A Berkshire Mumpreneur // Clare Ashcombe, Piece of Cake by Clare
Tell me briefly about your business?
Piece of Cake by Clare provides bespoke freshly handmade cakes to order, for children’s birthdays, baby showers, milestone birthdays and other family events and celebrations. I am based in Ascot, Berkshire and cover Sunninghill, Sunningdale, Bracknell, Windsor, Maidenhead and surrounding areas.
Tell me briefly about yourself and your family?
I’ve been married to my husband for 10 years this year and we have two gorgeous boys who are both at primary school.
When did you set up your business and why?
I have always loved to bake and when my children came along I found even more enjoyment in baking and decorating their birthday cakes. With practice and some training, my technique improved and I started to make cakes for friends and family. Then, with plenty of encouragement from those early ‘customers’, I decided to start my own business. In June 2017, Piece of Cake by Clare opened for business and I haven’t looked back. It adds a different dimension turning your hobby into a business but it hasn’t changed my passion for making cakes that people will love. I started off with celebration cakes only and then added cupcakes to my menu. I now also supply cakes and cupcakes for baby showers, christenings, milestone birthdays and other family events. I still have plenty of future plans to grow the business too.
What do you see as the benefits of being self-employed?
For me the biggest benefit of being self-employed is the work/life balance. I can make work fit around my life and my family. It’s a juggling act, but parenting is, right?
How do you manage to run your business and look after your family?
I try really, really hard to make sure I make the business work around my family rather than the other way around. I plan my week so that I can work during school hours. I make sure I only take on orders I have time for, not only so I can produce a fabulous cake but so this doesn’t fall into time I need and want to spend with my family. I’ll be honest, it is difficult sometimes as I find it very hard to say no to squeezing in that extra cake order for the week. I am trying to get better at this but I don’t like to let people down. 😀
What are your top tips to other parents considering setting up their own
Make it work for you and your family. Write down why you have started your business and keep reminding yourself of this. It can be tough in the beginning and hard work. Don’t give up. Follow your dream. If you are turning a hobby into a business, try and remember it is now a business which ultimately pays your wages.
Looking back at your business is there anything you would have done differently?
Yes, probably. I’ve made a few little errors along the way, but I’ve learnt a lot from those mistakes so it’s all experience. For example, it’s hard to work out prices for cakes. As most of the designs are bespoke, I don’t know how long a particular model might take so I have to make a guess. I lost out on the first few cakes but now I’ve made a fair few models and decorated cakes with various shapes and patterns, my guesses are becoming more and more educated.
What’s next for your business?
Now that both of my children are at school full time, I have more time available to take on more cakes. So I plan to keep growing my customer base with a plan to have all slots filled each week.
Finally, what are your top three things to do as a family in Berkshire?
Riding our bikes around Ascot Racecourse (The Heath) and playing in the park in the middle before cycling back home.
Junior Park run at Savill Gardens on the first Sunday of every month.
Click here to visit Piece of Cake by Clare.
*I asked Clare if she would be interviewed by Berkshire Mummies. I was not asked or paid to write this post. Click here to view Berkshire Mummies disclaimer.*