I have just realised that it has been a whole year since my last post. I know that in these weird and wonderful post-apocalyptic times a year is not really a long time but I have really neglected my little blog.
This is a quick update of what has been going on in my life and business as the world has opened up again. The life bit will be short because, honestly, very little has been going on, apart from more renovations to the money-pit. This time we have been creating a snug in our son’s old bedroom at the front of the house and updating the spare room ready for a visit from my mother-in-law. We are also currently installing a new utility room with another oven so that I have more capacity for the business. The snug has been my favourite project so far. We wanted a really opulent space to chill out in, with an Art Deco influence. Our carpenter made panelling on the bottom half of the walls which have been painted midnight blue. The top half has been papered in a stunning blue bird cage design with a gold Deco background. We have ordered a mustard yellow velvet sofa which will be dressed with navy fur cushions and a William Morris print throw. I am looking for a brass palm tree lamp (think, Peaky Blinders, 1920’s style) and I will have lots of potted plants. We will also create a bar area for cosy movie nights. It is going to look amazing when it is finished.
Although, once the Covid restrictions lifted last year, the rush on afternoon teas slowed down significantly, my little business has gone from strength to strength. I used the quiet times to do some online courses in cake decorating. This has expanded my skill set and meant that I am confident to take on more ambitious commissions. I am even considering taking on a wedding cake order. I always worried about the pressure of creating a cake for what is probably one of the most important days of someone’s life but I want to be able to grow the business and also to be a small part of that special day. Standards are high and competition is fierce so I need to ensure that I can create something really beautiful and unique.
I have also been baking for a local cafe and really enjoying the positive feedback from the customers. I try to introduce something new every week and I am also experimenting more with gluten free recipes as there is a real demand for delicious and different gluten free cakes, along with vegan options, so that everyone can enjoy amazing cakes. I am trying to collect some data as I work to provide me with an insight into the business and how it is developing. This is all new for me but I feel that I should pay more attention to the details and costings which is not easy when I am baking all day most days. Any tips on how to balance these aspects of running a business would be greatly appreciated!!
By the way, the picture accompanying this post is of my Bee My Valentine cake from last month. The tin is one of a trio given to me at Christmas by my lovely husband. They are from Nordicware and are truly beautiful objects in their own right but also make fantastic intricate cakes. I have had so much fun trying them out, the beehive is a particular favourite as it is so detailed.
Thanks so much for reading!! Michelle xx