Meet the Baker #1 went down an absolute storm! Michelle was so funny and honest that it was such a great start to this series. For Meet the Baker #2, Dani from Blue Door Bakery (BDB) shares her story on what she does, how she does it and what it’s like for her in the caking world.
She single-handedly owns and runs an incredibly successful cake decorating school in Redditch, just near Birmingham. Take a peek at the classes here.
She’s also a Mum to two girls and is incredibly hard-working, ambitious but seems to balance everything so well. I admire all she’s done so far and that’s why I asked her to be part of this as I just know she’ll be an inspiration to many others.
I can’t remember where or how I came to meet Dani. It may be from when I first started teaching at The Cake College or from a baking group I used to be part of, but wherever it was, I’m glad it happened. She’s incredibly sweet, supportive, talented and always does the best Instagram stories (especially when she teams up with her best cake bud Farley from Lady Berry Cupcakes). It probably explains why she’s got an incredible 30.8k following on there too!
She delves into live demonstrations, shares techniques and even recorded herself and Farley walking around Cake International earlier this year.
Her classes are very cool, her branding is lovely and modern, and she comes across as one of ‘the girls’. I feel like you could easy sit down with Dani, enjoy a cuppa and a slice of cake and chat away about anything! I mean, come on, look at her smiley pretty face!
As with lots of online friendships we’ve never met in real life, but I hope this changes in 2019. I will get around to matching my diary up with Dani’s and finding a slot!
Here she is…
Where did your Cake Company name come from?
When BDB was started 10 years ago, the first studio had a blue door. Every home I’ve had since then, has not been allowed a blue door but it is very blue inside.
When did you start your cake business and why?
I started my business 9 years ago just as a hobby. It grew very quickly into hundreds of celebration cake orders and weddings every year. I came on 2 Blue Door Bakery classes in 2012, then I was asked to teach. I bought the company 4 years ago.
Where are you located?
My gorgeous studio is in Redditch, about 20 miles in the middle of Worcester and Birmingham.
Is this your full-time job?
Yes, more than full-time sometimes.
If yes, what did you do before you made cakes/taught classes for a living?
Before cakes took over, I was a full-time mum to my 2 girls and just starting a teaching assistant course.
Do you have a particular favourite style/technique?
The pretty cakes have my heart, and anything covered in glitter!
What was your first ever paid order?
A wedding cake for 120 cupcakes and giant cupcake in bright red and purple. Looking back, it was a little wild!
What inspires you?
My students who have never done anything before and take the plunge into cake decorating inspire me. It’s so inspiring to watch their confidence and smiles grow as my class goes on.
Do you have a favourite cake/cupcake flavour?
Sticky toffee or salted caramel…mmmm
Cake tool you couldn’t live without?
Jem Veining tool. Best tool ever!
Where do you see yourself in a year’s time?
Hopefully doing exactly what I’m doing now as my job is amazing.
What is your favourite thing about cake decorating?
Creating something that makes people happy.
…and your least favourite?
The baking. I’m much more of a creative person so really enjoy the decorating side more.
Who is your go-to cake decorating supplies shop/website?
cakestuff.com. I love having everything I need in one place.
Top business tip for making what you do a success?
Just remember that everyone was a beginner at one point so being friendly, approachable and having patience is so important.
Any words of advice for cake decorating beginners?
Just go for it. Don’t doubt yourself.
Most inspirational cake artist?
Cakes by Angela Morrison. Her cakes and sugar flowers are completely dreamy. I also love Katherine Sabbath and her lack of fear to try something completely different.
Best bud or go-to cake friend in the caking industry?
Farley from Lady Berry Cupcakes. We met through cake and I can’t imagine my life without her now.
What’s been your favourite cake/cupcake order to date?
My sisters wedding cake. I’m not sure this counts as an order but being able to create something amazing for her was so special. Of course, I went all out and created a huge cake table with sphere cakes, mini cakes, cupcakes, cake pops, macarons and a huge centre piece. Plus 65 cookie wedding favours. Who needs just 1 cake!
Have you had any cake fails so far?
Oh goodness, loads! Who hasn’t! I actually love it when my demo goes wrong when I’m teaching. Shows I’m human, mistakes happen and always seems to put my students mind at ease. Of course, it’s a huge bonus that I can also show them how to fix anything!
What is your biggest business hope, dream or ambition?
Honestly, I’m so happy doing what I’m doing right now. I just hope it all continues. I work so hard every day, so I guess my biggest dream is to have this exact job in another 10 years time.
What do you do when you’re not cake making?
I love exercising and working off the cake lbs and I go to 4-5 exercise classes per week. Meeting up with my friends and family and going for afternoon tea is something I also love to do. I love Disney films and cooking big roast dinners for all my family. I’m a home bug and love nothing more than being surrounded by my family. We also visit Cornwall a lot and my favourite little seaside village called Looe.
And lastly, tell us all a random fact about yourself.
I binged watched all 13 seasons of Greys Anatomy in a week. All 261 episodes. I didn’t sleep! McDreamy all the way!