‘Madam Bakster’ is Student-Entrepreneur of the Year


A Ghent student’s healthy online bakery has won her the City of Ghent’s annual Student-Entrepreneur of the Year award

Healthy alternative

Laura Verhulst, a 22-year old Ghent University (UGent) language and literature student who runs an online bakery, has been named Ghent’s Student-Entrepreneur of the Year.

Verhulst’s site, Madam Bakster (Madam Baker), features healthy alternatives to the typical bakery. It’s the result of an obsession that began when she was 15, she says, and struggling to maintain a healthy weight. A diet helped her lose 25 kilograms, but she still craved her favourite desserts. So she started baking them herself, with healthier ingredients.

“I really felt that something was missing in my life”, Verhulst told De Standaard. “With Madam Bakster – a nickname given to me at the time – I wanted to prove that you don’t have to fight cravings; you can still eat sweets and live a healthy lifestyle.”

Verhulst did away with animal products and refined sugars, turning to healthier ingredients such as avocado, chia seeds, coconut sugar, dates, spelt flour, fruit, oatmeal and all kinds of nuts. Her all-time favourite? A gluten-free avocado cake with lemon.

Customers can order products directly from the website and have them delivered to their door. Madam Bakster also does catering and products are available to eat or buy at a few outlets in Ghent, including the Peaberry coffeebar and the Chocolou artisanal chocolate shop.

The Student-Entrepreneur competition is organised by the City of Ghent and is open to students in all of its institutions for higher education. The winner gets €500.