Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Exclusive interview with Hannah Banana Bakery!

I have recently been thinking about the subject of role models and noticing that all the stylish girls I like to look at are only about 18 years old. As I'm going to be hitting the big 3-0 this year, I thought it might be more appropriate to look for role models that are more my age! (More about this later)

My first "role model" (in what might become a regular subject post) is Hannah Pinchin of http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Hannah-Banana-Bakery/113780655363042 Hannah Banana Bakery.
Hannah has been one of my best friends for as long as I can remember and is the same age as me - but somehow manages to achieve soooo much more! She has recently set up her own Vegan/ gluten free cake business, is currently completing a Phd in something sciencey and also manages to fit in Roller Derby and a cake decorating course! Where does she find the time??

She has kindly agreed to answer some questions for me:

Me: When did you become a vegan and what inspired you to change your diet?
Hannah:  I became vegan in 2002 after having to cook for all my vegan friends all the time and only having veggie food in. I started reading up about the dairy industry and disagreed with it and how its messing up the planet and decided I didn't want to support that. I still miss cheese every day!

Me: How did you get into baking and when did it become a career choice rather than a hobby?
Hannah:  I've always baked since I was tiny as my mum used to make all our cakes for our lunch boxes but it wasn't until I became vegan that I started playing with recipes as its so hard to buy vegan cake in Southampton and I have a very sweet tooth! I noticed that a lot of bakeries provide vegan cake on request but it always costs more and its typically made by a non-vegan using recipes that haven't been perfected which I don't think is right. I've been studying cake artistry at Eastleigh college since September and veganising all the techniques and learning all the tips and tricks and thought why don't I give it a go? 

Me: What tips would you have for someone wanting to start their own creative business?
Hannah:  Brace yourself!! The paper work for an 'edible' business is unbelievable!! Registering as a business, kitchen inspections, changing your home insurance, your car insurance, getting public liability insurance, tax forms, website, logo, packaging and then there's working out your prices and making sure you don't want to have ANY spare time ever again! Aside from that I think you should follow your dreams and give everything a try!

Me: What inspires you when you are designing a new cake or recipe?
Hannah: I like veganising typically non vegan food like french fancies and chocolate eclairs. I like a challenge!
Me: What else rocks your boat apart from baking?
Hannah: Roller derby! I play for the Portsmouth Roller Wenches under the name Hanoffee Pie. Come support us and laugh at me getting battered!

Me: What item are you lusting over at the moment?
Hannah: I dreamt of having a huge Kenwood mixer to make huge batches of cakes and I got given one last week!!!!! Its bigger than me but I would marry it if I could :)

Me: How do you find time to pursue all your hobbies?
Hannah: I pretty much never sleep..! Life's too short anyway! :)

Me: If you could invite any 4 people to eat your cakes (dead or alive!) who would it be?
Hannah:  Jon Bon Jovi. I wouldn't need anyone else..one day Jon, one day...GUSH!

A yummy cake pop

Beautiful decorated cupcakes

Both if the items above are available as Mothers Day presents (in limited quantities so be quick!) from the following website: http://iammagpie.co.uk/iam/cupcakes.html
She also finds time (does this girl have a time machine???) to post vegan recipes for the Last Hours website ( http://www.lasthours.org.uk/content/blogs/cookery/ ) Even I am tempted to try some of these!

I wanted to put a few more pictures in here but I'm having a bit of a technical FAIL today! Maybe some more later...
I hope you've enjoyed reading this....I plan to follow this up with other inspiring late 20 somethings!

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