New Bexley cake shop ready for business
PUBLISHED: 12:12 22 November 2012
Single mother Julie Hill swapped baking for beat bobbies after leaving her job as a police caterer to set up her own cake business.
The 41-year-old worked for the Met for eight years but took voluntary redundancy 18 years ago to establish We Love Cakes in Bexley High Street.
She juggles her business responsibilities with raising her children, 17-year-old Georgia and Jamie, seven.
She caught the baking bug after she joined the catering corps during her 12 years with the Territorial Army.
“I chose the name to reflect the reason I started the business. I love baking and I love cakes,” explains Julie. “I was much better at cooking than I was in the bomb disposal squad, that’s for sure.
“I’ve loved baking cakes ever since and making them look nice with some delicate decorations.”
We Love Cakes opened under two months ago but business has been so good that Julie has hired another member of staff to start before Christmas.
There are different strands to the venture – a retail branch which sells baking supplies and decorating products as well as the catering business, making cakes for weddings, birthdays and Christenings.
Julie, who has lived in Sidcup for 25 years, also hosts children’s cake decorating parties and adult baking classes.
“The parties have been particularly successful and are great fun for children from four years old and up. They can take their little masterpieces home with them.
“I have a lot on my plate, particularly with Christmas cake decorating classes which will be running every Monday and Tuesday until the middle of December.
“Running your own business is very different to working for someone else but I don’t really feel the pressure. Parenthood and being in the Territorial Army have made me almost immune to that.”
The business cost £25,000 to set up, partly through a loan and partly through credit.
Explaining why she established the business in Bexley, she said: “Bexley High Street appealed to me because it’s a nice area and I thought there was a shortage of this type of business.
“I’d like to expand and buy a studio nearby. That way I could use that for all the parties and classes and confine the shop to the retail side of the business.”
A two-and-a-half hour cake decorating class costs £45. It includes the cost of all ingredients and equipment and anything you make can be taken home.
The parties cost £165 for two hours with food or £130 for one-and-a-half hours without food in a variety of different themes. Both cater for 10 children.
For more on We Love Cakes or to book a class visit www.welovecakes.co.uk or call Julie on 01322 556677 or 07787 553172.