Bianca Florio is the owner of The Portalian Kitchen, a start-up baking company in Malvern. She still works out of a home kitchen, but is preparing for greater things. She tells us more about her business.

How did your business start?
After I finished school, I studied marketing, but realised that it really wasn’t for me. Friends had told me that I was really good at baking, so I decided to try and see if I could do something with that. I decided to call my business The Portalian Kitchen because I am half Portuguese and half Italian, and that’s what my teachers used to call me. My sister is in graphic design, so she helped me with business cards and a logo, and I launched in October last year by using Facebook groups. It’s been going really well since then.

Why did you choose this area to set up shop?
I still live with my parents, so I launched my business in their kitchen, and make a financial contribution to the electricity. So, because I work from home, I’m obviously comfortable with the area and have connections here – I do a lot of party packs for moms at a local school, for example. But I’ll deliver anywhere, within reason.

How did you find your premises?
I’ve always lived on the East Rand, and we’ve been in this house for five years. So, when we were house-hunting, we looked for what we wanted in home.

Why are the premises ideally suited to your business?
Obviously, as a start-up, it’s great to have no rent costs. But the house has a great little kitchen to work in, and there’s a study where I can do the admin side of my business as well.

Who are your neighbours?
We have residential neighbours, but I’m quite close to the Bedford Centre and the Eastgate Mall.

What are the shop rental/sales prices like in this area?
The standard residential prices for this area.

How many people go through your store each day?
I go to my customers, and I do up to 10 deliveries a week.

Do you have any expansion plans?
I’m saving up for kitchen equipment in anticipation that things will get busier and I’ll need to expand out of my parents’ kitchen.

Do you operate online as well?
Facebook is my friend. I launched with my own Facebook page (facebook.com/theportaliankitchen), and also joined any groups where people request services and responded every time I saw something that I could do.

What’s your most popular item?
Cupcakes decorated with buttercream.
The Portalian Kitchen
072 185 0781
facebook.com/theportaliankitchen

Words: Georgina Guedes | Images: Supplied

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