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  • Writer's pictureAli

How The Bakehouse began (& where it's headed)

If you weren't strolling along the sunny Bristol harbourside 8 years ago, you won't know the fabulous stall that was The Bakehouse's first ever adventure into business.

Bristol harbourside first stall for The Local Bakehouse
The Bakehouse's first stall - cakes, jams & fudge galore!

It all began from my love of cake...and the fact I suddenly got coeliac disease and couldn't have gluten any more.

The solution was simple: gluten-free cake.

Except, of course, it wasn't, because the first gluten-free cake I made tasted awful.

Worryingly, the flour was a light grey colour - the kind that reminds you of a once-white t-shirt.

So it shouldn't have been a big surprise that the cake turned out so dry. And inedible.

And it probably doesn't come as a shock that it took me another billion years to come up with something better, partly because the flours vastly improved and partly because I spent an inordinate amount of time trying out new recipes before hitting the jackpot.

So when I set out to start my own business, the first thing my husband advised me to do was get selling. "You don't know if you have a business unless you sell a cake," he said. So I paid for a stall on Bristol harbourside and crossed my fingers for good weather.

Hubby had more good advice. "You don't want to sell out," he urged, "because then you'll wish you'd made more cakes." He added, "So you want to be left with one cupcake because then there'll be hardly any wastage."

And you know what? The weather was amazing (tick!). People bought (tick!). And I was left with two cupcakes at the end (double tick!). (N.B. I believe I may have scoffed these when I got home. I'd like to think I shared them with my husband but I can't be sure.)

As the years have passed, a lot has changed. I started as 'The Bristol Bakehouse' but then changed to 'The Local Bakehouse' so I could franchise. I moved house, renovated the old garage in it and started holding cake decorating courses. I had two children (now 4 & 3) and, post-covid, have started online cake tastings (not as weird as you might think - they're actually great fun).

And now The Bakehouse is going in an even better direction - luxe! I decided it was time to embrace a more couture range of cakes, so later this year expect to see some fabulous new wedding cake designs alongside couture cupcake boxes.

But I'm always keen to know your thoughts so if there's something you'd like to see that I'm not doing, please let me know below. Your feedback is hugely important!

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