16 Mar 2017

The Brownie Businesswoman: Kate’s story.

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The Brownie Businesswoman: Kate’s story.

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When local stay at home mum, Kate Jenkins first introduced her brownies at a dinner party, little did she know that her first batch of brownies would transform her into the award winning business woman that she is today.

Kate Jenkins is your average mum- with the exception of the 6,000 brownies she bakes every week for her award winning company Gower Cottage Brownies.

Her small cottage on the Gower Peninsular has survived an extension on the extension and is now undergoing another, to comply with the growing demands of her successful business. This is just one example of how women are narrowing the gap between the sexes in the world of business. So successful has her cottage industry business become, that her husband, who initially thought that Kate’s Brownies was a ‘housewife’s hobby ,’has given up his full time job to project manage and develop the business further.

We interviewed this dynamic businesswoman and award winning brownie maker in order to find out what it is like to run a successful business as a woman in today’s economy; where statistics show that the number of stay-at-home mums is at a record low, falling by more than 50,000 in 2013. So with more and more women in the workplace, Kate’s story is truly an example of women breaking the stereotypical barrier and going to the male-dominated workforce.

The journey of her brownies began when she decided to combine two different brownie recipes to create her ‘secret brownies’ for a dinner party. They were an instant hit with many of her friends and family asking for more. This was just the start of her story.

As Kate says “A local village shop opened in Llanmadog, and it was being run by my father in law- they set up the shop and the community started baking cakes and making sandwiches to sell in the shop. So I thought why don’t I start making brownies in that shop?

With high praises for her brownies, the tourists and locals loved them and soon her business was thriving, she received requests from the tourists such as “is there anyway we can have these brownies at home?”. So she took them up on their requests, made some brownies, put them in a box, and posted them to her neighbors- as a ‘trial and error’ run. To her surprised they arrived in one piece so she decided to establish her business online by using a few pictures of her own. She developed her business further afield by sending free brownies, in their unique packaging to editors of food magazines and newspapers with her business card. Her entrepreneurship paid off and she was rewarded with fantastic reviews in national newspapers and magazines. The Good Food Magazine called them “the best brownies we have ever tasted BY now her regular and loyal customers include Richard Curtis & Emma Freud and The Welsh Rugby Squad.

The Head of Business at Ysgol Gyfun Gwyr says that “Kate is an excellent example of a woman in business who has succeeded with an idea she believed in and along with many other successful business women in Wales developed this to its potential.” She also stated “…although there are more women going into business it’s still very much dominated by males- by 75%. Research by ‘Virgin’ states the reason that the industry is dominated by males is the fact that men are much more outgoing and confident than most women.”

It is quite clear that women such as Kate are fast catching up. She is a clear example of a stay at home mum putting her stamp on the business world- by doing what she does best – baking brownies! So if you ever find yourself on the Gower Peninsula in need of a sweet treat, these may be just the thing for you.
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