Having lived a gluten-free lifestyle for five years, Natasha Arbia wanted to use her passion for baking to show people that eating gluten-free doesn’t have to compromise on taste and quality.
Natasha inherited a love for baking cakes through her mum and grandparents, but a change in diet meant that she had to rethink how she prepared food and the ingredients she so often used: “I started to research the science behind gluten and what steps you had to take to recreate the properties. I experimented with my own flour mixes and eventually started to make delicious cakes again.”
Feeling unhappy in her office job and with the support of her family, Natasha decided that setting up a business was now or never.
The business-planning process made Natasha feel slightly overwhelmed, but after contacting The Women’s Organisation, Business Adviser Jo Mountfort helped to simplify the process and break it down into small tasks: “I started to feel really excited, motivated and believed that I really could do this.”
Jo helped Natasha to streamline her idea through regular meetings and access to training and courses: “Enterprise Hub has provided me with countless resources, spreadsheets and tools. Jo has been incredibly helpful, I come out of every meeting feeling empowered.”
Used to working in an office environment, Natasha considered herself a hard-worker and good at time-managing but worried about being the only person responsible for her own success – would she be as motivated under her own leadership?
But motivated, she was.
The Gildergreen is a gluten free bakery that sells fresh handmade cakes online and to local businesses. All cakes are made to order and catered to the customers vision, what Natasha believes is more special and unique than supermarket-bought treats.
Natasha told us it’s early days, but she is slowly and surely building up her social media presence and building the Gildergreen brand. She has several regular stockists including a space at Woolton Farmers Market and the university square farmers market who are keeping her busy. Natasha has most recently launched an online cake subscription service, sending out monthly letterbox-friendly selection of bakes alongside tea sourced from The Liverpool Tea Warehouse.
Now running her own business, Natasha is proud of the journey she’s taken to reach today and is relishing having the freedom to make her own decisions and work at her own pace.
And what does the future hold for Natasha? As the gluten-free industry continues to develop with variety, Natasha hopes to fly the flag for gluten-free treats across Merseyside and beyond.
She said: “I hope to have stalls at festivals and markets throughout the summer. Do come and have a taste of the Gildergreen bakes – even if you aren’t gluten free, you may be surprised!”
Natasha added: “The support from The Women’s Organisation has been invaluable and I don’t know what I would have done without it!”
You can find out more about The Gildergreen at its website or, if you’d like to contact Natasha directly, email email@example.com. You can also keep up with everything Gildergreen through Facebook or Instagram.
Enterprise Hub offers fully-funded expert advice and support to help you start your business in the Liverpool City Region. If you’d like to find out more about how our team can help you, then call us on 0151 706 8111 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
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