interviews

Interview with Prudent Haughton – Cakepop Crowd

‘It was all about just taking a leap of faith and seeing what happens’

An accidental hobby, which has now turned into a small business. Sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith and hope that things will work out for the best.

That’s what Prudent Haughton did when she started Cakepop Crowd. Nearly one year later and her cake business has grown, with plans for future development.

My recent interview below with Prudent discusses how she accidently discovered a love for baking, the challenges of being a small business owner and what dreams she has for the future of her business.

What is your background?

Previously I worked in the hotel luxury hospitality industry, working in reservations and event roles.  During my maternity leave I decided that I wanted to do something different and began to study project management.  I am now currently working part time as a Project Support Administrator for a charity and I also run a small business called Cakepop Crowd.

How did you come up with the idea for Cakepop Crowd?

My journey starting Cakepop Crowd was an accidental one.  I had always wanted to build something  for myself, but I always thought that if I did it would be event related.

I was never really into baking before and it was something new for me.  About two years ago close to my daughter’s birthday, my contract ended at a company I was working for.  All of a sudden I had all this time on my hands.  When I was looking at ideas for my daughter’s birthday party, I came across cake pops and ended up making a whole bunch of them for her birthday. I found the process of making them really fun and easy and I started baking more. This is when I came across the idea of doing Cakepop Crowd as a side job.

I also needed something to do whilst I was looking for a new role, as I was out of work for quite a few months.  I then started looking into all the admin and procedures that you need to operate, such liability and certificates etc. I also completed a food and safety hygiene course to register my kitchen and get it up and running.   Everything I have done so far has been self-taught. I have never had any baking or training experience and I like to say I have graduated from YouTube!!  

It was all about just taking a leap of faith and seeing what happens’

I never had any idea of what the end result would look like.  It was such a good risk, and I am so glad that everything has turned out so well. It will be a year in May since I officially opened.  As Covid -19 started I wondered how this would affect the business, but I was pleasantly surprised as it has been so busy. I guess life still goes on even during lockdown and people still feel the need to celebrate.

What do you sell?

When I initially started I just wanted to do cake pops, however I soon discovered that the majority of people wanted to order cakes.  I do get some orders for cake pops but this is mainly for children’s birthdays.  I sell cupcakes, but my best sellers are birthday cakes and also anniversary and christening cakes. My orders are based around what my customers specify and then I try to add my twist on things.  I normally hand deliver as most of my orders tend to be local and sometimes my husband helps when I have London deliveries as he works in the area.

Where can people find you?

When starting Cakepop Crowd, I joined a company who operate like a cake agency and they promote my business to my local area. I have had quite a lot of orders from them and also from my social media accounts. On social media, I have accounts on both Instagram and Facebook. I also have a Google business page and you can find me on the sites Mum’s Bake Cakes and My Baker. I also currently have contracts with two Jamaican takeaway shops in South East London.

Where do you find creative inspiration when you bake?

Customers will start by telling me their preferences on style, colour scheme etc and from there Pinterest is my go to. I love Pinterest and I have so many cake boards there which I use to get ideas and inspiration.

What challenges have you experienced?

Starting Cakepop Crowd has been a real learning curve and I am continuously learning. I find that I am constantly thinking about ideas that I have to develop and improve the business, however I do not have the time to achieve all of these things at once.

Being a small business owner, I have discovered that you have to do everything and there is so much I have not done before’ 

I have realised however, that even though things take time, with small steps I can still progress with my goals for the business. It has been a lot of fun and I like looking at my pictures to remind myself and see how far I have come.

What plans do you have for Cakepop Crowd in the future?

I have a big list of things that I would like to do and be involved in, however with looking after my daughter and my other job, I do not have time at the moment to do everything at once.  I would like to focus on my internet presence as I feel there is still more I can do, and with more people being at home and online, this is something really important to focus on.  I would also like to build a website and have some professional photos taken of my cakes, because at the moment they are all taken on my phone.

Another thing on my list of goals would be to find more shops to supply to, but all in good time.  If Cake Pop Crowd continues to grow and do well, then hopefully one day I can just focus on this as my main job. I like the idea of being my own boss and the flexibility that comes with working for yourself.  

‘The dream would be to have a shop front, offering more than cakes and cake pops and delivering to a wider radius of people’.

You can keep up to date with Prudent and Cakepop Crowd by visiting her Instagram and Facebook pages.

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