Wigan mum's cake business is booming thanks to backing of Dragons' Den star
A mum-of-two who left her job in finance to bake cakes says business is booming thanks to the coronavirus pandemic and a famous face.
Pippa Hughes, 36, decided to set up PostCake.com in 2017 and makes letterbox-sized cakes at her home in Highfield to send to customers around the country.
They are in the shape of greetings cards and feature edible icing with personalised messages.
Her quirky business caught the attention of entrepreneur and Dragons’ Den star Theo Paphitis this summer, when he retweeted one of Pippa’s tweets to his 500,000 followers for his Small Business Sunday initiative.
It catapulted PostCake to the attention of people nationwide, leading to Pippa gaining 300 more followers on Twitter and receiving extra orders for cakes.
The business was also profiled on the Small Business Sunday (SBS) website and Pippa uses a sticker to seal the wrapping on her cakes which states it was made by an SBS winner.
Pippa said: “I have only been in business a few years and even before lockdown was working from home, but winning SBS has enabled me to expand my business by converting our garage into PostCake HQ.
“It is great to have support from Theo because it’s been tough trying to raise the PostCake.com profile and Theo has recognised my hard work and helped spread the word about what I do to his following.”
Pippa has also received a boost this year from the coronavirus pandemic, with more people placing orders.
“People have been staying at home, online shopping and sending people things to cheer each other up, so it has been really good for me,” she said.
Both factors have provided a real boost for Pippa, who previously worked in finance.
She said: “I think I fell into financial services because it was a well-paid job and I was good at it and I enjoyed being part of a team, but I was always doing things in the background, always being creative and trying to make my own way rather than having to work for someone else.
“Once we had our first child, I returned to work quite quickly for financial reasons. It wasn’t long after that I thought this wasn’t for me and I didn’t want to do it anymore. I could see myself doing something else.”
She said she had a “lightbulb” moment when she decided to set up her own business baking cakes and PostCake.com was born.
She printed edible icing using a printer given to her as a Christmas present and went to Winstanley post office to send it to her home, so she could see how it survived in transit.
Pippa began trading in February 2018 while continuing to work full-time, getting up at 5am to bake the cakes, taking them to work and going to the post office on her lunch break.
She left her job in March 2018 and gave birth to her second child, taking a break from the business before deciding to return to it full-time.
It appears to have been the right decision, with Pippa now busy making the personalised cakes as well as large corporate orders.
She hopes to be able to expand the business in future and perhaps employ staff to look at tasks such as admin and marketing.
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