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Day of Reflection

By gingerbread folk
All has gone quiet here today. No baking as we are clearing the kitchen in preparation for installation of our new oven this morning. It’s really big…In fact you can walk inside it. We have been waiting 10 years for this one!

A lot can happen in a decade. A lot can influence the paths we take. The pause in baking today, has given us a moment to reflect on where we have been and where we are going.

In 2001, cutting the umbilical chord with the corporate world, we set off on a journey that would change our lives and steer us in a direction neither of us had ever imagined. Leaving behind a fast paced Sydney lifestyle and experiencing the beauty and timelessness of the Australian outback, allowed us to think freely. With no consumer bombardment telling us who we are or who we should be, new possibilities and passions were born. This change – this time of reflection – provided the space to visualise a dream.

Over the years, we’ve had plenty of advice on what we should and shouldn’t do in business, and how-to and how-fast we should grow it…But it seemed to us, to be important to allow growth at the pace that suited and would ensure balance in our lives. (Can’t say that was an easy lesson!) Taking the time to plan which years would be ‘growth years for the business’ and which would be ‘growth years for our family’ paid off and resulted in 2 young eager gingerbread consumers to boot!

It’s been a long journey from selling gingerbread men to our local swimming centre in Perth…From first thinking there should be more gingerbread men in the world! The passion to make this happen has never been extinguished. There have been years sourcing environmental packaging, researching egg-free icing and playing with shapes and styles of gingerbread. We now have customers all over Australia, from large corporations to small social groups, bride and grooms, to mums with bubs.


We are inspired by the way our products are received by people of all ages and backgrounds and continue to work to create products for friends and fans to enjoy gingerbread year round and for every occasion.

Sometimes it is nice to stop and reflect…Anyone for gingerbread?

Giving a little back to the community

By gingerbread folk
We at Gingerbread Folk have a strong belief in giving back to the community. One of the lovely things about owning your own business is that you can choose to support the charities that you believe in.

Inspired by the work of the amazing volunteers that dedicate so much of their time to providing a ‘home-away-from-home’ for families of children with serious illness, last year at Christmas we donated gingerbread house kits to Ronald McDonald House in Randwick.

One of Australia’s most notable food writers and tv chefs Janelle Bloom dedicates time each week as a volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House in Randwick and in 2008 she was appointed ambassador for the house.

Janelle approached us about participating in last year’s Christmas event at the house and we were over the moon to assist.

We donated gingerbread house kits for the children along with our egg-free ready icing and decorating boards and we received this wonderful message recently from Janelle about the event that we would like to share with you:

“xmas eve when the rest of us are getting ready to enjoy festive season with family & friends we should remember that there are many not so lucky. Ronald Mcdonald House is still full with families and kids whose treatment does not stop for the holidays. So xmas eve I gathered kids around tables for a few hours we had a ball making the gingerbread houses, eating too many lollies that were suppose to be on house. Some of the beautiful houses went up to nurses & doctors at the hospital while others couldn’t bare to part with their creativity. Some wonderful members of the local community came in to cook xmas eve dinner and spread the cheer.

No one who stays there feels sorry for themselves, they just get on with the hand they are dealt.”

The Ronald McDonald House has now been helping families in Australia for 30 years and Gingerbread Folk are looking forward to assisting again where we can to bring extra joy to the house.

If you would like more information about Ronald McDonald Houses around Australia and what you can do to help head over to http://www.rmhc.org.au/.

If you would like more information about our delicious gingerbread houses please feel free to visit our website.

Psychology of eating a gingerbread man

By gingerbread folk
Have you ever caught yourself wondering which part of the gingerbread man you should eat first? Do you chomp off the head quickly or do you devour each limb slowly?
Some psychologists believe there is a link between how we consume our gingerbread men and our personality types.
Teresa Brunner is a journalist for The Examiner in the US and we found her article on the issue, particularly interesting.
Brunner referenced a study conducted by American brand Dunkin Donuts upon their release of their gingerbread man.
They hit the streets and asked more than 500 people last November how they munch on these cookies. The results were sent to Dr. Alan Hirsch, Neurological Director of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago. 
The report conduced “If one chooses to bite the head first, it indicates an achievement-oriented individual, a natural leader, who won’t take no for an answer. If the initial bite is the right hand, it reflects an individual who tends to be skeptical and pessimistic, while those who initially bite the left arm have a flare for creativity and are more extroverted. Those who first choose the legs tend to be more sensitive, revealing in the company of others,” he said.
64% of respondents in the survey start at the top by eating the head first. 20% go straight for the legs, while only 16% begin with the arms.
We recently asked you on our facebook page how you eat your gingerbread men. Do the results of this study reflect your personality?

Why we believe in saving our chickens

By gingerbread folk
If you have been following us on twitter you may have seen our link to the Free Betty campaign. Animals Australia is the second largest national animal protection organisation. They have an unprecedented track record in investigating and exposing animal cruelty.
Just one of the Animals Australia campaigns we at Gingerbread Folk support is the Free Betty campaign. Freeing Betty is all about how we can all play a small but important role in freeing birds from cruel egg facilities.
Our products including our royal icing are all egg-free. After much research and development we succeeded in creating an egg-free royal icing. We believe that no chickens should be imprisoned in battery cages to create our cookies.
The birds that lay Australia’s ‘cage-eggs’ never feel the sunshine, never beat their wings and are forced to live in spaces smaller than one A4 sheet of paper.
Over 12 million day old male chicks are gassed or grounded up alive each year as they are an unwanted by-product of egg production systems. Female chicks are de-beaked.
Sharing their space with thousands upon thousands of other hens, they will not be able to stand, dust bathe (which is important to keep their feathers free from parasites). Occasionally they becoming de-feathered from rubbing up against the cage wires. Studies show 1 in 6 hens inside battery cages live with broken bones. Others die unnoticed.
The birds are killed when their egg laying rate declines at around 18 months of age, compared to a natural life span of about 12 years. 
It takes approximately 30 hours for each of Australia’s 11 million battery hens to produce just one ‘cage egg’.
Operators are unfortunately protected by a ‘code of practice’.

So what do we do to help Free Betty? We don’t use eggs. What can you do to help Free Betty? Buy free range eggs.
Head to the Free Betty website for information as to how we can all take action.

A Little More About Us

By gingerbread folk
Good morning Gingerbread friends.
This week we are focusing on letting you know a little more about who we are and what we’re doing.
Gingerbread Folk is the creation of Blue Mountains based Karen Sharman. Whilst practising as an architect Karen began playing with a gingerbread recipe, drawn to the artistic design process, she refined her style of decorating gingerbread. 
Combining her ability to design, with her passion for baking and a keen eye for spotting a demand in the marketplace, Gingerbread Folk was born.
Karen began baking from her home kitchen, with a few cutters, a mixer and 1 rolling pin, but it soon became clear that more space was needed and the business now operates from a commercial kitchen and warehouse in the Blue Mountains.
Gingerbread Folk uses the finest quality ingredients in their cookies and have a strong loyalty to using all natural and egg-free products.
      “We don’t support the use of battery hens, and we aim for cruelty free philosophy”.
10 years later Karen’s gingerbread products have travelled the world and have received phenomenal praise from the fine food industry, media and delighted customers. With the assistance of her husband Dominic Mason who joined the business in 2008, and a small team of helpers, Karen is very much hands on with all aspects of her business.
Karen’s attention to detail fused with her vision of an environmentally sustainable business has resulted in a high demand for production of her products. Gingerbread Folk’s packaging uses 
compostable wrappers, chlorine free and recycled cardboard to further cement this ethical vision.

Gingerbread Folk now produces cookies for retail purchase, foodservice, corporate gifts, events, wedding bomboniere and is constantly innovating new ideas.
      “Gingerbread makes people happy. It’s a timeless concept that brings out joy and appeals to old and young alike”.

For more information about Gingerbread Folk products head over to www.gingerbreadfolk.com.au

Don’t forget that Gingerbread Folk will be at Taste of Sydney this week from Thursday 10th to Sunday 13th. Drop in to say hello and meet the Folk behind the delicious cookie.

By gingerbread folk

Welcome to the Gingerbread Folk kitchen. Here we create all natural gingerbread using the finest pure ingredients. Our cookies are egg-free and wrapped beautifully in sustainable packaging. We have set up this blog as a space for you to grab a coffee, crowd around our bench and find out about what’s coming out of our oven.
We will provide you with weekly reports as to where our little treats are popping up in conversation and on shelves.
We also vow to let you know when we will be out and about and how you can become involved with Gingerbread Folk.

This year is a very exciting one for us and we have lots to tell you. But not all at once. Follow this blog to stay up to date and we’ll tell you some of our secrets.

To begin with, if you happen to be floating around Sydney between March 10-13, head on over to the Taste of Sydney in Centennial Park. This marvellous festival brings together the finest food products available on the market and some of Sydney’s best chefs to create a wonderful atmosphere of good food, good wine and good fun.
You can find Gingerbread Folk on Stand E. Pop over, say hello and grab some yummy gingerbread. Karen and Dom, owners of Gingerbread Folk will be delighted to meet you.

Finally, we always love to hear from you – so drop in with a comment.

Until next time – happy eating.