German-inspired King of Cakes expands his kingdom

Posted by Josette Dunn on 12th April 2010

The German born chef behind Brisbane-based King of Cakes is planning to expand his growing empire into the first franchise chain of its kind in Queensland.Master Pastry Chef Wolfgang Kelke, who recently opened his fourth store in Fortitude Valley, specialises in creating authentic German and European cakes, pastries and freshly baked breads.

King of Cakes also sells a range of imported German and Austrian coffees, German mustards, chocolates, cold cuts and other delicacies direct from Europe.

Mr Kelke plans to open nine franchised King of Cakes stores across Brisbane over the next three years before eventually rolling out more stores across Queensland.

“There is no franchise within the marketplace like King of Cakes in Queensland… and we believe there is a strong market for high quality, gourmet European cakes, pastries and breads,” Mr Kelke said.

“The first King of Cakes store opened 20 years ago and since then we’ve experienced steady growth.

“We think the best way to continue that growth is to develop into a franchise and establish King of Cakes in key areas across Brisbane such as Nundah, Logan, Mitchelton and the Hamilton/Ascot area, as well as the Gold and Sunshine Coasts.”

Mr Kelke moved to Queensland from Munich in 1989. The first King of Cakes store opened in Taringa in 1990, followed by Graceville in 1996 and Seventeen Mile Rocks in 2003, all in Brisbane’s south-west.

As a child, Mr Kelke worked in the family café business in Munich before going on to work in some of the world’s finest restaurants and cake shops.

His stores use traditional artisan baking techniques which include baking in stone ovens, as well as family recipes that have been passed down for generations.
Unique King of Cake products include classic German breads such as Bavarian sunflower and sauerkraut bread; brezels, a baked snack twisted into a knot-like shape; Gugelhupf, a rich teacake shaped like a doughnut, and signature cake the Haus Torte, which has a ‘trilogy of mousses’.

“King of Cakes has grown with Brisbane,” Mr Kelke said.  “When we started making our bread people were bringing it back telling us it was stale, only it wasn’t stale, it was sourdough rye. People have come to better understand European food and they’ve become more adventurous with their tastes.

“I am a proud Australian but my heritage will always be German, so German traditions and passions will continue to influence the King of Cakes product line.”