Jackie Thompson, is a small Logan business owner of Contemporary Cakes and Classes.
Jackie teaches cake decorating and baking school and has lived in Daisy Hill for almost 16 years.
Jackie is a qualified chef and pastry chef and travelled the world with her skills and trade. Studied at the same college with Gary Mehigan from Masterchef.
Together they competed together representing their college at Hotel Olympia and she bossed him about as Jackie was in the year above him at college. It is a small world.......
Now in Jackie's words....I am an author of 2 cake decorating and baking books and in the first book, I wrote about college life and mentioned one of my amazing lecturer /mentor. When I met up with Gary at the Brisbane Food and Wine Show a few years ago I showed him the chapter about college life in the book. He was amazed I mentioned our lecturer's names in the book. I said without these great leaders I would not be here standing in this place. It was only a few years before I connected the pieces as to why when I watched Masterchef I recognised his name and then we met up at the food show.
I worked at the Sheraton Hotel in Munich Germany after college and trained with the most talented chefs I have ever met.
Having left home at 17 and still at college I had 3 part-time jobs to cover my living costs. A small moped got me to A- B as having a car was financially out of the question.
I volunteered as a youth leader at my local church and put my hands up to do any catering for their events.
I then decided to save a deposit and purchased my first property. Three years later I had saved 2k and became a homeowner at just 20 years old. I purchased a small apartment above a fish and chip shop for 25k Uk pounds.
I held on to the flat and miraculously property zoomed-in price. I then moved to Sussex and bought my next property a huge renovator 3 bedroom apartment and sunk pots of money into it.
I was the first female Head Chef for the hotel chain called Resort Hotels, back in the 1980s that was unheard of.
I was great with the budgets, I managed the staff well and trimmed a lot of waste down from production and food waste. Created a great working environment, we call that culture now and all the staff became a team.
I was a natural with sweet desserts and dishes due to my love for baking in my early childhood. Whenever there was an opportunity to make a celebration cake, I did.
Two years later I stepped into a catering managers role for a housing disability trust and realised the blessings I have.
Working in a disability place made me aware of the many difficulties people have and yet so many had a positive outlook. I managed a kitchen and staff and started doing cooking classes with the residents. I only worked one weekend out of four so wanted to expand my skills, which then led me to be a swimming instructor.
My friends Jill and Peter set up a not for profit swimming community group with a simple donation box for all of the attendees. We had many families on low incomes and had quite a few youths that were needing a group to belong to and find some belonging.
I volunteered and trained and became a qualified swimming instructor. I specialised in teaching early aged swimmers and mature aged beginners. Apparently I have great patience (do not tell my husband!)
Met my hubby had our son. Studied part-time and gained my City and Guilds 7307 Adults Teachers certificate, as I wanted a qualification to be able to teach catering in my field.
We sold my apartment and moved into my husbands home, life as I look back is a series of pretty good events!
Returned to full-time employment, working as a Head chef in a boarding school in the actual Battle Abbey and my office was King Harold's bathing room! This is where the battle of Hastings took place in 1066!
Had a wonderful 10 weeks holiday a year and so school holidays with my son, was perfect.
Relocated closer to home and worked for a wonderful catering company where we created food for high-end weddings in garden marquees and created food for dinner parties. Catherine the owner opened my eyes to owning your own business. She worked very hard, had 2 young boys and was always there to lead us. She had great work ethics too. It was there I met a wonderful woman and a great opportunity, her name is Gina.
Gina asked me whether I could make some food that would be styled for a photo shoot, she gave me a description, the quantity and so on. It had to be perfectly cooked and colouring spot on, this was the start of food commercials and food for films. Through that connection, I was asked to create cakes and food for Hollywood movies and food commercials, food for the BBC that was filmed in the UK.
Bridget Jones The Edge Of Reason, Finding Neverland, Wimbledon, Iris and Silent Cry to name a few.
I got a home-based food license from the council as I had started Contemporary Cakes my cake business. I was busy with extra wedding cake orders from the catering company I worked for.
The catering company was involved with the yearly Children In Need and when Bargain Hunt and Antiques Roadshow came to film their programmes in Eastbourne, we catered for them too.
My family and I had the opportunity to travel overseas due to a large house renovation and the house was unlivable for 5 weeks. We decided to visit Australia and discover whether it was as good as they said! Well, it was and more.
When we got back home to the new house extension we loved it but knew Australia was calling us.
We waited a year before finally discussing emigrating and our son was just 10 years old. He had one more year before high school and so now was the time to begin before it would be harder on him to leave.
Our application took less than a year and after going through the whole process of medicals, police checks and so on we had our Australian travel visas in April 2004 put our house on the market the next day and it sold the next day, with no chain of buyers.
We arrived in Australia in August choose Logan as our home and settled in lovey Daisy Hill. I researched the area the statistics and new that it was an ever-growing place. A perfect spot between Brisbane and the Gold Coast
We settled in so quickly we have our family that come out to visit, but Australia is home for us.
Certificate IV Small Business Management, TAFE, 2007
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Logan Chamber of Commerce
I am a committee member of our Logan chamber of Commerce, we represent businesses in Logan. We offer networking breakfast meetings and have guest speakers to help us all grow in business.
I also organise the chambers business expo held every year called LEXPO for our businesses, to create awareness of what they do, to introduce new businesses and clients to them.
We also make representation to the council wants a month to voice concerns that are happening with our businesses.