Sweet success for Bristol cake shop start-up

Piece of Cake Bristol specialises in producing high quality hand crafted cakes, cupcakes and cakepops. Design is the customer’s decision and they offer an approach for everybody. You can bring your own idea, provide them with a starting point or even leave it totally up to them and they will endeavour to make your dream cake a reality. Proud owner of Piece of Cake Bristol, Carly Cripps opened her shop in Downend, Bristol on the busy North Street in August 2015.

Carly’s parents are both business owners and it seemed like a natural progression for Carly to start her own business, but she knew that it had to be doing something that she loves. Owning her own shop allows Carly the freedom she needs to put a unique spin on the art of cake decoration, after learning and perfecting her trade in the Special Occasion cake shop. Starting something of her own and being able to take it in any direction she wishes was definitely a draw to owning her very own business.

It all began when Carly spotted a Business West advertisement in her local newspaper. After contacting Business West she then was guided through the Virgin StartUp application process by her Business West Start & Grow Advisor Alyson Eyval. Alyson helped her perfect her business plan and prepare the other information that Virgin StartUp required.

“Without their advice and guidance I would not have been able to secure the loan to start my business. Business West were great with helping me to submit the information I needed to move forward.”

Carly Cripps, Piece of Cake Bristol

Business West’s Start & Grow programme helped Carly secure a loan of £25K from Virgin Start Up, who offer loans to budding entrepreneurs from as little £500 right up to the value of £25K.The start-up loan Carly received allowed her to open her shop in a location which she felt was right for her business and target market. People are often entering her shop just to compliment her on the work she does and to say that her shop is something that the high street has needed for some time. 

“The only tip that I can give to new entrepreneurs is to stay focused and stick with it and you will get there in the end. The reward will out way the cost.”

Carly Cripps, Piece of Cake Bristol

Still in the early stages of her venture, Carly’s business has gone from strength to strength. Not yet employing staff, Carly relies on volunteers to deal with the high levels of orders she is receiving. Carly’s father has owned a bakery for 10 years and is always on hand to give Carly support and guidance. The business therefore has over a decade of experience in designing and creating personalised cakes and confectionary items, allowing her to grow the business successfully, based on a solid foundation of high quality, personal service.

The future looks bright for Piece of Cake Bristol. Carly’s Start & Grow advisor Alyson Eyval will be on hand to help promote and network Carly with other services and businesses. The Start & Grow programme also includes a free year of membership to the Business West Chamber of Commerce and Carly will also receive two further years of mentoring support after this membership comes to an end, offering quarterly webinars that cover topics like legal, finance and marketing. The flair and creativity Carly has already shown, paired with the market experience of her father, is a real recipe for success.

Discover more about Piece of Cake Bristol

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