A couple of weeks before Christmas was another exciting and slightly hectic week with cupcake and Christmas orders rolling out of the door and the first workshop in the new Flossie Pops Cakery studio.
When we first saw our house 10 years ago, we were both very interested in the potential the annexe had. The previous owners had run a 12-person design agency from the former cow-shed in the garden and although we both had jobs in London, within 5 months of moving, Mr Flossie-pops had set up his own consultancy. It was a huge culture shock for both of us, but we both learned loads and having worked alongside him on the admin side and as company secretary since 2004, I’ve learned loads and it certainly made setting up my business much easier.
Mr FP has a large, L-shaped studio, overlooking the pond with a storeroom (which used to be a darkroom and is now mainly a dumping ground) and more importantly a pool table and wine fridge. However, the rest of the building was rather unloved especially the meagre kitchenette and dingy loo (which was frankly a crumbling health hazard having not been touched for 25 years). Scattered with gym equipment and unused furniture, the rest of the space was wasted (although very good for parties!). I really enjoy teaching but find the setting up and mad dash around scooping up piles of children’s detritus before teaching a class quite stressful and realised the perfect solution was literally on my doorstep. I called our friendly Bulgarian builders who have managed on a very tight budget and short timescale, to create a wonderful space to work in. I will continue to bake in the house as I love my kitchen and it has much more space, but I’m really excited now about the new-found potential for workshops (and i’m rather enjoying shopping for kitchen stuff and furniture too!)
The first class we held was a Christmas cake workshop (which was also the first ever workshop I ran last year). Four lovely ladies brought their home-made Christmas cakes, filling the room with the smell of Christmas, I even subjected them to a random selection of seasonal music which got gradually tackier as the day went on! We covered the cakes in marzipan and sugarpaste (using a neat little trick to ensure a flat top!), covered and ribboned cake boards and made bows, cut out reindeer, made striped fondant, gingerbread men and glued on a lot of silver and gold balls. The results were fantastic – I get the same buzz from every class I run – people always go away with a huge smile on their faces having achieved something they didn’t think they we’re capable of.
I’m currently working on a programme of classes and workshops (daytime, evening and weekend) for the new year to include layering and covering a sponge cake, modelling with fondant and seasonal cupcakes. Please do drop me a line if you fancy doing a class or have any ideas for themes you would like to see covered.