Duration : 2 mins 32 seconds
Shot of a woman holding a cupcake with a lit candle.
The lessons I’ve learned working abroad have been game changers. Good enough isn’t something I will settle for anymore.
Lenore sits in an industrial teaching kitchen, speaking to the camera.
My name is Lenore and I’ve done a Working Holiday in New Zealand, the UK and France.
Lenore is standing in front of a five tier cake that she has made, smiling and laughing at the camera. A sign that reads ‘Café joy, come in for a smile’ is in the background.
At the end of my time in the UK, I realised that all I wanted to do was make wedding cakes and I knew that I could do that anywhere in the world.
Lenore sits in a teaching kitchen, speaking to the camera
I got a job at Goldie Estate on Waiheke Island in New Zealand as their pastry chef.
Waiheke Island, New Zealand. There is a vineyard in the foreground under clear blue skies with a sparkling blue ocean in the background.
I worked there until the end of the wedding season making their wedding cakes and all their other desserts.
A single tree on the top of a hill with rows of grape vines on the left and right.
At the end of the season, my boss encouraged me to go out on my own and make cakes.
Pictures of wedding cakes fade onto the screen. The left has a collage of nine cakes, the middle is a pink cake and the picture on the right is a cream cake.
There weren’t that many people doing it on the island and it seemed like a good opportunity.
Lenore mixes some blue icing together with a knife.
I decided that I would give it a go. I made a poster, put it on my Instagram, and contacted all the vineyards, wedding planners, florist shops on the island.
Lenore sits in a teaching kitchen, speaking to the camera. An Instagram page is shown, scrolling through the most recent photos. Lenore begins icing a cake with yellow, white and blue icing.
A week later I had an email, asking me to make a wedding cake covered in buttercream rosettes at Mudbrick in May.
Lenore spins the blue, yellow and white cake around and puts two skewers in the top
On mother’s day I partnered with the Flower Gallery. For every bouquet that was sold, we included a macaroon and decorated sugar cookie.
There is a sign that reads ‘Flower Gallery, Waiheke Island’ in the foreground and a building in the background. There is a shot of white-pink and pink roses. Shots of other flowers, ribbons and a woman making a flower arrangement.
I also used the flower gallery exclusively for all the floral decorations on my cakes.
Lenore sits in a teaching kitchen talking to the camera, she then arranges some flowers on a cake. 10 pictures of cakes are shown many of them have flowers as decorations.
At the Fenice café for Easter, I decorated and packaged sugar cookies, ah, they sold out before the weekend was over! They flew off the shelf!
An outdoor café seating area with a sign that reads ‘Café Fenice Italia’. Then another outdoor seating area in an alley with a wall mural. Lenore sits on the ground holding a plate of decorated sugar cookies. A chalkboard at the café reads ‘The trouble of eating Italian food is that 5 or 6 days later, you are hungry again’. Two pictures fade onto the screen with decorated sugar cookies in the shape of Easter eggs. There is also a picture of a plate of ginger bread cookies.
With the money that I saved when I was working, I was able to visit Wanaka and was not disappointed. I climbed Roy’s peak and it was an amazing mini vacation from my vacation.
Dash cam footage of a car driving into Auckland city. There is a beautiful shot of Wanaka outside of a passenger car window. Then several sweeping shots of Wanaka region.
Four days after I arrived home from my time in New Zealand I started at Conestoga college teaching practical labs to culinary students.
A series of binders are shown with names of different foods (Gingerbread stars, bread and butter pudding etc.) Lenore demonstrates how to cook some beans in a pan. There is a photo of a Lego chef minifigure in front of a badge reading ‘Conestoga, Chef Johnson, Hospitality and Culinary’.
I’m certain that my students are tired of hearing me start stories of ‘when I was in London’ or ‘when I was living in New Zealand’ or ‘In a Michelin Star restaurant’ but, I don’t care!
Lenore sits in a teaching kitchen speaking to the camera. Lenore points to a map of the North Island of New Zealand.
I think it’s important to reinforce that our chosen career can take us all over the globe.
Lenore looks at some extravagant looking cakes in a display case. Lenore sits in a teaching kitchen speaking to the camera.
We get to experience different ingredients, to experience local tastes and we get to see how the power of food brings people and communities together.
A series of images of various ingredients are shown such as grapes, kiwi fruits and feijoa. Three pictures of cakes fade onto the screen decorated beautifully with fruits and native New Zealand flowers. There is another close up of cakes in a display case.
When I returned to Canada, I was also able to secure a location for my own shop.
Lenore is sitting in a teaching kitchen talking to the camera.
I miss being a part of the Waiheke Island community but that experience proved that I could make it as an entrepreneur.
Then there are photos of her shop being constructed and the opening day of her business. The series of pictures ends with cakes decorated with a variety of flowers and macaroons.
LenJo Bakes wouldn’t be half as successful as it is without the support and encouragement of my International family telling me how beautiful or delicious my cakes look.
Lenore sits in a teaching kitchen speaking to the camera.
For this reason and so many more, I will always be eternally grateful for my Working Holiday experiences.
Lenore blows out the candle on the cupcake and the screen fades to black.
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International Experience Canada