With most of this year’s Wedding cakes postponed until next year and large celebrations cancelled, how have I coped?
Since the beginning of the lockdown for me it’s certainly been a roller coaster of emotions. Worried about my business, my wedding cake bookings, and most importantly what was I going to do?
So, let me tell you what I’ve been up to and how I’ve embraced the Covid-19 restrictions.
1- I made a huge rainbow cake for my local NHS hospital
For me, this has definitely been one of my career highlights. Not long after the lockdown had begun, like many other wedding cake businesses I closed. With having preordered ingredients from postponed weddings and cancelled orders, I didn’t want to throw them away. So I came up with an idea to make a cake for the NHS.
We contacted Peterborough hospital to see if it was okay to bring in some cake, arrange delivery and of course follow the necessary government guidelines that were in place.
And so it began…
We were given the go ahead so I began to think of what I could do that not only represented the NHS but something that would make them smile…… and EVERYBODY loves cake, eh!
So, that’s how I decided on making a rainbow cake as rainbows were appearing everywhere in support for the NHS. So out came the pencil and paper and I drew a sketch.
As most people who know me, I like to do something different as well as challenging. Little did I know was how big it would eventually be and how long it would take me.
Hubby cut out the board and the internal structure whilst I was baking like mad. The finished cake weighed over 55 kgs of ingredients which included over 90 eggs. It took me just over 40hrs to make with 11 of them creating over 2,500 ruffles.
It took two of us to carry the cake to the car, when we got to the hospital security kindly helped to unload it before the nurses arranged for a sturdy trolley to transport the cake down to the ‘Critical Care Unit’.
All I wanted to do was use up my ingredients as well as make the NHS staff smile in what was a very difficult time for everyone. We have had so many messages of thanks from members of staff from all over the hospital where the cake was widely distributed.
What I wasn’t expecting was the cake going viral on social media! It was shared all over the world. We appeared on local radio and even made it on to National news as well as other News channels across the world.
2 – Wedding Consultations
We may have been in lockdown and had many Wedding Cakes postponed until next year but fortunately we still continue to have bookings for the next two years. So how have we conducted the consultations that are normally held here at Cakes By Carol?
Once the initial enquiry came in, we contacted the couples concerned to explain that as it wasn’t possible for them to come here. So we decided on offering a consultation via a video call. This was done via Facebook messenger or Zoom.
Although cake samples couldn’t be tasted here at Cakes By Carol we boxed them up and delivered them locally or posted them via Royal Mail. Couples were also given the option of delaying their consultation until after the restrictions have been lifted and normality resumes.
This has proved very reassuring for the couples who still have options available to them that allows them to continue organising their special day, even if it is sadly delayed for a while.
3 – Helped couples celebrate their ‘un wedding day’
As many weddings have been postponed due to the lockdown, we have been contacted by friends and relatives of couples who have had to put their wedding on hold. To help them get through what should have been their wedding day, they arranged little surprises for them and one of them was cake!
We have been making cupcakes and small cakes, delivering them locally. The surprised look on their faces after receiving their little unexpected treat certainly made us all smile.
4 – Cupcake deliveries
With social distance being in place during lockdown many families were missing their loved ones. So when we introduced a cupcake delivery in Peterborough we had an influx of orders. This was something we hadn’t done before but due to the lack of Wedding Cake orders we decided to make boxes of cupcakes to sell.
The response was amazing, lots of boxes delivered all around Peterborough, some with personal messages from loved ones. It was lovely seeing so many of my regular customers again as well as new faces as we delivered the cupcakes to their doors.
5 – Facebook Live tutorials
Another thing that was new for me was doing Facebook Live videos. During the lockdown many cake makers were closed for business and at a loss with what to do with themselves. Facebook groups were made to help those who needed it and to get through what was a difficult time for us all.
That is where the live demonstrations came in, it bought together cake makers from all over the world where they could watch other cake makers demonstrating their skills.
Cake artists from all over the world gave up their time to do free demonstrations to those who wanted to watch and I became one of the demonstrators. I took part in three 12 hour demonstrations in the ‘Global Cake Artists Unite group’ and a was part of a 24 hour CAKIN’ round the world 2.0.
These lives were streamed all over the world with people joining in from America, Africa, Australia, India you name it. It was amazing that so many people were not only interested in my skills – they actually watched me!
If you would like to see more of the cake demonstrations please click HERE
This made me think……… I have been asked so many times if I did online sugarcraft classes and to this present day I hadn’t! So in two weeks time I am actually running my very first ‘paid’ online class via a video link.
This for me will not only help my many students whose class was postponed due to the pandemic but for students who are around the world can also join in. So a win win for everyone