Nodo Donuts- Interview with Kate Williams

November 11, 2016

Newstead, home to the notoriously indulgent Chester Street bakery, has a new rival to contend with. Nodo, a cafe specialising in gluten free donuts, provides nutritious and delectable treats to those among us with dietary sensitivities. And to those free to consume whatever we wish, Nodo gives us a guilt free snack. To understand the motivations and brains behind this new haven, I spoke with the creator, Kate Williams; discussing with her, the inspirations and steps in creating her business. In addition to chatting with the founder herself, I also sampled Nodo’s offerings,and  relaxed in their chic minimalist cafe coupled with a quality coffee.

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What first inspired the idea of Nodo?

KW: Nodo was about putting the fun back into food. I struggled when I was younger with digestive issues and it kind of took the fun out of food. Everything became very serious and I wanted to bring some lightness into my world by making healthy baked treats that could be enjoyed guilt free.

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Does coeliac disease solely motivate your passion for selling with special dietary requirements?

KW: Originally it did, however after starting the business I felt a duty to help people with other dietary requirements because I know how it feels not being able to eat certain foods. Obviously we can’t cater for all dietary requirements but we try our best to cater for a large majority with gluten and dairy free options.

What would you say to someone with a food allergy who has been told to simply avoid the foods they are allergic to?

KW: I remember feeling so devastated when I was told I couldn’t eat certain foods that I once enjoyed. However it’s just about adjusting and changing habits. We are also so lucky that everyone is aware of food allergies now and a large majority, if not all cafes and restaurants, are more than happy to cater for you.

If you could eat any snack, what would you choose?

KW: I love snacking on our raw donuts!! I don’t think I go a day without one.

Do you have a favourite Nodo donut flavour?

KW: Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake with Pistachio Crumb and the Strawberry Hazelnut – depending on my mood.

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Were you nervous about starting a business with such a niche market?

KW: I went into this business with nothing but good intentions and a very positive attitude. I was very cautious during the recipe development phase and spent a long time perfecting the recipe so that it had broad appeal. You don’t have to have food allergies to enjoy our baked goods. In the product testing phase, I was careful not to minimise my market. My husband, Nick, would often play the role as taste tester.

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How has your experience been being a woman in small business?

KW: This journey has been so empowering for me. I have met so many likeminded people and everyone has been nothing but supportive of me.

If you could speak to your former self two years ago – when you launched Nodo, what would you say to her?

KW: Don’t be fearful. When opening the first cafe I was so overwhelmed that I didn’t enjoy the process as much as I should have. It is by far the scariest thing I have ever done, but it’s also been the most fulfilling experience. In the opening of the newest store in the city, I was able to enjoy the process of making decisions for the store and didn’t fear these choices.

What kind of activities do you enjoy outside of work?

KW: Starting a business takes up a lot of time. I would love to say that I have mastered the work/life balance but at this stage I am still working on that… I find all my time is spent working in or on the business which I love so much, but I do try to get out and about and experience different cafes and restaurants. I also love catching up with friends and walking my beautiful boston terriers.

Clearly you’re passionate about healthy food, would you say that effects your life ‘philosophy’?

KW: Eating the right foods transformed my life for the better. Eating healthy is a lifestyle. I don’t believe in diets or calorie counting, just eating a balanced diet and enjoying treats guilt free.

Meeting Kate was such a pleasure; she is a warm and bright person who is clearly passionate about her business. She is hands on in the store, both out the front with customers and in the kitchen baking.

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To discover how Kate makes her delicious donuts, and more about Nodo, check them out on the links below:

Website

Facebook

Instagram

 

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AUTHOR: Hannah Tate

IMAGES: courtesy of Hannah Tate

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