Since The Great British Bake Off (GBBO) was broadcast for the first time back in 2010, there has been a 51 per cent increase in the number of baking businesses operating in the UK. According to the figures from Companies House and analysed by O2 Data, the UK is now home to around 4,190 baking businesses and, in the Welsh city of Newport alone, 85 per cent of bakeries started up after the popular BBC series began.
And it seems these businesses will be in demand, as figures released by notonthehigstreet.com, reveals the extent of “Bake Off Fever” on the baking retail sector. The online retailer saw a 141 per cent increase in bakeware sales during the 2014 series, with sales of kitchen appliances up by 87 per cent, chopping boards by 83 per cent, measuring jugs by 59 per cent and oven gloves by 64 per cent.
Simon Belsham, Chief Executive of notonthehighstreet.com, commented: “The Great British Bake Off is a great example of how much and how fast retail is changing. Because the small creative firms that sell through us largely make their products in the UK, they can respond quickly.”
With the Bake Off inspiring a new wave of baking businesses, Aldermore takes a look at some of the UK’s most innovative cake creators.
The Pocket Bakery
While some bakers dream of turning their passions into a career, for the family behind The Pocket Bakery, it was never their intention to start a baking business. With their mother’s encouragement, 14-year-old Jack and his 11-year-old sister Lara initially began selling loaves of homemade bread on their doorstep in a bid to boost their pocket money. Their bakes proved to be incredibly popular and it wasn’t long before their creations were placed on the shelves of a London department store.
When Jack left school, his mother, Rose Prince, says the baking business helped him to keep busy and build himself a bright future. She explains: “The bakery, set up simply to earn a little cash, has done much more: bringing together a neighbourhood and creating something that has won praise from the highest level.”
In 2013, a Liverpool based Kickstarter campaign raised over £18,000 to re-open a local bakery in community ownership, in an attempt to create a successful enterprise offering both social and financial value. Homebaked is now run by members of the local community, providing residents with a place to buy fresh, affordable bakery products.
A Jar of Cake
ForMaria Lawson, founder of baking business A Jar of Cake, baking has always been a part of her life. She started to show an interest in cooking as a child and by the time she was a teenager she had read hundreds of cookery books. Starting out with the basics, Maria gradually added a variety of recipes to her repertoire. As all her creations are sold in glass jars, she has also proved having a unique selling point can really help to propel a business forward.
Poppy’s Cupcakes is another baking business that has seen unprecedented growth over time. Based in Chiswick, West London, the company initially began by supplying cupcakes for children’s birthday parties and has since successfully built a strong reputation for providing delicious cupcakes with no additives, preservatives or artificial colouring. Within a year of launching the business, Poppy’s Cupcakes had already secured numerous orders from small businesses to well-known brands and restaurants.
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