By EHM Editor Jade McKenzie
I first met Catherine a couple of years ago when Event Head was just coming to life as a party styling and hire business. I attended a styling, photography and dessert making workshop and was treated to a little masterclass with Catherine making cake pops. There is a reason why you've never seen me make any since (ha!) but I've watched Catherine's business grow to bigger and better heights over the years, spreading joy and bringing incredible desserts to life for many a celebration. I love Catherine's elegant style and I wanted to share her work with you today, as well as give you a peek into her business.
What was the catalyst for starting Sweet Empire?
When we adopted our son, Harry the laws stated that I could not return to the workplace for a number of years, this meant the perfect opportunity presented itself to fulfil my dream of baking and creating for a living. I started a home based boutique bakery and styling company, Sweet Empire after helping some friends create their own parties and finding their guests were asking if I could do the same for their celebrations.
You get booked out months in advance, why do you think people have really identified with how you make your desserts?
I have found that being true to my own personal style is the best way to create my tribe of followers and customers. I make a point of declining orders for items that are not my style such as licensed characters etc to ensure that I am known for a particular style and not the same as you see everywhere, otherwise there’s no point of difference. Once I started doing this, my following grew instantly and I started to become booked out 6-8 months in advance.
I also like to show the personal side of bakery life a little bit and my following really seem to enjoy making that personal connection.
What do you love the most about creating such beautiful sweet treats for events?
I love that my clients can give me a brief in general and trust me to add my own touch to create exactly what they want. So much of my work is from guests at events that I have catered for with wonderful comments about how much they loved tasting my desserts. I’ve even had clients burst into tears when they’ve seen their cake, such a wonderful feeling knowing I have made someone’s special day.
How do you think great food impacts a persons’ experience at an event?
Food is one of the most important aspects of an event. It brings people together and creates a welcoming tone to the event. The desserts are also a great way to incorporate a theme, colour scheme and personal quirky touches that bring out the personality of the hosts to tell their story. It needs to memorable.
What do you think event organisers need to look for in a caterer?
Quality without doubt!
Sure, desserts can look good but they must taste amazing as well. Event planners and stylist often will select a caterer that they have used in the past to ensure they know the quality of their food and have a professional relationship with that caterer so their client will get the very best and have no surprises.
Having a caterer that completely understands they style of the event will be so helpful, so be sure to select the caterer that you like the “style” of, they will understand exactly what you are trying to achieve for your client.
All image credits belong to Sweet Empire