Raw Cakes entrepreneur now flying high

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Raw Cakes entrepreneur now flying high
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Raw Cakes entrepreneur now flying high

Angeleen Lewers is a Kamo- based entrepreneur whose healthy raw cakes have caught the eye of Air New Zealand.


they are gluten-free and dairy-free. They're crafted from ingredients such as cashew, coconut cream, dark agave syrup and desiccated coconut. Sounds exotic and easily digestible, especially when combined with fresh fruits.

Lewers had first sampled a ‘Petra’s raw cake’ in Darwin, when her brother organised one for her birthday. She and
her partner were living with her parents in Darwin at the time. Being gluten and dairy intolerant meant Lewers would often have to forego the ‘sweet things’ that accompany a morning coffee.

So impressed by the texture and flavour of the birthday cake she had sampled, she arranged to fly a box of Petra’s Raw Cakes from Darwin to sell at her local market in Nhulunbuy on the Northern tip of Arnhem Land, where she and her mother, Natalie, were nurses at the local hospital. 

“We’d work long hours and then come home and crash," she recalls. "We were both so tired all the time. One day Mum said: 'There’s got to be more to life than this, Ange. Why don’t we just head back to New Zealand and open up a little business selling coffee and cake?'”

The inspiration for the raw cake business was undoubtedly the trigger. Before long, the family moved back to Kamo to look at opportunities for business in Northland.

Lewers contacted Petra in Darwin to discuss her plans to establish a shop and purchased rights to several recipes. She subsequently spent two weeks learning the secrets of raw cake production, and within a few months had her concept running.

“Whangarei needed a cafe where people with allergies could come and eat. There are a lot of people who want an alternative to food with flour and sugar. I was definitely looking for a business that would give me a good work/life balance.”

Aged 32 with two young children, Lewers soon found herself busier than ever, but concedes that owning her own business is satisfying. She worked long hours, creating cakes between evening shifts from 8pm until 1am and would drive home to have a few hours sleep before her kids woke.

The Raw Cakes concept was an instant success and before long she engaged her Natalie as kitchen director, freeing her time to focus on marketing, production and sales.

“We were looking to open a new cafĂ© in the Town Basin and within a few weeks of making the decision I heard we were successful in getting a 12-month supply contract with Air New Zealand. I knew we only had one shot with the airline and that we could open a shop at any stage, when the time was right.”

Anticipating business growth, the family had an aluminium shed with a commercial kitchen built behind their home in Kamo. The business now has four staff working fulltime to cope with growing demand.

Lewers says she has other interesting flavours on the horizon that may include a Pina Colada cake made from pineapple and lime, and a spicy ginger crunch cake.

“Our biggest accomplishment and our most popular cake so far is the Red Velvet, which is made with beetroot and chocolate.”

Some ingredients are locally or regionally sourced, including avocados from Kerikeri, strawberries from Whangarei and Maungaturoto raspberries.

Lewers says she would like to use more local growers for the fruit and support
New Zealand business. This energetic entrepreneur doesn’t appear to do anything by halves and has long term plans that include creating a raw clothing range!

“I wake up every day knowing I have an exciting future ahead and I’m really keen to take the brand to a whole new level.” 


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