Katarina is our guest today. She is the chief dessert designer and founder of Dolled Up Desserts. They are a dedicated gluten free and vegan wholesale bakery and a lions lair top 15 finalist in Hamilton, Ontario.
After hearing about a program offered by the City of Hamilton for students to start their own businesses, they would get funding and mentorship, she thought “why not” start a baking business.
In university, Katarina developed intolerances to gluten, dairy and eggs, and had to change her diet. Dessert has always been a part of her meals. The options available did not meet her needs, it was very frustrating. She started taking family recipes and attempted to make them gluten, dairy and egg free. The first attempts were not the most successful. She would substitute different replacements, and over time, trial and error, she found which ones worked the best. For example to make french Macarons, instead of using egg whites for the meringue they use aquafaba. Aquafaba is the the cooking liquid of beans (i.e. chickpeas).
They know ingredients so well, they just have intuition now.
They do not have a storefront right now. They sell their products through cafes, restaurants, and stores. They sell baked goods and baking mixes. Veganism and eating gluten-free are on the rise. Businesses need to offer options to their clients. Many places offer Dolled Up Desserts’ treats. Locations can be found on the website (as well as an online shop).
Baking for Katarina, and her staff, is stress relief. Being able to create desserts that she could eat was empowering, it gave her control. Most of her staff have gone through something similar. Dolled Up Desserts is about creating empowering moments for you to eat or bake your own. It is about giving them power – when they may have lost that power.
At Dolled Up Desserts they have reduced the amount of sugar in their recipes, there is still sugar but they use vegan suitable sugars. Sugar can be a big problem for people – it comes down to moderation and being aware of what you are eating. Living a balanced lifestyle is still an important part of healthy living.
They have a variety of pre-made mixes that you can purchase to make treats at home. The mixes are made by Dolled Up Desserts. They are going to be making videos to show how to use the mixes. Hopefully, people will share what they have made as well.
The Scientific Research and Experimental Development program that can help companies that are innovating new ways of doing things. There is a lot of research and development that goes into gluten free baking because it not using all of the conventional ways of baking. Finding the, why, to using one flour over another, there is learning and experimenting. There are many aspects to match and this is all done with research and trial and error.
We have a discussion on learning, through university and online learning. There are benefits, pros, cons, one method may be more beneficial to one person and not to another. Sometimes life isn’t planned. What do you want to do, and how do you want to do it? There is no need to force something, it isn’t always necessary to fight the system. Where does your passion lie?
Katarina talks about the Lion’s Lair competition and participating in this exciting opportunity.