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?
My training is in graphic design. The graphics have helped me a lot with my website design, photography and general design of the business logo and the labelling. You need to draw your customers in with an attractive display, after all. 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!