Little Missy Patisserie is the passion of two dedicated sweet lovers, Oonagh and Peter, who are drawing an increasing sweet-loving clientele to their stall at the Salamanca Market each Saturday and the Farm-Gate Growers Market each Sunday in Hobart.
Being a purveyor of sweet treats myself, and a self-confessed addict of their Monte Carlo, Iced Vovo had to find out more:
Q: How long have you two been baking beautiful goodies?
A: Oonagh has been a pastry chef predominantly in fine dining for over 25 years, and has been baking goodies in Hobart for around 9 years now. We were a wholesaler to cafes for around 7 of those years. Myself, I have only been baking for our time in this business (in it’s various guises) thanks to the tuition from Oonagh.
Q: What attracted you to the baking industry?
A: Oonagh always had a passion for cooking even as a child, and loved the sweeter side of the art (as most kids do) and I suppose it just grew from there. She left school and started an apprenticeship when she was 16.
Q: When did you start your own venture Little Missy Patisserie?
A: As stated above, we had been a wholesaler in Hobart for around 7 years, (as Little Missy Muffin), then started doing the markets (Salamanca and the Growers Market) around 2 years ago, which we love doing so much, that we got out of wholesale pastries not long after starting the markets, and then completely last November (2012), and now solely do the markets. Little Missy Patisserie is only a recent incarnation, after dropping the wholesale side of the business. We are now looking at some of the food and other festivals that go on around the State, so keep your eye on the Facebook page for any announcements regarding festivals.
Q: Do you and Oonagh specialise in different things, say one does the cakes and the other biscuits) or do you both bake all the goods for sale?
A: To be honest Jo, I don’t specialise really in anything, I generally make the biscuit range and do a few things on site at the markets, but Oonagh is the force behind the business, with all the talent and skills. Oonagh is a very accomplished pastry chef (all be it very modest and a bit of a wallflower – happy to stay in the background) and from what I’ve seen, can turn her hand to most aspects of the trade and do them well.
Q: What is currently the most popular treat?
A: There are a few, it does depend though, in the warmer months, when there is a huge selection of locally produced fruits to choose from, anything with cherries, berries and stone fruits are always very popular. But as an all year round favourite, our lemon brulee tarts, traditional vanilla slice and baked cheesecake (in it’s various guises) are always very popular. At this time of year, we always bring the oven in and baked butter puff pastry turnovers on site, with various fillings (depending on produce available). These always prove popular, as there is nothing quite like the small of fresh pastries coming out of the oven, and you literally see peoples noses raising to the air to find out where the smell is coming from.
Q: What do you love to make the most and why?
A: Personally, I love making the traditional vanilla slice, as they always tend to draw a crowd, people love seeing them made in front of them, and appreciate the tips we give them on how to make them.
Oonagh loves to do the more technically difficult treats, usually large cakes, which have creative detail work on them, such as chocolate filigree, sugar work etc. Oonagh is a very creative person, who is a very talented artist over a number of mediums, but doesn’t tend to get enough time to persue them.
Q: What is the most technically difficult treat for sale?
A: Most of the products we make are not generally technically difficult to produce I qualify that with, not for someone with Oonagh’s experience and talent, as I find most of the pastry making side more difficult, and why I only make biscuits). We tend to focus on rustic, more provincial style treats, rather than the highly worked and detailed products you might find in some Parisian patisseries. We are all about the taste and texture of the product, being very mindful not to pack the products with sugar, so you can taste all the subtleties of the goodies, as you may well know being one of our customers. We both agree, far too many times when you buy a sweet treat, they can be almost sickly sweet, and you lose the flavours of the individual components.
Q: Have you got any new treats in the pipeline?
A: We have a few ideas, but you will have to wait and see, and check our Facebook page each week to see the menu.
Q: Do you tend to work seasonally in terms of deciding what to make?
A: We are always working depending on the local produce available. We are very committed to using as much local produce in our products as we can.
Q: Can people put in special orders?
A: We do, do large cakes from time to time, but it just depends on time constraints – family etc. Since we have dropped the wholesale side of the business, we are quite enjoying having a lot more family time, SLEEP and are not particularly in a hurry to fill up our time with work again, it’s all about striking a balance.
And I’m sure we all know how hard that can be! If you’re in Hobart over a weekend, or for those of you who live here, be sure to pop along to one of the markets and try out Oonagh and Peter’s Sweet treats – I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed!
PLEASE NOTE: LITTLE MISSY PATISSERIE HAS GONE FROM THE MARKET AND CAN NOW BE FOUND AT 151 ARGYLE STREET, HOBART.