Imagine a fashion journalist who retrained as a nurse, then had a child and started a cake business. Meet Kate Shirazi, the founder of Cakeadoodledo – one of the first people to go into the cupcake business in the UK.
The cupcake thing was just starting to filter through from America and I decided to set up as a tiny “kitchen table” business. There were only about six companies selling cupcakes in the UK at this time and no-one in the south west at all. I was able, from the start, to courier cupcakes all over the country and this set me apart from many other cupcake companies that soon emerged.
Country Living magazine did a piece about me and suddenly my tiny business went crazy. I had to build a commercial kitchen and generally get my act together pretty damn sharpish. I was approached by Pavilion to write a book about cupcakes – Cupcake Magic. This sold scarily well and I have since published Cookie Magic, Chocolate Magic, Christmas Magic and the rather larger Cake Magic.
As well as still producing thousands of bespoke cupcakes, I also developed a Cakeadoodledo linen range which is made for me in Norfolk. This is sold through my website; on www.notonthehighstreet.com and through various independent retailers nationally.
For the past couple of years I have been trying to steer Cakeadoodledo away from being purely a cupcake company into a company that makes cakes. The wedding cake side of the business has grown hugely and I also make bespoke cakes, tarts and puddings for private clients.
At the end of April I will be opening the first Cakeadoodledo shop in Exeter. It is going to be in a beautiful Georgian building just next door to the cathedral and we will be moving the whole kitchen there, as well as having coffee shop where you can scoff cake straight away with Cakeadoodledo own blend coffee or buy something to take away and pretend you made yourself. All the Cakeadoodledo books and linens will be on sale there as well as some other selected gems that I will buy in.
I am fairly fanatical about sourcing local produce and in Devon we are amazingly lucky with the quality of producers, so all my free range eggs come from about a mile away, the butter is from Quickes (and the cheese for lunch will come from there too), meat for the charcuterie will come from Pipers Farm and a tiny charcuterie I have found about two miles away that makes the best fennel salami ever. Clotted cream from Langage Farm…it goes on and on.
I am really excited about having this new platform for Cakeadoodledo and being able to really push the boat out with exciting new cakes and tarts and getting an immediate response from customers. I do realise that I am annoyingly enthusiastic about the whole thing.