Rising with the sun, driving into the dawn along the coast of Banks Peninsula with a boot full of blooms is how a typical morning begins for Full Time Tart.
The boutique cake studio is a hidden gem, refined by the love of food and art and boosts of its divine flavours that compliment the ever-changing seasonal paletes.
With fresh produce sourced locally and a menu that nurtures in-season fruits and tastes, you can be sure that your tastebuds will be singing a sympathy of flavours with every bite of your wedding cake.
From simple, elegant cakes draped in flowers to the wilder rustic, bohemian styled cakes, Full Time Tart will craft your dream bespoke cake that enhances the uniqueness of your magical day.
Give us a classic, ‘First Day of School’ introduction of yourself.
Launching in August of 2020, it has been the most magic first 9 months of Full Time Tart. Full Time Tart was born out of a love of food, art, and grasping at the unexpected opportunities thrown my way from COVID. My professional background actually lies in theatre. I trained professionally as an actor and singer. I worked in theatre production and as an actor across NZ & Australia for a few years before returning home to take on something with a little more stability. I dabbled in office administration for about 18 months and throughout the COVID lockdown period. During this time, I lost a lot of my 9 – 5 work hours and began to crave something I could throw my everything into. I began testing and creating cake recipes that celebrated all the lush produce, just a stone’s throw away from me on the stunning Banks Peninsula. Rich, bold, and luxurious flavours were a priority for me when crafting what is now a product I am so proud of.
What are your top three favourite cake flavours?
I adore anything that celebrates what is in season. Fruits that have been so freshly picked they just sing with flavour. So right now, it would have to be the Dark Chocolate & Black Doris Plum or the Lemon, Elderflower & Gin.. this being said, Rhubarb is starting to come through, so I am very excited about the Port Roasted Rhubarb and Almond coming back on the menu. Ooooh, and one more. It’s controversial, but I LOVE a fruitcake. I start preparing this Christmas special around August. The fruits are soaked in Rum & Brandy for 4-6 months to create the most deliciously boozy, fudgy, festive affair. Topped with brandy butter icing and almond praline, I’m confident I can change your mind about a dry old fruitcake.
What have you noticed are the most popular wedding cake styles?
I think people are really leaning towards a refined, elegant, modern romantic style. Fresh florals, for me, are a must and are a great way to tie in with the rest of your theming and celebrate the seasons. What I really love is the multitude of ways a cake can be displayed. Using your floral archways to frame the cake is an incredible way to repurpose your stylings throughout the day and really make a centrepiece of your cake.
Talk us through a typical day?
Ah, no day is the same. But that is what I love!
To pull out a few of my favourite parts of the weeks, I’ll start with a 6:30 AM trip to meet our flower grower as they pass through en route to the Christchurch flower markets. Nothing sets up a day better than sunrise and a boot load of the most beautiful blooms.
I’ll then get to the kitchen to add final touches and bake orders for the following day before heading off to make deliveries.
While in town it a great opportunity to be restocking ingredients and take meetings.
I am usually back in the kitchen by the afternoon, icing and baking more cakes.
By now it’s time to pour a wee glass of wine and check in on emails & admin.
If you could go back and tell yourself anything during your first month of business, what would it be?
I would say don’t be timid about what you have created. You have crafted a beautiful product. The time and love that has gone into making the whole customer experience is something to be extremely proud of in such a short amount of time.
What is something you love to treat yourself to?
Ooo, if I have a spare 4 hours, I would usually be back in the kitchen cooking up a big pork belly for my loved ones. But that makes it sounds like I live in the Kitchen. I would just say that food is my love language. You might catch me up skiing, out surfing exploring new restaurants and cafes around Otautahi.
Favourite soundtrack to listen to while you are working?
I have an ever-changing playlist on my Spotify called “Full Time Tart Kitchen Mixtape”. It features artists like Jessie Ware, Lake Street Drive and the odd dose of Spice Girls or Sugar Ray throwbacks. I also love listening to podcasts. The Off-Menu podcast, Love Stories by Dolly Alderton, & Table Manners are currently top played.
Photography: Suzannah Blatchford | Sophie Isabella Photography | Nancy Zhou | Emma Brittenden