Q&A With Michele From Craftycakehole

Bronze, turquoise and blue wedding cake for a photo shoot at Trenderway wedding venue in Cornwall

We talk to Michele from the Craftcakehole based in Newquay, Cornwall, about being a military wife making cakes for friends and family, moving to Cornwall and starting her wedding cake business, and making her most complicated wedding cake to date – a two sided ‘pretty and punk’ cake!

How did you get involved in the baking industry?

About 10 years ago whilst living abroad with my husband on a military posting I started making birthday cakes for family and friends. People started to ask me to make cakes for their events and children’s birthdays so I started my small cake business working from home. Quite a challenge in Cyprus summer temperatures! From there as my skills and experience grew the journey into wedding cakes was quite a natural process when we moved to Newquay.

What challenges did you face when starting up your business, and how did you overcome them?

Launching into the wedding cake industry in Cornwall was a bit of a balancing act….concentrating on the creative side of the business was obviously important but taking time out to promote Craftycakehole and get the business in front of couples was equally important. Crash courses in social media marketing, booking Craftycakehole into significant wedding fairs in Cornwall and getting together with other wedding industry people and doing ‘styled wedding photo shoots’ for Cornish wedding magazines has really helped with this.

What part of your job do you enjoy the most?

The creativity!! I studied art and have always been interested in colour, texture and design so being able to combine all of this in the medium of cake and work for myself is amazing!

Is there a part of the process of making a wedding cake that you enjoy the most?

I love designing unique cakes for each couple, getting to know a bit about them and the overall styling of the wedding helps me. When I put a wedding cake design in front of them for the first time and they say ‘ Wow…you’ve nailed it. That’s exactly what we want!’ it’s music to my ears. Knowing that I’ve tuned into their ‘cake vision’ is very satisfying and a great start on the journey towards the perfect wedding cake.

How long does it take to make and decorate a wedding cake?

That really depends on the design. A cake with lots of intricate sugar craft flowers can take weeks with all the flowers being made in advance. 

What has been your most challenging cake to make?

Last year I was asked to make a double sided cake that represented two wedding themes – pretty, cream, pink and shimmering on one side whilst having a punk, edgy and alternative theme on the other. The final cake was 6 tiers high standing on it’s own gold encrusted baroque plinth (made of sugar) complete with punk bride and groom skulls. 

How do you help couples create an impressive wedding 
cake who are on a budget?

One of my wedding couples is cleverly combining two traditional wedding elements together. They’re having a tower of semi naked mini cakes beneath a matching semi naked top tier. This will be an impressive 4 tiers high. After the top tier has been cut by the bride and groom at the reception each mini cake will be boxed and given to the guests to take home in place of a wedding favour. Impressive and budget conscious.

What trend do you expect to continue into the next 12 months?

Gorgeous hand painted cakes are going to be with us for a long time. Texture and metallics will continue to feature and couples are getting much braver with their colour choices for cakes; dark, dramatic tones with bright zingy flowers are a fabulous growing trend!

What advice would you give to couples prior to your first meeting with them?

If you have a clear idea of the style of cake you think you’d like, discuss that with each other so you’re sure it’s what you both want! If you’re still deciding what to have collect images & things you like – colours, textures, fabrics. A copy of your wedding stationary, a photo of the venue and of course a looking through wedding cake pages online for ideas is a great source of inspiration.

When not making wedding cakes, what do you do to relax?

When I’m not creating wedding cakes and running my business in Newquay, I sing. I’m an Alto in inTune Choir (www.intunechoir.co.uk). A contemporary ladies Cornish choir that perform all over Cornwall raising funds for charity. 

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