Buvette Masthead

Women at Work: Jade Esler

Laura Peppas

It’s ironic that at just 14 years of age, Jade Esler is technically not old enough to work; yet the ambitious Jerrabomberra resident is already a successful business owner.

The budding entrepreneur launched her cupcake business, The Sugar Bite, last year and is selling around 500 cupcakes a month through catering and at local markets Fash ‘n’ Treasure, Baby and Kids Markets and soon, the Old Bus Depot Markets.

With flavours such as peanut butter cup, choc mint, rosewater and salted caramel, Jade’s cupcakes are so popular they often sell out within a few hours.

Some of Jade's creations

Some of Jade’s creations

“The feedback has been amazing, I don’t think I’ve ever had any negative comments… it’s pretty crazy how quickly I started getting such a strong following,” she says.

“I’ve also started catering for a few weddings and cafes now, so business has grown dramatically.”

With a long-term goal to become Australia’s first licensed female pilot, Jade says she is using the money she earns selling cupcakes to pay for her flying lessons.

“My dad was a private pilot so I’ve always loved flying, and so far I’ve clocked 11 hours in the plane and completed an exam,” she says.

“It’s hard to say exactly what I love most about it, but I guess it’s just instinct – every time I see a plane flying through the air I just wish I was the one flying it. I’ll be eligible for my restricted pilot license on my 16th birthday.”

Jade says she began “seriously cooking” after watching reality show, Masterchef.

“I think the first big meal I made from scratch was gnocchi with butter prawns when I was about 9 or 10, and every Saturday I make a three-course meal,” she says.

“Mum encouraged me to start the cupcake business and it grew from there. I’m now starting to get a bit of a process going, so the week before a market I’m usually spending about 20 hours cooking in total to make sure there’s enough.”

Between cooking, studying and extra-curricular activities, the Merici College student admits she doesn’t have much spare time, but for now is enjoying combining her two loves; cooking and flying.

“It’s been a big learning curve… I’ve had to learn about tax invoices, the difference between wholesale and retail marketing, and getting my business registered, but it’s been a great experience and it’s helping me to do what I love,” she says.


Laura Peppas

Laura Peppas is HerCanberra's senior journalist and communications manager and is the Editor of Unveiled, HerCanberra's wedding magazine. She is enjoying uncovering all that Canberra has to offer, meeting some intriguing locals and working with a pretty awesome bunch of women. Laura has lived in Canberra for most of her life and when she's not writing fervently she enjoys pursuing her passion for travel, reading, online shopping and chai tea. More about the Author