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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org