What do you get when you combine loads of chocolate, cake and a pinata? If you answered a rocking great party, you’re on the right path. A Smashcake, the brain child of Kylene Lovat, is basically a pinata and cake in one lovingly constructed from chocolate. Whilst every Smashcake is unique and painstakingly put together, they don’t last long! The idea is to use either the chocolate novelty hammer or a good old fashioned rolling pin to crack through the chocolate shell liberating the treasure trove of confectionery within.
Naturally they are a big hit (pun intended) at kid’s birthday parties but they also add a fun touch to almost any occasion. Kylene creates Smashcakes for weddings, corporate functions and fund raising events. A Smashcake has even recently taken pride of place at a 90th birthday celebration, proving that they are wonderful for both the young and the young at heart. There are a number of basic designs on the Smashcake website to chose from. Alternatively Kylene consults with clients to come up with the party center piece of their dreams.
Comedienne Dawn French, 54, once quipped “there are two kinds of women; those who like chocolate and complete bitches”. At this rate Kylene is on track to becoming Dawn’s best friend forever. For Kylene chocolate is more than just an indulgence, its a lifestyle. She has dabbled in chocolate making since the age of 8 and has owned various bomboniere businesses over the years. Whilst she has a background in hospitality, chocolate is her first love and she has always been determined to channel this passion into a business venture.
The inspiration for Smashcake came 4 years ago when a close friend gave her an unusual gift. It was a chocolate box (literally) filled with sweet treats. Kylene was impressed by this novelty and it inspired to experiment with cakes shaped from chocolate. She set to work on a few prototypes which she then photographed to create her first brochure. This was strategically placed at her sons’ daycare centre, St Judes in Randwick, and the orders began steadily rolling in.
Kylene is mother to Haiden aged 7 and Jesse aged (nearly) 5. She has a part time job on top of managing the Smashcake enterprise. To say that her hands are full is the ultimate understatement. Luckily her husband and parents have been 100% supportive from the word go. Also running the business online has given her the flexibility to work around her other commitments. Its meant some late nights and early mornings but her long term vision keeps her motivated.
On the positive side, parenthood has benefited the business in a number of ways. Firstly being a Mum has given a Kylene an invaluable insight into the market. It’s provided her with a real understanding of what kids enjoy and want. In fact Jesse whose enthusiasm for Smashcake matches her own, is a font of inspiration. Perhaps more importantly, parenthood has given the business a ready made marketing network through daycare, school and sporting activities.
Kylene is a great believer in social media and maintains an active presence on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Other than that the business is self advertising. The people who attend the parties and functions tell their friends about the amazing Smashcake and momentum gathers through word of mouth. It’s been a gradual build but with Jesse about to start school, Kylene is ready to step up to the next level. She currently operates mostly in the eastern suburbs but plans to take the Smashcake concept Sydney wide.
Whilst life is often frantic, Kylene remains completely in love with her craft. She thrives on coming up with new designs and would happily spend her free time creating art in the kitchen. The most rewarding part of the whole adventure has been the feedback from satisfied clients. She is surprised and touched by the number of phone calls and emails she gets singing her praises. The enjoyment she has brought to families makes the hard slog worthwhile.