A party without cake is just a meeting.
I haven’t focussed on a local business for a while now, so I thought it was about time. And while Dundee is pushing the boundaries of ‘local’ to me, there is another special reason for spotlighting this business. Everyone, meet my sister-in-law and owner of Daisy Bakes – Audrey Beckett.
Audrey bakes vegan and dairy-free cakes and if like me you thought all vegan food tasted like Citroen 2C exhaust fumes and disappointment prepare to be amazed as I have sampled quite a few of her cakes now and they taste amazing. And I’ve tasted a LOT of cakes in my time!
Here’s what happened when I got down to business and asked her about her passion.
Tell me what does Daisy Bake? (see what I did there!)
Daisy Bakes creates super decadent vegan and dairy-free celebration cakes and cupcakes.
What made you decide on that name for your business?
The name came from my love of gardening and daisies in particular! I get to watch them grow at my window as I’m baking, and they constantly remind me that love, care and effort is the key to making something beautiful.
What was your rationale for specialising in dairy-free and vegan cakes?
I had always baked for friends and family, so I went on a mission to come up with a vegan cake recipe for a few of my vegan friends. It took about a year to really get it right, and when I did, everyone wanted those cakes, not just my vegan friends. So I decided to stick to the vegan recipe, and before I knew it, I was making celebration cakes and cupcakes for everyone!
What’s the most unusual cake you’ve been asked to make?
The most unusual cake I’ve made has to be my Vegas themed cake. A Topsy Turvy Cake with a roulette board, poker chips, and giant stacked dice cakes on top.
What cake did you most enjoy making and why?
I most enjoyed making a shell themed wedding cake and cupcakes. Making hundreds of natural-looking tiny fondant shells to go with a lovely dusky blue and turquoise icing colour scheme. I love adding detail, so I loved every fiddly minute of it!
What would you love to bake that you haven’t yet?
I would love to bake a tiered floral fault line wedding cake, I have some ideas which I think would really look beautiful.
Tell me what a typical Daisy Bakes day looks like?
A typical day in the life of Daisy Bakes involves an early start! I seem to be at my best while watching the rest of the world wake up. A check up on the Facebook page and reply to customer messages. Followed by a clean, prep and review of the day’s tasks and then crack on. Multiple orders mean strict time management and an organised daily planner! So while I’ve got cakes in the oven for one order, I’ll be making fondant flowers for another order and buttercream for another! I work in a small but lovely kitchen so clean as you go is a must. However, I myself am generally iced and decorated by the end of the day. Delivery times and consultations are to suit the customer, so I work my day around them, so every day is different. The essential admin and concept designs are done elsewhere in the evening with a cup of tea and a biscuit!
Do you have any advice for anyone else wanting to start their own business?
My advice for starting your own baking business. Get to know your market and keep up with the latest trends but be creative and don’t be scared to introduce new ideas to the baking world. Be reliable and get to know your customers. Always give them the best service possible and you will always be their go-to for cakes!
Where do you want Daisy Bakes to be in 5 years time?
For the moment I am fulfilled working in my little happy kitchen making things that make other people happy. At the end of the day that is the greatest reward, the best feeling and why I enjoy baking. A small local vegan cake and coffee shop with a bakery is the dream, so I could connect more with my customers. I would also love a larger kitchen where I could teach vegan baking and decorating classes, along with an endless coffee cup! Whether that happens in the next 5 years is uncertain. However, for the moment I am looking into supplying my vegan cakes and bakes to local coffee shops and restaurants.
More importantly, I am currently aiming to switch to fully recyclable packaging by the end of the year. Also switching out ingredients as more sustainably sourced vegan options are introduced. In 5 years time, I want my cakes to be organic and completely environmentally friendly. From kitchen to cake and packaging.
What areas of Scotland do you cover?
I currently cover Dundee and surrounding areas. However, for larger orders such as wedding cakes or large functions, I deliver to Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Glasgow and surrounding areas with an added delivery charge. I am willing to deliver to most places and calculate the delivery charge to the exact location. I deliver personally and provide set up at the venue.
That was amazing Audrey. If someone wants to order a Daisy Bake, what’s the best way to contact you?
Okay, who else is starving right now!
All photographs supplied by Daisy Bakes