Meet the baker- Rosa Cakes

It’s been a few weeks since the last meet the baker interview and I’m thrilled that so many of you are taking part, I’m really loving the insights but enough of my waffling it’s now time to introduce another fab business:

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

Hi, my name is Hannah Rodmell and my cake business is Rosa Cakes, based in South West London.  

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

A bit of both really. I am mainly self taught but did a few baking and cake decorating courses when I was first starting out to gain some confidence and learn a few more skills. I am always learning new techniques and it definitely takes time to get your cakes to a high standard. It requires lots of research, practice, patience and creativity. 

3. Who inspired you to bake/ decorate and how long have you been baking for?

I’ve always been a very keen cook and learnt a lot from my mum over the years but it was my dad who suggested I took cake decorating up as a business. I worked as an art tutor when I left university after studying Fine Art and baked cakes part time which worked well for a while until deciding to start a family. I needed something where I could ideally work from home and not be working the evenings I was doing as a tutor. That’s when it decided to go full time as a cake maker. It worked out well as I was able to gradually build up my business, so that by the time I was working on the cakes full time I felt confident to move forward and had gathered lots of local custom.

4. How long have you been running your cake business?

I registered as a business in 2013, so it’s been almost five years now. I feel like I’ve always done it though, I couldn’t imagine doing anything different! It allows me to fulfil my creativity as well as my love of baking. I love that (almost) every cake is different which presents new challenges and therefore keeps it exciting! 

5. What was the last cake you made?

The last cake I made was a pretty Mermaid   cake for a little girl named Isabel. I was lucky enough to be asked to make her birthday cake for the second year in a row. It’s lovely when you get people coming back year after year. 

I loved making this cake with all the pretty little details and the lovely colour combination. 

6. How do you attract customers to your business?

In the beginning I heavily relied on local selling pages on Facebook but now I get most of my custom through word of mouth and lots of repeat customers. I try to keep my Facebook and Instagram pages updated with regular posts and lots of cake pics! 

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

Time. I wish I had more of it!! I currently make three cakes a week maximum as I like to take my time over my cakes and not rush them. I’m looking forward to being able to take on a bit more once my little boy is in full time education. 

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

I love how creative I can be with my cakes and find that very fulfilling.

9. What is your speciality/niche? (Wedding cakes, novelty cakes, cupcakes etc…..)

I specialise in novelty cakes mainly. I especially enjoy making pretty, detailed cakes for occasions such as birthdays and christenings. 

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

Natasha Collins of Nevie Pie Cakes, Emily Hankins, The Rose on the Cake, Don’t Tell Charles, Little Cherry Cake Company, Cotton and Crumbs, The Clever Little Cupcake Company…I could go on and on! So many amazing and inspirational Cake artists out there! 

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

My trusty Kitchen-Aid without a doubt!

12. What was the last bit of cake equipment you purchased?

I purchased a new turntable as my old one was starting to wobble! I recently received a ‘King Pin’ rolling pin for Christmas which I’m looking forward to testing out! I’m hoping it will aid me in rolling out large amounts of icing as it’s nice and heavy!! 

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

I think I’ve been quite lucky as I don’t think I regret purchasing any of my cake equipment….and there’s a LOT of it!! 

14. What is your favourite brand of sugarpaste

I like using ‘The Sugarpaste’ mainly as I can get lovely sharp edges from it and I find it very reliable but use ‘Beau’ for stronger colours like red and black which are harder to colour. 

15. Is there a new skill you would love to learn?

I absolutely love the look of hand-painted cakes. I studied Fine Art at university so have some experience and skill when it comes to painting….but just not on cakes! I would like to try and put some time aside this year to practice painting on sugarpaste and developing this further. I think it will be something that takes a bit of practice! 

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

I started teaching a few cake decorating classes at the end of last year which I would like to pursue further this year. I would also like to broaden my skill set by taking time to practice techniques such as painting on cakes and making more sugar and wafer flowers. 

17. What advice would you give a new cake business just starting out?

Practice, practice, practice before taking the plunge. I think a lot of people think they can start up a cake business without taking the time to develop the skill fully first. It’s harder than it looks! Also, make sure you look into what’s required of you as a professional cake business such as the rules and regulations you’ll need to follow to legally work from home.  

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

A slice of cake with a cup of tea every time!! …lemon cake being my fave! 

You can find me on Facebook

And Instagram…

I am loving reading about all these businesses and if you would like to shout about your business and would like to take part just email

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 Niche?

They always say the reason to start a business is to solve a problem or identify a need and once you have identified what the problem or the need is you will quite likely have a concept/idea for a business.

If you have a business baking and decorating cakes like myself you will have either started your business from being a hobbyist or just made the decision to start a cake business.

Either way we have identified that the problem that we solve as cakers is creating speciality cakes handmade for various celebrations and occasions, small or large, budget or more expensive we are certainly in the business of bringing a little joy into people’s lives with cake, in fact I would say we are memory makers as most people can remember receiving an extra special birthday cake. 

Now starting the business that’s the easy part,the next is to identify your niche or in other words what your good at or where your passion is.

Do you need to have a niche? Maybe not but think of any business and you will see that their is at least one thing that they excel at or they are known for. 

In the Cakey world it is just so diverse we have businesses who specialise in life size cakes, gravity defying cakes, sugar paste flowers, decorating with buttercream, royal icing, Wedding cakes, Cupcakes, brownies, bundt cakes, too many to list all but I can guarantee every single person who bakes and decorates cakes has a niche.

For me my business focuses on celebration cakes and dessert style cupcakes with the occasional wedding cake.

 The wedding cake market is an area that I haven’t really targeted much but I have some ideas around this that will suit my niche so will look into more marketing in this area over the next few months ready for the 2017 wedding season.

With celebration cakes I mainly make birthday cakes, and this has happened quite organically as that is where the majority of my orders come from and I would say compared to wedding cakes the percentage of birthday cakes I make in comparison to wedding cakes is 90% so I feel pretty comfortable knowing that this is enjoyably a big part of my business because that’s what my customers mainly order and then thankfully  go on to recommend me to family and friends who then in turn order  a birthday cake themselves.

 Now what I consider to be my niche is dessert style cupcakes, basically put I love cupcakes and wanted my customers to not necessarily order a cake for a special occasion but order some cupcakes just because they fancy a treat in different flavor combinations or they want to gift a box to friends and family. My customers are always keen to see what flavor combinations I will come up with next and if you can get the word out about what you do in your local area or beyond it really helps you to stand out from what others do in a similar market.

So over the years I have concentrated in coming up with a whole concept around my cupcakes and I recognize this is to be my niche.

Early on I made the mistake of trying to be all things to all people and this is easily done because we want to try everything and in my opinion doing this usually brings you to a conclusion of what you like to do and what sells well with your customers but being all things to all people has the danger that you end up not really appealing to anyone or spreading yourself too thin.

I tried cake pops and macarons, haven’t ventured into iced cookies (yet) but might have a dabble.

 I do bake other items such as brownies, doughnuts etc… but I quickly realised cake pops and macarons didn’t come to me as easily as cakes plus there wasn’t much of a demand with my customers for cake pops or macarons. So putting this to one side I leave it to businesses that do this so much better than me and I decided cake pops and macarons wouldn’t be part of my product offering on a permanent basis just very limited occasions or special request.

The advantages of what finding your niche brings is that your customers will know what you do, you can then target and market more effectively depending on your niche.

There are many  baking related business who I believe have captured their niche perfectly and it is very clear what they do.

Pop bakery- cake pops

Tasty cakes – large and life size cakes

Yipsy macarons – Macarons

Crumbs and doilies – Cupcakes 

Cakes by cliff – Drip cakes

Queen of hearts couture cakes -Buttercream artist

The businesses mentioned above have clearly identified what they enjoy doing and what their customers want and through social media has allowed the customer to buy into what they do and what they specialise in.

So if you ever find yourself feeling stuck on the direction of your business go back to basics and focus on what you do best, where your passion lies or where the majority of your orders come from. Before you know it you have your niche.

I would love to hear what your niche is so please feel free to comment and share.


So the lovely Valeri and Christina from Queen of hearts couture cakes have sent me this brilliant message regarding finding your Niche:

Aaawwww! Thank you so much for thinking about us. 

Well, what we can say is, it is indeed important to find your niche. Although, market is very competitive so you have to up your game. You can or not necessarily have your niche..or maybe you’ll eventually discover it. But what’s important is, every cake photo you post, HAS TO BE: neat, professional looking, and with your style in it. This is your portfolio..and this is what people see and will remember you for. So every post you will do is a chance to get people interested and remember make the most of it 🙂

Hope we make sense! Haha 

Much love to all of you from 2 crazy buttercream girls,

Valeri & Christina xxx”

Things to remember

Nearly the end of January and l am just writing my first post of 2015, its a bit later than i wanted but as they say better late than never.
So after a teeny tiny break after what was Christmas cakeageddon its back to ovens roll.

So the first couple weeks into January saw my first cake delivery of 2015 which just so happened to be a wedding cake with mixed flavoured tiered with a design brief of a very classic style wedding cake decorated with Ruby red roses and swags.


To decorate the cake I used Red wine beau flower paste, I’m a bit of a convert to this flowerpaste which comes in a fab range of colours and doesn’t dry to quickly so giving you plenty of time to use before it dries out. The roses were unwired and made petal by petal as i know there are so many different methods to make roses but this method gives great results.


The cake covering l used was Culpitt sugarpaste, I do tend to use either Bako paste or Culpitt but Culpitt just pips it for me, slightly more pricey compared to other paste but i like the way it covers which doesn’t graze or give that elephant skin effect.

Both paste come in Ivory or white, I used the Ivory as this was chosen by the client and was a very good choice.

Anyway all went well with delivery and set up and l arrived at the venue and received some lovely comments from the venue staff, so after having a quick chat i headed off home but then as I was half way l sudden realised arghhhh forgot to take a pic of the cake set up but luckily for me the mother of the bride kindly sent me a picture of the cake. So with this in mind it made me think about things to remember when delivering a Wedding cake.

  • Emergency kit – Edible glue, cocktail sticks, royal icing, extra roses, what ever you have used on your cake always have extra in your emergency kit incase anything goes a miss upon arrival at the venue.
  • Camera or phone – make sure you have your batteries or phoned charged up
  • Two hands are better than one- Never underestimate how heavy wedding cakes can be so you may need a helping hand or two or three
  • Sat Nav- Country hotels, Golf clubs, wedding venues in general can sometimes be off the beaten track so be prepared
  • Order form –  I always take the original order form with me including the wedding planners phone numbers as sometimes its only the set up staff that will be at the venue and the front door isn’t always open so always give them a quick call if that’s the case.

If you have any other suggestions about things to remember please feel free to comment.