September 10, 2019

Cakes with a Conscience

We chat to Danielle Webber, founder of raw cake company Ripe + Nine, about building a local business, getting creative in the kitchen and the secret to a perfect Snix.

When and how was Ripe + Nine born?
Back in 2015, when I was 29, I headed to Australia for a month on holiday. My friend and I rented a camper van and explored lots of coffee shops on the long drives. It was there, that I came across the concept of ‘raw cake’. It looked really good and I couldn’t believe it was sugar-free. Once I got home, I started practicing. First, I made a raw banoffee pie and then I continued experimenting with raw versions of classic favourites, whilst also gaining some experience in professional kitchens. Then a year later, I set up the business.

Tell us what goes in to a raw cake?
So as the name suggests, the ingredients aren’t cooked. They are all plant-based, so things like nuts, dried fruit and coconut oil are all mixed together. They are raw, so they retain their nutritional value. All the cakes are gluten free and contain no dairy.

Why is Epsom & Ewell the home of Ripe + Nine?
I was born in Epsom Hospital, so I’m properly local! I built a business here because there are loads of independent businesses around and I love that connection.

How do you find inspiration?
I’m self-taught so I still try lots of things out myself. I also look out for new things when I’m travelling and there are loads of people on Instagram who are real pioneers of raw cake making.

Who can enjoy Ripe + Nine cakes?
It’s a huge misconception that you have to be vegan, gluten-free or have a dietary requirement, but this isn’t true – you just have to want to eat cake! The raw cake industry is still quite new, but people are becoming more interested all the time.

What’s your favourite cake?
Snix. It might not look the most glamorous but it’s so delicious. It’s based on a Snickers: the idea of a chocolate-covered, caramel peanut bar. I use a mixture of oats, dates, cacao powder and of course, peanuts. It’s super simple!

Where do you want to go from here?
I’m currently developing my website, so it’ll be easier to buy products online. You can also buy my cakes in All Things Nice cafe and the Jess and The Beanstalk coffee shop in Epsom, plus my space on Church Street is open to visitors. I also do cakes for special occasions like birthdays and I can cater for events too. Soon I’ll be selling my grawnola (raw granola) as well. I also host workshops for beginners, so you can learn everything I know!

Where do you like to spend a Sunday when hanging local?
I’m always in Fego for breakfast in Banstead, then on to Caballo Lounge for dinner and drinks in the evening.

Faye Hardy

Nathalia Anzola

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