Women Of The Irish Food Industry – Laura Gannon, CakeFace Patisserie
Laura Gannon is half of CakeFace and now half of Face. I’m bad at maths but is she now half Cake, full Face?
I met Laura Gannon briefly, a few weeks ago. I was on a press trip, eating my way around Kilkenny (I know, I know, what a treat right? ). I’d had a big dinner in Rive Gauche and so I decided to skip breakfast and headed over to CakeFace. As you all know, in France, we love a sweet breakfast so to start the day with a delicate french style patisserie was a real treat.
As you can see from the below, Laura Gannon is a woman with a vision and she’s going to make it happen.
I’m talking to women the food industry. How did your career path bring you here?
I was originally working in property and finance in Dublin and always had an itch towards the food industry, I decided to take a career break and was lucky enough to be able to go to Ballymaloe for their 16 weeks course, from there an opportunity to go to France and worked my way up through pastry kitchens. After 2 yrs I headed to London and started work in the Savoy on the Afternoon tea section, I always had one eye on coming home to set up my own business
How does your career fulfill you?
I get to do what I love every day, I get to make my own decisions be creative and run with exciting ideas every day.
What are your professional ambitions? What’s next for Laura Gannon?
Next is our new food offering ‘Face’ that is about to open on Kieran St, Kilkenny, it is going to be very different to Cakeface and will have a lot more challenges to overcome.
In your opinion, what challenges women face in the food industry?
I think the challenges in the food industry are the same for both men and women, maintaining enthusiasm and passion when faced with the negatives such as anti social hours and poor pay and conditions.
Tell us of one woman in the food industry who consistently inspire you and why?
Anna Haugh of Myrtle restaurant because she is talented, genuine and an unassuming chef.
What do you think can be done to help raise the profile and visibility of women in the food industry?
Celebrating young female chefs and nurturing them, building a network of female chefs that inspires and mentors, encouraging collaboration not necessarily competition.
What was the proudest moment of your career so far?
We just finished Savour Kilkenny, myself and Rory were first up to demo on the main stage, I am always nervous speaking in public as I have come out with some whoopers previously, but the demo went really well, it was relaxed , fun and interesting (I hope) and we had a full house. It was lovely to hear the feed back from everyone and tell everyone about our new cafe and see how excited they are about it too.
What advice would you give your younger self?
If something isn’t working or making you happy, change it.
What are the top skills required to do your job and why?
Patience, ability to multi task and roll with every changing situations that aren’t alway in your control.
What is your go to comfort food when you’re under the weather?
Poached eggs on toast or our homemade blueberry scones with butter and jam or one of our brownies or an oatmeal cookie…. I like food too much, it all makes me happy.