Two business-minded mums from Haywards Heath are launching their first cupcake range in Waitrose this September.
Carolyn Nicholas, originally from America, and Chieko Clark met while dropping off their children at school in Cuckfield. After discussing the difficulties of increasing their families’ fruit and vegetable intake, as well as their love of cake, the pair decided to incorporate the two.
Nicholas’ great-grandparents owned a bakery in Trenton, New Jersey, and the duo decided to use the family’s 90-year-old cake recipe to build their range.
“As far as I can remember I was baking with my mother and grandmother, so I was constantly in the kitchen,” said Nicholas. “Chieko and I were baking my grandmother’s banana cake recipe, and we thought if we can do it with banana, why can’t we mix other things into this?”
Clark added: “The kids were at the age when we were puréeing their food. The children love sweet treats, so by mixing it into the cakes we were killing two birds with one stone.”
After experimenting with different fruits and vegetables, they launched House of Cuckoo two years ago, testing their products on the children, all under the age of four, who they say are their harshest critics.
Where possible, local suppliers are used, and the brand uses Forfars bakers based in Sussex to produce the cupcakes.
Having produced cupcakes for friends, family and the NSPCC, Nicholas and Clark took samples to the buyer at Waitrose. The following day they were contacted to discuss including the cupcakes in supermarkets.
Designed with both adults and children in mind, the pair hope to launch a box of mini-cupcakes for smaller mouths in the coming months. Seasonal flavours are also being finalised, as well as a new line, Emerald, with ingredients including red bean and a green tea frosting.
Cuckoo Cupcakes from House of Cuckoo will be available from selected Waitrose stores from 30 September. The range will include two flavours: banana and vanilla, and beetroot and chocolate. An RRP for a box of four will be announced shortly.