Yummy Mummy's gaining momentum
Lovers may woo their Valentines with chocolate and flowers today but a Tararua couple will no doubt be saying it with cheesecake this year.
Trish and Alistair Rodwell founded their cheesecake business Yummy Mummy's in Woodville five years ago, and it now churns out about 100,000 cheesecakes a year.
They still operate out of their original State Highway 1 premises, but a factory kitchen, online and wholesale businesses and a second retail premises on Wellington's Lambton Quay have been added to the operation.
Trish Rodwell agrees success has been sweet, but it's been born out of sheer hard work.
"We really did the hard yards and we've both worked seven days a week for the last four years, leading up to now, and really got our base and our grounding and some capital behind us."
After deciding to become self-employed, the couple, formerly from Palmerston North, worked two jobs each for three years to build up the bank balance.
They chose Woodville because it was a connection to many places and had plenty of passing traffic.
Cheesecake was selected because Trish, a patisserie chef, had never found a good commercial one.
"We had never found that there was a great retail cheesecake product on the market with lots of flavours so we just thought it would be a good idea.
"And of course, in Woodville the overheads were low and if we could do it off our own savings ... then if it didn't work, it didn't work."
The Rodwells started off wholesaling to cafes and restaurants. Nine months ago they opened an outlet in Wellington city, which is proving to be a "busy, busy, little store". Online and wholesale businesses diversify the income stream.