Today’s Supplier Spotlight is Alice Rose Cakes & Cookies – an amazing cake maker based in the North West. I’ve been very lucky to have the opportunity to try a few things from Alice and can definitely say everything tastes fantastic, I would recommend Alice to anyone!
1. Introduce yourself and your company!
Hi I’m Alice and I have been running Alice Rose – Cakes & Cookies part time for almost 2 years and full time for just 3 months and loving every minute.
2. What made you start your company?
I finished Uni in 2006 after studying Business Management not really knowing what I wanted to do. I have always been creative, and of course have always loved cake so I thought why not combine the two and try and make a living from it. I always loved baking as a child with my Mum and Grandma and distinctly remember as a young child being overly excited by the fact that my quite strict Grandma said I could break into the yolk of the egg and thinking wow this is fun! I started making cakes for my family for their birthdays and Christmas and so decided to enrole on a part time college course to learn the basics of royal icing. After passing this with a distinction I decided to give it a go as a business.
3. Can you give us a typical â€˜day in the life ofâ€™ â€“ weâ€™d love to know what you do day by day, even the what-might-seem-like-boring bits!
A typical day is quite relaxed as I work alone and from home and as cakes are not usually a last minute decision from the customer I am able to plan ahead, just the way I like it. I make sure don’t take on more than one wedding a weekend so I can devote my time to getting it perfect for the happy couple. my days involve all sorts of different tasks inclusing emailing and phoning customers and venues to check cake details and delivery times, drawing and colouring in cake designs for customers to choose from to getting covered from head to toe in icing sugar. There is a lot of planning that goes in to making a cake from choosing the flavour and decoration right down to the colour of the table cloth the cake will sit on to make sure it doesn’t clash! All of the planning and paperwork makes baking and decorating the end piece of edible art more than worth it and the reaction of the customer makes it the best job in the world.
4. What do you enjoy most or what is your favourite part of your job?
There are lots of parts to my job that I would choose to be the best bit but the top 3 parts are
1) Working closely with wonderful customers, getting to know them and being a part of their day, I even got invited to the evening part of one couples wedding when they saw the cake I delivered that morning which was amazing!
2) Making and decorating a cake which will play a bit part of the customers special celebration and will be on photographs forever and;
3) of course testing out new flavours!
5. How do you come up with your designs?
A lot of the time the customer has some ideas of colours and types of decoration they have seen so then I can work with that and come with designs around themes. People like their cakes to be personal to them so coming up with designs is really fun based on their hobbies, jobs and favourite colours.
6. How do you manage to mix your busy schedule with home and family life? Some secrets to your success please!
Whilst working part time I was also going out to work at the same time so trying to get the two commitments to work together was tricky but now I am making cakes full time it is a lot easier to manage my time. Although, all of cakes are freshly made so there is a lot of last minute work involved so in the run up to a large wedding I don’t do a lot of home cooking! The hardest part I would say that there is rather a lot of equipment and large amounts of ingredients involved so it does tend to take over the kitchen a lot!
7. Do you manage to ever switch off the phone or laptop, or always sneakily checking emails and calls 24/7?
I never thought I would say it, I would think that no one would ever imagine the life of a cake decorator to do this but I am constantly checking my emails. You never know when you are going to get a worried customer needing to check final details so I like to make sure I am contactable.
8. What top tip would you give couples that are getting married?
A top tip I would give to couples getting married is to ask questions! Make sure you ask whatever questions you have, however silly you think they might sound, us wedding suppliers are here to make planning your wedding as fun and stress free as possible so are more than happy to help. I would also get us to recommend other businesses as more often than not one supplier will know a good network of people within the industry so then you know you are dealing with companies you can trust.
9. If youâ€™re already married, what one thing do you wish youâ€™d done differently?
I’m not married but I get to see a lot of weddings and am storing up ideas for when I do get to plan my own day. I get asked questions and think ‘oh that’s a good one, I hadn’t thought of that’.
10. What has been your most unusual request and did you manage to fulfil it?
My most unusual request was not for a wedding but for a birthday and it was a game of tennis cake including 2 players rackets and the net. I really enjoyed making this cake and what made it even better was that when I delivered it the lady whos birthday it was didn’t know about it so was a huge (but good) surprise for her.
11. How long do you usually take from start to finish with a couple? Please explain the process that you run through with clients so our readers can schedule it all inâ€¦
I start off with a consultation with a couple where I spend up to an hour with them so they can sample different cakes and look through my vast collection of cake books and my portfolio to search for inspiration. I then do a few sketches based on any ideas we have talked about. Once a design has been chosen and the couple is happy with everything, there’s not that much more I can do until nearer the wedding date. Some couples like to book one or even two years in advance to make sure their date is free but most have shorter timescales which I can accommodate no problem.
12. When do you recommend placing an order, please tell us how much notice do you need and how far should couples order in advance of the wedding?
I would say book as far in advance as you possibly could, like I said to make sure I have the time available around the your set date, especially if you’re getting married in late summer as this is the busiest time of year. If you don’t have very long to plan though don’t panic as I can usually help out. If I am booked I can always recommend other trusted bakers and decorators and between us all can make sure you have the cake of your dreams.
If you’re a wedding supplier and would like to be featured in our Supplier Spotlight, please get in touch!