In just twelve months Cake Me Away has gone from a much loved hobby to a booming, full time business for owner Nicole Lawrence.
Nicole’s background in cakes comes from her two uncles who made cakes for over 50 years. “I started making cakes for family and friends, and through word of mouth and social media was able to turn it into a full time business,” she said.
Nicole said that making cakes was a hobby she loved doing “I enjoy baking and decorating, and don’t want to lose that passion. I’m happy continuing as a small business rather than expanding to try and make more money,” she said.
While Nicole is happy with the size of her business, she also loves it’s strong, family orientation. “I love working for myself and with my parents. Mum and dad help with deliveries, they’re retired so enjoying helping out when they can,” she said.
An advantage of the small, family business is that without high outgoing costs, Nicole is able to keep prices down with no need for large markups. “I can do six cupcakes for $10,” she said. “We look at customers budgets and try to work with them to get something we are all happy with. A birthday cake is the same price as a wedding cake or any other cake, which makes us very affordable compared to most commercial bakeries”.
Affordability is a strong focus for Nicole as is customer satisfaction. As part of this Nicole has taken the time to get accreditation through Muswellbrook Council to ensure that she is looking after her customers health and have peace of mind. “We received accreditation on July 10 from the council and are the only home based, cake business in the region to have this accreditation,” she said. “It is something that the Council will be pushing over the coming months to ensure all food businesses are compliant”.
Cake Me Away work consistently all year round averaging nine cakes per week, and while there is no particular busy season, Nicole said the types of cakes that are popular does vary, with ‘naked cakes’ the current trend.
“A naked cake has limited to no frosting on the outside, showing off the cake's natural texture and filling. They’re often decorated with fresh fruit or dripping chocolate as opposed to a traditional, fully iced cake,” she said.
Nicole herself doesn’t have a favourite and instead loves trying new things. Currently she has been experimenting making things out of fondant. “Customers can send photos of what they would like, and the cakes and decorations can be made from scratch to suit,” she said.
With delivery available to Scone, Singleton, Merriwa, Jerry’s Plains and everywhere in between, Nicole hopes to expand their delivery to include areas such as Branxton in the near future.