Over the summer things get much calmer and quieter for business (which is both a curse & a blessing as a B2B cake business), so this gives me a chance to do a bit of experimentation and product creation.
After all, you might all love our logo branded vanilla cupcakes right now, but maybe one day in the future you’ll be bored of them and want something new?! I’m also on a bit of a mission to improve ethics, both in business and as an individual, and spread awareness of things that I become aware of so that others can be more mindful and ethical too.
I’ve also always been passionate about not “punishing” people for having dietary needs, allergies or intolerances, and found myself feeling curious about what it’s actually like to be someone with a “dietary need” as I’m luckily not allergic to much so haven’t had much insight.
So, in July 2017 I decided to challenge myself to see what it’s like to be vegan for a month. By going vegan, I mean eating only plant based foods for 30 days straight.
We’ve been exhibiting at the South West Business Expos in Swindon (and more recently Bristol) for the past 3 years (originally as Little Miss Cake Maker before we rebranded) and always find it enjoyable and beneficial. Throughout the years we have produced cupcakes for the successful events which always go down a storm, but rather than tell you how effective our corporate cakes are at business events, we asked Alec Jones-Hall, Director of The Great British Expo’s Ltd to share his experiences of working with us.
What was the occasion & why choose Corporate Cakery?
We were celebrating our 5th Birthday in Swindon and was expecting over 1000 business to be attending our event. We wanted to make a massive impact and tell everyone that it was our 5th Birthday. We wanted to encourage everyone to be involved in the celebration and what better way than offer them all a cupcake with our logo and birthday message on.
We chose Corporate Cakery due to their professionalism and the quality of the products they produce. Everyone within the region speaks very highly of the company and the standards they provide.
The Corporate Cakery blog is going all philosophical today! You might think we’re ‘just a cake shop…’ but you’re wrong. Although I run a cake business, I have core values that I strongly believe in, and as a business owner those values are also reflected in my business.
One of my reasons for starting a cake business in the first place was because cakes are such a happy thing. Cakes are featured at all kinds of happy occasions (weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, christenings, etc), and in life we can all fall victim to focussing on negative things whilst overlooking the positives. When I created Corporate Cakery I wanted to help business people acknowledge positive events within business & celebrate successes rather than be stuck in the endless world of goals and to-do lists.
I used to work for a regional newspaper company and was a young salesperson being encouraged to celebrate tragedies, incidents and deaths happening locally because it helped us to sell more papers which made our advertising space more valuable. This was a morbid and morally dangerous place to be and I hated myself back then. No matter how much you pay me, I’m not going to feel good about celebrating negative and morally wrong events, and I had the realisation that just because I earned my degree in advertising, that path was not the best thing for me to continue on in life. As it turned out, I could use my handy advertising skills to set up a business helping other business owners to celebrate and embrace their branding through corporate cakes 😉
Total Guide to celebrated their 5th year in business in 2017, and Corporate Cakery helped them to celebrate in style! As an online business based in Swindon they have started to branch out to other parts of the UK, so we have a lot in common, including the knowledge that a true celebration needs really good cake.
Rather than tell you all about it, we asked Liz Hutchings (Ledger), Director of Total Guide to and all round fabulous business woman, to share her experience of celebrating her epic achievement with our help…
Why did you choose Corporate Cakery?
We wanted to throw a Summer party for our clients and suppliers to celebrate turning 5 earlier this year. Having worked with Sam previously and wanting to mark the occasion with a branded birthday cake, Sam and Corporate Cakery sprang straight to mind as they always do such a fabulous job!
Did you know what you would need?
I knew we need a birthday cake with our logo and Total Turns 5 on there but I’m not the most creative when it comes to baking and let Sam advise and as usual she went the extra mile – Sam used our logo and created a beautiful cake and even took the summer party theme to mind and created some delicious and very pretty cup cakes and cookies!
What was the outcome?
The cookies and cupcakes were such a great idea as it meant less serving required on the evening and created a bit of a stir with people gathering around the selection. They were also easy to eat and less messy which is crucial for a business/networking event! The cookies, cupcakes and half of the enormous cake were devoured on the night and the remaining cake made the staff very happy the next day!
How did this benefit you and your customers?
The fantastic thing with this is even though the cakes were provided for one night, the benefits in terms of ongoing PR and marketing will continue for years. We have wonderful photos of the cake which we can use in our marketing collateral and when entering awards. Importantly, it also showed our customers and suppliers that we care and value their custom and showed off our branding and marked a key milestone for the business. Our customers have also benefitted from meeting Sam and the team at Corporate Cakery so they have a contact to use for their own events.
If you’re a business owner, I’m sure you know how important your customers are. Henry Ford rightly stated: “It is not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money. It is the customer who pays the wages.” Obviously it’s important to keep your team happy, but there are many business owners out there that run their businesses single handedly (I was one of them) – in fact 76% of UK businesses don’t have any employees, so if you’re a solo-preneur, a sole-trader, or an individual running a business, hats off to you! I know how hard it is.
Customer service is not a department, it’s everyone’s job.
I don’t know who said this, but I’m sure it’s someone wise. As a small business owner, you wear all the hats. You are the customer service department, and that’s awesome.
If you’re a service-based business, your customer service couldn’t be more important. Someone could fall in love with a product without knowing who made it (although most of my customers know me as I try not to hide behind the products too much), but if your business is selling a service which relies on communication between your customers and you or your employees, how do you strengthen that relationship?
Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless. Mother Teresa
Every company’s greatest assets are its customers
“…because without customers there is no company.” Michael LeBoeuf, Author of: How to Win Customers and Keep Them for Life
If you’re reading this I’m pretty sure you know what I’m about. I run an online cake shop for businesses (that’s Corporate Cakery.com). One of the fundamental parts of my business model is that Corporate Cakery is shaped around our customers. We make bespoke products and learn an incredible amount about what products are enjoyed or not desired on an ongoing basis. Unsurprisingly my christian name Samantha (not that I’m religious) has a biblical meaning which is ‘listener of god’. Swap ‘god’ with ‘people’ or ‘customers’ and that’s an awesome fact (I thought so anyway)!
My point is that I listen to what my customers need, and this has led me to launch a new service which I’m about to reveal to you…
“When we give we receive – when a business does something good for somebody, that somebody feels good about them!” Ben Cohen, Ben & Jerry’s
Our new on-demand thank you service
We’ve listened to you, and are proud to be launching a super subscription service, making it easier and even more affordable to send thank you gifts to your clients.
Corporate Cakery’s subscription service makes it easier for small business owners to send thank you gifts to your clients throughout the year – because a small gesture goes a long way and I totally understand that gratitude can be easily forgotten as the day to day stuff takes over (where does the time go?!)
A customer is the most important visitor on our premises, he is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favour by serving him. He is doing us a favour by giving us an opportunity to do so. Mahatma Gandhi
How does it work?
It’s very simple! Like all of our products it’s a bespoke service – we create a credit account for you with an annual allowance. You get to choose your budget, which is paid monthly, and you tell us when and where to send your bespoke thank you gifts out throughout the year (just give us at least 3 days notice). So for example you gain a fab new client next Monday? If you’re on our subscription plan, tell us where they are and we’ll send them a box of thank you cupcakes or cookies with your logo to arrive with them by the end of that week.
You can sign up by selecting one of the following plans:
Are you thinking of exhibiting at a business expo in the future?
If you’re new to exhibitions or want to get better at them, read on for my top 3 tips that will help you…
I’m Samantha, founder of Corporate Cakery, and I’ve been exhibiting at business events since starting my first business in early 2014. I’ve exhibited at the Swindon South West Expo every year since then as well as a variety of business events in Bristol more recently.
There are many things I wish I had known before exhibiting at my first event, or things I have learnt by simply doing them. Practice makes perfect, right? I have made many mistakes over the years, but I always learn from them.
So if you’d like to learn from my mistakes and years of exhibition experience, here are my tips on how to exhibit like a pro – some of the things I wish I had known 3 years ago.
We want to spread happiness and gratitude, especially around the workplace. There’s always an endless list of to-do lists, targets, goals and challenges. Our mission is to bring more happiness into the world of business, and encourage business owners to show appreciation, spread gratitude, and reward those around you. On 20th March 2017 it’s International Day of Happiness and we’re joining the movement to create more happiness in the world. Starting here.
On a daily basis, Corporate Cakery is baking up happiness up in the form of cupcakes, cookies, cakes and other baked goodies. Our products aren’t simply for sustenance, but a tasty representation of a business and a gift of gratitude from one person/business to another.
Corporate Cakery are looking for a freelance baker/cake decorator to join us during this super exciting, high-growth year.
Are you a keen baking enthusiast looking for an excuse to bake and earn some extra cash? Are you looking for a rewarding challenge to fill some spare time? If the answer is yes, read on!
Our new baker will be responsible for creating Corporate Cakery’s high-quality products. You’ll be rewarded for producing consistent quality goods with an agreed price per product.
Here are the specifics of what you’ll be doing:
Baking products including cupcakes, sponge cakes, cookies/biscuits and traybakes.
Cake decorating including making icing toppers, piping buttercream, covering cakes in fondant and hand-piping cookies/biscuits.
Packaging & labelling products ready for delivery. Ensuring products are ready to send out to customers in the correct boxes with correct allergen info.
Experimenting in the kitchen with new recipes for future release. We welcome your ideas and input, so if you’re creative that’s a bonus!
You’ll need to be able to:
Bake to a high standard – the ability to follow recipes, meet deadlines and work under pressure is really important.
Decorate to a high standard and follow consistent design styles and show attention to detail. You don’t need qualifications but you must prove your skill level and willingness to learn our techniques.
Follow food safety regulations. You must have an up-to-date hygiene certificate in level 2 catering (this can be done online with our recommended provider before you start working with us if you don’t yet have this).
Work in our shared commercial kitchen in Cheney Manor, Swindon generally between the hours of 9am-4.30pm Monday to Friday (flexible working as and when required).
It’s not essential but would be ideal if you are able to:
Hand deliver Swindon based orders & take packages to the local post office. You will need business car insurance to do this and we will cover expenses.
To thrive at Corporate Cakery, you must be flexible and willing to work hard. At the beginning you won’t have a fixed schedule or promised number of orders so if you need a full time salary this isn’t for you. We are looking to recruit you as a freelance baker to begin with, but there may be opportunities to become a fixed member of our team with added perks later on.
Most importantly, you must naturally fit into Corporate Cakery! Your values must match ours:
Ethical – you care about the world we inhabit and share the belief that we are here to do good and inspire others to do so
Gratitude – you are happy to do what you love, happy to help others, and have an optimistic view on life
Honesty – you are open and transparent, if you make mistakes you claim them and learn from them, and take responsibility for your own actions.
It’s that time of year – the days are getting shorter, the shops are filled with festive stuff and although many of us wish that Christmas was simply a few days of festive fun, the reality is that if you’ve not booked your Christmas party venue or started shopping for gifts yet, you’re already way behind and heading for stress. As soon as summer turns it’s lovely warm back on us, Christmas is sprung on us!
Although we can’t bring summer back for you, we can take away the stress of finding gifts for your favourite clients & colleagues. We’re about to suggest some food for thought (literally) so you can treat your team and send tailored thank you gifts without any stress or worry this year.
Champagne & chocolates are great, but are they really memorable? Do you want to be the same as every other business in your industry, or do you want to be the best?
Who doesn’t like cakes, cookies or tasty baked goodies?! Corporate Cakery are here to help you spread gratitude and appreciation with our corporate cakes and baked goods – unique gifts that are made to order with your fully edible logo and bespoke designs.