Karen’s first foray into selling her grandmother’s traditional recipe Christmas puddings could be described as nothing more than a flop, but these days Pud For all Seasons starts baking in February in order to meet the December demand.
Despite not selling any puddings at her first market stall, Karen reflects how amazed and proud her Grandma would be at the commercial success of her secret recipe – while she was around to see Karen produce up to 80 puddings, that number has now grown to over 60,000 a year!
With six staff working year-round to pump out the puds, Karen doubles her staff numbers to twelve from October until December. Karen credits her great team for the reason work is so enjoyable.
“We are all mums, so I provide a flexible workspace. We all work around our families and I’m happy for staff to choose their own hours on the days they are not cooking.”
The kitchen cranks up at 6.30am and Karen usually arrives around 8am. Her first task for the day is to fire up the coffee machine and ensure everyone is sufficiently caffeinated.
Karen then sits down to emails, invoices, orders, dispatch printing and logging orders with delivery services. Any spare time is filled assisting across the business – stacking puddings, rolling pud balls, labelling sauce bottles and cutting fabric to wrap the puddings. Karen controls all the ordering and bookkeeping, artwork, website updates and social media. Plus recipe development!
Karen’s creative juices are always flowing, coming into their own if a ‘pud disaster’ occurs, such as forgetting to put the orange in the Choc Orange Pudding.
“I’ll create some new labels to suit the mistake creation and we then sell them at markets.”
Challenges to the business are often out of Karen’s control such as delivery delays at the busiest time of year, cash flow with the seasonality of the product or the occasional oven break down. Karen is also not a fan of the early morning starts on market days –
“Or the kangaroos that are on the road at that time of morning!”
But Karen loves the team around her, meeting great people at farmers markets and events and creating a custom pud with a specially requested ingredient.
After a well-deserved break in January, the storerooms are cleaned out in preparation of being filled again.
“From February it is just cook cook cook until our storerooms are full again. Fortunately for us, the puddings get better with age.”
In the quieter months tools are downed each day for an online gym workout in one of the storerooms and once a week takeaway lunch is ordered from a local café.
A secret family recipe from Grandma, paired with Karen’s hard work and dedication has seen this maternity leave hobby grow into a thriving year-round business.