Sunday, November 14, 2010


October, 2010

Mister Nice Guy Vegan Cupcakes

Mister Nice Guy Vegan Cupcakes

We were very excit­ed to learn that Aus­tralia has a new ve­g­an cup­cake en­ter­prise, Mis­ter Nice Guy. So we sat down with hus­band and wife own­ers Lu­cas and Deb for a se­ri­ous dis­cus­sion about all things cup­cake (of course it wasn’t a thin­ly veiled ex­cuse to sam­ple some of their de­li­cious new prod­ucts *cough cough*)


Cup­cake mas­ter­minds Lu­cas and Deb

Can you tell us a lit­tle about your­selves and how you came to start up Mis­ter Nice Guy Cup­cakes?

Deb Ev­ery­one shows their love in dif­fer­ent ways; Lu­cas shows his when he bakes. The first week I met Lu­cas he made me an Up­side-Down Pineap­ple cake, a Straw­ber­ry Short­cake, Mex­i­can Corn­bread and Jam­bal­aya, I fell in love with him very quick­ly and ev­er since then he’s just kept feed­ing me.

Lu­cas That’s right! That’s the way it’s done. I LOVE bak­ing and cook­ing. I’ve been bak­ing since I was about 11 years old. My fa­ther didn’t want me to have su­gar when I was a lit­tle kid be­cause they thought I had AD­HD (new studies show that lit­tle kids have lots of en­er­gy be­cause they are lit­tle kids).
I end­ed up go­ing to live with my great aunt Nan­cy when I was around 11 years old and I knew that she didn’t know about the rule of no su­gar, so when I came home from school I would open her cook books and start bak­ing cakes and whole trays of cookies my­self. It was heav­en on earth!

I nev­er stopped bak­ing and here I am now do­ing what I love to do. That’s why the cup­cakes are so good!

What’s the sto­ry be­hind your name, and shouldn’t it be Mis­ter and Mrs Nice guy?

Deb We al­ways had the idea of start­ing up a cup­cake busi­ness even­tu­al­ly; it was just a mat­ter of when. I’m a graph­ic de­sign­er and was giv­en a job de­sign­ing a shop sign for an old timey bar­ber which I de­cid­ed to name ‘Mis­ter Cuts’.The lo­go I cre­at­ed was a mous­tache and scis­sors. I re­al­ly liked it and kept play­ing around with the colours and de­cid­ed not to use it for that job in the end, but kept it for my­self in­stead for some rea­son…

Mis­ter Cho­co­late cup­cakes
The next night we went to a friend’s par­ty and Lu­cas made some ve­g­an cup­cakes, peo­ple there kept telling us that we should start our own busi­ness be­cause they were so de­li­cious, then when we went home and I worked on the lo­go again for Mis­ter Cuts – it just clicked that Mis­ter Nice Guy would be a per­fect name if we ev­er de­cid­ed to start our own busi­ness.
This was on­ly three months ago. It was re­al­ly weird be­cause things just start­ed falling in­to place and lit­er­al­ly within a few weeks, we had the name, the flavours and the style in mind and Mis­ter Nice Guy Cup­cakes was born.

As for the Mrs Nice Guy- I want­ed to be Ma­dame Awe­some at one stage but it didn’t have the same ring to it as Mis­ter Nice Guy. Maybe one day I’ll bring out some Ma­dame Awe­some Cookies or some­thing and kick Lu­cas’s butt.

One of the great things about your cup­cakes, aside from the fact that they taste amaz­ing, is that you go to great lengths to en­sure that all your in­gre­di­ents are ve­g­an and eth­i­cal­ly sourced. Was it dif­fi­cult to cre­ate a range of eth­i­cal and de­li­cious cup­cakes, and if so what are some of the chal­lenges you faced?  

Lu­cas The biggest chal­lenge was to find out how ve­g­an bak­ing works. I’ve al­ways baked but learn­ing how to bake ve­g­an meant learn­ing how to bake all over again. It took sev­er­al months, but once I fig­ured that out- it was just a mat­ter of what kind of flours and su­gars worked best and tast­ed best- in the end it was al­ways or­gan­ic.

Yes please.
Luck­i­ly, we live in Mel­bourne where there are so many ve­g­ans and cru­el­ty-free stores, it gave us im­me­di­ate ac­cess to what we need­ed, and thanks to this we dis­cov­ered that there are a lot of in­gre­di­ents in our cup­cakes that are good for you, like co­conut oil and Hi­malayan salt and Raw Ca­cao pow­der. Plus Mel­bourne has a great ve­g­an com­mu­ni­ty and we sensed that there was a need for ve­g­an cup­cakes and we felt we had to do it.

Another chal­lenge that I’ve faced is that I have come across peo­ple say­ing that some food items have been or­gan­ic but on­ly be­cause of mon­ey and not be­cause they are ac­tu­al­ly or­gan­ic. So that is on the top of our list of things to sort out. Deb and I are ac­tivists in many dif­fer­ent ar­eas and if some­one is go­ing around cer­ti­fy­ing food items as be­ing or­gan­ic and from sus­tain­able sources we are go­ing to hold them to it and find out whether they are or not.

Mister Nice Guy Vegan Cupcakes
Fresh off the pro­duc­tion line
You have a large range of cup­cakes on of­fer, rang­ing from tra­di­tio­n­al favou­rites like the cho­co­late and vanil­la, to slight­ly less tra­di­tio­n­al of­fer­ings such as the fuzzy ewok, red hot rid­ing hood, and zom­bie brains. what are a few of your favou­rites and why?

Lu­cas I love the Peanut But­ter Cup as well as the Lazy Way Lane cup­cake. I used to sell co­conuts to tourists on Lazy Way Lane in Key West Flori­da, it was a great lit­tle hus­tle I had be­cause the co­conuts were free and the tourists had to walk by me to get to the shops!

So I would just sit there and sell them $5 cold and $3 warm, and for a few dol­lars more when they came back through I would cut them open and make a spoon out of the husk so they could eat the co­conut in­side. That was an awe­some job and the tourists loved it!

Deb Fuzzy Ewok is my favou­rite, I want­ed so bad­ly to name one of them Ewok, I kept sneak­i­ly throw­ing it in there. Then we dis­cov­ered the best Vegie Burg­ers at a café called Em­pire Strikes Back Café who now stock our cup­cakes, so the name Fuzzy Ewok is stay­ing for good.

Al­so, the Zom­bie Brain Cup­cake rocks! Lu­cas frosts it in a way that it looks like a brain… mmm … de­li­cious!

What sort of re­ac­tions have you had so far, from both ve­g­ans and non ve­g­ans?

Lu­cas Our first frost­ing was way too sweet. So I looked in­to a very old fashioned frost­ing recipe that us­es 75 pre­cent less su­gar and us­es flour in­stead. The re­sult was an amaz­ing­ly creamy and not too sweet frost­ing that ev­ery­one loves! I’m so grate­ful for feed­back from our cus­tomers be­cause it re­al­ly can in­flu­ence things for the bet­ter.

I’ve al­so heard peo­ple tell me that they laughed when they heard we were go­ing to be selling ve­g­an cup­cakes and said it would nev­er work. Then they said that peo­ple were com­ing in­to the café all week­end ask­ing about our cup­cakes and that they had tons of busi­ness be­cause they were selling our cup­cakes in their café! So yeah it sur­pris­es non-ve­g­ans how great our cup­cakes ac­tu­al­ly taste and that’s what we’re try­ing to do – change that whole pre­con­cep­tion of ve­g­an food.

Orange cho­co­late cup­cake
You’ve had stalls at a few fes­ti­vals and more and more cafes are start­ing to stock your cup­cakes. How can peo­ple find you if they want to try some of your cup­cake good­ness?

Deb They can vis­it the café’s we sup­p­ly which can be found on the in­fo tab on our face­book page, other­wise con­tact us di­rect, we de­liv­er for free within Mel­bourne CBD and the sur­round­ing area, plus we love to meet our cus­tomer’s face to face.

What’s next for Mis­ter Nice Guy, are you plan­n­ing to take over the world, or at least Aus­tralia?

Deb We’d re­al­ly like to get our own bak­ery shop go­ing, so that peo­ple can come in and hang out and eat cup­cakes all day, watch a movie or play some old school Nin­ten­do games. The whole point is to make peo­ple feel nos­tal­g­ic and make it a place where ev­ery­one is wel­come.
We’d love to see our cus­tomers and friends ev­ery day and a shop front would be great way to do that. Al­so if we were in a good lo­ca­tion we could get non-ve­g­an strays in off the street who just want to eat a cup­cake and won’t even re­al­ize it’s ve­g­an – and hope­ful­ly they’d start feel­ing more and more com­fort­able with ve­g­an food.

For all your or­gan­ic, fair trade, ve­g­an cup­cake needs check out the Mis­ter Nice Guy Cup­cakes web­site, or vis­it the Mis­ter Nice Guy face­book.

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