Two young women baking changes for good in Cape Town

A feel good story about two girls, who are anything but cookie cutter.

by: Shaina Herman | 15 Apr 2014

Nerine Gardiner and Donna Ingram are two young ladies who excel in the subject of sweetness.  They don’t know each other but what they have in common is their love of sharing baked goods for good.  

These young women are pastry makers and entrepreneurs, women with tasty treats who have already experienced the value of ambition.

Girl with Cake, Nerine Gardiner, at 26, has made nearly a dozen of the most beautiful decadent cakes you’ve ever seen.  And she’s giving them away to people who need more cake in their lives, just to make them happy.

‘There's something about a beautiful, over-the-top, delicately frosted cake that, for a few moments, makes all the bad go away,’ Gardiner believes.  

Her bright smile and generous spirit is genuine when she approaches strangers on the street or children in the hospital with a cake that looks like it was made by a well trained pastry chef.

Nerine says wisely, ‘maybe it's the time and care that goes into planning, baking, frosting and perfecting. Maybe it's because we associate cake with celebration and joy. Or maybe it's just the idea that something delicious is waiting for us'.

'Whatever the reason, cake brings a unique happiness that everyone deserves to feel.'

'So, for those less fortunate, for those who've been dealt a raw deal in life, and for those who just deserve some more love, I'll find them. And, for a few moments, they too will feel the joy of cake.'

bakery, youth, cake

At 14, in grade 8,  Donna Ingram followed the path of her 89 year old grandfather who taught her how to make the 'best chocolate cake in the world' by starting Donna's Delicious Bakery (the grandfather still bakes by the way).

Ingram turned her lessons in the kitchen into a booming business that would send her on a dream school trip to Italy, where she can pursue her love of food.

When most young people expect a hand out from their parents or fool around after school, Donna is baking Turkish delight biscotti and amazing chocolate brownies (I’ve tried and tested both) to fund herself. 

‘I still get excited when I see somebody biting into one of  my pieces biscotti or a brownie for the first time, and they realise just how good it is'.

'I think that some of my clients, when they first ordered from me did so to help a young baker in her first business but once they realised that my products are good and that I was serious about my baking they kept coming back. And now, I have a number of people who have standard monthly orders with me!’

Donna’s trip is in March 2015 and the way the orders are going, she’ll have earned enough for spending money as well, because women like Donna never settle for the minimum.  

If you'd like to order from Donna Ingram, check out her website at Donna's Delicious Bakery.

bakery, youth, cake   
These two young people, Gardiner and Ingram are taking their worlds of ordinary food and making them something grander than simple.  And, they certainly deserved to be praised for it.

If you know of any exceptional stories that involved a passion for food, please email them to

Read more on: cape town  |  entrepeneurs  |  youth  |  food

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