BAKING colourful macarons is a far cry from fixing leaky taps, but for Simon Hulm it’s been a “life-saving” career change after he was made redundant from his job as a plumber.
The Macgregor resident was left devastated when he lost his job at a small plumbing company in 2012 after an economic downturn.
“I didn’t know what to do at first, it was a real shock as it happened just weeks before my wedding, but I decided to use it as a chance to reinvent myself,” Simon says.
With his interest in dessert-baking in mind, Simon’s wife Lucy suggested he turn his hobby into a business.
“I’m used to cooking, at my house I’ve always been the chef, and usually desserts are my favourite thing to make,” Simon says.
“I started baking macarons because I knew they were popular and offered them for sale online… it was really hard to make them at first, they’re pretty fiddly, but I quickly got the hang of it.
“During Christmas 2012, I sold 1000 macarons online and later sold 1500 macarons in just 48 hours at the Handmade Markets – it was amazing.”
Simon now runs his own full-time macaron business, Lu’Mon (a combination of his and wife Lucy’s names), creating about 200 macarons a week for wedding orders, online sales and to stock in several cafes around Canberra.
He says he’s “shocked” at how popular the business is.
“I think with what is going on in Canberra currently, people can relate to my story of being made redundant and having to reinvent myself,” he says.
“I’ve found that a number of local cafes want to be connected to local suppliers and source their products locally – it is win-win, the money stays in Canberra, local businesses thrive and the customer gets something locally produced”.
Simon updates his macaron flavours every three months; with favourites ranging from fairy floss to apple pie, salted caramel and lemon.
He says it’s not unusual for a tradie to have a passion for cooking.
“I used to bring my dessert creations to work when I was a plumber and my boss would take them from my lunchbox, so there’s certainly an appreciation for sweet foods there,” he says.
“I’m really thankful I had other interests as a back-up plan; it’s been a really amazing journey.”
More information at lumonmacarons.com.au