Closing time . . .

It’s about a year since I decided to officially start my little cake business. Full of enthusiasm, I had dreams of opening studios, running decorating classes, a coffee bar. I was going to be the Trump of the cake kingdom.

But alas. Reality hit.

25% of all small businesses fail in their first year, and I desperately didn’t want to be one of them. Admittedly, I wasn’t “out there!” as much as I probably should have been, but I did have my hands full. But really, without the full time commitment my cake business required, I had no chance. I had no chance against the underground hobby bakers.

How much for a two tier Frozen cake?

Well, how much do you reckon? I quoted £130. Is that too much? It’s a lot of work to produce a cake like that. Not to mention the time spent away from my family. Apparently £130 is too much. So how much would you expect to pay? £40? Apparently £40. By my calculations that just about covered the cost.

It seems that are a lot of bored ladies out there. Ladies that are basically prepared to work for nothing. So what chance does anyone have of competing. I know I could. I know in the long run I could build a brand, a following, become the go-to trusted baker in the Tyne Valley, but quite frankly, I’m not ready for the slog right now. I have my Harry. I have my Andy. I have my Andy’s business, that’s slog enough helping with his marketing. There’s also a lot of competition in the decorating arena, with cheaper trades moving in from Gateshead.

Business is a complicated animal. Not to be taken lightly. Admittedly, I rushed into my cake business. But I’m not the main breadwinner so we could afford for me to to just give it a go. Andy’s business though is much more serious so I’m constantly thinking of how I should be marketing him. At the moment my biggest issue is how to improve the quality of his enquiries. Hmmmm … That is a difficult one!

My son's first year birthday cake.  I look forward to still baking for my little fella and for friends and family.

My son’s first year birthday cake. I look forward to still baking for my little fella and for friends and family.

Anyhow. Back to the cake business. So, I’m calling time on it. Obviously I will never stop baking. I love it. But to be honest I do probably love baking for myself more. I found it difficult giving up cakes that I wouldn’t get to eat myself. And it is hard work, having a baby and then only starting work after he’s gone to bed. I did feel a bit nocturnal at times.

matt and gemmas wedding_3

But, alas I am quite sad. A bit silly of me, but I do feel like I’ve let my grandad down a bit. So this weekend I’m going to bake some bread to make up for my failure.

And then after that I’m going to start thinking about my next money making scheme. I have a couple of ideas so watch this space. But this time, I will take my time. Research things properly, develop my brand, my USPs, actually write down my four Ps. Hopefully make a success of something.

In the meantime, whilst I figure out what I’m going to be when I grow up, I’m going to get back into writing this gibberish on this thingy-me-bob, helping Andy to source quality leads for his business* (Andrew Batey and Sons) and obviously, being Mum to Harry.

One last word on the matter. If you were one of the lovely people who did enjoy some of my cakes, thank you so much for your support. You kept my dream alive. Xx

*ps – if you live in the Tyne Valley and are looking for a quality painter and decorator, check out my husband’s website.  He’s pretty good.


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