Rebecca Bennett’s motto is let them eat cake.
And by them, she means absolutely everyone.
The mum of five and self-taught baker has turned her considerable skills in the kitchen to creating cakes and bakes that can be eaten by those with even severe and numerous food allergies.
The Bond University Film and Television student’s cakes are not just gluten free, they are free from eggs, dairy, tree nuts, ground nuts, soy and even refined sugar free. And they are in hot demand.
Ironically, Rebecca doesn’t really eat cake, but as an allergy sufferer herself, she couldn’t bear to see little kids having to miss out on one of the great joys of childhood.
YOU CAN HEAR MORE FROM TRANSFORMER LAUNCHPAD WINNER REBECCA BENNETT HERE.
“They always have the best reactions when they realise that yes, they can eat this,” she says.
“I used to cry a lot in the shop – parents would come in and ask what was safe and tell me what their child’s allergies were. Seeing their faces when I told them that everything in the shop would be fine for their kids was pretty emotional.”
But single-handedly creating every bake was starting to take its toll on Rebecca, so she’s come up with a new idea – go even bigger!
She’s closed down the retail arm of her business and plans to open a factory that caters only for allergy free baking so she can mass produce her wildly successful cake mixes that allow people to recreate her confections at home.
Her winning pitch at the Bond University Transformer Launchpad competition netted her a $2000 prize towards the project.
In the meantime, she still finds time to squeeze in special commission cakes.
“I’m booked up for about the next two years, but if one comes in that’s for a kid’s birthday or celebration, I always squeeze it in,” she says.
“I can’t stand to see a kid have to go without cake.”
Transformer is an Australian-first entrepreneurship program offered as a fee-free, extracurricular option to undergraduate and postgraduate students from all disciplines.
Four finalists in this semester’s contest made their pitch to impressed judges Stuart Giles, Founder of the Icon Group and Bond’s Founder-in-residence, Bond alumni and Innovation Lead at tech company Autoguru Aurund Fiskerund and Gold Coast Innovation Hub CEO Sharon Hunneybell.
PhD student Genevieve Colling’s pitch for a new online prevention program targeted at employees to help them manage mental health issues won $1000 as runner up.