Cakes & Cardies Closes

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Just read my last post on the site and it was to celebrate my first year in business! I guess the lack of posts since then is some indication of what happened in the interim. As the post says Cakes & Cardies has now closed. I gave it a good try but it was not to be. There are many reasons why it didn’t work but in the end it was about me and my abilities to go out there and sell myself and the business.

I guess not everyone is built to run their own business and I’m one of them and it’s a good thing to learn about yourself. I’m glad I gave it go otherwise I would have always wondered “what if”, now I know the answer!

I will continue to bake, knit and crochet and hopefully keep blogging about my exploits. Thanks to everyone for their support and business over the last 18 months its been great fun, challenging and a learning experience.

PS the picture is my last cake, a tank cake for an 18th birthday!

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Posted in Cakes

Happy 1st Birthday to Cakes & Cardies!

In the words of Barry Manilow (showing my age and squareness!), looks like we made it….through the first year in business. The official date was 8th September but just getting around to writing this now. It’s been a great year, a tough learning curve with some highs and lows. In fact, there was a moment during the summer that I was considering finishing up but after talking it through with husband and friends I decided to keep going. And since then |I have never been busier.

I am in the lucky position of having my husband’s wholehearted support and for that I will always be grateful. Without that I would not be able to do this. Running a baking business is hard work and it takes a while to get your name out there.

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My first ever cake, supplied to Bambuni, Rosewater and Pistachio

Thanks to Bambuni in Nunhead who have supported me from the start, buying my cakes and giving great feedback too. I am also now supplying The Brockley Deli and Old Spike Roastery. And most recently The Ivy House pub in Nunhead, thanks Aimi for all the orders! And in between that there have been birthday cakes, leaving cakes and cakes for BBQs.

80s Inspired Birthday Cake
80s Inspired Birthday Cake

I have learned a lot along the way and my cakes are better for all the practise and have come up with some of my own recipes (my favourite being the Espresso Martini Cake!).

Espresso Martini Cake
Espresso Martini Cake

On the Cardies side, I have crocheted bikinis, ponchos, hair slides and tops and knitted baby hats, hooded jackets and jumpers. I also set up an Esty shop to sell some of my crafts and it looks like I will be making doggie jumpers and scarves in the near future! I’m nothing if not eclectic!

Multicoloured, to say the least!
Multicoloured, to say the least!

To help with all of this I am  working part time in publishing again, this means that I can continue with the baking and knitting/crochet while having a bit of income and also a really nice job. It is good to have that balance of going to the office and doing my job there, meeting people etc and then being able to do the baking the rest of the time, best of both worlds you could say.

So here’s to the next year! Thanks to all who have supported Cakes & Cardies this year and I look forward to baking for lots of new people in the coming weeks and months!

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Food Hygiene Rating, At Last

When I was preparing to start the business last year one of the main worries for me was the issue around food hygiene. I did my Level 2 food hygiene course and, as legally required, registered the business with Southwark 28 days before I started trading. I received a letter from them acknowledging this and that they would inspect my kitchen in the next month or so. I had done my part so it was now up to them to do theirs.

At the time I did notice that they had got the name of the business wrong (Cakes and Cookies) but I didn’t think any more about it as they had all the correct details so they knew where I was. Fast forward to three weeks ago and I still hadn’t had an inspection. On a completely different matter I emailed Southwark food department and they immediately phoned back! I asked the question I had about trading at markets and we got onto the subject of registering and inspections and he was surprised to hear that this had not happened as yet. I quickly told him about the name error and he changed it on his records. He asked when I would next be baking, I said the next day and he said he would come at 10am, cue panic!

Needless to say I spent the rest of that day cleaning the kitchen, it is already clean but it was a good opportunity to go through ingredients for expiry dates etc and to rearrange some of my equipment. My wonderful husband helped by hoovering for me and putting up with my paranoia! Next morning after the usual delivery to Bambuni I awaited my fate. He arrived on time and went through lots of questions, checked my record keeping, fridge, expiry dates etc and at the end said that as far as he was concerned all was in order and he would send out my food hygiene rating in the next week or so.

Although I knew that the kitchen was clean, that I follow all the right procedures and keep good records it was still a relief to hear the good news. And then yesterday’s post arrived and with it my rating, a big fat 5, the best!!

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What a great feeling it was seeing that 5, really gave me a boost to know that I was doing all the right things. I have checked www.food.gov.uk but I am not listed as yet so will keep an eye on that and post the link when it is live.

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