Nestled in a bustling area of Onehunga is the newly opened, Pasifika inspired cakery “Sweet & Me”
Owned & run by Bertrand Jang, Daniel Osborne and Elizabeth Koroivulaono, the business was birthed out of a dream by Fijian born chef, turned baker Bertrand.
With lots of late nights and long weekends after an old vege shop became available in April; mixed in with a whole lot of youtube tutorials and visits to Bunnings - the cakery was brought to life and recently opened to the public.
"I felt there was a need to showcase Pacific island sweets, the way we prepare it and most importantly the way we serve. Having a storefront has given me the ability to produce these treats and have a space to market them” says Bertrand
Sweet & Me specialises in decadent cakes and delicious desserts for any occasion - birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, graduations, office events or just good ol’ cravings.
Bertrand weaves flavours from different Pacific cuisines into his artistically designed creations. Some of his signature treats include: Fiji Pineapple Pie (fresh pineapple and coconut with a crisp coconut base), Cassava Cake ( a classic Fijian dessert fro the cold nights) and Masi (Fijian Motifs) painted macarons along side Kiwi Classics like Apple crumble and Lamingtons.
Step into the shop and you can instantly pick up hints of the Pacific in the decor; from the Fijian motifs on the logo, to the tropical flower cushions that look so inviting in the lounge area. When asked why this theme was chosen - Bertrand quickly and proudly says “Subsistence living”.
He is a strong believer in preserving his values and the ethos of traditional cooking, promoting local use of ingredients as well as encouraging other young chefs to acknowledge their heritage and infuse their culture into their menus and lifestyle.
Your cakes and flavours are styled with an island theme? Tell us more
Aesthetically, our pacific motifs and flora are visually inviting. This invokes special memories with Pacific and non-Pacific folks and this is our draw card. They relive that experience with one bite and get taken back when being given an island dessert.
I noticed you used coconut shells to serve your desserts and banana leaves to display some of them? Why is this?
For the main reason that I want our customers to know that every coconut is grated fresh and brought from the islands. Also back home, coconut shells are used to serve food in and we use banana leaves to bake in - so why not give Auckland the whole nine yards experience.
( Also once one shell is served up and seen in the markets, other customers flock to the stall to get the true island experience). And most importantly using the coconut shells is my way of saving our planet and sends the message out that we need to use more compostable packaging.
The shop is open Monday to Friday, 7am to 6pm and you can catch the team on the weekends at the French Markets.
In the meantime check out more of their mouth watering sweets below ...