Growing up in a farming community not far from the sea in New Zealand, we were always surrounded with seasonal fruit and vegetables, fresh caught fish and plenty of mouths to feed.
Dinner at my grandparents house consisted of the biggest fluffiest pumpkin scones you’ve ever seen and giant trays of rice pudding with the crispiest sugary edges. One of my favourite memories of my Granny Lorna, was peering over her lacy clothed table at a white fondant iced fruit cake. She had piped these tiny little shapes, which had set hard and she was painstakingly attaching each piece to the cake to create the look of delicate draped lace.
My imagination and creativity has always been strong since childhood. My mum kindly showed me the many ways of creating beautiful things out of nothing and our room was always full of trinkets, paintings and objects, made from anything we could find. When I discovered the local library was a haven of cook books, that creative spark was only ignited further. I would lug home at least 5 cook books, spend hours reading, and book marking, collecting my list of what I was going to bake that weekend and write a big shopping list. I would bake so many things in a weekend, sometimes we would find a tin of cookies in the pantry a week later id forgotten Id made whilst we were too busy consuming all the other things! Cookies, slices, layered cakes, muffins, everything! Even the time we lived without a proper working kitchen I threw myself into what sweets I could create using only a microwave! Okay let’s be honest here, school was not for me. I did what I needed to do to just pass, usually all at the last minute, and eventually left school a year early. I have no regrets, because it was throwing myself into kitchens and full time work that I really discovered what was in the works for my personality and life. I went on to complete my studies as a qualified chef, worked in award winning restaurants and headed overseas.
I worked in Edinburgh, soaking up as much as I could from being in a larger city with so many different styles of food and cuisine right at my doorstep. Travelling around Europe, eating, learning and consuming as much information as I could. I went from baking hundreds of scones inside the kitchens of Edinburgh Castle to learning management skills from one of the top hospitality groups. It was there in Edinburgh where I formed relationships within the hospitality industry that led me to beautiful Melbourne. My manager Ben Avramides, had returned to Melbourne himself to start working on his own businesses, and after having worked so well together previously, it was an easy transition to jump in as his pastry chef creating sweets for multiple cafes ( Hawk and hunter/ The little ox ) and Tommy Collins Catering.
Melbourne is an absolute powerhouse when it comes to food and wine, it was a no brainer I was going to fall in love with this city. The produce availability, the growers, the types of flowers I was suddenly able to use, it was intoxicating. I fell head over heels. I have always taken pride in working in all areas of hospitality and some incredible melbourne venues, but it really comes down to the fact that I just love to work. I love that daily grind, I love the stress of service, the happy faces of customers and the constant creating. But the goal has always been the same, to open my own business. So in classic Gina style of “jump before you think” I opened up Miss Ladybird cakes and went for it.
It is here in our 10th year of business that we have entered into a new phase. Joining back with Ben in our new partnership ( for hopefully another 10 years of business) and becoming part of the Legacy hospitality group. Providing the “sweet side of things” for the numerous venues within the group, whilst continuing on creating our signature wedding cakes and birthday cakes.
"Whether it's the logistics of accessing a venue, to organising the flowers for decorating, we believe our clients are in good, experienced hands."
During our time working in the wedding industry these past 10 years, we have made valuable relationships with other Melbourne wedding suppliers; photographers, venues, florists, printers, to name a few. I believe this helps us to provide a high standard product for our clients. Whether it's the logistics of accessing a venue, to organising the flowers for decorating, we believe our clients are in good, experienced hands.