Welcome to a new series of ‘Trader Tales’ revamped for 2017– where you can find out more about the creative and pioneering entrepreneurs on our small but perfectly formed Manchester market.
As we head towards the end of the year, we’re looking back at some of our best market highlights from 2017. And if one thing sticks out in the memory, it has to be a truly fabulous cake. We’re lucky enough to have had ample slices of baked heaven from one of our most popular regulars Lemon Drizzle Tea & Cakes. We sat down for a chat with cake maker extraordinaire Clare from Lemon Drizzle…
Where did the idea for Lemon Drizzle Tea & Cakes come from?
My partner and I wanted a change of career from working in theatre marketing. We realised we both love baking and decided to make a business out of our passion.
Why did you decide to trade on a market rather than set up a bricks and mortar business?
We spent ages looking for the right premises. We nearly took over the Savoy Cinema in Heaton Moor. However, in the end, we didn’t want to invest all our money in bricks and mortar so decided we’d bake from home and sell at markets instead.
So what’s your favourite part about trading on a market?
I love meeting people and seeing their reaction when they try our cakes. It’s the tastings that persuade people to buy our cake!
Now for the crucial question: what do you like best about trading at Levenshulme Market?
Levy’s pretty close to home for us (Bramhall) and we have got to know a lot of the traders, as well as having some lovely supportive regulars who come to the market especially for our cake.
How long does it take you to make one of your cakes?
Each cake takes 15-30 minutes to mix and an hour to bake. That’s a lot of hours in the kitchen before each market! What’s unique about us is that we put our own twist on our freshly baked cakes and flapjacks. People tell us they bake themselves but invariably find at least one of our bakes that they’ve never baked or never even heard of!
What was the most difficult obstacle to overcome when setting up your business?
Making sure we had all the business boxes ticked – registering with the council (we were thrilled when we got our 5* hygiene rating), accounts etc. I think (fingers crossed) we know what we’re doing now, four years on.
Could you offer any advice for new traders setting up their first business?
Start small and build from there. Make mistakes and learn from them.
Do you have any exciting future plans for the business?
We also bake celebration cakes as well as selling wholesale. We’d love to do more of the same, diversify and find more markets so we can get our cake out to more people. Oh and keep developing our cake flavours so we’ve always got something new on the stall.
We can’t wait to see what Clare and the Lemon Drizzle team have in store for us in 2018! Keep an eye on the trader lists here at levymarket.com to find out when they will next be trading at Levy Market. If you just can’t wait or you fancy ordering a custom cake, check in with the team on their Facebook page.