Today is Heaven is a Cupcake’s 2nd Birthday. So to celebrate I thought I would write an entry to show where Heaven is a Cupcake came from and how we have grown into the thriving business we are now! I say ‘we’, it’s still just me (Lucy) but I have such a good family behind Heaven is a Cupcake (those who literally are family/friends as well as my amazing customer base) that I consider it to be ‘we’ as much as it is ‘I’. After all, if it weren’t for my fabulous customers there would be no Heaven is a Cupcake. It would just be me, eating far too much cake (I do that anyway!)
So before I get into where we came from I’d like to say a big thank you to all my customers and friends. Particularly to my loyal customers who come to all my markets and have been really supportive of me over the last year or two; you have all given me so many opportunities and challenges so THANK YOU!
Now a thank you to someone who I owe a lot to, my mum! And I like to think I inspired her to start making cakes too because one month before my first birthday she attended a sugarcraft course and then made her very first cake, my first birthday cake!
Mum’s First Cake -My 1st Birthday, November 1986
And over the years she made practically every single one of our Birthday cakes up until the age of 18 when we all got too busy for things like making cakes! I used to love making cakes with her (and still do, although now I’m starting to teach her things!) and one of my favourite cakes that she made me was my 5th birthday cake and it probably is still my favourite cake… a buttercream castle cake. Ever since I was little, I’ve loved buttercream; I used to eat the buttercream and leave the cake! So this was a big hit as it was covered in buttercream and also yummy sweets.
My 5th Birthday Cake – November 1990
These photos are both taken from a scrapbook my mum has kept for the past 26 years and I used to sit and flick through the photos never even imagining I could do it. I always used to think ‘I wish I could do that.’ When I was 15 I was given the task of having to make a cake for my GCSE food technology and I knew straight away I wanted to make the buttercream castle cake. Now, it didn’t quite turn out how I wanted it to…but it tasted good!
My first cake, 2001
I almost gave up after that! I stuck to making things like fairy cakes and rock cakes and just baked occasionally as a hobby whilst planning my career as an actress! I then went to university and studied English Literature and in my final year, I attempted another castle cake (as you can see I like castle cakes!) for my friend Scott. Again, not my greatest cake but it is one of my favourites as it was a lot of fun to make and still tasted yummy! It also used a lot of the tricks my mum used which I loved as a kid – coconut grass, jelly water, lots of buttercream. But I think my favourite thing has to be the hippos – every good castle cake should have hippos 😉
Scott’s Castle Cake, 2008
I then went on to do my Masters and once that was finished in December 2010 I desperately needed a break from studying. So I went off to America and there I made cupcakes! Lots of cupcakes! I kept finding more and more gadgets/toppings and exciting new things for cupcakes which I didn’t even knew existed. These were my first ‘cupcakes’. Yes, I’d made fairy cakes and small cupcakes but I didn’t even know you could get these larger sized cases.
My first cupcakes, Feb 2010
As you can see, I didn’t bother with any of that piping rubbish or hand made decorations! 2 months later, I started up Heaven is a Cupcake. I created a facebook page and then the orders began to come in. I thought it would be a good way to earn some money whilst I looked for a teaching assistant job but I never got that far… This was the first order I received that was from someone I didn’t know, a box of baby themed cupcakes to go to Gorhambury Manor, St Albans (a good first order I think!)
First Bespoke Order from an unknown, August 2010
After being in business for 6 months I won the 2010 Local Gem Award in the St Albans Food and Drink Festival. And from there it has just snowballed! Now I work full time 6-7 days a week and I couldn’t be happier. You can see how far I’ve come from the very first cupcakes I made to my most recent cupcakes…
Wedding Cupcake Samples, April 2012
And I even got to do another castle cake, an improvement on my first one I think you’ll agree!
So thank you again to everyone who has helped make Heaven is a Cupcake what it is today and here’s to another exciting year!
Happy cupcaking 🙂