Stories of Small Business New Zealand

The Story of Kate & Bicycle Kitchen

The Story of Kate & Bicycle Kitchen

Let’s start with a little bit about you. 

I'm Kate and I am the founder and owner of Bicycle Kitchen.

Bicycle Kitchen was created from a love of baking and styling delicious and rustic baked goods. 

For as long as I can remember I have loved doing anything creative with my hands but my passion has always been baking and cooking. I always wanted to share my passion for food with people but just never knew 'exactly" how. While I was living and working in London in my late 20's I quit my corporate job to work in a chain of local french delicatessens, it was here I discovered how I could turn my passion of baking and cooking into a career.  Then kid's came along and my food dreams were put on hold for many years.

And what is your business? Tell us more.

We sell handmade, artisan small batch brioche doughnuts, cakes, brioche scrolls and other baked goods from our pop up Pashley tricycles at different locations and events. Everything is made lovingly from scratch in our bakery on our property in Greytown.  People can also order online or pick up. Our bikes are also available for private hire for events and weddings.

What encouraged you to start your business?

I have always wanted to start my own little business doing something I absolutely love. I was forever baking for family and friends and was desperate for a platform to share it with other people.

What did you do before creating your business?  Tell us your journey from there to here.

With a background in events management and a love for food I knew I wanted to combine a business with both. While on a  family sabbatical living in France with my husband and 2 teenage boys, I fell in love with the beautiful  tricycle businesses popping up throughout Europe and the UK and thought they were such a unique idea and the perfect vehicle to showcase my baking.

We decided to import 2 Pashley bikes which have been custom built into New Zealand, and set up at events throughout Wellington serving our doughnuts, baked goods and gelato.   We also decided to convert our stables into a basic commercial kitchen/bakery on our property which we set up on a budget. That ended up taking us 2 years to complete!  I gained experience working in the industry and practiced consistently during that time.  It was 18 months of making doughnuts! All my baking is self taught and from experience in places I have worked before.



Knowing what you know now. What would be one piece of advice would you give your 21 year old self?

So many things!!! Have belief in yourself, follow your heart and don't worry what people think.  "Just be you" and  "do what makes you happy". 

What are some of the highs and lows of running your business?

There are so many highs and lows and ups and downs in starting a business. The struggle can be real some days, especially the 3am starts and lack of sleep. I think the biggest lessons come from the  lows, this is where we grow as a person the most and learn resilience. Drawing inspiration and support from other small biz owners that go through the same ups and downs and roller coaster of emotions is so crucial.

What is the biggest lesson you have learnt in your small business?  

Don't beat yourself up for doing your best and it's so much better to aim for progress over perfection. Slow and steady progress, biting off one little chunk of the elephant at a time. Also try  to find the time to work "on my business" rather than "in my business".  It's so easy to feel overwhelmed and bogged down with day to day running of the business and feel like you are losing sight of your goals and why you started the business in the first place.

What’s one piece of advice you would share with someone starting out?

Be prepared for long hours, hard work....and not having a lot of spare time. Also being constantly consumed and thinking about the business (and the sleepless nights too).  I would also say if you are thinking about starting don't over think it; there is never a "right time" to start.

Just start small and go for it!.

What do you love most about your business? 

I love waking up each day and doing what I loveit doesn't feel like a job. I love how rewarding it is,  the long days are worth it when my customers tell me how much they love eating my doughnuts.



Share 5 things that bring you joy?

Sharing precious time with the people I love.

Walking my dog.

Being thankful for the little things.

Being in my garden.

Sunsets and sunrises.

What resets that light inside you?

I just love spending time with my family, pottering in my garden and walking my dog. Taking deep breaths and focusing on other things than the business, gives me clarity. There is nothing like a "rest" and a good "sleep" to reignite the fire again.

Coffee or Tea?

Definitely coffee!!

How do you balance business life + motherhood?

I'm learning it as I go along really!!

It certainly is a tricky juggle, because you are wearing so many hats it feels like you are being pulled in many directions. Sometimes you just need to do the best you can, show up each day and accept that you just can't do it all!. I try to make the business a learning opportunity for my boys, teaching them so many lessons in business that can also be applied in life.

What is one quote you are always drawn to?

"We cannot become what we want by remaining what we are."

I just love this quote, a reminder that change isn't easy, we have to step out of our comfort zone to really grow and shine.

What can we expect from your biz in the future?

All sorts of exciting ideas are constantly brewing in my head but right now I'm focusing on improving the business I have, there is only so much time in the day and it's a very precious thing so I will take it one step at a time and keep moving forward! But watch this space!!


 Here is how you can get in touch with Kate:

Instagram: @bicyclekitchennz





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