Welcome to Feature Friday from Creation|Collaboration - today we're featuring Janet Mc Kenner from Delicakes.
This is actually my third career - previously I have been an auditor and taken a second degree in psychology as a mature student. I am delighted to be back with my first love of food after originally studying food science and cooking.
Where did the idea of running this as a business come from?
As I was finishing my degree, I realised I was making more and more cakes in the evenings and weekends for friends and friends of friends. It evolved into my business because, being honest, it's all I ever wanted to do was bake and create exceptional sweet foods. I was worried that it may not be financially viable so I agreed with my husband I would not expand out of the home kitchen until after the first year.
Transforming pure ingredients such as; sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla, and chocolate into a cake that becomes the feature point of a celebration. A birthday party needs a cake to put candles on, a wedding needs a centre piece. I love that the cake provides the central photo opportunity of the event and my creative skills bring pleasure and a WOW factor on special days.
What would you like to change?
I wish that local authorities did publicise your Hygiene score if you work from a home kitchen – but the rules are they only do this if you work from a purely commercial kitchen with no dual use.
What is your aim for the next year?
I want to expand my wedding cake business to form the core of my work. This would mean I have more planned work and less ad hoc and last minute orders. To achieve this I am currently creating my website and it will be styled as WeddingDeliCakes.co.uk
I believe, by my third year, I will have a house style and will launch a new range each wedding season in keeping with the upcoming bridal trends for that year.
What are your Top 5 tips for new Business Women?
Tip 1: Stop doing the research and give it a go now – especially if you can limit costs
Tip 2: Be financially organised so you know your profit margins on every product you sell
Tip 3: Think of ways of upselling your product or range – in my case if you order a birthday cake, I ask if you want cupcakes to match, or if you order a wedding cake I ask if you want cookies as favours
Tip 4: Be flexible, my original idea for expansion was to deliver cakes to local businesses but I found this was time consuming and not as profitable as celebration cakes – hence I am now going to focus on the big celebrations
Tip 5: Don’t walk before you can run – yes a shop would be lovely but with overheads and the cost of staff this is a step change investment that needs to be just right before