Hi, I’m Diana, and for the last 10 years of my life, I’ve been literally obsessed with making bread as an artisan baker. For a time, it was sourdough, something I was passionate about.
In fact, I spent time traveling to Italy, Turkey, and Norway just to learn how to make the best sourdough possible. I believed in this so thoroughly that I gave up my career in civil engineering.
And then I got into personal training and nutrition education, and I saw a huge problem.
As I was working to help others, I discovered that so many people face challenges I didn’t realise when it comes to healthy eating. And further, I realised that my sourdough, while delicious, wasn’t as healthy as I had once thought it was.
I then gave up bread myself although I was still baking it at work every day. I became determined to find alternatives. But there were problems with those too.
I looked to gluten-free breads but those were full of so many questionable ingredients to make up for the gluten. Some of these were extremely high in calories, sugar, fat, starches, and additives.
Rice cakes were another thought though they were bland. Plus, they lacked nutritional value. There was nothing out there that was both delicious and nutritious.
So, I decided to start making my own.
I made a gluten-free sourdough with nutrient-packed buckwheat. It was great though it took me a lot of time and effort to make. Still, I wanted to share this goodness with more people. I wanted everyone in the country to have access to it.
But that was a problem too. The shelf life of freshly baked breads is extremely short. So, I began looking to ways I could make a bread alternative with buckwheat that was shelf stable, free of nasties, and of course, delicious.
Since I was born and raised in Estonia, I have been eating buckwheat as long as I can remember. In my homeland, it is a staple on the table, much like rice is throughout Asia. I knew it was nutritious and I missed the taste of it too. I felt like I could help it catch on here in Australia.
It was this purpose, this vision, which kept me awake each night after my baking job. I wondered how I could make buckwheat a more prominent feature here in Australia.
One year later in July 2020, after some trial and error, different manufactures, countless samples back and forward, packaging design dilemmas, laboratory testing, studying food legislation and food importing laws the very first batch of buckwheat bread alternatives had arrived.
I knew right then that I was on to something and made it my mission to spread it around. To share that love, nutrition, and the joy of wholesome food that actually tastes good.
AND STRAIGHT AWAY, PEOPLE LOVED IT.
In less than half a year all across Australia, my buckwheat cakes were in local stores first and then all over the country. They were great for 2 years and I felt like I was making a difference.
And then something awful happened…the war in Ukraine.
You see, my contract manufacturer, who had been producing these buckwheat cakes for me all this time was located there. I loved having my base there and supporting this developing country full of hard-working, good and kind people.
But the unpredictable war changed everything in an instant. Now it’s just not possible to import my stock from Ukraine.
I clung on to hope that the war would end before I’d run out of stock. Unfortunately, the war raged on and there was nothing I could do.
Now I had shops and customers contacting me. The good news was that everyone wanted more of my buckwheat cakes.
The bad news of course was that I needed someone else to manufacture them for me since I could no longer have it done in Ukraine.
You’d think that would be a simple fix, right? Wrong.
I reached out to many other manufacturers. Some could not guarantee the gluten-free levels that Australia requires. Others said it’s too hard to work with buckwheat and told me “no.”
It was then that I decided that I have to make this happen. I believe nothing is impossible and even with my only food manufacturing experience as bread baking, I’ve decided to dive right into the pool of risk by setting up my own manufacturing facility here in Northern NSW, Australia.
Every step of the way has been a challenge, but I’ve got my small factory up and running in South Murwillumbah, NSW. The support from customers has been amazing and they love that my buckwheat cakes are now made here in Australia. They say that these taste even better now that they are made locally.
Our Buckwheat Cakes are proudly made and hand packed in Australia since June 2022. Our small team makes them fresh every day and we can't wait for you to try them!