DELICIOUS: Melanie Stevens has been voted the best home baker in the Banana Shire.
DELICIOUS: Melanie Stevens has been voted the best home baker in the Banana Shire.

Mum’s passion for baking leads to successful business

MELANIE Stevens is a mum, wife and farmer and now her skills in the kitchen have had her voted Banana Shires best home baker by our readers.

Mrs Stevens has been baking for more than 30 years, ever since she was a little girl.

“I love food. I enjoy whipping up something and trying to get a different result out of it each time,” she said.

“I’m no professional, I’m just self-taught but it’s something I really, really enjoy.”

The mum of four started her small business Red Cherry Kitchen about five years ago after her youngest child started school.

Melanie Stevens with her mum Jen.
Melanie Stevens with her mum Jen.

“It’s just a tiny little business I run from home, more of a hobby business,” Mrs Stevens said.

“I do enjoy it and it saves us eating everything, I can palm it off to other people.”

The business has grown steadily over the years and allows Mrs Stevens to share her delicious creations with people across the region.

“I decided to give it a go to make some pocket money, and it just gently grew from there,” she said.

“I’m pretty keen to see where it goes and who knows, down the track I might do something with it.”

Although she enjoys baking all types of treats, she said cake would have to be her all time favourite.

The popular date and walnut loaves.
The popular date and walnut loaves.

“I really love cake. I absolutely love eating it, but I do love mucking around and layering things up,” Mrs Stevens said.

“I don’t sell cake because it’s too stressful, but I really enjoy cooking basic cakes and slices.”

However, it’s her famous fudge, macarons, melting moments and date loaf that the locals love most.

So much so, that she was voted Banana Shire’s Best Home Baker as part of the Central Telegraph’s “best of” competition.

After many nominations and votes, Mrs Stevens took out the competition with 61 per cent of votes, followed closely by Ellie Verschaeren.

“I was just so surprised,” Mrs Stevens said.

“I’m just this girl out in the bush with her kids and husband on the farm.

“I would not have expected at all but I’m glad everyone enjoys what they get out of me.”

She wanted to thank her mum for the skills and recipes passed on and said she still has and uses the first little cookbook she had as a girl.


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