The Pastry Corner: How I set up my own baking business

Alexandra Bishop, 28, from Southsea, Portsmouth. She opened The Pastry Corner back in 2012.

Alexandra Bishop, 28, from Southsea, Portsmouth. She opened baking business The Pastry Corner

I had always dreamed of having my own business, and after making cakes for friends and family, I was soon getting requests for cakes from friends of friends, and it snowballed from there.

A love of baking

I’ve always loved baking, I remember baking as a little girl with my grandma and mum.

I loved food tech at school, but I decided I didn’t want to make my passion my career. So I went to college to get A-levels.

In my second year, after looking at universities, I made the decision to follow my heart and go to catering college instead.

I went to Highbury College and South Downs College, where I completed my level 2 and 3 diploma in catering and patisserie.

Painting cakes is a newfound joy of mine. Just before Covid hit I went on a cake painting course. I have always loved to paint and being arty, I only recently realised a cake could also be a canvas!

If you want a career in baking

My advice is not to give up and believe in yourself.

I have been through a lot of heartache with my business and been so close to quitting due to lack of earnings, but now I couldn’t be happier and I’m so proud of what I have achieved. I wish I could tell my younger self not to worry, the hard times are worth it.

Common misconceptions

That a cake can magically appear in a matter of hours!

Since Bake Off started, and bakers are baking and decorating cake all in an afternoon, it can be a struggle when customers are asking for cakes on the same or next day, and to try and get them to understand why it can’t be done.

I overcome this by having patience with the person on the phone and offer alternatives.

Overcoming challenges

I would say my biggest challenge was one of my first wedding cakes.

Eight years ago when I was still learning, it was the hottest day of the year and I was making an all buttercream cake. You can imagine the three-tier cake wasn’t wanting to play ball!

I came up with the idea to decorate dummy cakes up instead so the couple could still have their dream cake and the actual cake could be kept chilled in the fridge ready to serve.

And finally…

Believe in yourself. Trust your gut.

To find out more about The Pastry Corner, visit: thepastrycorner.co.uk

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here