15 June 2023

Meet the 'Nutty Nan' who is an expert in making yummy things

| Jarryd Rowley
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Natalie has been baking full-time for over a year, making a name herself on Facebook due to her brilliant cakes and slices.

Known as the ‘Nutty Nan’, Natelie has been baking full-time for more than a year, making a name for herself on Facebook with her brilliant cakes and slices. Photo: Supplied.

Natelie Tilden worked in the disability sector for more than 13 years, however following the fostering of her two grandchildren and with shift work becoming difficult to maintain, she needed a new way to stay productive.

It became clear that she needed something she could do at home while also being a rewarding occupation. Natelie’s answer? Baking!

“Being at home with not a lot to do was new to me,” Natalie said.

“I had quit my job and had two little kids involved; I wanted to show them that you can’t sit around and do nothing, you know? Life still goes on, you still have to make life work.

“I love cooking, it de-stresses me and helps me relax; one afternoon I just started off baking slices and thought I could make something from it.”

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After completing a supervisor course, getting the appropriate documentation from council and learning skills from YouTube videos, Natelie has started her own baking business – Nutty Nan’s Yummy Things.

“I’ve spent time on little websites like cake decorating sites for beginners, and things like that. I didn’t think I’d be able to do it as easily as I did,” Natelie said.

“It’s kind of like you’re making something out of nothing. While I’m doing it, I can’t help thinking, ‘Is this going to be part of somebody’s celebrations?'”

Believing that fresh is best, Natelie works out of her own kitchen and initially started out making slices. Her most popular are the caramel and hedgehog slices.

“It wasn’t until I made a birthday cake and posted it online that people really started to take notice,” the baker said.

“I put a post online and someone responded to it asking if they could have a similar one made for them.

“I started just doing it for other people, if they paid for the ingredients, I was more than happy to make it for them.”

Nutty Nan’s has only been running for just more than a year, but Natelie said she had already learnt so much from other bakers in the area and was determined to keep trying new things.

“Once I want to do something, that’s the end of it,” she said.

“I have had a lot of support from other bakers like Anita’s Bakes who have been terrific; they’ve been helping me out with a lot of little things on how to price things.”

Natelie said that at the beginning she treated herself like an apprentice – while she wasn’t necessarily making money, she was learning a lot and knew she was well on her way.

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“At the moment I’m looking into buying an edible printer – I refuse to use fondants, nobody wants their cake tasting like crap.

“I pride myself on how hard I work; most days now it is 9 am to 3 pm in the kitchen baking. Although the kids like getting involved every now and again, they know when I’m working, the kitchen is my office.”

Nutty Nan’s just celebrated its first birthday in May, and while Natelie said it had been a crazy ride, she still loved baking.

“One of the biggest highlights was when I got to do my first wedding cake,” she said.

“It felt really special to contribute something to a couple’s big day. It’s one of the reasons I love doing it, being able to give something special to someone’s important occasion.”

Looking to the future Natelie can’t wait to see what is in store and with all the baked goods she is creating, she’s going to need a bigger oven.

Follow Natelie and order some of her delicious Mars Bar slices on Facebook at Nutty Nans yummy things.

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