This Start-Up Story comes from Eve, founder of A Kind Mama Vegan Bakery an online bakery that grew from a market stall venture.
Tell me a little about you & your family, what your business is, and the inspiration behind getting started…
I’m Eve, I’m from Essex but live in Manchester. I have a husband, a 4 year old, a dog and a cat! My business is A Kind Mama Vegan Bakery.
I started my business when my little boy Fred was 8 months old. I saw all these incredible mums on Instagram running their own businesses & killing it, so I decided I wanted to do that instead of going ‘back to work’. I won a Youth Market competition selling my vegan bakes and started doing weekly markets in Southend, Essex. After I moved to Manchester I found the markets weren’t as successful for me, and started selling my bakes online & posting them out in boxes. And that’s my business today! I bake up to about 500 brownies, cookies & doughnuts every week and send them out all over the country.
How did you make the leap from idea on paper to reality with your business idea?
Honestly I just went for it! I bought a load of boxes online & after one particularly bad market where I literally sold one brownie, I advertised ‘mixed boxes’ on my Facebook page and sold the spare bakes for £5 a box. They all sold straight away and I actually sold more than I had cakes for, and ended up baking more to fill the boxes. That was where the idea started and after about a week I created my own website, ordered 250 boxes and started selling set brownie and mixed treat boxes. It was nuts to just go for it like that but it worked for me!
How did you get your first sale or client?
I had a few regular customers from the markets in Southend, and I asked them all to ‘like’ my Facebook page and invite their friends to do the same. My first sale on my website was from an old friend who had just been diagnosed with a dairy intolerance!
What ‘lucky breaks’ or helping hands have you had along the way that have really boosted your progress?
I don’t know about lucky breaks – but as for helping hands I’ve run a couple of Crowdfunder campaigns which my customer base have really got behind and helped me on my way! I raised money to buy myself two commercial ovens (which live in my dining room) and those really changed the way I run my business!
What do you LOVE about your business and working for yourself?
I really love baking (even though I do it every day!) and through the Facebook group I’ve created for my customers I get to bake new and exciting brownie & blondie flavours every week. I love that I can work around my three year old being in nursery and I still get to spend a 3 day weekend with him every week.
What’s the scariest thing you’ve had to do since setting up on your own?
I did a live cooking demonstration at Grand Designs Live a couple of years ago which was terrifying! I had to bake doughnuts up on a stage while being interviewed in front of a lot of people. Exciting but really scary!
Who is your support network that you simply couldn’t manage without?
My husband, my little boy, and my parents. Even though my mum and dad live in Essex I call them every day, and my dad is always giving me really good business advice.
What exciting plans do you have for your business over the next 6-12 months that you’d like to share?
In the new year I’m moving into a kitchen unit to work from and finally getting my house back which is really exciting! I hope to be able to make lots more boxes of cakes every week and may even hire someone to help me which would be really cool.
On your own start-up adventure?
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