At 15, Morgan Hipworth is a name a lot of Melburnians are starting to get wind (or fresh baking wafts) of. Haven’t heard it? Think again. You may be more familiar with the title Bistro Morgan, which Hipworth uses for his booming home-made doughnut business that’s taking Melbourne by sugary storm.
Bistro Morgan doughnuts are stocked at some top cafes around Melbourne, but there’s also a huge waiting list while Hipworth juggles his school commitments with a hectic baking schedule. With a three day, twice-proving, rolling and decorating process, Hipworth has his work cut out for him. ‘And I still get my homework done’, he jokes.
He first hit the scene a year ago, after a casual conversation with the manager of Ripponlea cafe, Hawk & Hunter, who convinced the then 14 year old home cook to bring in some of his cakes and pastries. It was a simple request ‘Can you do doughnuts?’, with which Hipworth responded, ‘I can try’, that catapulted his career into the deep fryer.
It may cross your mind that surely a 15 year old can’t possibly make doughnuts to a standard high enough to impress the Melbourne hospitality industry. Well then, you clearly haven’t tried one of these sexy sugar bombs.
At 13, Hipworth was already keen to roll up his sleeves, and hopped into his local bakery to earn work experience on a regular basis. With more baking knowledge than some amateur chefs twice his age, he puts his success down to a twice mixed and proving period, and high quality ingredients. Hipworth says, ‘It’s all about good eggs, good butter, not skimping on the ingredients. Instead of giving them half a Kit Kat I’ll give them a full one. It’s about making it look better and making it taste better.’ Adding on that what really makes his doughnuts stand out is, ‘They’re fresh and handmade, not premixed.’ Which Hipworth tells us is why the Donutella craze produced a vast amount of doughnuts that all tasted the same—premix.
While the dough remains consistent, what makes the Bistro Morgan doughnuts so exciting are the weekly changing flavours, often accompanied with the signature custard or salted caramel filled syringe.
‘We never double up on flavours’, says Hipworth, although admitting that salted caramel is particularly popular with cafes and consumers. Hipworth’s personal favourite is his take on a Golden Gaytime; a sugary doughnut filled with salted caramel, dipped in chocolate and topped with nuts and honeycomb. Sorry, excuse the drool.
Bistro Morgan is celebrating a year this February since it’s inception, and Hipworth admits he’s made improvements along the way, from technique to confidence and consistency. When you’re rolling over 100 lumps of dough out at a time, Hipworth tells us it’s all about time management. ‘If it over proves it’s like a flat pancake, if it’s under proved it’s too small.’ He says. He now well and truly has the experience and knowledge needed to undertake large batches of doughy goodness, recently hitting the Melbourne Flour Market as a huge success. Bistro Morgan’s offerings sold out by 11am and transacted over 1000 doughnuts. If that’s not impressive enough, it was backed up that week by his school charity event, where Bistro Morgan catered 300 delicious doughnuts to support the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre Christmas fundraiser.
Although he’s found a niche he’s great at, Hipworth is still testing out some new ideas. A vegan friendly doughnut mix is in the works, alongside long term dreams of opening up not just one, but numerous cafes. Hipworth’s ingenuous attitude adds to his charm, as when asked where he saw the business going, and how he wanted a cafe to be placed in the industry, the response was honestly frank. ‘I want it to be one of the best ones. But I don’t just want one, I want multiple,’ He says, taking inspiration from some of Melbourne’s successful restauranteurs.
If his current level of success is anything to go by, this dream seems more like a not-far-off reality to the teen whose first VCE subject will be business management. Further expansion enquiries such as sending Bistro Morgan interstate were met with reluctance, but not refusal. ‘There’s too much demand in Melbourne at the moment. Ask me in five years and it will be a different answer.’ Coming from a family that self-owns and manages businesses, it’s clear that Hipworth possesses a business savvy mind, and his advice to others? ‘Focus on yourself, and do what you do best.’ Did I mention he’s only 15?
Find Bistro Morgan doughnuts at Hawk & Hunter, Colin Chapel, Glovers Station, Kitty Burns, Two Birds One Stone, Reunion and Co.
Stockist enquiries: [email protected] or 0434 111 246