Guy Sebastian may have all the musical moves but his second cousin Benjamin Owen was fortunate enough to get the genes of a gun brownie baker, helping him to take on Perth’s dessert scene.
The 35-year-old is the mega-mind behind the gourmet brownie business Fatboi Brownies, which has risen from the humble beginnings of trying not to burn the fudgy delight to, according to Owen, turning over $1 million.
Starting the passion project in 2017, Owen began baking brownies as a way of finding solace from his job as an occupational therapist until he finally realised that career path was not for him.
Much to his Singaporean parents’ horror after spending their savings on his university degree, he quit his job and decided to pursue his dream brownie business.
“You can imagine my mum’s fury when I quit my job to sell brownies, she said I was crazy,” he said.
“When she calls and checks in she still asks how the cake business is going and, oh my god, it’s a brownie business . . . you can tell how approving she is of it.”
As the demand for his mouthwatering brownies grew, so did the business.
From a home kitchen, Owen moved to a commercial kitchen, set up market stalls, conquered Fremantle, and finally established a hole-in-the-wall store in Leederville.
But when COVID-19 happened he was forced to shut the hole in the wall, leading him to set up an online store which boomed in sales during lockdown.
The demand for his $6 delights has led him to expand further, and now Fatboi Brownies resides in a permanent home at Westfield Carousel with plans to open another kiosk in the northern suburbs.
Perth’s potato king Tony Galati has got around Owen’s brownies, and the baker has also gifted some to Boost Juice founder Janine Allis.
Owen happens to be related to Australian Idol singing royalty Guy Sebastian with the pair’s grandfathers being brothers.
“I’m not overly close to him because I’m a bit younger but my sister is close to his family,” Owen said.
“It’s a big family, my branch of Sebastians are from Singapore and his branch are from Malaysia. We would see each other at big family weddings.”
With his celebrity secret out of the bag, it’s time for Owen to spill his secret to creating the perfect brownie.
“My biggest problem was working out how to not burn the sides and when was the right moment to take it out,” he said.
“My secret to the perfect fudgy brownie is you take it out when it’s baked but still soft and fluid and then put it in the fridge overnight.”
Owen has set his sights on national distribution, aiming to make Fatboi Brownies a household name throughout Australia.
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