Community & Business

23 March, 2023

Local produce is the flavour focus

WITH a focus on using locally grown food products as the main ingredients in her desserts, one local pastry chef is hoping to open people’s eyes to just how good gluten-free desserts can be and aims to one day make them indistinguishable from normal everyday treats.

By Rhys Thomas

Sareeta Zandbergen with a box full of all the local products she uses to create her gluten-free desserts
Sareeta Zandbergen with a box full of all the local products she uses to create her gluten-free desserts

Sareeta Zandbergen has spent close to a decade in the kitchen refining her craft but always felt her true calling was creating desserts.

She was able to begin walking down the path to her dream late last year when she opened Sweet N Sanity, a gluten-free dessert business running out of a converted refrigerated container on her property.

The business has only been open since November last year after Sareeta completed a pastry chef course in Brisbane in 2021 and gained her qualification.

It was in Brisbane where she first had the inspiration for Sweet N Sanity as her and her husband found themselves buying produce to bring back home that is already grown and readily available on the Tablelands.

“We were buying the things that were grown up here because we knew the brand, so we knew the quality,” she said.

“I was always going to return to the area and do desserts so my biggest push was to make all the flavours be local and to encourage everyone to support local businesses and buy their fruit from their local farmer rather than buy something from down south.”

To achieve this, Sareeta has incorporated several local growers’ produce in her business including Skybury’s papaya, Pinata’s pineapples, Golden Pride mangoes, Devine Vanilla beans, local citrus and much more.

“All of the flavours are locally sourced, if it is a mango cheesecake it is the mango if it is a passionfruit cheesecake it is the passionfruit,” Sareeta said.

“All the flavours incorporate something grown in our Tablelands area.”

Sareeta said she is happy to be a wholesaler of her desserts and have them sold in Tablelands shops and doesn’t have any current plans to open her own store, however she still does orders.

She hopes to one day master her craft and be able to make gluten free desserts that will taste just like their gluten-filled counterparts, so people won’t be able to tell the difference.

“It is so hard to get gluten free desserts that you like and don’t have a sandy consistency or is not dry, where people taste it and immediately know it is gluten free,” she said.

“For me, my goal is to make gluten free desserts that anyone can enjoy not just people who need it.

“If it is your birthday and you are celiac, I want you to be able to order a birthday cake and share it with your friends and family and they won’t be able to taste the difference.”


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