Intending to spend her days in London at a public relations firm, now-Stanthorpe-based baker Liberty Sanders took a break first to travel the world. Ending up in Australia., Liberty says, “It was meant to be our second last place and we loved it and kept pushing the rest of our trip back further and further. She finally returned to her home in Bedfordshire, United Kingdom, but could not shake the feeling that it was no longer home. “I was home maybe two months and thought, ‘No, I need to go back to Australia.’” Liberty moved to the Stanthorpe area to work on an apple farm, and ended up falling in love with the owner’s son. “Funny how things work out,” she says, smiling.

As Liberty was packing apples one day, she realised it was time to branch out and create her own mark. Drawing on her passion for the kitchen, she launched Baking by Liberty so she could bake and share her creations with others. “I’ve always liked baking,” she said. “I did it in my downtime at university, and it was a relaxing thing for me.”

She started selling her homemade cakes, brownies and American-style soft cookies at the Seasonal Feasts Market held in the piazza in Stanthorpe every Friday. “The market was a great way for me to meet people and get to know the locals,” Liberty said. “It really helped out.”

Word of mouth soon had orders pouring in via her Facebook page, and she now does custom cake and baking orders for customers throughout the area. “I get a mixture of customers,” Liberty said. “Some people know exactly what they want and will send me a photo. Others say, ‘You can do whatever you want.’”

Liberty’s beautifully designed cakes and cupcakes are unique in that she never decorates with fondant, only buttercream frosting. “People like the look of fondant, the crisp lines and shapes, but they don’t always care for the taste,” she said

Liberty currently works out of a spacious kitchen in the home she shares with her partner, but she is eyeing a nearby building and planning for the future. She hopes to transform the building into a commercial kitchen and cafe where she can bake on a larger scale and interact with locals and visitors alike. Liberty is also planning a new website, given that along with her weekly market stall, most of her orders come through her Facebook and Instagram pages.

Liberty recently started supplying the newly opened Granite Belt Christmas Tree Farm with her homemade fudge, Snickerdoodles and gingerbread men. The hottest items at her market stall are her moist and delectably fudgy brownies. They also happen to be her favourite, along with homemade cookies. “Brownies and cookies,” Liberty says with a happy sigh. “When I smell the brownies, I can’t resist. I’m pretty set if I’ve got those. Oh, and ice cream sandwiches with ice cream between two cookies.”