Mixing Hope With Flour & Dough: Founder Mare Van Der Berg's Inspiring Story

Mixing Hope With Flour & Dough: Founder Mare Van Der Berg's Inspiring Story

For Flour & Dough’s founder, baking isn't just about creating delicious treats—it's a journey of resilience, discovery, and the sweet triumphs of overcoming life's toughest challenges. Mare Van Der Berg’s evolving story is truly as inspiring as the bread and brownies she bakes.

Brain Tumour & Baking

When Mare Van Der Berg was diagnosed with a rare brain tumour in March 2022, she never imagined the impact it would have on her mental health. From struggling with balancing, hearing and even loss of taste (a devastating blow to a baker) to grappling with the emotional toll of surgeries and treatments, Mare's journey is heartbreaking.

 Tragically, the same year brought another blow as Mare lost her beloved cousin to suicide. His silent battle with the weight of a genetic disease highlighted the importance of addressing mental health struggles openly and compassionately.

“Mental health for me, has gone from something I brushed off to something that hurts and kicks my butt daily and I am sorry for every person that has to deal with any sort of mental health issues, I wish I could take it all away,” she said.

For Mare, the road to healing began with normalising self-care. "I have started normalising looking after myself so I can look after my young family. As soon as I am up and running at full capacity again, I am back in the hiking trails. I love nature, I love being outside.

"For now, I love sitting outside and watching the hawks fly around our house! If the neighbours cows are against our fence, it’s completely soothing for me to sit and watch them go about their daily lives and it’s a bigger blessing when the baby calves have come in," Mare shared.

Turning Pain Into Pleasure

Flour & Dough was Mare's brainchild born during her maternity leave in 2021. Faced with the challenge of balancing motherhood with financial responsibilities, Mare sought a creative outlet that would allow her to pursue her passion for baking while being present for her children.

Inspired by the encouragement of loved ones, Flour & Dough emerged. Mare's baking mixes, starting with her beloved Beer Bread, is still today a symbol of resilience and resourcefulness. With each pouch of mix, Mare poured her heart into crafting simple yet decadent treats that has brought joy to countless homes

Among Flour & Dough's delicious lineup, Mare's brownie mix (Included in MyTreat's May 2024 'Mental Health' Wellness Box) holds a special place in her heart. From its humble beginnings to winning a bronze award in the foodie world, the brownie mix is quick, easy yet packs a flavourful punch.

She said, “This is the recipe that I have had, forever. I have changed it multiple times over the years, experimented with it, but I have always gone back to the original as you just can’t beat a good, chewy brownie.

“Here’s a little tip: as soon as you’re done baking it, pop it into the fridge overnight, or if you really can’t wait that long, for at least 3 hours—it turns into fudge.”

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.