Life is too short to say no to Cake.
I've said it before and I will say it again we are so lucky to live where we do. I feel like Hertfordshire has become such a Foodie hub, there are so many amazing places to eat and drink. Now I love to bake and I can make an incredible tasting cake; but I always stumble at the decorating part. Simplicity is definitely the key to my style. Our G&T Loaf Cake and Cupcakes give you an idea of my skills (or lack of!), but it does taste incredible so check out the recipe here!
Thankfully for all of you not everyones cake decorating skills are like mine ... Emma from The Cupcake Company in Letchworth puts my skills to shame. Her passion for Baking and Decorating is so clear in each and everyone of her creations. I love how such amazing and successful companies come from something as innocent as a Charity Bake Sale. I really do believe that things happen for a reason. While they might feel hard and overwhelming at the time, something positive can really come from it in the end. Sometimes it feels easy to just give up when things get hard, but keep pushing. There is always light at the end of the tunnel, even if it is just a glimmer. Do what makes you happy, bake that cake, walk your dog, take a trip you've always wanted to. You never know what could come from it.
Anyway I'm rambling on as per! Let's focus on Emma and her amazing little Company! I love finding more about the people from some of our amazing local companies. Please proceed with care if are hungry, every single one of Emma's creations will leave you craving a slice or two of Cake! Emma creates these amazing Cakes, scrap that her works of art for anyone of your special events,including Weddings. Luckily for all of us we can pop into Emma's gorgeous Shop every Tuesday to Saturday 10-3pm for one of her amazing creations! Because is there really a bad time for an incredible Cake!
p.s make sure you scroll right to the bottom for Unicorn Cupcakes!
What made you start your own business?
About five years ago I was approached by some colleagues in my previous role and asked if there was anything I could do to help them raise some money for charity. I’m definitely not one for leaping out of planes, abseiling, etc, so I decided to try a bake sale. I didn’t really bake much at that point, but people loved the cakes and cupcakes I’d made and I started doing a couple of much larger charity bake sales a year, making around 90% of the goods myself and getting better and more creative each time.
Things would have remained like this, as I enjoyed doing the bake sales and I had a good career in local government, but in 2016 my father was diagnosed with terminal cancer and we lost him a few short weeks later. Nothing really prepares you for that, but I knew I needed time out and a bit of breathing space to redefine my life and discover a different way forward.
After that it was almost as though Dad was egging me on! Everything fell into place - and from the October of 2016 I was baking for coffee shop clients from a professional kitchen I rented two afternoons a week. Then towards the end of 2016 my current premises on The Wynd came up and thecupcake.company was born! It took a little while for the keys to come through and for me to construct my own commercial kitchen at the rear of the shop space, but we celebrated our first anniversary of opening on 21st April this year!
What was your first “I made it” moment?
I don’t think there’s been one definitive moment yet - it’s been more of a gradual build up and it’s still happening! It’s a surreal feeling when you’re having a quiet coffee in town and realising that the people a couple of tables down are talking about your shop and planning their next trip! It amazes me how many people know about us and recognise me when I’m out and about! One thing that did strike me suddenly for the first time a couple of weeks ago, was that the shop and I are now part of The Wynd’s and Letchworth’s retail history. Whatever happens in future years, there’ll always be someone somewhere who remembers the cute little cake shop that made their birthday or wedding cake, or the lady that used to let them ring the counter bell when they were little and they came in to buy a cupcake with their Mum or Dad. That’s a really nice feeling.
What’s the toughest part of your job?
I’m sure that sometimes people think running the shop is an easy business, as I close on Mondays and Thursdays. But actually I’m in the bakery at the back on these days working from approximately 7.30am until the early evening stocking the shop for the next couple of days and also fulfilling coffee shop and customer orders. It’s fun and creative and I wouldn’t change it, but it’s also a long shift, especially as I work alone.
What is your most memorable food experience?
Where to begin! Whenever I visit Yorkshire, fish and chips from The Quayside in Whitby is a must - but be prepared to defend your fish from the odd seagull on two! I also love Middle Eastern cuisine and have had the pleasure of ordering homemade Knafeh (a wonderful dessert first documented in the 10th century and made from shredded phyllo dough and sweet, salty cheese soaked in a delicate syrup) from a street vendor in the West Bank town of Nablus, from where the dessert originates. A great memory!
Name one food you couldn’t live without.
Definitely watermelon! I’m always finding excuses for us to nip into London when the massive, oval-shaped ones are in season! I’m a big fan of pavlova too. Perhaps I just ought to go with watermelon pavlova to cover both bases!
What is your most memorable travel experience?
A few years ago my other half was lucky enough to win an award at work and his firm jetted us off to Mexico to a gathering of employees from around the world. We flew business class and they provided an amazing range of excursions and activities, from visiting the Mayan pyramids of Chichen Itza to a range of water activities at Xel-Ha. They even flew in Natalie Cole to entertain us over dinner! A once-in-a-lifetime experience!
Where is your go-to place for inspiration?
I like the open air, a nice sunny day and a bit of breeze on my face. I grew up in the countryside in Yorkshire and when I need to recharge my batteries, that’s where I go. There are so many varied and stunning landscapes and coastal destinations in Yorkshire, from rolling wolds to heather-covered and desolate moors, bird sanctuaries to stunning high cliff coastlines, so it’s always easy to find somewhere beautiful and inspiring.
Name one thing you couldn’t live without.
I’m not particularly materialistic, so there’s not one specific thing that I couldn’t live without, but I like to do new things, have new experiences and visit new places with my other half and family. I’d like to think that for however long I live, there will always be some new and exciting thing for us all to discover around each corner.
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