Its time to introduce another cake business in the Meet the baker feature, Hope you enjoy another fab read and seeing pics of some great cakes.
So firstly please introduce yourself and your business, and where in the UK/World are you based?
My name is Sally and I own Mamgi Cakes based in St Athan, Vale of Glamorgan in South Wales.
Are you a self-taught cake decorator/baker or are you trained?
Mostly self taught though I did learn a lot from my grandma as I was growing up. She was very into her cakes and baking. I have done a few taught courses now over the last few years but no qualified training.
How long have you been baking?
Since I was a child. My grandma used to live with us when I was growing up and she would make the most amazing cakes for our birthdays and I would help her sometimes to make them for my brothers. She also used to make a proper Sunday tea with all the homemade cakes and scones etc on a Sunday and she would show me how to bake things so have been doing it ever since. I came back to the cake decorating side of things when I had my boys, I was making cakes for them, other family members and friends and it sort of grew from there.
How long have you been running your cake business?
Just over three years now. I was making cakes for family when one of them recommended me to a friend of theirs that needed someone to make a large number of cupcakes and cakes for a wedding anniversary. My husband encouraged me to do it and I then registered so I could take the order and Mamgi Cakes was born. My first ever paid for order consisted of 150 cupcakes and 4 cutting cakes which looking back was a little bit mad.
What was the last cake you made?
The most recent cake I made was the Harry Potter Knight bus which I gave to my friends little boy for his birthday.
How do you attract customers to your business?
Mostly through word of mouth and a facebook page (www.facebook.com/mamgicakesstathan). When I was first running my business I was going to some local event days and did some wedding fayres which I think got a few people to know I was here and baking but I would say nearly all my work is through recommendation more than anything else. I also have a few cakey friends who will recommend me if they are full and vice versa.
What do you find the hardest aspect of running your cake business?
The late nights. I work mostly at night once my boys have gone to bed which means I usually can’t start working on anything till after 8pm. This of course then means I tend to have a lot of very late nights to get things finished.
What do you love or find the easiest aspect of running your cake business?
Even though I find the late nights the hardest thing about running a cake business it’s strangely also the thing I love about it. Being able to choose when I complete my work means I can work it around looking after my family and it still allows me to spend time with them, and attend all the things they are taking part in, without having to worry about getting time off work and things like that.
What is your specialty? Wedding cakes, novelty cakes, cupcakes etc…..
I don’t know if I have a speciality yet but I think my favourite type of cake to make is the 3d/carved cakes. I also really like making wedding cakes and flowers.
Who is your favourite cake artist, cake business or you tube channel
I like Ceri Griffiths of Ceri Dz for his Royal Icing work, Hannah Edwards from The Cake Illusionist makes amazing carved cakes and Jacqui Kelly from Totally Sugar does brilliant models.
What one piece of cake decorating/baking equipment could you not do without?
Oh not sure I have so many bits I use all the time but probably my Kenwood mixer.
What was the last bit of cake equipment you purchased?
An Iwata HPC+ airbrush gun.
What is the one piece of cake equipment you regret purchasing
The mat. I kept hearing how it would make covering large cakes so much easier so thought I’d give it a go but was a total waste of money and just didn’t work for me.
What is your favourite brand of sugarpaste
I use Couture/Sugarpaste direct a lot at the moment and like Culpitt as well.
Is there a new skill you would love to learn?
I would love to learn to work with pulled sugar. I attempted it once with isomalt and just ended up burning my fingers and making a mess so would like to learn to do it properly.
What are the goals and ambitions for your business over the next 12 months?
I would like to do more carved cakes as that is something I am enjoying making and move into doing more wedding cakes.
What advice would you give a new cake business just starting out?
Most of the time things take a lot longer to do than you expect/plan them too.
And lastly what do you prefer a slice of cake or a cupcake?
Cupcake I think.
For contact details
And if you would like to shout about your business or give your customers a sneak peek behind the scenes email firstname.lastname@example.org to have your business featured in a future meet the baker post.