In part five of this Dream Jobs blog series we meet a cake maker who just adores designing and creating beautiful bakes. Emma Buchanan, is the lady behind the sweet treats at Array of Cakes and today tells us why she loves her job so much. Lets find out more….
How did you become a cake decorator?
I have always baked and studied catering as part of my college diploma but the idea of setting up as a cake making business first came to me when I made roses for my own wedding cake 6 years ago. I loved it so much that from then on I spent every spare moment making cakes and learning different techniques.
How would you describe your style?
My approach to each design changes depending on the requirements of my couples but my favourite style is definitely vintage. Whether I’m making a traditional wedding cake, something more extravagant or simple cupcakes, I love adding lacing, patterns and soft colours to give the cake an impressive, yet understated visual effect.
What personality traits do you need to be a good cake maker?
First and foremost you need to be a people person and be able to offer clear design advice so couples have a cake that exceeds their expectations. When it comes to actual baking tasks you must be well organised and methodical, especially when you have a number of orders over the course of a week. High standards are extremely important – each cake that leaves my kitchen must be top quality to ensure my customers are satisfied and that I maintain my reputation.
What are the best & worst parts of your job?
The worst thing is the long hours. I often find myself working into the early hours to make sure a cake is perfect, which can be quite lonely. I am very lucky though as I have a fantastic network of fellow cake makers who are always available to offer support and advice when I need it – there are often online chats at 3am to keep each other sane! The best thing by far is creating a cake you are really proud of and that you have a very happy client at the end of it. It makes the long hours worth it.
What’s the top three things that wedding couples ask about first?
No two couples are the same but most discussions start on the design, the budget and the logistics – my availability, delivery, etc. The design aspect is very important to get right. Some couples have very specific ideas about what they want, others will have seen my work and what something similar, or occasionally there are couples who’ve not given it any thought at all! Whatever position people are starting from I always take a collaborative approach and offer a free tasting and consultation.
What tips would you give your couples to help their day run more smoothly?
The best weddings always have someone who is responsible for co-ordinating the day and can be contacted during the run up to the wedding. Whether it’s the venue, a wedding planner, or a trusted friend. The event doesn’t have to be meticulously planned but the last thing you want to do on your own wedding day is deal with queries and have concerns about all those jobs that need doing, such as whether the room has been prepared properly or the cake has been delivered, etc.
What is your best piece of business advice to aspiring cake makers?
Make sure you have the support of your friends and family. Most cake makers these days are based from home and the business does tend to take over the kitchen so you will need a very understanding family who will support you and understand that they may not get dinner!
What has been your best moment as a wedding cake maker?
I had a wedding cake which unusually I had to deliver the day before the wedding. I dropped the cake off and a few hours later when I was back in my kitchen the Bride turned up in floods of tears with some flowers to say thank you for the beautiful cake. It was an amazing feeling that someone on the day before their wedding would go out of their way to do that, I was really touched.
Thanks Emma for sharing your job with us. Don’t forget to take a look at other posts in the series.
Part One: Wedding Photographer
Part Two: Wedding Planner
Part Three: Wedding Florist
Part Four: Bridal Boutique Manager