On Monday (18th April), 280 Bakes stood on the streets of Bristol and asked commuters one question:
Should I quit my job and bake?!
We handed out samples of carrot cake and asked the morning and afternoon commuters on Wapping Wharf bridge and the bridge next to the M Shed (main pedestrian bridges in Bristol) to vote with their cupcake case.
Two bins were a couple of meters down the bridge marked up YES and NO - and I'm pleased to be able to tell you the results at the end of the day were...
I guess 2% of Bristol's population just don't like carrot cake!
(Our voting bins also were 'donated' three crisp packets and a beer can, but we're not counting those!)
In all seriousness, this was a bit of fun, yes, some cheeky efforts to get more awareness of my home bakery, 280 Bakes (see ITV West online!), but it had an element of truth to it. I want to take 280 Bakes to a new level, and become a business women who bakes, not a baker who dabbles in a business.
Big changes are afoot!
Thanks to all the tasters and voters from Monday's poll, massive thanks to Naomi who was the perfect assistant, and thank you most of all for all the positive comments and 'good luck' messages received that day from so many strangers. I felt good vibes that day - long may it continue!
So what's changed since Monday's vote?
It's all very well this fun and games, but some things have to change before I can say I've officially quit 'normal' work and focussed 100% on baking and feeding Bristol. It may have only been two sleeps since Monday, but we've been working hard on making some smart (we hope!) decisions!
1, 280 Bakes has done its final monthly home bakery. April was our last "bakery-on-the-porch", unfortunately, but it gives us a lot more time to re-focus on growing the business and sticking to our goals. We're sad to see it go, but our business had grown so much since the initial bakery in December last year, and it's been a part of our journey - we're still proud of it!
The bakery was a lot of work alongside the rest of the efforts for 280 Bakes, and wasn't really taking us in a direction we wanted to go, so time for a change. Sorry for any disappointment, but you can still get cakes from us - more regularly, in fact!
2. I no longer work full-time. My hours of admin in a non-bakery related office have been reduced. It's a strange situation to be in, having worked in an office for the last 10 years, but I need to have some extra time to dedicate to 280 Bakes. Fingers crossed it was the right thing to do!
280 Bakes has a business plan, determination, a financial awareness and budget, and an unshakeable passion for baking home made cakes! We look forward to a prosperous summer!
Thank you so much for your support. We can't wait for the next chapter of 280 Bakes to begin.
This is an irresistible recipe for Gingerbread, one that made me actually like ginger flavours... because my favourite spirit is in the ingredients!
Give it a try and you won't look back!
200g golden syrup
125g dark brown sugar
2 tsp fresh ginger (optional, if you want extra flavour)
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves (optional - ick!)
1 orange (zest and juice)
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
300g plain flour
Icing sugar to dust
To begin with, preheat your oven to 170ºC and grease a 30×20 cm tray.
Start by making the liquid components – get a medium sized saucepan and put it on a medium heat on the hob. To the pan add your butter, sugar, golden syrup, treacle, and the fresh ginger. Heat the pan gently, allowing everything to melt slowly. Stir occasionally with a metal spoon.
Whilst that’s melting sift the dry ingredients into a bowl – that’s the plain flour and the ground spices – ensuring that there are no lumps, then gently combine. Zest the orange in on top of this.
Crack the eggs into a jug then whisk them together before adding the milk and the amaretto. Whisk until smooth.
One the syrup/butter mixture has melted, take it off the heat and add in the milk mixture (stirring constantly) and then finally the orange juice. Pout half into the dry ingredients and mix it in before adding the other half. The mixture will be very wet and runny, don’t worry, it’s meant to be.
Pour into your greased tray and put in the centre of the oven to bake. It should take between 45 and 55 minutes, depending on your oven. Cool and dust.
Let me know how you get on!
Lou @ 280 Bakes
You may have seen this coming. For the last week or so, 280 bakes has been playing with the idea of same day delivery cakes... and we're pleased to announce it's officially in our business plan.
We now bake for same day delivery on home made cakes, with a daily special announced the evening before.
What are we calling this new service?
Bouncing the idea of CakeOD around some clients this week, it looks like it could be one thing, with a few interpretations; CakeOD could mean:
Cake On Demand Cake Order & Delivery Cake Over-Dose
We can certainly provide all three, but really, CakeOD is Cake On Demand. Think 4OD from Channel 4's online catch-up. Simple!
And delivery of 280 Bakes cake is still free!
Sound good? Want to place an order?
If you like the idea of cake baked fresh that day and delivered to your home or work, take a look at our special each day on Facebook (today it's chocolate brownies - vegan and gluten free included) and comment on the post to order. You can also tweet us @280bakes, or call us on 07835 882817.
Last orders: 4pm. Other cakes are available for same day delivery, but the specials take priority each day. Contact us if you have any queries. Of course, you can also still order other cakes in advance.
CakeOD: Fresh cake baked and delivered to Bristol, on demand.
Tomorrow's CakeOD special will be vegan gingerbread.
Until next time,
Lou @ 280 Bakes
Do you have a fairy obsessed grand-daughter?
Does your family have a Simpsons fan in it?
We make birthday cakes for kids' birthdays, and we love doing it! From Pokemon to The Minions, dinosaurs to Toy Story, we create character cakes to make your little one smile, at at great prices.
Let us know your child's favourite character or theme, and we'll bake a vanilla or chocolate sponge, decorate and deliver (free of charge) for the big day.
Prices start at £10, character and decoration dependent.
Many happy returns of the day to the birthday girl or boy!
Owner 280 Bakes
A British favourite in confection: Bakewell Tart. But with all that butter, egg and pastry, you'd be forgiven for thinking it's not a great dessert for vegans.
However, Jess, one of our clients got in touch on Tuesday to ask if we made vegan bakewell tarts. We hadn't made one in the past, but always willing to try new recipes, we took on the challenge. Sourcing recipes is one of the best bits of this job - there's so many resources and I really enjoy tweaking them to make them '280 Bakes' style.
Shortly afterward Jess sent in her order, someone else contacted us via our Facebook page having seen we were trying a new recipe, and requested one for herself. Seems there's a taste for Bakwewell Tarts in Bristol!
The result? Success!
My two vegans loved the recipe (one suggesting maybe a touch more sugar), and El Husbandio enjoyed a third mini tart for dinner. Vegan baking sure can be delicious - it didn't taste different to a 'standard' tart, to be honest, just as tasty without the animal product!
If you have any recipes you'd like us to try, we offer 10% off the sale price if it's something we're likely to add to our bake menu.
Owner, 280 Bakes
Welcome to the 280 Bakes blog! Most posts are by myself, Louise, but if you fancy guest blogging, give me a shout!