Cake lovers, today’s feature will delight and excite you for two reasons:
- You are about to discover your new favourite Perth cake business (and be bombarded with gorgeous cake photos!)
- One of you is going to WIN A FREAKING CAKE!
So without further ado, let me introduce you to Shemma Timney (you may already remember her for her gorgeous guest post during our launch series on Happiness). Shemma is the creative brain and the baker behind My Private Dining Room, and when it comes to cakes (and cooking in general, based on her drool-worth Instagram feed!) she really knows her stuff. Her love of cakes has been with her since childhood:
“Cakes are a very easy accumulation of many things for me. I’m from Tassy, and there is a ‘drop-in’ culture over there, people can show up on your doorstep any time, so it’s quite common for people to have a delicious homemade cake on hand. Nothing fancy, just these rustic, moist cakes. I’m very impacted by this memory. Over the years, I have often taken to baking when I am bored, I want to say for therapy too, but the truth is I tend to bake when I am feeling happy and relaxed – like it is a way of expressing that nice feeling. Plus it’s so easy to be creative with cakes. It’s a fun medium to play with.”
When I asked Shemma how she began her business venture, she explained that it was something that just happened to come about (isn’t that the best kind of foundation?!) What began as a love of baking for friends and family soon developed into people asking to buy Shemma’s cakes – and so a business was born! If you pour over My Private Dining Room’s Instagram feed (don’t browse hungry!), you can see for yourself the gorgeous creations that are popping out of her kitchen and into homes and events around Perth. And as you admire all the beautiful cakes, keep in mind that these are often created in the midst of wrangling two children!
“I cook in my home kitchen, so my two little ones are often underfoot while I’m baking. Thankfully they are used to me cooking a lot, so most of the time they are very good with what they can and cannot touch. And every now and then I will bake a cake just for them so that they can get their hands in it, decorate it and eat it themselves (though they might get a healthier version!) When I am not baking, I am mostly just doing the mum thing. I am really surprised how much of my time can be taken up with that alone.”
Finding a balance between running a business from home and living your everyday life can be tough, and on top of her business and family life, Shemma is also involved with her church, Eagles City Mission.
“We are a church in Perth city who have a heart to reach those that perhaps feel overlooked and misplaced. We have a good solid meal after every Sunday service which is where I am most involved. We cater for around 80-100 people. It can be quite a big operation, recipe writing, menu planning, we cook up to 26kg’s of meat every Sunday (plus side dishes and desserts). But we have an amazing team of dedicated cooks and some amazing Pastors who always encourage and build us up- so we surprisingly haven’t burnt out (we have been going for almost 10 years now)… I’ve also just agreed to join the blogging team for our church website. I’m contributing at a very slow pace right now- a tiny post once a week. But it is another small way to get out some of those creative juices which always feels good.”
Shemma’s favourite thing about running her business? She has a few:
“It’s creative. Plus I get really romantic about textures. So bringing a batter together has a very lovely affect on me. I also love the affect a finished cake has on someone. When they open the box and their eyes light up and they let out a delighted “Ooooo!”, that’s a pretty nice feeling too.”
As for the most challenging part:
“Definitely when things go wrong. I’m still starting out so I’m not exactly a pro at this yet. I’m still figuring out how to fix things when they go wrong. Icing vs Weather is my biggest battle at the moment. When things do go wrong I often think I should just quit and leave it to the professionals. Somehow, I haven’t quit yet – hopefully I just keep learning instead.”
I love a good story of a business being built from the ground up – how inspiring is that?! Shemma’s business journey is ongoing, and her approach is honest and humble – and when you can bake cakes that looks like these, I would like to think you are unstoppable! I have no doubt that we are going to see great things come out of Shemma’s kitchen for a long time yet.
Connect with My Private Dining Room (and Shemma!) via these channels:
And now, the part you’ve been waiting for… I believe someone said something about a giveaway?!
When Shemma offered this gorgeous 18cm Mixed Berry and Lemon Butter Cake, I tried to convince her to just give it to me, but that didn’t fly. So we’re offering it to one of our lovely readers instead!
TO ENTER VIA FACEBOOK
- Like the pages for both Her Happy Heart and My Private Dining Room
- Comment on the giveaway post letting us know your favourite type of cake
TO ENTER VIA INSTAGRAM
- Follow the accounts for both Her Happy Heart (HerHappyHeart) and My Private Dining Room (MyPrivateDiningRoom)
- Like the giveaway post
- Re-post the giveaway post and use the hashtag #herhappycake (make sure your profile is set to public so we can see your entry)
You are welcome to enter via BOTH Facebook and Instagram to increase your chances of winning. Entries will close on Thursday 13th October. The winner will be chosen at random, announced via social media and contacted on Friday 14th October.
This giveaway is restricted to those living in the Perth metropolitan area.