After discovering The Yummy Mummy Cake Company on Facebook, I just had to reach out and contact Emma. We had a lovely chat about the wonderful world of cakes, business plans & strategies and how she came up with the amazing Timing Pic’ idea.
Hi Emma, so lovely to have you on the blog today, please tell us a little bit about yourself….
I run my cake business from home in Manchester. It feels like I’ve been baking forever but I only started doing it professionally in 2012. At first I started out doing it part time and then in December 2014 I took the plunge and went full time. The main deciding factor was my own well being, as it was becoming increasingly difficult to juggle my day job as a radiographer as well as a part time cake business. In addition to this, it was wonderful to be able to do something that I could call my own …so I took the bull by the horns and have never looked back.
Do you have a team to help you or do you do it completely by yourself?
Yummy Mummy as a business, is just little ole’ me …however, I do have an amazing support network of friends and family who help out wherever they can. My fiancé is currently serving overseas in Afghanistan which means he can’t help out as much as he’d like, however by trade, he’s a Firefighter so it’s fair to say that he’s a bit too ham fisted for the delicate stuff, but he’s an excellent washer upper and ingredient shopper in the early hours of the morning, whilst he’s home on leave. I have to say though, that I don’t think I’d be where I am today, without my Mum & Dad… they’ve been my rock, and a constant source of love and encouragement throughout. I can’t count the amount of times my Mum has saved the day by running errands, or cutting out hundreds of petals and ruffles when the workload has been more than I can cope with. I honestly can’t thank them enough, they’re amazing!
What type of cakes does The Yummy Mummy Cake Company create?
We are mostly known for our novelty cakes, and with the concept coming from the customer 99% of the time, they can range from the elegant and beautiful to the downright weird and whacky.. However, my real passion is Wedding Cakes. So much so that we created our Sister Company “AMAE – The Cake Boutique”, where the sole aim is to provide the ultimate Wedding Cake Experience for the happy couple.. We see ourselves as extremely privileged in so far as we get to see families develop and grow, through cake. Starting off with the Wedding Cake, then on to Christening Cakes, Anniversaries, Birthdays and so on …I even have a couple of customers whose daughters know me as Aunty Cake!! From this, they tell their friends & family about us and the cycle is repeated. It is very much relationship building.
I have to talk to you about the Timing Pic’ idea, as I think it is fantastic. When did you first get the idea?
I started posting the Timing Pics’s back in 2016 to really educate my customers so they could see what they’re paying for. As well as helping me work out how long I was spending on each cake. I have to say though, that it wasn’t actually my idea to start with. I first came across the idea when I saw it posted on Facebook by Harriet from Cakey Cake. So I approached her to ask if she minded if I took inspiration from her, and came up with my own version.
That is awesome, even though it isn’t your original idea you have made it your own, have you found it has really helped?
I would definitely say it has helped as I now get more quality leads, customers have become more accepting of my prices and it has certainly proved very popular with the cake making community, with a number of others now doing something similar.
I have to say, it is great to detail the time it takes to create fondant ruffles. They are so beautiful but so time consuming, and it always surprises my Brides when they see just how much time has gone into creating their Wedding Day centrepiece. As well as putting it on the Timing Pic’, I also send pictures of the creative process to my clients.
I send pictures of the process at the beginning, then more pictures as I progress and one more on final completion. The brides are often amazed at how long it really takes and some of them even give me a stern telling off via text when they realise I sent the completed picture at 4 o’clock on the morning, saying things like “GET SOME SLEEP WOMAN!!”. Joking aside, they really do like the personal touch of me communicating with them and seeing their cake evolve and it’s vitally important to me to make sure that my creation matches their vision.
I think this really helps with The Yummy Mummy Cake Company’s customer service and helps set me apart from other cake makers.
It seems the Timing Pic’ has a lot of uses and helps educate not only your customers, but also the cake making community, as well as keeping you on track with how long things really take. Really fantastic.
So let’s get down to the nitty gritty now and talk business, running a cake business is so rewarding but are there any frustrating points?
At Yummy Mummy we have a saying: “I need to speak to my Husband!”
This phrase often surfaces when someone asks for a quote (which can often take several hours to prepare), during which we have made sure there’s a slot available in our calendar so they are pencilled in …messages going back and forth making sure the cake is exactly what they want. Then, when the price is mentioned, the phrase “I need to speak to my Husband!” …is quoted, and you never hear from them again!!
This has the knock on effect of turning a once available booking slot, into one where you can’t take another booking just in case they come back to give you the go ahead.
I think I speak for the cake community as a whole when I say, we appreciate that our prices can sometimes exceed a customer’s budget. I don’t know if it’s out of embarrassment that they choose not go ahead with the order because of price, but I would definitely recommend that the customer speaks to their chosen Cake Creator, as they may be able to suggest alternative ideas to help stay within your price range.
Would you be you comfortable sharing your average cake prices with the Make Money With Cakes community?
I don’t my mind at all. My average novelty cake prices can vary between £80.00 – £120.00 with the odd customer paying over £200.00.
How do you market your business, or in other words, how do your customers find The Yummy Mummy Cake Company?
Mainly through word of mouth and my Facebook page. I regularly submit my images of my wedding cakes to wedding cake magazines and that really helps with credibility. I don’t really advertise anywhere because I like to keep the money in the business. I’ve tried promoting my cakes on my local Facebook Buying and Selling page in the past, but found people just wanted cheap cakes.
I hope you don’t mind me saying but your Facebook following is amazing 23,520 likes! Do you have any advice on how to achieve a following like this?
I started Facebook a while ago and in the early days of social media, Facebook was amazing. However, it doesn’t receive the exposure it once did. I got the following through plugging away at it and being constantly active by sharing my cakes.
Quite a few have gone viral especially when Lesley at the Royal Bakery shared one of my cakes. I think a lot of it was timing, but it definitely blew up at the time.
I also shared an ASDA birthday cake post in June 2015, well my other half did. That went viral and is still being shared, liked and commented on to this day.
I’d sent him out to ASDA to purchase some last minute ingredients that I had run out of, and he came back with the ingredients and a beaten up cake. He then put it next to mine and unbeknown to me, he wrote a Facebook post about it! It really helped people see the difference of a quality bespoke/home made cake to a mass produced supermarket cake. Don’t get me wrong, there will always be a place for the Supermarket cake, but it certainly highlighted the difference between the two versions.
Gosh we have been talking for a while! Let’s start rounding it up, what makes The Yummy Mummy Cake Company unique?
I always try to do something a little extra, like adding further elements and decoration, such as sugar flowers, etc. I like to go the extra mile with all the cakes I create and the service I offer.
Before you go do you have any top tips for the Make Money With Cakes community?
- Running a cake business is a lot harder than you may think. But keep persevering and every so often look back at how far you have come.
- Don’t be disheartened if potential clients don’t get back to you after you’ve sent a quote. At that moment in time your cake is not on their list priorities, it isn’t personal.
- Always be nice to people as you never know when you need their help.
- If making chocolate ganache use whipping cream instead of double cream, it makes life so much easier!
- And finally… remember to eat and sleep!! You’re no good to anyone if you can’t see straight or feel dizzy from hunger!
It has been a pleasure to talk to you Emma and I look forward to seeing more of your amazing creations on your Facebook Page.