Border restrictions and quarantining has hit New Zealand’s tourism and travel industry hard. Many tourism operators who were reliant on overseas visitors are now pivoting to reach fellow New Zealanders and convincing us to explore our own backyard.
Unfortunately, with no international visitors coming in and big restrictions on New Zealanders travelling internationally, many travel agents like Nicole were made redundant. Like everyone who has found themselves out of work recently, the big question becomes “What now?”
A love for baking
“Baking and cake decorating had been a passion of mine for a long time,” says Nicole. I’d love creating a cake for a friend’s birthday or to bring cupcakes to a shared dinner, but being a travel agent always kept me so busy. When I was faced with the reality of a lot more free time on my hands I thought I’d give it a go and see what happens.”
“Necessity is the mother of invention,” says Nicole. “I got my little Christchurch kitchen council registered and started making custom cakes, cupcakes and cake pops and flood icing cookies for any and all occasions using only the best ingredients.”
What’s the difference between Nicole Marie’s Kitchen and other cakes from larger bakeries?
The way many larger bakeries keep their costs down is through bulk buying power and making big batches. A large number of cakes could be baked at any one time and frozen until needed.
“I use only the best ingredients-free range eggs, ethically sourced cocoa, top quality fruits, and all of my cakes are handmade from scratch,” says Nicole.
While it means Nicole’s cakes may be slightly more expensive, you know they are fresh and made just for you.
Supporting local businesses
“Through no fault of her own, Nicole found herself in the same boat as many Kiwi’s in the fall-out from this terrible pandemic. I absolutely endorse her drive and determination to try something new and to make the best of a bad situation. That, and her cupcakes are among the best I have ever tried,” says Blair.
So do you have a special occasion coming up? Scratch that, do you even need a special occasion to enjoy some cake? It could be a morning tea shout at work, a wedding anniversary, kid’s birthday, big kids birthday, a kid-at-heart’s birthday, baby shower, or just because you’re excited about supporting the local economy: Give Nicole a call and describe to her what kind of tasty treat you’d like.
“Tell me about your loved one—their favourite colour, pastime or hobby. Are they silly? Determined? Needing a pick-me-up? It’s my job to listen to you so I can create the perfect gift for your recipient,” she says.
You can find Nicole Marie’s Kitchen on Instagram and Facebook. But be careful: Following her on social media and regularly seeing her incredible creations will increase your appetite for cake by around 75%. You have been warned.