Most 17 year old boys would say that they spend their spare time playing computer games, or playing sport, maybe watching sport, or hanging out with their friends. Some would say they have no spare time because they are studying for their final secondary school exams, but Jonathan Massaad is busy creating hundreds of desserts a week in his spare time.
At just 17, Jonathan is busy balancing the demands of his HSC with his passion for transforming popular confectionary into masterpieces like Nutella Cheesecake Cups, Milo Panacotta topped with Maltesers, Rafaello Cheesecake ups and S’mores cups topped with Maltesers.
The in-demand school boy from Sydney, founded Sugar High Desserts in 2014 and already has a four month waiting list for his unique sweets from personalised cakes, delicate tarts, scrumptious cup desserts and his signature ‘Fudge Pops’.
Jonathon started his baking hobby through a Betty Crocker cake mix packet and now has over 60 delicious creations in his dessert collection. “I started baking cakes at home for family events and picked up my baking skills by watching Donna Hay and Cake Boss. I really love the whole art of designing cakes and being able to show off your creations to the world. I always dreamed I would be like Adriano Zumbo or Heston Blumenthol”, says Jonathan.
“I find most of my inspiration for cakes and desserts within the confectionary isles at my local supermarkets or some of my favourite confectionary stores including Happy Lab and Darrell Lea. I have also been to a few American candy stores since being in the USA and have found so much inspiration for a new menu in those stores!”
His latest creation, the ‘Extreme Range’, is inspired by his childhood, with pretzels, doughnuts and popcorn topping his desserts while his ‘Galaxy’ cake is inspired by spheres, domes, irregular shapes and colour contrast).
“I think to be successful in such a competitive industry, it is essential to have a passion for what you’re doing and to also have unique, innovative ideas. It’s always great to gain inspiration from others, but building on something more than that will get you noticed.”
Despite his busy schooling schedule, Jonathan still manages to fit in hundreds of dessert orders on weekends but admits to needing help to run the business side of Sugar High Desserts.
“Being organised, committed and driven is so important in being able to balance both school and business life.
“Though I would love to say that I do all these jobs as well as completing my final year at high school, I have help from my family and friends when needed. I complete all the baking and some aspects of the business myself. I have hired a manager who is also my aunty Gladys; she is absolutely one of my largest supports throughout this whole business.
“My best friend Jake assists me with social media, logo and branding, photography, idea generating and designing cakes.
“My sister Jade helps me with marketing and public relations and my other best friend Andre helps me complete my dessert orders.
When first establishing Sugar High Desserts,Jonathan met Adriano Zumbo, Matt Moran, Anna Polyviou and George Calombaris and was on the Living Room where he had a cook off with Miguel. Both created original desserts and let the public decide on social media which dessert they preferred! “I was absolutely astounded that Australia favoured my dessert over the dessert of such a talented chef,” said Jonathan
Once Jonathan graduates, his plan is to study a hospitality degree and open his own patisserie chain, but in the meantime he continues to study hard, bake his delicious sweet treats and uploading a dessert to Instagram at least once a day. “My family are always pushing me to the max. I am lucky to have people like that in my life; they want the best for me and want me to do really well.
Sugar High Desserts’ cakes start from $200, Fudge Pops at $5.50 each, Dessert Cups at $5.50 each and tarts for $4.00 each.