The saying ‘just like nan used to make it’ couldn’t be more true for this Brown’s bay couple who have built a thriving baking business based on Nana’s special recipes.
Ann-Marie and Daren Nicholas are the husband and wife team behind Mummy’s Yummys, and they deliver us delicious fresh homemade baking (literally) every Thursday from the extended, commercial kitchen at their North Shore home. We were warmly welcomed with high tea and an array of baked treats to hear all about their sweet, sweet story.
Their delicious Jammy Tarts are to die for and are inspired by childhood experiences with both of their Mothers and Grandmothers. Ann-Marie would burn her tongue on the jam-filled tarts when she tried to grab a bite of the freshly baked delights hot from the oven. “I remember, as a child, these being baked… the smell and thought of eating them warm and unleashing the raspberry jam centre with a spongy lid was exciting,” Ann-Marie says. “The cross of flaky puff on the top was always so significant.”
Back in the day, Nan’s Jammy Tarts were known as ‘cheesecakes’. Why cheesecakes? “Well, when cheese and crackers were served, cheesecake (Nan’s Jammy Tarts) was the sweet accompaniment,” Ann-Marie says. The jammy tarts are a nostalgic treat for both Ann-Marie and the Farro family-being the first Mummy’s Yummys baking item to hit our shelves, and they’ve remained a best seller ever since.
The idea to start baking business had always been scratching in the back of Ann-Marie’s mind. Growin up, Ann-Marie was very grateful for the cooking classes she received at school and the baking lessons from her mother who still bakes every week at the age of 87. When Ann-Marie was only 15 years old, she bang jotting down her mum’s, nana’s and grandma’s favourite recipes and created a homemade cookbook that she still uses today. A few years on, Ann-Marie met Darren and had two children of her own. But it wasn’t until Ann-Marie’s lunch box baking became the talk of the school yard that she became inspired to become a professional baker.
“Our girls used to take my caramel slice to school in a Tip Top ice cream container wrapped in a ribbon for their friends’ birthdays. Soon, all of the kids started asking if they had any of their mum’s baking that day,” Ann-Marie says. “One day, the girls came home and asked: ‘why don’t you start selling it?” So Ann-Marie took the risk and quit her day job to turn her hobby into a deliciously sweet dream.
Along with her nostalgic jimmies and famous caramel slice, the Mummy’s Yummys range has expanded to cakes, bikkies, tarts, slices and more. As the business grew, Ann-Marie began searching for the next hottest baker, and the answer was right in front of her – her husband, Darren. “I’ve always loved baking and was inspired by my mother’s and grandmother’s passion for it,” Darren says. “My mother is now in her 70’s and still bakes every Monday!” Each treat follows a family recipe from Ann-Marie’s cookbook and is baked the same way Nan once baked- using just quality ingredients with nothing else added. “Back in the day, our grandparents used really good-quality eggs, butter flour and sugar and that’s the basis of our recipes too.” The pair are constantly busy weighing and rolling everything by hand, in a tiny commercial kitchen extending off their family home. “We’re baking pretty much every day, except Thursdays, when Ann-Marie is delivering to Farro and I’m giving the kitchen a through clean or doing ay extra baking that needs to be done,” Darren says.
For this local couple, it certainly is a family love affair for baking, and just like what the Nicholas kids used to do, we waddled out of their home with Tip Top ice cream container full of freshly baked Mummy’s Yummys treats. But we still had one last question: can we lick the spoon?
Find the full range in our Deli section near the coffee machine including their new bites.