lucky enough that there are two of us running the show. This means we always have someone we can bounce ideas off, support each other in the busy/stressful times and just generally have someone who knows exactly what you are going through. We are also very lucky that we have an incredible family who we can lean on in the busy times, and who are able to give us a hand with anything from baking, to delivery driving and even just stickering boxes!
In exciting news, we just recently moved into our very own commercial kitchen! Previously we utilised a commercial share kitchen, so having a kitchen of our own has been a super exciting step for us! This means we will soon be able to offer a pick-up option to our customers (which we have had many requests for!), and also kick off some other exciting things…
We also have some new pop-ups planned for the year which we can’t wait for!
In the year it took us to plan and shape our business before we officially launched, we couldn’t get enough of listening to the Mamamia Podcast ‘Lady Startup Stories’. This podcast features successful female entrepreneurs and their inspiring stories on building their businesses from the ground up. We are still hooked on this podcast as it gives an insight into the realities of being a business owner – (it’s not always as glamourous as it appears on social media!) – and it doesn’t shy away from the very real challenges women face in building their business. It is a very inspiring and motivational podcast that we would highly recommend giving a listen to!
A book that we would also recommend is Atomic Habits by James Clear. It is an exceptional book that gives practical advice on building good habits (and breaking bad habits) which will help you in achieving your goals.
There are many things we have learned from running our business, but a key thing would be resilience. When we started planning our business, we had absolutely no idea if it would work – for all we knew it could be a total flop, but we still thought we would give it a try anyway.
We try to keep an open mind like this to everything we do with our business, and learn from things that may not have gone as we had initially predicted. Building a business is both exciting and scary, but with a willingness to continually grow and learn means you are much more likely to head down a path towards success.
Aside from the fact that we’re twins (everyone is always so surprised when we tell them!), we are actually quite introverted individuals!
As small business owners, we are constantly on the go. So when we do get a chance to catch our breath, we try to make the very most of it so we can rest and recharge our batteries.
But we wouldn’t change this crazy, exciting journey for anything! We have loved making new business friends, connecting with our lovely customers and just genuinely spreading little moments of magic through our food.
Visit Baked by M&G
You can visit Mel and Georgia this weekend at Westfield Carindale at our Pop-Up Market opposite Jamaica Blue, Friday 17th – Sunday 19 June
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The Market Folk would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land in which our events take place on - The Turrbal and Yugara people. On behalf of our community of small businesses we want to pay our respects to the elders past, present and emerging. Always was, always will be Aboriginal Land.
© 2021 THE MARKET FOLK