Cupcake boutique chain Fancie has seen 10% positive year-on-year growth over the past three years.

The Sheffield-based firm has expanded from one bakery shop since the business was founded in 2008, to three. These are based in Sharrowvale Road, Meadowhall Shopping Centre and the city’s Winter Gardens glasshouse. 

Fancie employs more than 50 staff and sell a range of cupcakes, macarons and traybakes in its retail outlets, while also providing wedding and wholesale services.

Amanda Perry, owner of Fancie and a trained pastry chef, told British Baker that trialling new store formats helped her understand how she could grow the business further. This included two cupcake kiosks in Barnsley and Doncaster shopping centres, in addition to a cupcake bakery shop in Sheffield University’s student union.

Perry said: “We’ve looked at several different ways of expanding the business, but it’s all about the right blueprint. Fancie has a strong presence in Sheffield, with more than 20,000 social media followers, so it’s a strong brand and the demand is definitely there. The kiosks were temporary to see how well they would do, and we discovered customers prefer the traditional teashop setting.

“We chose to take the opportunity at Sheffield University as it was a great location and had just undergone a £15m facelift. We loved our time there, but students are only in the University seven months of the year and about three hours each day. We decided to focus our efforts on our city centre store at Winter Gardens, which was accessible to students from the city’s two universities.”

Perry added that, for 2012, she would be looking to consolidate the business in the first quarter, while developing potential franchise opportunities and acting on meetings regarding wholesale business opportunities.

“We’ve had some exciting meetings come up that could grow our revenue considerably, but I would agree with Ken McMeikan’s response in British Baker’s article – Greggs: 2012 will be challenging – it is a bit of an unknown year," she said.

“Aside from that, we are currently exploring ways to grow our brand in a commercially aware and profitable manner to ensure we are sustainable during these times of economic uncertainty. We ensure we will be here for years to come through strategic planning and cost control.”