How this Aussie Donut Maker turned her side hustle into a full-time business
Kate Williams knew she was onto something when her gluten-free treats sold out at her local farmers’ markets. She quit her marketing job to focus on building the Nodo brand, which now boasts five café bakeries and kiosks across Brisbane.
How do you know if your side hustle has the potential to turn into a full-time business? Your customers will tell you.
When she launched her donuts at farmers’ markets in 2014, after being diagnosed as a coeliac, Kate Williams realised she wasn’t the only one excited by the concept of wholesome, gluten-free, baked (not fried) donuts.
After just six months, Kate left her full-time job in marketing to focus on growing Nodo. Her gluten-free donuts were so popular that she was inundated with wholesale requests from cafés throughout Brisbane, but she quickly realised this wasn’t the right business model as she wanted to stay in control of the high quality and presentation of the products.
Just over a year later, the first Nodo café bakery opened in Newstead, Brisbane. Over the past seven years, she’s opened four more café bakeries as well as roaming kiosks around various shopping malls in greater Brisbane, currently employing a total of 120 staff.
According to recent Westpac research, 53 per cent of Australians aged 18-34 are hoping to turn their side hustle into a full-time career.
Opening a store requires upfront capital to cover expenses from rent to staff costs and, in the case of Nodo, equipment to make the donuts. Kate was able to grow the business from the start with the help of a Westpac business banking manager who helped her secure a small business equipment loan and helped her with all the financials along the way.