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Customer Spotlight – MOA Bakery, Cakery

Today, for our Customer Spotlight, we’re looking at MOA Bakery, Cakery, a small retail and wholesale bakery that specialises in vegan, gluten free, and refined sugar free foods with a healthy twist.  They make raw cheesecakes, desserts, cheeses and organic chocolate.

Jane Thompson, the owner of MOA Bakery, Cakery was inspired to start her business when she moved to Oamaru 4 years ago.

“There were no vegan options in any of the local cafes, so I started my business to provide some.”

“We’ve built [ourselves] up from the weekly farmers market and a rented kitchen, to our own premises and being able to provide wholesale and catering services.”

As for Jane’s favourite part about her job, it’s the “freedom to be creative with what I make and the excited reactions of customers who are used to having maybe one option if they’re lucky when they go to cafes, and are suddenly able to choose from a wide variety of savoury and sweet options.”

Jane understands that when people have dietary restrictions, either out of necessity or choice, it can be difficult to buy something that meets your needs when you’re out and about.

“I wanted to be able to provide somewhere where there were multiple options that are healthier than the most common fall back in many cafes – such as hot chips.”

With Christmas coming up Jane knows all too well about the onslaught of the busiest time of year. While they briefly close over the Christmas and New Year period to catch a breath, leading up to that time they have their hands full. Whether they’re catering for work gatherings, satisfying customer orders who are stocking up for visitors, replenishing their wholesale customer orders, or making A LOT of Christmas cakes and fruit mince tarts – there is no shortage of work to do.

Something Jane recalled from last Christmas was the joy some customers experienced upon discovering all of the bakery’s allergy-friendly treats on offer.

“One of the best things about the holiday season is providing options to people who haven’t had something they really enjoy for many years due to dietary restraints. Last Christmas, one of my customers told me our fruit mince tarts are better than she remembered them.”

Jane has no shortage of happy customers either, a quick glance at the MOA Bakery, Cakery Facebook page and you will see plenty of 5-star reviews. One customer was overjoyed by some of the treats on offer, leaving this glowing review:

“We stopped by today for lunch and some treats to take home. Jane’s shop is warm, cosy, and friendly, and her food is incredibly delicious. We were blown away by the buckwheat slice and the vanilla coffee cheesecake, and you can’t beat her hot red curry pumpkin soup with rosemary focaccia. Definitely a place to keep visiting whenever we’re in town.”

Finally, Jane had some great advice for those who might be considering starting their own business:

“Go for it – but check that your idea will fly by putting together a quick survey to gauge interest and refine your idea (you can do this for free on Survey Monkey and other sites).  Start small and manageable and expand as you are able to – and don’t be afraid to test new ideas.”

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