Feeling inspired by Little Cake Garden’s edible shortbread bake-a-long? Their feminine and whimsical creations are the stuff of very sweet dreams. We caught up with founder – and self-proclaimed hopeless romantic – Jasmine to discuss finding the confidence to change careers, working sustainably and, of course, all things cake. Read on to find out more.
Can you tell us a bit about how Little Cake Garden started, and your inspiration behind it?
Little Cake Garden started as a hobby. In my previous life, I was a teacher and used to bake during the long holidays to pass the time whilst everyone else was at work. At the time, 2013, Red Velvet was the cake everyone was talking about. I thought I’d give it a few tries, but none of my attempts were red. Confounded, I vowed not to give up until I got it right. Once I had, I shared it with a few friends and to my surprise, it got rave reviews. Friends started asking me to make red velvet cupcakes for their bridal showers, for gifts, and eventually I was asked to make them for a wedding. My then boyfriend’s brother was getting married and he asked me to make his wedding cake – a huge jump from the rustic cupcakes I’d been making. Cue a summer of bake, fail, cry, repeat! To cut a long story short, I made his wedding cake – and my then boyfriend is now my husband, so I couldn’t have done too badly.
At the same time, I was falling out of love with teaching Psychology, and more and more people were asking me to make their wedding cakes, so I jumped ship and have never looked back.
The inspiration behind any of my bakes is happiness and wonder, the kind of feeling that happy endings leave you with.
What advice would you give someone looking to start a business in the food and drinks industry?
I’d say try not to get lost in the noise. The food and drinks industry is bursting with brilliance, and it can be easy to lose your focus and jump on every trend going. Find your groove and flourish there – people will see your passion and buy into it.
What are some of the ways you are seeking to live more sustainably at Little Cake Garden?
One thing we’re huge on is making sure our ingredients are locally sourced, thereby reducing our carbon footprint. We use best of British as far as we possibly can.
As a food business, I’m trying my best to eliminate waste. It isn’t always easy with food as there are strict rules regarding contamination. However, we are making the move to invest in compostable packaging.
We seek to sell, gift or donate any spare produce we have left at the end of the week. Keep your eyes peeled on our Instagram Stories as we frequently announce discount spares that may just be the perfect pick me up or a gift for someone else.
What is one of your favourite things about getting to run Little Cake Garden?
I am a ridiculously hopeless romantic, sickly so. What I absolutely love about running Little Cake Garden is getting to be so involved in other people’s love stories. Whether it’s the designing and delivery of a wedding cake, or adding in a note to a set of macarons, I love that I get to facilitate such happy moments in people’s lives. It’s a brilliant job. I also love the uniqueness of each bake - everything we make is bespoke, so it's fun seeing the different take on each of our products.
How do you think the business will change with the lifting of lockdown?
During lockdown, we went from being solely a wedding cake business to sending out postal treats. With the lifting of lockdown, I see that we’ll be busy doing both. We are certainly getting booked up with weddings again, and we are thrilled about this. I’m not sure if people will still be sending sweet treats through the post at the same rate, but I hope they do.