East Harling custom cakes business is putting the happy into birthdays
A small business has been working overtime to bring a dash of creative flair and happiness to birthday parties.
Andi Bakes Custom Cakes is run by single mother-of-five Andrea Buck, 38, from her home in Grigsons Wood, East Harling.
“I’m not an artistic person,” says Miss Buck. “I can’t even draw, and I couldn’t cook at all when I first left home.”
Things changed, however, with the pitter patter of tiny feet. “I started cooking and baking out of necessity when I had children,” she said. “It’s been a case of learning as I go since then.
“We didn’t have a lot of money so, when the kids asked for a birthday cake, I started making them myself. After a while, their design ideas got bigger and I had to up my game.
“When other people saw the cakes, they started asking me to make one for them, and that’s how the business started. It’s a perfect way for me to earn some money while working from home.”
Miss Buck starts each cake with a theme or an idea from a customer, before using her imagination to build the design from there.
“I’m making an Only Fools and Horses cake today,” she says.
“I love seeing a design come to life and I’m always happy to try to make the chosen flavours work.
“When a customer pays to have a cake made, it has to be unique and personal. It’s the best feeling when you get a message saying ‘you should have seen the look on his face’, or that you’ve made someone happier on their birthday. It feels good to bring a smile to someone’s face.”
Miss Buck’s fully registered business may only be in its infancy, but it already has five-star ratings for hygiene and customer feedback.
Above all, it has helped her to work flexibly while caring for her children and dealing with her own long-term health issue, and she hopes to see it expand once her children are older.
She said: “I’ve only been doing it for just over a year, but I’d like the business to grow once the kids are older.
“It would be lovely to have my own little shop, but for now, I mostly rely on word of mouth.”
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