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From Chef Work to Cake Decorating - A Self Starter Tale

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by Startacus Admin

This week’s Self Starter of the Week was awarded the acclaimed weekly title for good reason. Check out Adrianne Rutherford’s startup tale below for a little startup inspiration...

“I had worked at the Olympics and I went from being in a busy, hot kitchen with the head chef yelling at everyone to being at home in my kitchen, calm and relaxed baking and many people wonder why.”

I love cooking - I always have, but being a chef in the hospitality industry and being a long term sufferer of depression I found it very self starter of the week stressful and difficult even though I was good at it. I always asked my chef how do I get into desserts and baking he always said work your way up to becoming a pastry chef. He just didn’t get it though - I didn’t want to be a pastry chef.  I shadowed some on work experience and didn’t like the atmosphere. I loved baking - I wanted to turn it into a career and make bespoke cakes and have people recognise my talent. So I swapped professional cooking for baking and cake decorating.

It started with my mum’s birthday cake which was covered in fondant and edible roses and writing and I had never done any of those before. I taught myself how to do it. The cake got such great feedback, I thought I can do this as a little side hobby while I study. So I did, I made cakes and cupcakes for friends and family each time getting better, refining my skills. It was when I lost my job over last Christmas I realised I should focus on my business as it had already been registered and everything and was just waiting to be nurtured and moulded. So I went about setting up my website and logo and dropped out of college to pursue my dream.

cake decorating businessAt first it was confusing - all the documents you needed.  I didn’t want to go to a seminar and pay money to find out what I should have. I’m a do it myself person. I did think I’m a baker it’s just about the cakes but then I realised it isn’t, the picture is way bigger than this -  I need to have an angle, a Unique Selling Point to stand out from the crowd. So my company offers a diverse range of baked goods that are affordable and suitable for everyone. By affordable it doesn’t mean that they are cheap and that I cut back on quality, it means that clients feel that they aren't breaking the bank and leaving their pockets empty. We want to be able to provide everyone with sweet treats and baked goods that make you feel like it was worth the money. By suitable for everyone we mean that there is an option to make your order diabetic friendly, gluten free, dairy free, nut free, vegan, vegetarian (some people want vegetable cakes it is true) or low fat/low calorie. This way we are open to everyone.

How many times have you bought something that looked good on the outside but tasted horrible on the inside? Many times this has happened to me when buying birthday cakes or just in general. It’s either a sugar overload, the cake tasted stale and dense or there is a ridiculously thick layer of icing on them. The recipes I have made have always been tweaked but simple in order to avoid this same issue. This way they are also transferable for a client who has an allergy.

My business is relatively new as it will be up and running for a year in September. We don’t always just have people order cakes from us cake making business though, we’ve donated to schools to raise money for projects and offered our services to charities such as Cancer Research which gets donations from the sales of particular cakes. I am hoping I will be able to expand my business and open up a shop and sell my products to other businesses.

I have come very far with my life and done some great things like meeting the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and also some not so great things like living in a hostel for a couple of years and dropping out of college 3 times. However if all these things never happened I wouldn’t be where I am today. My story just goes to show that no matter what background you have, or what age you are, you can always turn negative things into positives as long as you make the effort.

Like they say - you only get out what you put in.”

Cheers Adrianne - and we wish you all the best with your business for the remainder of 2014...and beyond! If, like Adrainne you want to be considered as a future Self Starter of the Week - check out all the Self Starter details! 

Adrianne Rutherford's Startacus profile can be found here! 
Her website Baker Baby
The Baker Baby Twitter feed can be found here 

If you like what you see here on Startacus, why not become a member of our growing community? It's free! And you'll get all this - exclusive access to our Business Toolkit, discounts and offers galore for your business via our member only business deals, the chance to network and connect with loads of fellow self-starters, and maybe even become our celebrated 'Self-Starter of the Week' and tell the world your startup tale! Join right here for free


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Published on: 24th April 2014

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