From her own kitchen in Chapel Allerton, Caroline Pearman has transformed a hobby into a career from humble beginnings, with a sprinkling of television inspiration.
The ingredients behind the idea
Caroline was taught to bake as a child by her grandmother and as an adult she found it to be the perfect way to unwind after work. The Great British Bake Off inspired the idea of taking things further, but she was cautious and daunted at the risk involved in starting her own business.
By the time she was seriously considering the cake baking business, Caroline had over 20 years experience as a project manager and had worked at the University of Leeds, so she was used to pressure and commercial ventures. Her working life had provided some solid starting blocks from which to grow her idea.
It was her 40th birthday that marked a time for change. She particularly wanted to have more time to spend with her father who was suffering from Alzheimer’s and to pursue her love of travelling. There’s been an estimated 20% boom in budding bakers setting up their own businesses, largely attributed to the likes of baking shows https://www.simplybusiness.co.uk/knowledge/articles/2017/08/great-british-bake-off-inspires-20-per-cent-surge-in-independent-uk-bakeries/.
Caroline approached her university, who were supportive in offering her sabbatical leave if things got tough. For an edge in the now densely populated and competitive culinary market, Caroline wanted to take her baking to corporate and local businesses, so she began with research to assess local opportunities.
The birth of a business
Caroline’s Cakes was born, with sweet treats being made in the two ovens in her kitchen and being sold to customers like Crust & Crumb and The Bowery, as well as producing celebratory delights on commission. Presentation is vital for attracting business and serve over display cabinets can help showcase produce perfectly, like those at https://www.fridgefreezerdirect.co.uk/serve-over-counters.
However, as demand increased, her workload exponentially grew to seven day a week, 12 hours a day. She went on to set her own Bake Off contest to outsource some of her workload. She now has four bakers working under her, with a 77% increase in her business and an ever-expanding array of clientele. Although she often pops back to see old work colleagues to deliver cakes, she couldn’t imagine returning to a regular office job after tasting the sweet life being her own boss.