Winnie and Co bakers drawer
In our latest Foodie Profile, we chat to Kate Thompson of Winnie & Co and also the founder of the ultimate treat treasure chest, the baker’s drawer. If you enjoy Kate’s story, make sure you join us for our DC Summer Gathering where Kate will be sharing her story in person. JC x
 
1. Kate, could you tell us a little bit about yourself? 

Me – I love hobbies, something creative just for me. I have a cookbook obsession. Friends and family fuel my world and I have an awesome day job, which I love. I collect random bits and pieces, and road trips are the best!

 

2. Who is Winnie?

My Mom-Mom, grandmother to seven others and many ‘great’. A mother to a child who battled demons in his head, who fought and lost the battle of the 90s, the ‘AIDS virus’. A wartime mother and wife, a storyteller, a dressmaker and survivor of heartache. Born deaf, self-taught and an inspiration to many. A quiet achiever with a generous heart. Her kitchen table, blank canvas & Liberty fabrics told her story…her journal. These are the recipes that have woven their way through the neighbourhoods, quilting groups, crafting afternoons, family events and church fetes.These are the recipes that have celebrated moments of happiness, sadness and joy. These are the recipes that tell a story of wartime, family life and friendship. These are the recipes that have been written in a journal all tattered and torn.  These are the recipes that bring to life these simple word, ‘Everything is beautiful to have around’.

 

 
Winnie and Co bakers-drawer-thanksgiving

3. What are the origins of the Baker’s Drawer and its significance to you?

Back when my grandmother was my age the women joined as a community because they had to, their husbands were at war, they had three or four children at home, and generosity was done ‘just because’. They would turn up to an event or a friend’s place and they would always bring cake or something. They helped each other out and lifted each other up. ‘You looked a little sad, I’m just going to drop a cake off’, or ‘You looked really tired today, I thought you might need dinner.’ Our hope is that this drawer will help bring back that ‘just because’ moment.

In our social media crazy world, everyone is so disconnected. People often comment or text ‘well done’, but that’s usually the end of it, there’s no human contact any more. So we hope that this will help to bring back that human touch again.

 

Winnie and co gathering

 

4. The Baker’s Drawer has been really well received in the community. Who are some of the people and brands that have partaken in spreading your movement of kindness? 

We spent a couple of months dropping things off at people’s doors, or I would take it into work, and everyone started saying ‘Oh my God, what’s in the draw, what’s in the draw?!!’. And then I randomly put it on my next door neighbours doorstep, and she texted me and said, “Oh my God, there’s hot chocolate pudding in this box!!!’. It’s very hard to describe, it’s just all come about …it’s always been, ‘let’s have a go at this’, or ‘maybe we could do this?’

The people and the personal emails that we have received, the stories that people have shared with us already, the people who have reached out to us and wanted to understand the concept and to share it. The offers of help we’ve had, of people wanting to be a part of it, wanting to be involved, wanting to help spread the message. All of that stuff is downright humbling, and you don’t know me from a bar of soap, but the wonderful comments and thoughts and willingness to help has just blown us away.

Supporters and thank you’s: Family & a few secret friends social and real. But a special thanks must go out to Tamera Erbacher, Claudia M, Of Kin and the Holistic Ingredient.

 

5. In a world that seems more online than offline – do you believe we are getting kinder as a society and what trends of kindness have you seen?

We are trying. That’s all you can ask. Kindness comes from the heart and is a personal thing, not to be judged by others. I see social media as an incubator for ideas.

 

Winnie and Co Bakers Drawer treats

 

6. What is the kindest act someone’s extended to you?

Yesterday, someone offered to do my yard duty. To a teacher that is the kindness gift, anyone can give. Its the simple things that mean a lot to me.

 

7. In your opinion what are the most important elements to a joyful and well-lived existence?

Eat Breakfast, do push-ups, go for longs walks, procrastinate, try new things and get plenty of sleep. Ultimately, you will need; curiousity, kindness, stamina and a willingness to look stupid. By the way, I love this quote from Austin Kleon: “there is only one rule i know of: you’ve got to be kind.”
 

Winnie and Co recipe in the making

8. You are often surprising your friends and family with sweet treats. Do you have a sweets recipe you could share with our readers? Yes, I do. See recipe below for ginger biscuits (circa 1950) from my very own grandmother’s recipe folder.
 
Winnie and co recipe card

 

9. Where do you see the Baker’s Drawer and Winnie & Co. going next?What’s next… I always carry a book, a pen and a notepad and I always enjoy my solitude. My plan is to continue, experiment and enjoy my obscurity while it lasts. In summary, where to next is a good question. I guess i simply plan to do good work and share it with people.

 

Website: http://winnieandco.com

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