Originally from Amsterdam, Netherlands, Ortal Peretz brought her expert baking and pastry-making skills to Israel. She is the banketbakker (Dutch for pastry chef) at Ortal Ugot Umetukim in Ramat Beit Shemesh.
How long have you been baking and making pastries?
I have been baking since I got married, but I have been doing it professionally for about two years.
Besides regular baking, I also offer a “table of sweets” for small events, like kiddushes, brit milahs, and other celebrations. In addition, I am available to lead workshops on, for example, bat mitzvot and other events.
Who inspired you to become a banketbakker?
My husband! He always complimented me on the cakes, so I decided to go for it!
What do you make that is gluten-free?
We have two kids who have Celiac, so I had no choice but to learn, primarily by doing research online, how to prepare the gluten-free versions of all the cakes and other goodies that their siblings are having!
So, I’ve become quite an expert by now regarding gluten-free baking. I can make almost everything gluten-free, including cakes, cookies, pies, and cheesecakes.
Where did you learn how to bake?
I’ve got a natural talent for cooking and baking, and of course, I’ve learned a lot from my mother. To get more professional, I took a professional baking course almost two years ago.
Do you have a favorite pastry or dessert?
I love creme patisserie (pastry cream).
Do you have a “signature” cake or pastry that you love making?
People like to reorder a few products, but the Dutch butter cake is a special treat. My mother-in-law of blessed memory used to make it quite often, and it has become one of our favorite cakes. Every time we eat it, we think back to her, so it has something nostalgic. I invite everybody to try it!
Are you guys living only on sugar and cakes alone?
The answer is: no! The entire week we try to eat healthy and nutritious foods. We save cakes and other goodies we save for Shabbat, Chagiem, and other special occasions.
I also promote a healthy lifestyle, and I got involved in distributing food supplements, which can contribute a lot to a person’s daily menu.
What inspired you to start your own business?
One of the advantages of having your own business is the fact you can decide your working hours. However, since I still have small children, I think it’s important for a mother to be at home as much as possible, and this business I started I could do from home.
How do you manage your desert’s kashrut?
The hechshers I use are Mehadrin. The majority of my ingredients are certified by the Badatz ha-Edah Hachareidis or a similar institution.
What is the most satisfying part of your business?
I love it when a client gives you a call to tell you how satisfied they were with the order.
What is the most challenging part of your business?
On the one hand, I think the marketing part and, on the other hand, the fact that it can be hard physical work to stand in the kitchen all day.
What advice would you give to someone dreaming of creating a business around the foods they love?
Just go for it and have patience. Thensupplementsave a good product, people will come back to buy from you. Believe in yourself and, of course, have trust in Hashem.
How can people reach you?
By phone: 0556628710 on Facebook.com/OrtalUgotUmetukim/.