Spend five minutes with Kirin ‘Kiki’ Tipping of LusciousKiki Cakes who has been creating lamingtons since 2011 – but not your conventional lamingtons!
Where are you from?
Born and bred on the bush end of the north shore, Sydney.
How did the idea come about to focus almost entirely on lamingtons?
I am lucky enough to have twin nieces and one day they approached me and said, “We really like cupcakes, but once you lick the icing off – that is kind of it. So we think you should do different flavoured lamingtons…” and with a flourish, handed over their business plan – they were eight. Since then, Penny and Lucy have furnished me with ideas, drawings and a never ending supply of encouragement!
What services do you offer?
Luscious is mainly wholesale supply for local cafes. Catering is also available but Friday and Saturday is cafe day and I throw open the doors of Luscious for trade and experiment with new flavours and new yum-yums on my loyal Guinea pigs! Bespoke cakes are also now a feature.
How has LusciousKikis grown since you started?
The business tends to fluctuate quite a bit and slows down a little in summer. But “cake season” is from June to November and is now all about birthday cakes (all those summer conceived babies I guess!), and as of three years ago, I do custom cakes as well. No employees, but my father, Peter, often helps out folding boxes and washing up!
What is your role in the business?
As Luscious is a one woman show, I am very much hands on. I wouldn’t want it any other way – employees or not!
What are your goals for the future of the business?
Luscious is growing and ideally (trying not to be a control freak) I would like to employ some passionate people and have a more retail focus!
Is there a particular philosophy or mantra that keeps you going?
Question everything, accept nothing! Hand made aaaaaall the way! And fresh Aussie produce, including indigenous ingredients that are sourced directly from indigenous growers.
Where do you get flavour inspiration?
Dreams, my sisters and nieces, Mum, old school inspo, face masks… I was also once sent a sample of Olsson’s Truffle Salt and I just HAD to use it – “Truffle-ish-is Lammie” is a caramel cake studded with honey roasted walnuts and a spritz of truffle salt. So the ingredients themselves are also the inspiration.
What do you like to do most when you’re not working?
Sleep! Ha ha…mainly – but family time is very important to me. I work seven days a week so there is not much down time.
What’s your favourite lamington flavour so far?
I don’t have a favourite really. I guess it depends on what my Luscious peeps go bonkers for! Last week it was the “Kakadoozie” which was white chocolate, kakadu plum, Mudgee honey and pink pepper.
Anything else you’d like to add?
As a 33 year veteran of hospitality I have seen many wasteful practices in many aspects of daily operations. I think we have a responsibility to be thoughtful and question old ways. At Luscious there are many “green” practices in place – including use of green energy, energy efficient work practices, no harsh chemicals – just a steam gun and elbow grease, recyclable packaging for all outgoing products, recycling of all packaging for incoming products, composting, upcycling, minimal wastage of food products, and essentially baking to order. I also consider where ingredients travel from to get to my kitchen and like to grow as much as I can. Every single one of us is responsible for our environment and I want to have the smallest impact possible!