BIZZARRI DOLCI Image result for bizzarri dolciMastering the art of handmade biscuits for over a decade Bizzarri Dolci's philosophy is simple - create handmade biscuits and other baked delights with natural and fresh ingredients so they taste like they should.

With a large kitchen and retail store based in Malvern, Bizzarri Dolci also supply handmade biscuits to boutique food stores around Melbourne and NSW, and we are lucky enough to have these delicious biscuits sit front and centre on our shelves in Elwood and Brighton.

We caught up with founder and head pastry chef Monette Bizzarri to find out the secret behind her delicious range of gourmet biscuits and baked sweets.

Who are the team behind Bizzarri Dolci and what made you launch?

Our team includes several professional pastry chefs, who keep themselves busy baking all the biscuits for both our retail store and wholesale stockists. In addition, we have a team of packaging & dispatch assistants, and an amazing team of front-of-house staff who run our bakery store front in Malvern. The team here at Bizzarri Dolci exist to provide customers with gourmet handmade biscuits, using  fresh, high quality ingredients with no additives. This is the underlying essence of the Bizzarri Dolci and the reason we came into business in the first place.

Can you tell us more about pastry chef and founder Monette Bizzarri and her background?

Having hailed from the Island of the Seychelles, Monette moved to Melbourne when she was a child. She always loved cooking for her family and at the age of 16 - she set out to become a chef and pursue her passion for food as a career. It was all hands-on-deck when she met her now husband Tony and the world of Bizzarri food came to life. So when did it all begin? The Bizzarri name was first put on the Melbourne food map 27 years ago, when the family opened their first restaurant Cafe Bizzarri, located in Toorak Village.

Since then, the Bizzarri family have dished out countless, lovingly made meals to foodies all around Melbourne. Following Cafe Bizzarri came Bizzarri Restaurant Two - located in the Como Centre in South Yarra. After many fulfilling years in the restaurant industry, Monette (being the family member who was always very dessert oriented) decided to act on her dream and share her passion for baking by creating real, high quality biscuits - and the only way she could see this happening was to make them by hand…

Monette’s passion for sweets came to eventuate when she opened a small wholesale kitchen in Malvern East called Bizzarri Dolci. She supplied handmade biscuits using only fresh and natural ingredients to delis and boutique food stores all around Victoria and NSW. 12 years later, the small kitchen that initially started off with all of 1 employee (Monette) now includes a passionate team of biscuit lovers, and is open to the public through a large bakery and retail store located in Malvern.

What does a day in the life of the Bizzarri Dolci team look like?

Well, for the chefs it’s a pretty early start and they get straight into production before dawn. It’s a very fast paced environment and everyone’s role is very diverse and team oriented. The front-of-house staff love what they do, and also wear many hats. They are responsible for customer service, managing all retail enquiries, providing detailed information to customers about the products, prep savoury lunch items, wait tables and are all trained baristas! They most definitely have their work cut out for them, but they wouldn’t have it any other way. As for the back-of-house, our team of dispatch and admin staff are responsible for all things wholesale related, and look after the orders and wholesale accounts. Our marketing, graphics, communications and photography are all done in-house, which allows us to have complete control over how we communicate with our customers and means we can respond to anything that needs to happen promptly.

What is involved in choosing new biscuit lines?

We undergo idea generation with the whole team (not just the bakery staff) – followed by the fun part… Taste testing of course! We incorporate any customer feedback or suggestions when creating new biscuit lines, and always ensure that our ideas are built around flavour, as this is obviously the most important component of our creations! We are very lucky to have an extremely loyal customer base in our retail store, and our customers are always happy and very willing to taste test our creations before we decide to include them in our permanent product range.

Having operated for 12 years, how do you keep it fresh and keep the customers coming back (besides obviously for delicious biscuits)?

Firstly, we run a very customer-centric business, and for us – our customers are the center of it all. We listen and take on board feedback, and channel that into generating new ideas and ways of doing things. Secondly, we are lucky that everyone on the Bizzarri team seem to have amazing ideas! We are always thinking, talking and collaborating on how we can provide the best experience for our customers - whether this be through products, service or communications. We all work on a pretty level playing field and everyone has the ability to have some sort of input. This is what makes us such a strong team and is the core of how we’ve been able to do this for the past 12 years.

When you’re not busy with Bizzarri Dolci, what do you like to do in Melbourne?

Eat, eat, eat! We can safely say that we are all foodies here and absolutely love wining and dining our way around Melbourne. The weekends food experiences are always the first thing we talk about on a Monday and the last thing we discuss on a Friday! Many of the staff members here also love to is the best way to find food-inspiration after all!

If you were stranded on an island and could only bring three things, what would they be?

Bathers, sunnies and sun-screen…ready to embrace the relaxation!