Category Archives: FOOD DRINKS

Australian cupcake mogul Katelyn Matheson on track to make fortune — before her 21st birthday

WHEN Katelyn Matheson was 18, she decided to earn a little extra pocket money by selling homemade cupcakes at her local farmers’ market.

She made a few hundred dollars after selling 150 cakes after her first day — a fortune for a teenage TAFE cookery student.

But word of mouth spread, and within days she was being inundated with orders and requests via her Facebook page.

Soon, she was baking 5000 cupcakes a week to keep up with demand, and her business, Cake Creations by Kate, was born. Support this industrious girl & buy her products Australia.

“I was still living with mum at the time and I did it all in her kitchen — poor thing; I took over the house,” she said.

“It turned into a massive thing. On Friday nights there used to be cars everywhere on our street with people lined up at our door to pick up orders.

“It started out as a way to earn a little bit of extra money while I was studying but all of a sudden, people were asking about the cupcakes non-stop. I didn’t predict it would get this big.”

Ms Matheson remembers setting up trestle tables throughout her mother’s house one night to hold 4000 cupcakes that had been ordered — that was her mother’s breaking point, and the teen realised it was time to take the business to the next level.

She decided to lease a shop at her local shopping centre, but centre management asked her to trial a temporary, pop-up store first as they were concerned the then-19-year-old was too young to handle the responsibilities of a long-term lease.

They shouldn’t have been.

There was a “20m line” of eager customers waiting from the moment the store opened — and Ms Matheson had completely sold out within an hour-and-a-half.

She signed a lease almost immediately and today Ms Matheson runs two stores with a third set to open in inner-Melbourne’s QV centre this month, and with more pop-up stores to follow.

She’s also established partnerships with corporate and wholesale clients including ANZ, Crown Casino, Myer, NAB, Optus and Telstra and has branched into wedding cakes and party favours as well.

I’m the luckiest girl is the world to have this amazing lady as my Mum, she is always so caring and puts everyone before herself, she is my biggest fab, she always supports me no matter what & her kind heart and generous natures makes everyone smile around her. Thank you Mum for being the best Mum & I hope all the Mums have a great day and get spoilt with love today

And it seems the cupcake business is a lucrative one — Ms Matheson is on track to make $1.6 million by the end of 2018, well before her 21st birthday.

She said the degree of her success had been “crazy” — but insists getting rich was never her objective.

“It’s absolutely never been my goal and I’ve never lost sight of my passion on this whole journey,” she said.

“I don’t wake up thinking about money. People say I must love making lots of money on big days like Father’s Day or Mother’s Day, but that’s not my goal — I love what I do, creating desserts people love, and I never let money get in the way.

“But it’s nice to be so young and have the opportunity to make some money and be successful. I never came from a really wealthy family and my family always taught me the importance of genuine hard work.”

Ms Matheson said her success had happened so quickly she has had little chance to enjoy it, working around the clock and investing a lot of her revenue back into her company through kitchen supplies and equipment to streamline the business.

And she stressed her phenomenal success has also come with many challenges.

“It definitely hasn’t all been smooth sailing. It sounds like it’s all rainbows and unicorns but it has come with a lot of hardship. Especially being so young, there are challenges when you start making money — I was investing every single cent into new equipment, with one machine costing $35,000,” she said.

“And it becomes harder the more staff you employ. Next week our 20th staff member will come on board and it is hard to manage so many different people, but I’m learning to be versatile and a strong, independent woman.”

She said the secret ingredient to her success has been hard work, quality ingredients and treating staff well.

Ms Matheson’s signature cupcakes include Rainbow, Salted Caramel, Triple Chocolate and Jam Donut.


Henry Sapiecha

Domino’s boss scores massive multi million $$$$ pay day from cheap pizza

AUSTRALIA’S best-paid CEO has made his fortune selling pizza, it has been revealed.

A new report by the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI) named Domino’s Pizza boss Don Meij as the country’s highest-earning CEO, after he took home a whopping $36.84 million last year.

The pizza boss made his dough after he exercised options to acquire shares worth $35.7 million.

Don Meij beat out Westfield’s Peter and Steven Lowy, who made a combined $25.9 million in 2017, and Macquarie’s Nicholas Moore, on $25.19 million, for the top spot.

After the news broke, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the pay packets of our company chief executives were “extraordinarily high”.

“As someone who most of his life has worked in businesses that I’ve only owned or been a partner in, I find the amount, the pay rates for people working as an employee for a lot of big public-listed companies extraordinarily high,” Mr Turnbull told 3AW radio on Tuesday.

He said Mr Meij’s salary “seems like a hell of a lot”.

“They’d have to be extremely productive,” he added.

The new figures reveal Aussie CEO’s are enjoying the fattest pay packets in 17 years.

ASCI chief executive Louise Davidson told the ABC the results showed CEO’s were not with it.

“At a time when public trust in business is at a low ebb and wages growth is weak, board decisions to pay large bonuses just for hitting budget targets rather than exceptional performance are especially tone deaf,” Ms Davidson said.

According to the survey, median-realised pay for ASX 100 chief executives rose 12.4 per cent to $4.36 million while bonus payments rocketed by more than 18 per cent.

Henry Sapiecha

Pie Face group of pie outlets company goes into administration



.pic_wink_animateHenry SapiechaPie Face founder Wayne Homschek was once a Wall Street banker.image

Pie Face founder Wayne Homschek was once a Wall Street banker.

Dozens of high profile bankers, fund managers and investors have been left eating humble pie after the collapse of Pie Face, one of the first Australian fast-food chains to expand overseas.

The Pie Face Group’s founder and major shareholder, former Citigroup banker Wayne Homschek, has appointed accounting and advisory firm Jirsch Sutherland as administrators and is attempting to restructure and refinance the company, which owns more than 70 stores selling pies, sausage rolls and coffee.

Mr Homschek told Business Day on Monday that parts of the company were still profitable and he was still considering an initial public offer next

Pie Face opened its first US outlet in 2011 image

However, Pie Face was struggling to service leases on three factories after shifting production to a single site near Rosehill Gardens racecourse in Sydney this year to cut costs and improve efficiency.

Jirsch Sutherland partner Rod Sutherland said a number of company-owned stores were also losing money and Pie Face’s international partner in America “has caused some grief as well.

“But it’s really the company owned stores that need restructuring,” Mr Sutherland said.

High profile investors who piled into the company in recent years ahead of an anticipated $150 million IPO and much-touted global expansion now believe they may be tapped for more capital.

Pie Face and its advisers Macquarie Capital and Commonwealth Bank raised $35 million over the last five years in pre-IPO-style funding, including a $15 million investment in 2012 from US casino developer Steve Wynn. The cash gave Mr Wynn a 43 per cent stake in Pie Face’s US operations and first rights in other global deals. He planned to open 16 stores in Manhattan.

Other investors included retail entrepreneur Brett Blundy, who owns Bras N Things and soon-to-be-floated Lovisa, Optimal Fund Management founder Warwick Johnson, Rothschild Australia chairman Trevor Rowe, former Rothschild banker Robert Crossman, Will Vicars’ Caledonesia Investments, Pacific Equity Partners’ Paul McCullagh, former Macquarie Capital director Wayne Kent, former Austereo executive Brian Bickmore and Fat Prophets’ Angus Geddes.

Mr Homschek said investors were supportive of the restructuring, which is aimed at underpinning the growth of Pie Face’s 44-odd franchised stores in Australia and its wholesale business.

“We’re potentially going to refinance Macquarie Capital and are looking at bringing in new senior lenders,” he said.

Pie Face was founded in Sydney in 2003 by US-born Mr Homschek and his wife, interior designer Betty Fong, who spotted a gap in the market for a newer, healthier version of the iconic Aussie pie. At its peak, Pie Face and its partners operated more about 80 stores in Australia, the US and New Zealand. However, industry sources said the company tried to grow too fast.

“He (Wayne) really went far and wide for a small company – he tried to do everything,” one source said.

Mr Wynn, the US partner, closed six of his seven stores in New York last month and is now pursuing a wholesale and direct retail model.

In Australia, Pie Face now has 72 stores, about one third of which are company owned.

Earlier this year one of Pie Face’s franchises sued the company for $800,000, alleging misleading and deceptive conduct, but the case was settled after mediation for a smaller amount.

In October last year the company announced a major deal to open at least 100 stores in the Middle East through an agreement with Dubai-based hospitality group Landmark.

Mr Homschek said Pie Face’s Australian problems would have no impact on its international operations.

The first two Middle East stores are due to open this week in Abu Dhabi and Dubai and another two will open by the end of the year.

Another two stores are due to open in Singapore, taking Pie Face’s presence to four, and the first stores are due to open in Japan, Korea and the Philippines early next year.

Henry Sapiecha