Keeping it short and sweet with business owner, entrepreneur and all round babe, Madeleine Mikhail.
I first met Maddie when she supplied our cafe with delicious cupcakes. She stayed in my orbit through hospitality, shifting her game to scrumptious cookies you can find in cafes all over Sydney – Luke Avenue.
She’s recently started a new venture and spared a few minutes last month to answer some of my curious questions.
1. Was it always an entrepreneurial path that you were going to tread or is alternate timeline Madeleine in a different industry?
I feel like I’ve carried the entrepreneurial DNA since I was a kid. But I didn’t actually catch onto it till I was in my 20s.
2. How did you start and what did you find most challenging in the early days of baking and business?
I started by accident.
I never baked in my life but for my mums birthday I decided to bake her a cake. Not understanding the science of baking, I thought a best selling cook book by Nigella Lawson had a typo: “What!! 4 cups of flour, 3 cups of sugar and only 1/2 teaspoon of bi carb??! No I’ll put 1/2 a cup of bi carb.”
Needless to say that cake turned out in dramatic form and tasted awful. By the time I buttered the cake and served it to the whole family I had caught the baking bug and I was hooked.
Memorable birthday indeed. People decided only to eat the icing.
3. What inspired the new company, Raw Gotham, and the name itself?
Raw Gotham came from a place of love. I’ve always wanted to do protein balls but the reason why it actually went ahead was because I had hired way too many people and didn’t want any of my crew to lose hours or their jobs.
I’ve loved eating protein balls but never seemed to find one out there that tasted good and was healthy, so we, as a team, came up with 3 flavours and stayed true to the cause whilst satisfying our needs.
4. Do you have a dream business you’d love to found one day or have you already nailed it with your existing companies?
Yes! Feed the homeless!
I want to work closely with Oz Harvest and organisations that take care of my community.
5. If you could tell young Madeleine one thing, what would it be?
Haha, I would say to her it doesn’t matter that you suck at school, EQ is more valuable. It’s the reason why I’ve been in the business and have sustained relationships with my community and customers for so long.