For some of the best chocolate brownies, cakes and sweets around, Four Seeds is a sweet tooth’s little piece of heaven. We caught up with founder and baker extraordinaire Mim Gollan, to discover more about the flavoursome delight that is Four Seeds.
For those who don’t know, how would you describe your work?
Two words — chocolate brownies. Or four words — salted caramel chocolate brownies. Or, if you (like me) have coeliacs, or an intolerance to gluten, then you’ll want to hear six words — gluten free, salted caramel chocolate brownies (but don’t tell the gluten lovers – they’ll never guess). Four Seeds’ retro kitchen cupboard pops up at events and festivals around Adelaide, serving up soul-nourishing chocolate brownies and a range of other small sweets. I have a couple of feeding philosophies, first and foremost that sweet treats should be satisfying, and second that even people with special food needs should be able to enjoy flavourful food. At Bowerbird I will have gluten free, dairy free, vegan and sugar free options –so hopefully no one has to miss out on a little energy kick to fuel their shopping experience. Also, when I’m not popping up around Adelaide, I create buttercream cakes for special occasions like weddings and birthdays and I supply small sweets to a number of local cafes.
How did the Four Seeds’ journey begin, what is your story? Who or what inspired you to begin?
I’ve always loved creating delicious and wholesome food, and even better if I can share it with others. When I was a toddler Mum had to balance me on her hip whenever she was in the kitchen, I had to watch what she was doing. After a decade of working in an office environment, I wanted to ditch the days of fluro lights and leaving the office as the sun set. I tested the waters with Four Seeds as a weekend hobby and my ever-patient boyfriend and I spent weekends baking and attending markets. Over time Four Seeds has grown to be my full-time profession (but is still Jesse’s weekend ‘hobby’).
What are your current artistic influences and what inspires you to carry on doing what you’re doing?
My Instagram feed is full of magnificent buttercream cakes, Scandinavian home wares, stunning (and immaculate) kitchens and glorious floral arrangements. Not all of these images inspire my baking directly, but they certainly feed my inner creative and let me dream a little along the way too.
What’s a typical day for Four Seeds?
A typical day? There is honestly no such thing. I’ve drawn myself up a weekly schedule, and each day is supposed to start with time in my garden. Unfortunately this is rarely (never) the case because I have a terribly habit of trying to pack too much into each day and writing unachievable to-do lists for myself. So instead of serenely waltzing into my day, I get straight onto the ‘important’ things like baking and replying to emails and doing my BAS and washing the dishes and washing the dishes (repetition intended). Needless to say I’m still working on that life balance thing, but I’m determined to get there.
Which other designers are you looking forward to seeing when you come to Bowerbird, 5-7 May?
Bowerbird has become like a big family reunion for Jesse and I. This coming event will be our eighth market, so many of the returning designers are now friends – incredibly talented friends. That makes it hard to list any favourites. However, we are building a new house this year, so I’m looking forward to being tempted by some creative homewares, and of course I’ll wistfully dream over a piece by Alfie & Audrey.
What’s your favourite piece of food that will be available for at Bowerbird?
Chocolate Brownies!! Bowerbird does such a great job of providing a fabulous spread of food, and it keeps growing! Now that I can’t eat gluten, my food choices are generally limited whenever I eat out, and that’s a very sad state of affairs when food plays such a strong part in my life. However, Let Them Eat always keeps me well fed and Sit Lo’s spring rolls are delicious.
What advice would you give other aspiring chefs?
I’m so not qualified to give any advice, especially not to a trained chef. But if I was giving myself advice, I would remind myself that there are only 24
hours in a day, and no matter how much I wish for more time there is only so much I can achieve in a day. While I do tell myself that, I’d be too embarrassed to show you the schedule I’ve been keeping since the beginning of 2017, it’s completely insane!
Is there anything else you’d like to share with anyone who is reading this and coming down to Bowerbird?
We’ll be changing our position this year, you’ll find your favourite brownies in the middle of Bowerbird, so you can have a quick break and energy top-up as you explore the amazing talents and creations that make BB one of our annual highlights.