Kevin Sibley, founder of Mama’s Cupcakes and winner of the National Cupcake 2009 Cupcake-off 2009
What do you do day-to-day?
I’m a sole trader, heading my own business called Mamas Cupcakes. I started the business a little over a year ago after leaving work as a graphic designer to care for my mother who had cancer. Sadly, she died on New Year’s Eve 2008 and, in the following months, I gathered myself up and started to promote my business more. I designed a website www.mamas-cupcakes.co.uk so that I could sell cupcakes and fudge to order. My graphic design skills came into play here, as it did for all my labelling design too.
I deliver the cakes myself within a 40-mile radius, as they are too delicate to courier! I also do farmers’ markets every weekend and my main sell there is homemade fudge. I take the cakes along, too, but that is mainly as a promotion, as I tend to cater for weddings, parties and celebrations.
How did you get into baking?
My mother taught me to bake from a very young age. I was making cakes from about the age of seven or eight. I’ve always had a passion for a good dessert and I love it that now I’m making cakes for a living, something that I really enjoy. It’s very creative so it satisfies that side of my nature too.
Chart your career path
For the past 12 years I have been a graphic designer and I still do a bit of freelance when time permits. The past 18 months has been concentrated on building Mamas Cupcakes. My long-term aim is to have a high-end tea/coffee house where my cupcakes will be my selling point. I’m looking at relocating, hopefully to Eastbourne. The key to a good café is to have good coffee and tea, both of which I have sourced; and if the cupcakes go down well too, hopefully I’ll be on to a winner!
What was your training or education?
In baking I am completely self-taught, with help from my mother, who was a great cook. She created many of her own recipes, which I have inherited. They’re very nostalgic recipes and I’m tempted to get them published one day – who knows?
What have been your highlights since winning the cupcake-off?
One function I catered for this year was the National Young Filmmakers’ Awards held in London. The boxed cakes were given as gifts to the awards presenters – celebrities such as Sienna Miller, Ben Miller, David Harewood and Ralph Little, among others. I’ve been interviewed on Gaydar radio, which was amusing, and for a couple of magazines. There has been more interest from customers and orders have certainly increased. It’s amazing what a title can do for you!