31 August 2023

Delicioso Dessert Bar owner turns her sweet dream into a reality with new Port Kembla shop

| Keeli Royle
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Kiara Ortega in Delicioso Dessert food van holding desserts.

Kiara Ortega is expanding her dessert business from a food truck to a permanent home in Port Kembla. Photo: Keeli Royle.

Delicioso Dessert Bar is set to become the popular new sweet spot in Port Kembla with the local business expanding into a permanent address on Wentworth Street.

Kiara Ortega had dreamed of running her own dessert business from when she was young and at the end of last year, after being passed down a food truck from her uncle, it started to become a reality.

“For me, sweets are just something that I’m passionate about,” she said. “I’m always tasting new flavours or at home I’m making different new things because why would I put something out if I know it’s not right.”

As a self-declared sweet tooth, the 22-year-old was determined to fill a gap in the local market.

“Late at night at eight or nine o’clock, once I finished dinner, I’d struggle to find somewhere for dessert and something that was more than just basic,” she said.

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And the popularity of the van has proven that there was a need.

“Once we started this it really popped off because there was nothing around; there’s different flavours and I still don’t think there’s much around like what we do.

“We have strict regulars that come twice or three times a week, every week and we have people finding out about us and driving from Gerringong, driving from here or there, so it’s really great to have people coming from all areas.”

Tried, tested and tasted, the dessert bar boasts delicious treats and unique combinations of flavours with Kiara constantly taking on feedback and updating what’s available.

“We base it off flavours, so we have pancake, we have churros, we will be doing funnel cakes and our shakes as well but they’re all fundamentally the same flavours,” Kiara said. “So we’ve got the Kinder, Oreo, Golden Gaytime, Biscoff, which are the major flavours, and then it’s about how do you want it.”

Inside the Oreo New York style cookie.

Inside the Oreo New York style cookie. Photo: Delicioso Dessert Bar.

And her cookies have become a big drawcard for customers.

“New York style cookies is the new thing, so we’ve brought that down to here,” she said. “We’re going to do all the different kind of flavours that I think people will like and they’re loaded in the middle.”

The popularity has prompted Kiara to find the business a permanent home in the up-and-coming area of Port Kembla.

“I definitely want to bring something to that street and I think in the next few years that it’s going to boom so I wanted to get in there early and get started.”

The larger location will allow Kiara to expand her business and provide savoury options and coffee to the daytime crowd, and new opportunities, such as hosting kids’ birthday parties.

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“I’m definitely excited to just bring the Illawarra something different and have a permanent location where they can come during the day and night and also dine in as well.”

It’s a big step for the small family run business which only has three other employees, including Kiara’s dad.

But the 22-year-old is going all-in and is determined to create something special for the community.

“At the moment I work around three to four jobs and I’m leaving everything to take this on and go full bore,” Kiara said. “I’m very particular in getting things right because I always want to give 100 per cent.”

Delicioso Dessert Bar’s Grand Opening is on Saturday 9 September at 61 Wentworth St Port Kembla. For updates visit the Delicioso Dessert Bar Facebook page.

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