From the Ground Up – Ribbons and Bows Cakes



Emanuel and Zoe Hiou are in the happiness business. As owners of dessert and pastry business Ribbons and Bows Cakes, the family duo is dedicated to bringing quality delicious joy to their customers every day.

“Ribbons and Bows Cakes is a business that sells happiness through our cakes and desserts”, says Emanuel.

Building a family’s future

Wanting to combine their skills to create a family business of their own, the couple leaned on Zoe’s cafe background and Emanuel’s accounting and finance experience and have grown the business substantially over the last 10 years, so much so that they’ve had to build their own purpose-designed facility in Coburg North.

“We started out in a run-down factory and had literally run out of space – it was holding back the growth of the business.”

“We’ve invested in staffing, technology, product development, and all of that has seen substantial growth and expansion.”

Teamwork makes the dream work 

Key to their success as a team has been to clearly define who does what from the get-go and ensure their staff take as much pride in the success of the business as they do.

“We work as a team, we have defined roles and responsibilities – my focus is on business strategy, business development, product development, all the accounting and regulatory compliance. Zoe’s role is more focussed on customer service, food safety, OH&S.”

“We have an amazing team, great support staff, and we emphasise that we work as a team.”

The sweet taste of success

For the Hiou’s, success comes from the smiles on their customers faces, and the referral business that comes from a delighted belly.

“Our customers are our best advocates. We continue to receive a lot of referrals to new business from existing customers, and that’s a wonderful endorsement for our business and our product range,” says Zoe.

“Our products speak for themselves, and the best thing is when I get a phone call and someone says, saw your cakes and I loved them’. You can do as much marketing as you like but it’s comments like that, that mean the absolute world.”

Andrew Irvine recently had a chat with Emanuel and Zoe from Ribbons and Bows Cakes to hear about how they found success in the happiness business.



This conversation is part of NAB’s business series – From the Ground Up – where we chat with Australia’s entrepreneurs, hearing about the trials and tribulations of their journey and their secrets for success.

Click here for previous episodes in the series.



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