We sat down with Orlando, the mastermind behind Vanoir, the local cupcake artisans with a storied clientele. He was good enough to share the details of his craft, and how you can sample it for free!
Hi Orlando! First off, could you please share with the audience how you became the go-to persona in cupcake creation with world-class customers such as Angelina Jolie? How did you start from an Interior Design background and get here?
Hello! I think when you do things with passion and love, seeing your work come to life, your customers can feel the energy and want to experience it for themselves (or eat it!). I have always been a creative, but I was never a baker. I was determined to learn though and spent many years studying the art and science of cupcake creation, including months spent trailing recipes from renowned international bakers, including Magnolia in New York and Hummingbird in London.
This led to the creation of my own version of the French patisserie technique for buttercream frosting, which I first used when I started Black Velvet Sydney in 2014. I was fortunate enough to have some great clientele who loved our products and helped spread the word. Word of mouth can be very good for business, and it has certainly helped my journey.
It is an honour to be asked to create bespoke edible art.
It is evident you are gifted with a great deal of creativity. But I am curious. If on one hand, you’re a natural at design-thinking, where does the specific passion for cupcakes come from?
I used to live in Melbourne for five years, and I love the food culture there. So fresh, so inspiring! And the cakes there are all baked fresh. When I returned back to Sydney, my ex was complaining about the availability of good cupcakes, so I started to learn the art of baking on weekends from books and classes, and actually invested money and time to create my own recipes.
As it turned out, all my friends and colleagues started to order from me and that led from a hobby into a whole new business opportunity.
That is inspiring indeed! If you were to select a key factor that helped you achieve an international brand for yourself, and above all generate a long-lasting relationship with your customers, what would that be?
Treat all your customers like your friends or families. And be original.
One other characteristic that makes you stand-out is that you have embraced innovation. How did online come to play a role and impact your turnaround?
Social Media comes as snapshot advertising to showcase our new designs and collection. From there, it brings the potential clients to our online shop for a deeper look. Online has been our main platform in term of revenue, and one of the channels that help us connect with our international clients. We have had online orders come from agencies based in New York and London for their Sydney clients.
Speaking of online, you’ve just recently won the ‘Best of Sydney Cakes and Cupcakes 2017’ award for your artistry. Can you tell us how you use social media to boost your business?
We position our social media (Facebook and Instagram) as a platform to showcase our newest product collection, but we never use it to push into sales platform. Instead, we turned it into a motivational/inspiring idea that is engaging for our fans and clients, due to 80% of our followers being successful women.
And finally, we have great news for our audience in the Sydney area, Orlando and his team will be giving away free golden Gaytime cupcakes this Saturday. Orlando, do you want to tell us a bit more about this event, and the reason why you are hosting it?
Well, we have only recently opened Vanoir and we want as many people in the area to come and experience a little bit of Vanoir on us. With the recent YES vote, we are also happy to celebrate with our friends in the community in our way, so, we are giving away free Golden Gaytime cupcakes to celebrate YES!
For those interested in sampling the artistry of Vanoir, please head to 219 Glenmore Road Paddington, this Saturday 25 November between 10-2pm. For more information, follow the following link to the Vanoir website.