Welcome to our first blog post!
As an introduction, I am going to talk about how GlamoRose Cakes came to be – our story.. how we managed to keep a cupcake shop open in the middle of recession, and how it turned from home baking to professional!
OUR STORY – PART 1
So I came out of university at 22, having trained as a modelmaker. This involved sculpting anything out of anything – so using a material to its potentials. I didn’t do badly – I graduated with a 2:1, but spent most of my course making models inspired by Disney, and covering everything in glitter – much to the dismay of my tutors! When I moved home, I was offered a job doing model making nearby to Marlborough and waited for it to start, before I decided what to do with my life!
Down the road from my mums house was a pub, and they had recently opened up a little café in it. I decided it would be fun to start making cupcakes for them, so ask them if they wanted to see some samples (having hardly made a cupcake in my life)! Sure enough, they asked to see some for tomorrow!!! Now I’m not the kind of person who has baked all my life, or has a family who has baked for generations, but neither am I the type of person to turn down potential! I googled some recipes, spent the afternoon doing experiments, and several youtube videos later, I had six cakes I was proud of. I took them down to the café with shaking hands, not knowing what to expect, and they absolutely loved them! Michellin star chefs were posting MY cakes on their facebook page! I kind of felt relieved but confused – maybe I was ok at this afterall…
Theres nothing I love more than mass production. I love the idea of making loads of the same thing, and then selling them all. So at this point, I realised I had to get some kind of way to do that. I looked around locally at a few local fairs and markets, and found an animal fair in Newbury. I asked to attend and got a pitch. I spent the next few days inventing all these different animal cupcakes, and used different sweets as my inspiration! There were pigs, dogs, bears, chicks, lions, sheep and ladybirds. That day I made over £200 selling my cakes for just a few hours. I was over the moon! By the next week I had a regular spot at the Newbury market, where everything started to take off.
So I now had one regular market, and regular orders from the café aswell. The next place I tried was a very high end café and local farm shop – I took in my cupcakes, and ended up baking twenty-four small cakes a week, plus cupcakes for seasonal occasions, and then had a phone call from the café manager too! I was completely inundated with work. I would spend all day Monday and Tuesday baking for the café and farm shop. Then all day Thursday and Friday baking for the market. Then I would sell all my produce on Saturday, and spend Sunday and Monday buying the ingredients, writing invoices, researching new recipes and making my cupcake decorations for the week. I loved everyday – it did get exhausting, but I couldn’t deny that there was definitely a demand for this business!
Over the next year, everything just went crazy. I hired someone to help me sell at Newbury market as I was bringing in £400 per week there. I was still baking for the two cafes and the farm shop. I found lots of different events and fairs at the weekends – especially those on a Sunday – so I could reach some new audiences. My mum was an incredible help for me – she would train up staff, decorate cupcakes, help with the washing up, and go out selling if events ended up on the same day – I couldn’t have done it without her. I barely looked up for months at a time. I remember I had a few people come into my house to help me bake (I had moved out with my boyfriend at the time then), just so I could sort out the paper work and write some invoices! I would spend a whole afternoon a week just making buttercream. I bought a convection oven so I could cook 48 cupcakes in 20 minutes, and had a massive table next to it where I would put all the cakes ready for icing. I had drawers of sweets and decorations, chocolate and stacks of flour. It was starting to get tiring, especially having all the mess and stickiness in your home, and never leaving the house except for weekends. I decided I had to do something – get a bigger place to bake, or a commercial kitchen or something. The question was where?
Every few weeks there was a market in old town. I didn’t make particularly good money from it, but really liked the people there, and for some reason it felt like home. That was where I decided I wanted my shop. My mum was sceptical, and nervous for me. But that was my dream. Have a beautiful kitchen with all my tools. Bake where people can see what I’m doing, and smell that freshly baked cupcake smell. Spend my days chatting to customers rather than standing on my own. Maybe have some staff who can help me through the busy times. It had to be done.
MORE TO FOLLOW… xxx