Back in the UK

06 March, 2015

Victoria Forward has just returned to the UK after two years in Australia, and is setting up cake business "Victoria Sponge", in Buckinghamshire. She previously ran Let Them Eat Cake in the UK for six years providing celebration cakes / cupcakes, cake decorating courses and workshops. In 2012 she won the award for Best Presented Cupcake at the British Baker National Cupcake Championships. Victoria is married with 2 children.

Victoria ForwardSo, I have landed back in the United Kingdom, after my 2 years in Australia! I welcome Justine Spalding, who is taking over from me, keeping you all up to date with the trends Down Under, and I hope to be chatting to you about the trials and tribulations of setting up a home cake business back in the UK!

I have to say, I am raring to go on the cake front! In my part of Sydney, it was difficult for me to set up a home based food business as my council made it practically impossible. So, feeling it necessary to do thing by the book, I concentrated on teaching and not making custom cakes. I love the social interaction that teaching brings, but I have felt that not having cakes to make on a regular basis can affect one's cake mojo! So let's hope that things go smoothly over the next few months and I can get up and running as soon as possible!

It's "all change" for us, actually, as we're moving from our original base in Hampshire to Buckinghamshire. My first port of call for starting up is "Market Research", a valuable exercise, and this always leads me to the many cake pages on Facebook. In doing so, I have been extremely lucky to find a closed group for cake makers in my area, who have welcomed me with open arms. I find this resource refreshing and encouraging; a group of cakies, all with businesses, who meet up regularly, share equipment and pass on business when they can not fulfil the work themselves. Over the years I have witnessed so much tension and negative competition between cake makers in groups on Facebook. This new find is how it should be, and encourage all of you in your areas on the UK to do the same. They provide comfort and reassurance when you are worried about a particular project, helpful advice and even back up if something happens like illness where you are unable to complete orders. Invaluable support.

Looking at the wonderful creations that these ladies are producing, I have registered a couple of changes in UK cake and cake designs since I have been away. Firstly, I am very interested to see the method of ganaching cakes is spreading across the UK Cake market. If you've read my Aussie blogs you'll know that this is standard practice Down Under, and it is creeping in over here. The advantage is the smooth coating it lends itself to, for then covering in sugarpaste, and achieving such a great, smooth finish. Along with the sharp edges which give such a modern feel to a cake (although, as I've said before, I hope we don't lose the soft curves completely!).

Secondly, the level of cupcake decoration has had its ante well and truly "upped"! It seems more and more the swirl of buttercream with a touch of small decoration has been taken over with such intricate designs of fondant topped cakes with stencils, heart moulds, cupids and embossing. All beautiful works of art, I just hope that the amount of work these involve can command the price they deserve. As we all know (if the customers don't) how long these works of art take to create!

But I'm sure I'll get to discussing the hot potato of pricing in a later blog when I address that for my own business!

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About Victoria Forward
Victoria Forward has just returned to the UK after two years in Australia, and is setting up cake business "Victoria Sponge", in Buckinghamshire. She previously ran Let Them Eat Cake in the UK for six years providing celebration cakes / cupcakes, cake decorating courses and workshops. In 2012 she won the award for Best Presented Cupcake at the British Baker National Cupcake Championships. Victoria is married with 2 children.





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