Meet the baker-Honey bee bakes

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

My name is Lauren Smy, I run Honey Bee Bakes from my home in Epping, Essex. I’m a mum of 2.5yo twins and a part time teacher so I only manage a couple of cakes a week at most.

Are you a self-taught cake decorator/baker or are you trained.

Self taught

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How long have you been baking?

I have been baking for around ten years but decorated my first fondant covered cake three years ago.

How long have you been running your cake business?

I was registered in August 2015 so around 9 months. Before that i had been making for friends and family for a year or so to build my portfolio.

How do you attract customers to your business?

Mostly through word of mouth, repeat business, recommendations. I also advertise on a few local mums facebook groups which has generated some business.

What do you find is the hardest aspect of running your cake business?


The late nights – I work on cakes when the boys are in bed so often means up into the small hours, on friday nights especially!

What do you love or find the easiest aspect of running your cake business?


Working with people to create their bespoke cake, discussing their preferences and requirements and designing their dream cake!

Do you have a niche?


I have really got into painting on cakes lately! I love the effect. I would describe my favourite style as elegant and pretty.

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Who is your favourite cake artist, cake business or you tube channel.


I love the really sharp, neat yet beautiful designs of Caking It Up, Fancie Buns and The Pretty Sugar Cake Company all of whom I love to follow on Instagram!

What one piece of cake decorating/baking equipment could you not do without?


My kenwood mixer! And the Mat. The Mat changed my life, literally!

What was the last bit of cake equipment you purchased?


A new turntable as the old one was squeaking and driving me crazy!

What is the one piece of cake equipment you regret purchasing?


Oh there’s lots of moulds and cutters that haven’t been used
!

What is your favourite brand of sugarpaste?


Tom Anderson own brand never lets me down and has got me some lovely compliments for its taste.

Is there a new skill you would love to learn?


Wired flower arrangements and how to create perfect stripes on cakes!

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What are the goals and ambitions for your business over the next 12 months?


To develop the wedding cake side of my business – to offer more consultations, do some wedding fairs and get onto the list of preferred suppliers for local venues. This summer I plan to improve my marketing to attract brides to be.

And lastly what do you prefer a slice of cake or a cupcake?


Slice of cake – with a cup of tea every time!

Thanks Lauren for giving readers an insight into your business. And if you would like to contact Lauren you can do so here http://www.facebook.com/HoneyBeeBakesEpping 

 If you would like to feature please email hello@kakeandcupkakery.co.uk 

Meet the baker- Mamgi Cakes

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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.

mamgi cakes

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Sally Merrick

 www.facebook.com/mamgicakesstathan

And if you would like to shout about your business or give your customers a sneak peek behind the scenes email hello@kakeandcupkakery.co.uk to have your business featured in a future meet the baker post.

 

Meet the baker-The Cake Days

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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, http://www.thecakedays.co.uk 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
Website: http://www.thecakedays.co.uk
Email: thecakedays@gmail.com
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 hello@kakeandcupkakery.co.uk to have your business featured in a future post.

Meet the baker- Bindweed Bakery

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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 (http://bindweedbakery.com) 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 https://www.facebook.com/BindweedBakery has its merits to.
I have also recently opened an Etsy Shop http://bindweedbakery.etsy.com 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!

  

if you would like to take part in the Meet the baker feature please email hello@kakenadcupkakery.co.uk

 

Meet the baker

  

  
Us Cakey peeps we have a lot in common, we love buying cake kit,get dazzled with glitter, in awe of a drip cake, oh yes we certainly share our love of all things baked and cake, but yet every business is so unique. 

The Cake community is a large one that can be super supportive, critical, fun,innovative. We love sharing techniques, hints and tips but we don’t always get a chance to shout about what we do or just share what makes us tick.

So with this in mind 1-2 times a month I will feature a cake business on my blog.

 You’ll get a set of questions to answer, all based on you and your Cakey biz.

Your replies will then be shared with thousands of Cakey peeps and beyond.

Feel free to add your website and any social media links to your feature which will also be shared within the meet the baker blog.

If your interested in this feature please email hello@kakeandcupkakery.co.uk with Meet the baker in the subject line I’ll then send you your questions and let you know when your business is featured.

You can then share with your followers on your cake pages and social media which will give a little insight into what us bakers do.

If your on Twitter be sure to keep an eye out for the #MeetTheBaker and be sure to share the #MeetTheBaker on fb too to connect the Cakey love.

I hope you enjoy this series

Yvonne

Kake and Cupkakery