James Sideris, Commerce/Law, IV, Owner of the small business Nutorious.
Q: When did you start baking?
James:Iâ€™ve always liked baking for the past 4 or 5 years but I started properly 2 years ago. Thatâ€™s when I started selling products and doing it properly.
Q: What made you get into it?
James: Iâ€™ve always been a fan of getting a coffee and a muffin. Around where I live, youâ€™d get a muffin with 3-4 blueberries, and you were paying so much money for something that is crap. So I started experimenting at home, because I loved muffins and jam packing them with flavour. Thereâ€™s this really good cafe just up the road from me thatâ€™s pumping all the time, so I approached them, and my muffins sold out in half an hour. Iâ€™ve been doing it ever since, and its built from there, so I got into the craze of making them really whacky, and out of this world, putting syringes, and caramels, and ganaches in them.
Q: Whatâ€™s your perfect muffin?
James: My perfect muffin? My favourite one has got to be my Golden Gaytime. Itâ€™s a mixture of peanut butter and caramel, and white chocolate and peanuts.
Q: How do you know what flavours to put in it?
James: I try and do things that evoke memories. Things that people can relate to. So if I make a muffin thats something like butterscotch pudding, it might be someones favourite desert. So theyâ€™ll be like ohh, Iâ€™m eating a muffin, but it tastes like butterscotch pudding. Alternatively, if I see something trending on Instagram, Iâ€™ll try incorporate that into a recipe, like matcha.
Q: How did you make up the name Nutorious?
James: I didnâ€™t copy it off Notorious the rapper aha. I like eating anything with nuts in it, so I went in that direction. When I first started, I was health orientated, so I went with that.
Q: Whats the most intense thing you have made?
James: For one of my friends 21stâ€™s, I had to make 200 cronuts, its a donut made out of croissant dough. It looks like a donut, but it kinda is really tall and flaky and layered. Its filled with ganache, and then topped with Nutella and Oreo.
Q: How long do you spend practicing your craft?
James: Whenever Iâ€™m bored in a lecture Iâ€™ll look up a recipe online, then Iâ€™ll go home and churn it out, try and reinvent it.
Q: When you first started, did you feel you had a natural ability?
James: I use it as a creative escape, itâ€™s just something I can do and its not difficult for me. I find pleasure in doing it, and, I find it quite calming. Any second I get Iâ€™ll just cook away.
Q: How do you run your business?
James: I sell to a few cafes around Sydney, mainly my muffins. I have my Instagram account, and Iâ€™ve just started my website where people can request my creations. With advanced notice Iâ€™ll send it out to customers. The main focus of my business is around Saturday and Sunday. Iâ€™ll make 50 muffins for a cafe each, and post photos on Instagram and people will flock to go get them.
Q: How do you prepare yourself?
James: Iâ€™ll get up 4:30am, and Iâ€™ll get to the cafe 7:30-8am.
Q: How do you balance doing a law degree and running the business at the same time.
James: Itâ€™s a good question ahaha, sometimes it doesnâ€™t get as much focus as it should, but I guess its about prioritising. You just got to know when to knuckle down and do your reading and do your work. So on weekends Iâ€™m pretty busy. I have to prep for each day.
Q: I was going to ask you a breaking bad question with all that cooking ahaha.
James: Well, I got given a baking bad book from a friend aha.
Q: How many Instagram followers do you have?
Q: Any tips to get more followers?
James: Collaborating and hash-tagging. It just throws your media into different realms of the web. I often find that when I got to a cafe, Iâ€™ll just look up a hashtag. Or if I want to know about a cafe, Iâ€™ll look at a hashtag. Itâ€™s amazing how powerful that categorising can be.
Q: Has anyone ever noticed you on the street?
James: A couple people, itâ€™s kinda strange ahaha, itâ€™s amazing, I love it when people do, itâ€™s not something Iâ€™m used to.
Q: In terms of advice for law students that donâ€™t want to be lawyers, do you think there is enough time to do your degree and do your other passions?
James: Even if youâ€™re not going to be a lawyer, doing something that you love will ultimately help your studies. You canâ€™t just solely focus and jam yourself into books, because that creativity… going into the water for a surf, going for a bike ride, gets you thinking in different ways. It keeps you fresh. You canâ€™t just focus all the time on going to the best law firm, but I think youâ€™ll get there even better if you also do what you love. I love surfing, a big surfer. Other than all the stuff I do on Instagram, Iâ€™m also into my fitness and health, I think keeping occupied in exercise is so important to studying.
Q: What are the future plans for your business?
James: Iâ€™ve got so many directions I could go in. I would love to have a product I could put on the shelves of Woolworths. Iâ€™d love to have a physical location for all my goods, or, turning it into a delivery business and get a few cars and get them buzzing around Sydney.
Q: Do you think youâ€™ll go into law, or, your business?
James: I think I made the decision a while ago, and Iâ€™m not going to be aÂ lawyer. My dads been a lawyer for 30 years, but I donâ€™t thinkÂ thatâ€™s me. Iâ€™m doing my degree with commerce, and I think thatâ€™s great knowledge to have for my business. I have a part time job at an office, and itâ€™s great if youâ€™re in a nice office, but at the same time, I sit there and think I couldnâ€™t do this my whole life. If I could get up everyday and create something with my hands, and be my own boss, Iâ€™d be in heaven, so thatâ€™s probably the direction Iâ€™ll head in. So thatâ€™s my prediction, Iâ€™m trying to juggle how many subjects of law to do, and how much baking to do.
Q: Do you have any advice for people that have multiple paths open to them?
James: Donâ€™t want to sound corny, but just go with your gut feeling. Iâ€™d just be hugely focused on doing what you love.