Sydney’s Dessert Queens

Most of us can admit to drooling over their photos and if you’re lucky enough, you’ve had the chance to have them cater for your event. We were lucky enough to speak with Kelly – one of the ladies behind the dynamic duo that make up Sydney’s Dessert Queens (SDQ) and here’s what she had to say…

What is SDQ and how was the idea created? 

Sydney’s Dessert Queens is a Sydney based partnership, catering affordable and delicious mini desserts for all kinds of special events or just to satisfy the taste buds.  On special request we also set up dessert buffets based on our customer’s needs and wants.

The partnership is made up of Eleanor and I, who both have creative minds – and together we share a passion of buffet styling!

The idea came to us over time – Eleanor catered desserts at her baby shower and found a simple way to serve chocolate mousse to her guests without mess and minimal cleaning. About a year later I catered for my sons 1st birthday and whilst researching for party ideas I found other ideas like it and thought the party would be a perfect time to test it out!

The feedback from family and friends was amazing, and a few months later Eleanor and I decided to join forces. We finally decided to give it a proper go at Eleanor’s sons 1st birthday. We had more variety of flavours, and after reaching out to more people the feedback just got better and better.

From then on, family and friends begun to ask us to whip something up for their parties –  and our passion for it grew even more. It prompted us to start a home based business (since we both wanted to start working, and wanted to do something that allowed us to still stay at home with our sons).

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What have you enjoyed most about it? 

As hard as times can get, the part I enjoy most is the feedback, whether good or bad –  it’s so motivating and it keeps us going. It’s so rewarding and if the feedback is not to customer satisfaction we always come up with an action plan to resolve it and strive to be better.

Also, I absolutely love styling buffets! I feel like it’s apart of myself that I can share with someone to make their day just a little more special.

Lastly, how could I forget – I definitely enjoy the taste testing!

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How do you stay motivated to push forward with your business? 

When we started we never ever anticipated the volume of people we would reach out to – on average we have up to 10 orders a week (that we’re able to accept), then there are the people attending our customer’s event – we are potentially reaching hundreds of people every week and at the same time, satisfying millions of taste buds! As if that isn’t motivating enough!

One of the main things we do to stay motivated is set goals, and when we reached them we’d reward ourselves. Our first ever goal was to reach 500 likes on Facebook and we reached that in our first few weeks! We definitely did not anticipate that!

Any advice for anyone wanting to start his or her own business? 

Personally I think if you’re going to start a business you need to be different or have something original to offer – especially if your entering a field where you have a lot of competition.  You need something that makes you stand out.

We started with nothing, as we only wanted to gain interest and see if people would actually go for what we were trying to sell. We didn’t know what hit us when it took off so quickly and starting off our expenses were often out of our own pocket. If I were to do it all over again I would have looked into someone to invest in us or another avenue alike.

You need a good business plan (in writing) – something that outlines the team member’s roles and responsibilities,  everything the business entails and the businesses aim. For example, our business plan includes things like deadlines, what’s expected of myself and what’s expected of Eleanor, things to do with money and budgeting, price lists etc. As you go along you learn more and more about and things you can change and improve. Every so often we would meet and write separate lists of things we each felt we needed to discuss and attend to.

Depending on what want to do, you need to make sure you have the time to commit to it. You also need to go into it whole heartedly and definitely have a passion for what your doing or you will lose interest very quickly.

A great camera or graphic designer – Image is everything! From logos to products it needs to be eye catching! People are more likely to stop and look twice when something catches their eye. Huge credit to Eleanor for always staying on top of her game with this!

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 What does the future hold for SDQ? 

Currently we are both taking an indefinite break, as we haven’t had a single weekend off to rest in a whole year! We also have some huge family commitments in the coming months. We hope to get back into the swing of things around June this year although no final decision has been made yet.

We’ll also be gradually introducing more flavours and possibly some staff to help us out.

There has been talk of branching out interstate so we will just see how it all pans out these next few months.

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We’d like to thank SDQ for taking time to share their story with us, and we wish them all the best in their delicious business venture! To find out more about SDQ, you can find them on Facebook.

talanoa

Arieta Tora Rika is a writer, Pacific storyteller, and Talanoa's Founder. With over 10 years of experience in social impact and non-profit communications across Australia and the Pacific, Arieta has dedicated her career to writing for positive change in vulnerable communities. She is currently a Communications Manager for The Salvation Army's aged care services, a part-time student at Western Sydney University as she completes a Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology), and a sometimes storyteller and cultural advisor for Talanoa.