Refresh and Rebrand-Mood board

When I started Kake and Cupkakery or rather when they merged I was very much inspired by two programmes DC cupcakes which focused on a cupcake bakery called Georgetown cupcake the owners are sisters Katherine and Sophie who gave up their jobs and opened a cupcake shop, and have since gone on to open another 5 bakeries. 

My other inspiration was Unique Sweets which I love and  and has been featured in one of my earlier blog post. 

This programme focused on American baking,unique sweet treats and bake shops across an episode here

When I started my focus and goal was to one day open my own bakery with the feel of an American bake shop with shops in the midlands, up north and down south, where I create all my celebration cakes as well as being open to sell coffee and cake. Think Cake boss, bakery downstairs workshop upstairs

Well if your going to dream dream big I say.

So when I think of my business I’m always thinking how this would translate into a bakery, even though currently my biz is primarily operating online which has great advantages and is working well I always imagined what it (a bakery) would look and feel like and me rebranding I very much have this in mind as that’s my ultimate dream/goal.

Yes I make cakes but I overall I just love to bake so even though I have a core focus of Cupcakes-celebration cakes-wedding cakes in my business I feel like I’m an all rounder as I do have a bit of a patisserie background so I’m always open to trying new ideas and exploring flavours that I feel are authentic and natural.

Every aspect before I started Kake and cupkakery was carefully considered just like any business and with the rebranding and how the business is operating my logo or rather brand has to represent everything I now do. I thought about my packaging and how it needed to be generic so that a man would feel comfortable carrying a box of cupcakes as well as a woman and in this I mean escaping anything to pink, swirly or overtly feminine, I’m not saying men can’t do pink but when thinking about what I wanted to do I had to break it down and be really clear who I wanted to cater for even though females are my primary market I just didn’t want to be too feminine so that’s why I opted for a generic plain kraft style box with no window but also have packaging I could dress up. I love the boxes and they’ll be staying how I can improve on presentation remains to be seen.

What I offer:

 My flavours for my cupcakes I would describe as gutsy and unusual and I like to think a little unique I like to let the cake do the talking  so for my current logo I stayed neutral and minimal because in the early stages I didn’t know where the business would lead, but now I know what I do and my customer base it needs to reflect that.

I create celebration cakes for all occasions catering for busy mums who want a special cake as well as those special birthdays and christening etc this is the fun element and a core part of my business.

Weddings is a market I need to get further established in but offering something a little different as there are many wonderful wedding cake designers whose cakes are beautifully executed so I have to think what I can offer that is different that I can bring to an already crowded market place.

And if you know me personally I’m a people person also a chatterbox and a little extroverted with a quirky sense of humor, I’m very expressive with my hands when I talk (true story)

So my brand has to represent all or most of the elements above  as well as some of my personality.

So first meeting was a brand discovery meeting back in April which dug deeper into me and my business and elements of what I’ve discussed above, Nancy wants to bring into my branding and get it to represent  the different things I do as well as my personality.

 I was already working and focusing on certain aspects of the business because I had been working on a business planner Ive spoken about in previous post  called Dream|Plan|Do by the Design trust and is one of the reason for the brand refresh as it really makes me think about what I’m doing.

So back to the brand discovery meeting,some of the questions Nancy wanted to know were:

  • Who my customers are- I used analytics from my social media to determine who interacts and responds to my pages especially with boosted post and adverts plus who I sell too.
  • What do I do? – artisan cupcakes, celebration cakes  a few wedding cakes, and recently a macaron or two.
  • Words I use to describe my business- authentic, quirky, unique, approachable  etc…
  • Who I want to attract- More customers who like artisan products
  • Business I admire and why- kute cake,crumbs and doilies, Lilly vanilli, Apple, Georgetown cupcake, 
  • Design styles I like- I used Pinterest to help me 
  • What my packaging is like- kraft brown boxes which me and my customers love and I will be keeping.

So Nancy went away and looked at all the information I gave and sent to her and she in turn sent me a mood board which is based on some visuals I sent to her as well as our conversations.

She is so collaborative and really wants to know what I like and dont like and unlike previous times where I’ve had a logo design there are loads of questions and suggestions been made that I’ve never thought of, and I really appreciate her expertise and creativity of thinking outside the box.

The images below are a combination of looks and colours sent to me to get my response. Its been a mixture of feeling overwhelmed, excited and wow. 

We also went through a  Pinterest board I created (feel free to have nose, the board is called Brand refresh) and went through aspects of design I liked and didn’t like so I can see she is building up a picture about me and Kake and Cupkakery 

This is not the final look but was just to judge my reaction to colour which is a huge leap from my muted monochrome look.

There is still work to be done on:

  • Colour palette
  • Logo
  • Typography
  • Pattern

So the next stage will be to see some colour palettes as well as a logo design.
I’m absolutely loving this process and while this is happening I’ll be tweaking everything else such as website,looking at my price point and product offering. 

It’s all very exciting and that’s why I want to share this process with you through my blog post.

Next update coming soon

What’s your reward?

It’s Sunday, what are you up to today? Are you chilling out, seeing family, doing some exercise or are you working on an order?

I know for many of us cake business owners  for one reason or another we are based at home  but this doesn’t have to mean we are available 24/7.

In the early days of my business I would take calls at all hours, answer emails at all hours,work all hours then deliver whenever and all over. 

But then sometimes life just says whoa hang on a bit what are you doing????? you can’t continue at this pace try and slow it down a little.

Thoughts like this usually happen when im working non stop  but then what tends to happen when i take a break i become ill because I’m a little run down.

This was one of the reasons I gave up a coffee shop contract a couple of years ago the constant out of hours contact such as Bank holidays and texts at 11.30pm when they had realised they had run out of cake (again) it was a lovely compliment to know my cakes were selling but at what cost could I continue to be working like this? And just to add I was working full time too.

So I decided it simply had to stop and I had to take action and yep I stopped my coffee shop contact for the good of my health, my customers and my business.

You see I’ve noticed a trend lately and it’s not just cake businesses but in general we are all so busyyyy, busy with work, busy with family, busy building business,life is just busy, it’s the busy epidemic.

Image from:
So due to this busyness I’ve been reflecting on myself and  about all my sacrifices and things I’ve missed out on while building my little cakey empire . Well it’s hardly an empire but to me it is lol

So thinking about this and if you read one of my earlier post you will see I was calling this year (2017) the year of me, well so far it’s been anything but because I’m so you guessed it “busy”

But it’s now time for me to own it.

Now don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with being busy this proves that the business has customers who want to buy my cakes, but it’s how I manage it is what I needed to address and never more so than recently. 

 One Saturday while out having lunch with a friend we popped into a little shop, one of those shops that sells little unique gifts as well as little buddhas, incense, crystals that kind of thing, anyway we struck up a conversation with the owner about work life balance as he faced similar work life balance challenges and told me about the book 7 habits of highly effective people. We chatted about work being so busy and then he said to me

 ” there is nothing wrong with working hard and being busy but there has to be some kind of reward” 

and it really hit home to me, of course there does otherwise what’s the point of it all, I love what I do but I’ve got to be able to reward myself once in a while.

So while chatting to him I mooched around his gorgeous little shop and I bought this magnet plaque which really resonated with me, it was truly a ah ha moment.

It’s now got a prominent place in my kitchen to act as a gentle reminder that now and again I’m allowed to take it easy.

So with all this reflection what changes have I made to get some balance back.

  • Well one of the  things I’ve done recently was to reward myself  so I booked myself a Spa day at the gorgeous Hoar cross hall just me a book, and my fluffy bath robe,it was absolute heaven.
  • I automate my fb messages to give clear times of contact, I don’t reply to messages after 7pm (I’m usually working on orders anyway) on weekdays and Saturday’s and any Sunday queries are answered on a Monday.
  • I’ve scheduled in down time right upto September such as the bank holiday weekends and also blocked out fully booked months and listed this on my Facebook page to inform my customers. This was interesting as I immediately had customers book in orders around these dates.
  • I now have a different phone number for the business away from my personal number(something I’ve wanted to do for ages) My contact number isn’t on my business cards as for first contact I prefer email or for s potential customer to contact me via my website.
  • I’m trying to get back to other hobbies like salsa dancing, making time for regular exercise and trying to start meditating again.
  • I use scheduling apps such as hootsuite and use the scheduler on Facebook to schedule in social media post on days when I know I won’t be around to do them or for busier times.
  • I use the word NO and I don’t force things if I know it’s going to be difficult to achieve within a specific timescale, I don’t want quality to suffer and unduly stress myself out.
  • Trying to keep sundays a no bake day (for the business) I’ve seen some businesses such as Rachel’s Kitchen don’t deliver cupcakes on mondays so this means no baking on a Sunday, which I’ve decided is now my official day off.
  • I decided to no longer deliver cakes on a Monday, and deliver Tuesday- Saturdays if I’m honest I hardly deliver celebration cakes on mondays as for me my deliveries are usually later in the week.
  •  I have turned Mondays into my official admin day to work on quotes, ideas and update my website. So now on a monday it’s dedicated to working on the business instead of  in it.
  • I’ve been looking at which has been recommended to me by another cake business to help me manage all the administration of the business which will save me some much needed time. 

So how do I feel about these changes?

I feel more organised,focused and assured that I’m clearly defining time to work and time to chill/play

So I know you are likely to be like me so what do you do that helps manage your time and worklife balance?,

And what do you like to do when your not baking up a storm?

Cakeageddon 2016

It has been agessssssss since my last post and it’s purely down to being a busy little bee over the past few months so I thought I would take the opportunity to reignite my blog ready for the new year.

So we are in the middle of crimbo limbo, that period in between xmas and new year where the days just merge into one, we are finishing off the mince pies, the unwanted celebrations chocolates and vowing to start a mini detox until new year celebrations begin,in other words still in the festive eating mindset but vowing to hit the gym.

So how was your festive period?? 

Did you have a nice one?

It seemed to go by in a blur for me, I managed to get all my Christmas present shopping done in November so thankfully I didn’t have to brave the crowds or hover around waiting for Amazon to deliver, yep this year i was seriously  organised as I knew the run up to Christmas was going to be a tough one due to cakeageddon.

Cakeageddon is the name I have been giving to my Christmas promotions for the past couple years or so and for me it describes it perfectly.

This years Cakeageddon offering was a combination of cupcakes, a festive drip cake, character cupcakes,and chocolate log cabin cakes,and not forgetting the rum cake.

 On reflection  for this year I should have reduced Cakeageddon slightly as I usually manage to take some annual leave from the day job but this year I didn’t so I was coming home and dealing with preparing  the many orders booked in ready for Christmas.

In between the baking I was having to find time to get into the festive spirit by attending Christmas nights out etc… was a test of stamina that’s for sure but everyone got there cakes, cupcakes and even mince pies.

The consequence for me though was a house in chaos, chocolate, icing sugar was everywhere and with the last of deliveries on Christmas Eve the last thing you want to be doing is a kitchen deep clean on Christmas Eve but it had to be done as I was still in semi baking mode for my family, two raspberry and lemon roulades for Christmas Day dessert and family mince pies to make so I didn’t  really stop till Christmas Day.

So while I’m in crimbo limbo I always like to reflect back at cakeageddon and think about how I could have done things differently or what I would change.

  1. Continue to get my personal shopping and tax return completed as early as possible as I’m always left rushing to get it completed, my accountant must be constantly eye rolling me
  2. Be mindful of my workload/ orders in December 
  3. Get a little admin help, especially for website enquiries in December actually in general 
  4. Stick to my cut off date for orders ( I’ve been especially strict with myself this year)
  5. Continue to close the business after Christmas just to get my breath back and reflect 
  6. I sometimes think I will have  a break the following year from cakeageddon but I never do so keep em peeled for cakeageddon 2017 🙂

So now it’s time to think about 2017 and what I want to achieve in the business. I’ve already got ideas in my head ready for valentines, Mother’s Day etc as well as more long term plans that I’m waiting to put onto paper.

I’ve even ordered myself a new business planner  to get things moving, this was recommended to me by a friend, it’s for creatives/craft type business  and if your interested you can check it out here 

I’ll write more about my planning process and how I get on with this planner in a future post.

Personally Ive decided it’s going to be the year of me, I’m going to get a holiday booked in and focus on having a little more playtime and relax a little so my life isn’t all work and cake as I am often described as a workaholic. 

I’m ever focused on my business but taking heed of my mums recent advice

“life is for living” 

so aiming for some balance in 2017

So if you run a business how was the busy festive period for you? And what would you do differently?? I would love to hear about it.

Anyway more post Christmas chilling to  continue but see you with another post in 2 weeks.

Yvonne 🙂 

Aka The Kake lady 

What have I been upto?

If you have been following this blog you have also been following my actual adventures in Kakeland so time for a mini update and to catch up to with what I have been upto?

Business has been busy, barely a week goes by without cake orders and I’m also now receiving corporate orders which I enjoy,I do need however to sort out my wedding cake side of the business  as this time of year I could be busier with regards to wedding bookings but have celebration cake orders booked so it’s all good.

I’ve ventured onto another social media platform and have become a SnapChatter, it’s a tricky platform to use as its an old school approach as gathering followers involves getting yourself out there and promoting your business as it doesn’t have a suggested user list like Twitter or Instagram (im on both) so I’m using it for behind the scenes videos, pics and tips, still getting to grips with it but it’s fun and will add another connection to customers and other businesses. So if you are on snapchat say hello.

In May I had one of my recipes printed in Cupcake heaven magazine, it was my Blackberry Mojito cupcake that I also submitted to the cupcake championships a few years ago, so as you can imagine I was over the moon about that.

So my business has been operating for just over 4 years alongside my full time job in my registered kitchen and I couldn’t be more pleased with the progress I have made, the cakes I have produced and the customers I serve.

I am confident in that I know my niche and my place in the market, my branding is sorted and represents the business perfectly.

So with everything going reasonably well I have been thinking about moving into premises as operating from a home based kitchen is tricky, work space and storage is the challenging bit so a dedicated space to work/shop would be amazing ,so as if by chance I saw a shop to let on my way home from work so I followed my intuition got the details and made that call.

The premises is close to my ideal location, has complementary businesses next to it, parking, and on a busy road. Simply put it was perfect so I arranged a viewing and loved it, in my head I created the layout, what I would sell etc etc……. but then reality hit, how will this work, I need funding/ financial as the business is making money and running itself but at the moment not enough income to live off and like everyone else I have responsibility’s so there is a lot to think about regarding taking the leap from my home based business with no overheads to premises with overheads, staff cost etc…… and also leaving the security of a regular income.

I sometimes wish I was totally fearless and could just make the leap but the fear of will it work, what if the location isn’t right, will customers visit arghhhhh it holds me back and I’m sure I’m not the only one.

How do I overcome it?? I have faith in myself and my abilities so you could say I’m working on it.
Before I viewed the shop I had actually been in contact with some small business organisations who after discussing my plans with them genuinely believe I have a viable business, especially taking into account my past experience and knowledge and I think others have done it so why not me.

So what’s next?

Seeing the shop has made me think about the business even more and where I want to be sometime in the future so I have decided to give the business an internal audit (corporate speak I know) to assess my offering, look at my systems, pricing (This doesn’t mean a price increase) do I feel I am offering a good service and do I add value as well as looking into different markets such as weddings as I currently don’t actively market in this area I suppose it would be a bit of a SWOT analysis looking at my strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. So lots to think about. 

After this I will attempt a business plan make some smart objectives and take it from there.

I think its good as a small business owner to step away and look with  a critical eye over what I do well and not so well as like many others who run small business we are so busy working in the business we don’t get enough time to work on it and strategise 

So during the summer this is what I will be doing looking at all aspects of the business to try and make it more effective, increase sales, create a strategy to tap into other markets as well as continue to offer good customer service.

The Shop will have to wait a little bit longer im afraid and in the words of Gary Vaynerchuck (I follow him on Facebook so check him out)

Hope you enjoyed my update, and in the next couple weeks my next post will be another #MeetTheBaker feature which I’m absolutely loving and hope you do to. 

Meet the baker-The Cake Days


Its time to introduce another cake business in the Meet the baker feature and hope you enjoy this read as much as i did.

So firstly please introduce yourself and your business, and where in the UK/World are you based? 

My name is Naomi and am the owner-operator of The Cake Days, a home run 5* cake making and decorating business. I am based in Eastham, Wirral and cover the surrounding areas.

Are you a self-taught cake decorator/baker or are you trained?
I am self taught but have since taken a part time cake decorating course which helped to push my skills to that next level.

How long have you been baking?
I have been baking since high school. But properly since my late teens. This got more frequent in university and more so afterwards.

How long have you been running your cake business?
I registered as a business in April 2015 after realising I wanted to make the move from hobby baker, providing for family and friends, to the role of professional baker, providing for customers.

What was the last cake you made? 
I had a busy weekend where I made 2 really awesome orders in one day. One was a personalised 16 cupcake order from a daughter with different toppers representing all the places her mother had traveled to. Another was a dragon themed cake for a 7 year old girl who was ecstatic with the topper.

How do you attract customers to your business?
Most of the business comes through the Facebook page and I love interacting with my customers. I attend fayres and events which keeps the name out there and allows me to get out there and meet customers, promote the business and display products with samples.

What do you find the hardest aspect of running your cake business?
Finding new leads and keeping business flowing throughout the year. During quiet lulls in seasonal periods especially January it can be hard to keep the business going. I’ve started to use those times to promote and network as well as work on items to photograph to use in my portfolio.

What do you love or find the easiest aspect of running your cake business?
I love cake. And so I love making cake. And this makes it really easy to prepare cakes for customers, making their day as special as possible.

 What is your specialty? Wedding cakes, novelty cakes, cupcakes etc…..
It’s changed slightly! I started with cupcakes…and they are my true love! But I’ve since taken on traditional sponges, celebration cakes and wedding cakes. At first I hated modelling and decorating. But now I love watching a full cake come together.

Who is your favourite cake artist, cake business or you tube channel
I love she who bakes. She keeps it real and makes the rest of us feel okay for still learning every day. She’s relatively new to the industry and provides fabulous pieces on starting a cake business.

What one piece of cake decorating/baking equipment could you not do without?
My cake release spray! I spent a long time cutting out greaseproof paper to line tins. Or greasing with butter and flour to prevent sticking. And lost so many cake bottoms in the process! Got some cake release spray and never looked back!!

What was the last bit of cake equipment you purchased?
A second stand mixer! Oops. I now have 2 stand mixers and my mums trusty old kenwood chefette from the 70s.

What is the one piece of cake equipment you regret purchasing?
I bought some cupcake cases from a certain brand at one point in a large bulk amount. (If I’m allowed to say who…it’s culpitt) And they peel like crazy. Now I’m stuck with about 200 of the things that I won’t use and instead have gone back to my Aldi cases which are value for money and bigger than most so more cupcake for my customers!

What is your favourite brand of sugarpaste?
It used to be renshaw but that cracks like crazy now. I am getting serious elephant skin on my cakes! So I’ve got new favourites for different things.
Karen davies for modelling. Wilton for toppers. Sugarpaste direct for celebration cakes,Massa ticino for wedding cakes.

Is there a new skill you would love to learn?
I’d love to learn more flowers. I know roses and a few blossoms. But I would love to do more floral work for my cakes.

What are the goals and ambitions for your business over the next 12 months?
The goal is to take on more weddings as that is what I’ve started to do this year. And retain our regular customers. I now have several returning cake families and repeat events that use me very often.

What advice would you give a new cake business just starting out?
Do your research first. Don’t just make a decision to start a cake business from nowhere. Learn how to bake a really good cake first as there is no point decorating a bad cake. Give away freebies to build a customer base…samples go a long way! And always keep learning…never think that you’re done with learning.

And lastly what do you prefer a slice of cake or a cupcake?
Either… or both! Haha. I love cake. I know most cake makers and decorators get sick of it. But hand me the cake slice and get out of my way!
Contact details:
Naomi Glendinning
Facebook: The Cake Days
Twitter: @thecakedays
Instagram: The_Cake_Days
Address: 1186c New Chester Road, Eastham, Wirral, CH62 9AE
Phone number: 07920464911

If you would like to shout about your business and give your customers a sneak peek behind your business email to have your business featured in a future post.

So you want to supply a coffee shop?

Its funny how you start off making celebration cakes and it suddenly opens doors to new and exciting possibilities such as generating additional income through supplying another business.

 Supplying a coffee shop especially when you have quiet times with celebration cakes can give your business a much welcomed boost as well as a regular income so it’s definitely an option worth considering, but in my opinion it’s easier to be one thing or another.

There are businesses that concentrate on just being a wholesale supplier, making homemade cakes for other businesses and then supplying the general public direct plays a much smaller part.

When I was doing both I found it a little tricky, there is nothing more challenging than working on 3 birthday cakes and suddenly switching to making brownies, layer cakes etc….. (The washing up was off the scale)

When starting up a business a lot of us consider supplying coffee shops and I was the same and thought it was a good way to go so I have been fortunate that I have supplied a total of 3 coffee/cafe business over the years but after a couple of similar experiences I decided that at the moment supplying other businesses  wasn’t the direction I wanted the business to go in, so I made the decision to solely concentrate on my celebration and cupcake business, and give my customers 100% of my attention as I felt I was getting distracted,this isn’t to say I wouldn’t revisit this option again in the future but at this current time  it’s not for me.

So I often read in various cake groups other bakers and cake decorators who have been approached to supply another business with various homemade cakes, and it gave me the idea to share my experience as well as sharing tips for anyone who is considering this route of being a wholesaler and supplying a coffee shop or cafe, so below is what I’ve learnt.

  • Supplying a coffee shop can help boost your profile and can bring celebration cake orders as customers will have tried your cake so ask if you can display business cards to help promote the other side of your business
  • Get together with the owners/managers so you know what kind of products they would like and what suits their clientele. 
  • Baking a layer cake is a much quicker process than creating a celebration cake,(especially if you bake in sandwich tins) you can churn out numerous layers of cake in 4 hours which is about the same length of time you could decorate one cake. But you would more likely earn a lot more off the one celebration cake than your coffee shop order (so bear that in mind)
  • Are you prepared- supplying another business is relentless as you will be baking and delivering between 1-3 times per week, think about who will bake/deliver orders when your on holiday, are you able to deliver the cakes for when the business requires them? so be honest with yourself especially if baking from home as you might just need extra support.
  • Have a price list- if you already make celebration cakes it’s easier with layer cakes, no need for constant quoting, Orders are more about frequency and volume so issue a price list to avoid confusion and keep cost consistent.
  • Carrying on with pricing the coffee shop will want to keep cost low so they can achieve a good gross profit per slice so be careful and make sure you make money.
  • Have a contract- you want to specify cut off ordering times/ ordering days, delivery days and contingency for sickness and holidays. If things are not working be sure to discuss your concerns.
  • Order boxes in bulk- I found rye pack  excellent value and have fabulous packaging for the wholesale market as the regular celebration cake boxes are far to expensive for regular deliveries where the box is just thrown straight in the bin so do your research on your non food cost such as boxes and boards to keep cost down.
  • Make sure your fully insured and have a good understanding of allergens- as your now selling to a third party as sometimes things can go wrong so make sure you are covered and either have a specification sheet regarding allergens for the cakes you supply or suitable allergen labels.
  • Invoice regularly-give delivery notes with every order to keep track of what you deliver as you want to ensure cash flow keeps your business moving so ensure you invoice on a regular basis with using the delivery notes as reference (weekly is best)
  • Keep payments seperate just like your main cake business, I have a separate business account and it just makes everything easier.
  • Use social media- tweet and mention the deliveries you make to the coffee shop so you can get some increased exposure for your business.
  • Be specific about contact times because you have a life too. Ive lost count of the amount of odd times I was receiving calls and messages for emergency orders etc…. This can be stressful so be sure to clearly communicate when you are able to accept orders. If you respond to out of hours contact then the expectation will be that your available 24/7 of which you are not.
  • Weekends can be busy with celebration/ wedding cake orders and a few times i received late coffee shop orders resulting in weekend deliveries which can cause havoc with schedules so Friday afternoon/ evening deliveries might work for both businesses so give this an option regarding deliveries. 

So there you are I’ve probably missed bits but I hope you find this blog post helpful and it may persuade or dissuade you in following this route

.There is a definate market out there and if you get the balance right it can work really well.

And If you already supply a coffee shop please feel free to share your experiences or if you need any advice feel free to ask a question.

Also I’m still looking for cake makers and bakers to take part in the #MeetTheBaker feature so check out the previous #MeetTheBaker blog post, and if you would like to take part get in touch.

Meet the baker- Bindweed Bakery


So here is the very first Meet the baker feature and i hope you enjoy reading about Kie and her business as much as i have.

So here it is.

So firstly please introduce yourself and your business, and where in the UK/World are you based?
My name is Kie Spate and I own and run Bindweed Bakery ( which is based Six Bells, Abertillery, in the picturesque South Wales Valleys.

Are you a self-taught cake decorator/baker or are you trained?
I am a self taught baker have no formal training in cake decorating, but have learned a huge amount through experimentation, trial and error and by watching various online tutorials.

How long have you been baking?
I have loved baking since I was big enough to wield a wooden spoon, and have many fond childhood memories of making delicious welsh-cakes, breads, and cakes with my mother.

How long have you been running your cake business?
I developed an interest in cake decorating in December 2013 when my youngest son asked if I could make him a dragon cake for his birthday. I started searching the internet for ideas and stumbled across the wonderful world of sculpted cakes! Sculpting has always been a passion of mine (and I have sculpted in polymer clay for quite a few years) so you can imagine my delight as I quickly realised that it was the perfect opportunity to combine both of my passions into one! Not being the sort of person to start with something easy and work my way up to making something more difficult I jumped right in with a sculpted 3D dragon cake – I learnt so much while making it, and loved doing it so much that the month later I registered with my local council and Bindweed Bakery was born!

What was the last cake you made?
The last cake that I made was actually a gift for my beautiful niece Lauren, who had her little boy Oscar ten weeks early – thankfully both mother and baby are both doing well.
The top tier was carrot cake filled with lemon buttercream and the bottom tier was chocolate cake filled with chocolate buttercream.

The last cake topper that I made was a vintage lady

How do you attract customers to your business?
As a still quite new business I’m still trying to figure out the best ways of attracting customers. Going to craft fairs and selling simple cakes and tray bakes but taking photographs of my more elaborate creations has helped in getting my name out there and even though I have only just really started trying to promote myself on it, social media (mainly Facebook has its merits to.
I have also recently opened an Etsy Shop where I sell my hand sculpted sugarpaste toppers.

What do you find the hardest aspect of running your cake business?
For me its definitely the ‘grown up’ stuff like keeping on top of my accounts! That and pricing.

What do you love or find the easiest aspect of running your cake business?
I love being able to be creative – and still sometimes can’t believe that people will pay me to sit and turn a piece of sugarpaste into a dog, animal or object!

What is your specialty? Wedding cakes, novelty cakes, cupcakes etc…..
My specialty is hand sculpted sugarpaste cake toppers and sculpted cakes – they are definitely what I enjoy making the most.

Who is your favourite cake artist, cake business or you tube channel
There are loads of cake artists that I really admire.
Some I admire because they are so innovative, some because they make the sorts of cakes and cake toppers that I love to make, but they make them so much better than I currently can; and some I admire because they simply make beautiful, perfectly pristine cakes that aren’t the sort of cakes that I make at all, but they are just so beautiful I can’t help admire them!
Among those that I really admire are Shawna Mcgreevy, Carlos Lischetti, Jessica Harris, Michelle Sugar Art, Avalon Yarnes, Mike McCarey and Rosie Cake Diva.

What one piece of cake decorating/baking equipment could you not do without?
I love my modelling tools and my stand mixer.

What was the last bit of cake equipment you purchased?
I’ve been pretty good recently and have stopped myself making spontaneous cake related purchases, but I do currently have some Dinkydoodle airbrush paints in my online shopping basket with my finger hovering over the checkout button!

What is the one piece of cake equipment you regret purchasing
I can’t actually choose just one – when I started out I bought a ton of cake decorating stuff that I thought would come in useful – but the sad truth is that half of it has never been used!

What is your favourite brand of sugarpaste
For modelling I like Asda’s own brand sugarpaste. I’m still trying out different brands when it comes to covering cakes.

Is there a new skill you would love to learn?
Having warm hands, I would love to learn how to model with modelling chocolate without having it melt on me! Its the main reason I model with sugarpaste, but would love to find a way around it as I’ve seen amazing things made with it.

What are the goals and ambitions for your business over the next 12 months?
I love what I do, so all I really want is for Bindweed Bakery to continue to grow so I can carry on doing what I love!

What advice would you give a new cake business just starting out?
I guess my biggest piece of advice would be don’t try to do to many things all at the same time – decide what your best at, most interested in and work on that.
Find your own style and believe in yourself.

And lastly what do you prefer a slice of cake or a cupcake?
Neither! I don’t eat cake at all anymore – Gluten and eating lots of carbohydrates don’t make me feel well so I tend to avoid them as much as I can – but even though I don’t eat cake I still love to bake, and spend most of my time thinking about different ways to decorate it!


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