All of their little handmade cakes looked delicious…
But I narrowed my selection down to tasting only two – first the Chocolate Crunch…
And then the Lemon Polenta Cake…
But it was the Lemon Polenta Cake that went to the top of my list as my newly discovered favourite! It’s made from almond meal and coconut, with a deliciously tangy lemon icing and it’s also gluten free…
What I also loved about Manna from Heaven, is that the staff were as sweet as the cakes. After chatting to a couple of them, I asked if I could take a photo for my blog. This is Rosy, the Quality Controller, with her husband who was helping out on the day…
And this is me with Rosy…
Rosy kindly agreed to be interviewed, so that I could find out more about her and Manna from Heaven to share with you in my blog. Here’s what she said…
When did you start working at Manna from Heaven?
Could you tell me a little about the history of Manna from Heaven – who was the founder, how did it come about, etc?
The founder of the company, Rachel Grisewood, would say “it started with enthusiasm, a kitchen table and a whole lot of chocolate,” in a small North Bondi flat. The first product ever was Manna’s now famous Chocolate Crunch. That recipe, including that big measure of enthusiasm, hasn’t changed in over 18 years, and chocolate crunch remains one of our best loved treats.
Your title is Quality Control – what does that involve exactly?
My main duty as an Online QC is making sure that all of our products meet our quality standards. This involves the following:
- Monitoring the ingredients that we use. They must be of the highest quality and meet their producers’ specification.
- Monitoring our production, storage and dispatch processes to ensure that our customers get only the best Manna From Heaven products! We have systems in place to document each production and track the finished products.
- Sensory evaluation of finished products. This is the fun part! I smell, slice and taste random samples of each product made on any given day to make sure they look and taste their best!
Are you a qualified pastry chef?
No, I am a Food Technologist. I’m so lucky to work with a creative team of pastry chefs at Manna From Heaven!
Do you actually help bake the goodies?
No, I watch them as they are being mixed and iced :)
Do you bake at home or just take home goodies from work?
I couldn’t bake goodies as good as the ones handmade at Manna From Heaven, so... yes I take them home as a treat for my friends.
What is your favourite Manna from Heaven treat? Could you tell me what ingredients are in it (not the recipe itself, just enough information to not let out any secrets) :) Could you send me a photo of it?
It would have to be our luscious Passionfruit Curd Cake! It contains the goodness of fresh free-range eggs, New Zealand butter and passionfruit!
|Photo courtesy of Manna from Heaven|
What is your favourite thing about working at Manna from Heaven?
I love the culture we have here. It’s like a big family. We gather around a big lunch table every day and enjoy delicious meals that we take turns cooking.
When I met you at the Taste Festival, you were working at the stall with your husband. Does he work at Manna from Heaven full-time with you? What does he do?
My husband James is an aspiring entrepreneur. He loves the culture that we have at Manna From Heaven and enjoys getting involved in our activities from time to time. In December last year he helped us at Masterchef Live.
All 3 staff I met at the Taste Festival, including you, were so happy and friendly. Is your workplace at Marrickville always like that too?
Yes!! We’re a bunch of bubbly foodies! Being happy is also easy when you are around beautiful cakes all the time!
I love the name Manna From Heaven, as I’m a Christian and it comes from the Old Testament in the Bible. Do you know why this name was chosen for the business?
I’m not sure exactly why, but as you say Manna From Heaven is referenced in the Old Testament. The manna was apparently ground like flour and used to bake cakes, and itself was said to have had a sweet taste. While we can’t claim our cakes are from heaven, they are quite delicious and unique!
You mentioned to me at Taste that you are an internet junkie!! Do you have your own blog, or do you love reading other people’s? What do you love about the internet?
I love reading other people’s blogs, around a range of topics including food, social media, technology and business. I love the internet because it gives me access to knowledge, people, opportunities and ideas that would otherwise be difficult to reach. In those ways the internet makes my life richer.
Have you always lived in Sydney? Is there anything else about yourself you would like to share?
I was born and brought up in Jakarta, Indonesia. I came here to study Food Technology in 2002. I now live here. My favourite quote is “Anima Sana in Corpore Sane”, “a sound mind in a healthy body”!
Thank you Rosy!!
I have to say I was totally inspired by Rosy’s enthusiasm and her obvious passion for her job. Something I’ve been noticing a great deal lately is that there are many such inspiring young people around, which serves to encourage me that the future of our planet is in good hands.
The common “catch-cry” amongst these “young’uns” seems to be that they yearn to make a difference in the world. Their aim is to leave a noble legacy and make their lives truly count. I have a niece, for example, who has gone back to Uni as a mature age student with a vision down the track of making a difference in our natural environment. I have another niece who is already a qualified Graphic Designer, but has gone back to Uni to study law in the hope that she can “give back” to the community in a more substantial way. Then there is yet another niece who, although she could be earning a lot more elsewhere, chooses only to work for philanthropic organisations.
I don’t often mention my nephews in my blog, but what I will say here is this…I am so proud of the men they have and are becoming. What many nations are in dire need of, to put it simply, are a few more good men. Honest men, men of integrity, men of noble character. When I look at my nephews, I see such men and once again, feel encouraged for the future.
These are a few examples in my immediate family, but I suspect the humanitarian mantra, the heartfelt battle to save our environment and other worthy ideals, will continue to spread throughout the globe via our young people. I truly believe the youth of today will not be remembered for leaving a “carbon footprint” as their legacy; I believe their legacy will be their determination in rising up and pursuing a greater purpose and vision for the earth.
You may be able to tell that I think today’s youth are pretty cool. In fact, I get quite indignant when I hear older people speaking negatively about the younger generation. Just because there may be some “kids these days” that go off the rails, it doesn’t mean that all young people should be tarred with the same brush, so to speak.
We all need to be encouraged and cheered on in life, and this is especially true for young people who have so many more cares than I did when I was younger. I don’t ever remember having to worry about earthquakes, tsunamis, terrorism, human trafficking, and so many of the other issues of today. That’s not to say that these things didn’t happen years ago, but I’m just saying that things seem much more intense now. We need to believe in our young people – after all, they are our future!
Speaking of young people, but on a lighter note, one of my beautiful nieces is getting married on the weekend and we recently celebrated her Hen’s night at the Meat & Wine Co Darling Harbour...
As you can tell from the photos, the location and décor of the restaurant is magnificent; and the food was just as impressive!
A warm bread roll on arrival (such a simple starter, but it surprisingly got many a positive comment from the crowd)…
Creamy carrot & honey soup for entree…
There was a spectacular intermission of fireworks, which was an unexpected surprise…
A delicious main of Salmon Skewers, served medium-rare, brushed with teriyaki sauce and char-grilled to perfection. It was served with onion and steamed rice, and I loved the unusual presentation…
Also on the table was something I’d never seen before – black sea salt…
Then there was dessert and tea to finish; and what an amazing finish it was. The melt-in-your-mouth dessert was Crème Brulee infused with Madagascar Vanilla Bean, served with strawberries and finished with a tuile biscuit…
To top it all off, the service was impeccable and a great night was had by all!
I know it seems like I’m always eating out, but it has been a really busy time over the past few weeks. I just have to share with you another great restaurant I went to with a fun group of friends. It was Ginger & Spice at Neutral Bay (240 Military Road, Ph: 99082552)….
Only one of the five of us had been there before, so we trusted her to choose the best dishes (which she did, of course). I was looking forward to trying Singaporean food, as the only other Asian cuisines I've tried are Chinese, Thai, Malaysian and Vietnamese - after Ginger & Spice, Singaporean may just be my new favourite though! The food was fresh, spicy and simply delish!
We started with Hainan Gai Fan (Skinless Chicken Breast with rice and chicken broth…
Then Kangkung Belanchan (Malaysian Green Vegetables)…
Roti Bread with satay sauce…
Gula Melaka for dessert (a sweet rice pudding made with palm sugar)…
All I want to add about Ginger & Spice is that you just have to get there! You won't be disappointed!
I’m so blessed to be able to constantly hang out with young people, one of the great perks of having a huge extended family, with multiple generations (and still growing). The energy, imagination, creativity and compassion that comes with youth is contagious, reminding me of my own youth. It’s also helpful in maintaining a youthful outlook, which I believe is not about one’s age, but one’s attitude!
In my next post, I’ll be sharing about my weekend just passed, where I got to hang out with a great multitude of inspiring young people (and young at heart)…gathered together as one, united in the same purpose, determined to keep their dream alive – that is, to make the world a better place.
Until then, have a great week :)
Until then, have a great week :)