Cakes for All

Is it possible for really naughty cakes and desserts to be good for you!? Well if it wasn't previously, then it is now! Because Rowie's Cakes guarantee that every wickedly delicious morsel that leaves their kitchen is 100% gluten, yeast and wheat free. Of course it didn't take long for Rowie's growing list of clientele to see how much this would appeal to more health conscious customers.

Rowie's cakes - ranging from Rowie's Wicked Chocolate Paneggforte, Rowie's Rich Orange Almond Cake, Rowie's Delicate Potato Flour Feather Sponge, Rowie's Mouth-watering Raspberry Layer Cake or Rowie's Sexy Choc-L-Orange Cake - are available in three sizes: the individual minette, the friendly 12cm, the generous 26cm.Or you can try them all in Rowie's bakers dozen!

Rowena Dillon (aka Rowie) used to make all the cakes herself, but now her focus is on developing the business, sales and marketing (although she is still a part of the production line, supervising and mixing up one flavour twice a week). Her business is small with a big undertaking to meet the demands for cakes by her distributors.

Rowie first developed gluten-free cakes due to her own allergy to gluten: the starchy substance that holds everything together, which is mainly found in wheat flours. When you are allergic to gluten or yeast the small intestine can't digest starch and you can experience bloating, cramps, rashes and itchy eyes. Often people allergic to gluten are also lactose intolerant or allergic to dairy, so Rowie's treats are also dairy-free i.e. no butter, no milk. This poses some interesting baking challenges, but Rowie has overcome them.

Gluten-free cooking is very bland and Rowie sought to address this by creating a 'wow factor!' in her cakes. She believes in everything being handmade, and has made her treats so delicious any person - gluten intolerant or not - can eat them. Rowie even creates smaller portions in heart shapes because Rowie believes people with special needs need special love. Her delicious and visually beautiful cakes are going so well that stockist include David Jones, and QANTAS in-flight catering for special dietary needs customers. The company is also expanding by providing dry goods for supermarket shelves.

Emma Colling - Apprentice @ Rowie's

Emma, 19 years old, is a first-year retail baking and pastry student at Ultimo TAFE. She spends Tuesdays at TAFE and is employed by Rowie's for the rest of the week under the Australian Apprenticeship System, which she is due to finish in 2011.

Emma is currently mastering a number of techniques under Rowie's guidance, such as feathering chocolate for decoration, creating a soy chocolate ganache for the Wicked Chocolate Panforte. Emma has even brought some of the theories she has learnt at TAFE to her work place for discussion and implementation.

To help develop Emma's baking skills and responsibility towards the business, Rowie and Emma set quarterly targets - Emma's current goal is to become the 'Ganache Queen'! Emma is keen to follow in Rowie's footsteps, as well as commit to the business by helping to increase productivity and take on more responsibility in the production process. Emma is determined to continue to gain more experience and improve and expand her skill set to accomplish her goals. She says there are more boys than girls in her class of 17 and some of them envy her for having a creative and rewarding job!

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VJ Rodney Meier

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  • SkillsIQ