On January 1st 2018 we began a memory jar to help us remember all the fab things we did and aCcomplished during the year.
Happy new year!
The Christmas decorations came down today at 280 bakes HQ, so it was the perfect time to open our Memory Jar from 2018. Let's see what's recorded inside...
What's your favourite memory from 2018? Let us know in the comments below...
Our 2019 Memory Jar has already begun - let's see what the new year brings!
Owner, 280 Bakes
Our business is for sale and our louise is here to explain why.
It's official: 280 Bakes is for sale!
It's been a fantastic three years or so, but it is time for me to move on. 280 Bakes was set up in 2016 when I was suddenly out of work. My passion for home baked cakes and my interest in owning my own business combined and it's been a fantastic ride. However, it's time to move on.
So what's changed?
A year or so ago I moved into running the business solely, instead of dipping into the baking as one of the team. I have really enjoyed this, finding it challenging, motivating and interesting, but my excitement has waned in the past few months. I've worked my 'buns' off and gained so much from it, but this chapter needs to close. It wasn't an easy decision to make, but it's the right one. Not least because my husband and I are expecting our first baby in the summer!
How do you find out more about the business sale?
If you are interested in finding out more about buying 280 Bakes, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The business has been valued at £2,000, but we are open to offers. What is important to us is that the new owner has
- a passion for home baking
- a business mind
- the drive to run their own business
The new owner doesn't necessarily need to live in Stroud, Bristol or Portishead (our delivery areas) but it would help with a couple of things. We are a 'stock-light' company with few assets to sell. It's basically a sale of a professional baking network with all that comes with the company (social media, website, contacts etc). We'll send you the enquiry pack and we can go from there.
I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has helped 280 Bakes grow and supported me personally in this business journey. There are way too many to name, but from the early days acorn business guidance to the large corporate customers, you've made the experience one I will treasure and always remember.
And my bakers - you deserve a special mention. I recruited our first ever home baker in September 2016 and with seven bakers (including occasionally me) now, you guys have been critical to the business ever since. You creativity and enthusiasm still impresses me. I hope you'll continue to enjoy your baking within 280 Bakes or elsewhere.
Yours, in cake,
Owner of 280 Bakes
Our team will be at various Christmas markets and fairs this winter - don't miss us!
UPDATE: We will no longer be attending Badminton School's event.
Find out more on the event website itself, or check out our Facebook page. We have a section with of all our forthcoming events there.
We'll also be announcing a teaser menu just before each event, so keep your eyes peeled to see if your favourite cake will be featuring. We will always have a selection of vegan and gluten free cakes too, even if it's not a 'free-from' event.
See you soon!
The Team at 280 Bakes
Team 280 Bakes has grown again!
This week we welcomed Triana to the team, our latest home baker recruit. She's a Bristol resident, originally from the USA. She's dab hand at gluten free baking, so if you order a gluten free cake from us, you may well have one from our new team member!
Triana says she loves the creativity of decorating cakes, so we look forward to her designs. He favourite cake is chocolate though - no contest!
Triana joining us has made us the biggest team we've ever been - how exciting! You're so welcome, Triana - let's get you baking!
Owner, 280 Bakes
This week the news was that Lemon Drizzle is the nation's favourite cake. We're here today to test that!
It was announced that Protein World had carried out a survey revealing that 40% of British people said Lemon Drizzle was their favourite cake. Chocolate Brownie, Chocolate Fudge Cake and Carrot Cake were close contenders for the top spot apparently, but I had to investigate.
What do my circle of friends and family prefer, and do they conform to the national preference? I sent a quick poll to a few people on WhatsApp, chosen purely because I thought they'd reply!
Here's my (unscientific) findings...
Chocolate cake x6 Cherry cake
Cinnamon cakes x2 Rosewater and Pistachio cake
Spiced Apple cake Carrot cake x5
Fruit cake x2 Lemon Drizzle x5
Red velvet x2 French Fancies
Battenberg Coffee cake
Interesting! Of the 28 people who responded (I discounted those who reeled off a list of cakes the loved!), Chocolate cake was the front runner with 21% of the vote. Lemon Drizzle was a meer 17% of the vote, joint second with Carrot cake. That's a little reflective of the national vote in terms of types of cakes, if not the popularity of each, but poor old Brownies didn't appear once in my poll.
Maybe I roll in more cake-educated circles, or with people who are a bit more adventurous with their food choices (Rosewater and Pistachio!!). Maybe 280 Bakes has helped people close to us realise there's more to life than Lemon Drizzle. I certainly hope so!
Oh, and my personal favourite? Mango Yoghurt cake. Or Carrot cake. No, Christmas cake! Argh, see, I'm as bad as you!!
What's YOUR favourite cake? Let me know in the comments below.
Have a great weekend,
Bristol cake lovers can Relax. We now have another pair of hands to cope with the demand in your area!
We're really pleased to announce that Debbie has joined us this month. Debbie is from the Emersons Green side of town, not so far from 280 Bakes HQ, but she was our first remotely recruited baker, posting us samples in the mail.
And then there were six! This is the largest our team has ever been, exciting times!
The Team @ 280 Bakes
Today our Louise is sharing news of an exciting challenge she set 280 Bakes this month. Let's see how we got on!
This month I set a sales target.
Now, in the past I’ve been sceptical about using targets in personal and business life, mostly to avoid stressing myself out trying to hit, and possibly failing to hit, said target, and not really seeing myself as a salesperson. It’s good to dream big, but was there much point in pushing so hard when I already work so much to gain customer leads? And is there too much at stake for my personal confidence and wellbeing in working so hard and potentially failing?
Encouraged by a business coach I’m seeing, I thought it couldn’t hurt to try to hit a sales target just once and see how it went…
So, one month ago, I set myself a target of generating 50% more cake orders than in the four weeks previous. Maybe that sounds a bit ‘finger in the air’, but the previous four weeks (May 13th – June 14th) was a good month for us in terms of order generation, and 50% extra would push our orders to 28 orders in 28 days. It had a nice sound to it, and I liked that.
What did I do to help generate extra orders this month?
Well, most of our orders come from Facebook – hail Facebook! However, our email newsletter list is growing, as is our Twitter and Instagram following, so these were all useful to help show potential customers the delicious cakes we are baking, and in turn, encourage new and existing customers to order our products. Added to this, we had Father’s Day orders to promote and we got a fair bit of attention online from replicating the lemon and elderflower recipe from the royal wedding. Tying in with national events sure can help!
Interestingly, a large portion of our orders during this period were made by phone this month. Normally the contact comes in via email or Facebook in the main, so I wonder if the new attitude to marketing influenced this…
What was the result?
Today is the final day of the challenge.
Yesterday we hit the target of 28 of cake orders in 28 days – with a day spare!
Needless to say, I am over the moon. I may even enjoy a slice of cake tonight to celebrate. And all this happened in a month featuring a week of torturous hayfever, and three weekends away. Who knows what I could have achieved without a social life! (Kidding)
Celebrations aside, well done us, what did this mean for 280 Bakes?
All of this will hopefully lead to more business growth, more baking, and more happy customers!
Has having a target helped?
Undoubtedly, yes. As expected, pressure built a little on myself to work harder, smarter, and to be more creative with thinking of things which people would like to see pop up in their busy lives. However, achieving that goal of 28 orders in 28 days – and a day ahead of our deadline – has given me more confidence and a real sense of achievement.
Honestly, if we’d been a few orders off hitting the mark, it still would have been an amazing achievement to increase orders by almost 50%. Setting a goal, I have realised, is not only about achieving specified things; it’s also about having a way to measure how successful your tactics are and how effective your communications planning is. Even if you ignore the detail in the numbers, knowing there’s been an X amount of extra custom over a defined period of time due to some hard work is a real boost.
I may even set another target for later in the year.
Sod it. Let’s nail that down. I am going to try to hit 28 orders in 28 days again during the month of September.
You think I’m putting it off? No apologies there. July is going to be a bit crazy in my personal life so I may need some space, and August is generally a slower month in the business. The kids are off, people are on holiday, and I figure (totally anecdotally!) that some parents take the time to bake with their kids. Plus, September is statistically the month with the highest number of birthdays – go figure – so birthday cakes may be in high demand.
Our bakers didn’t attend any local events this month, but potentially, when I run this challenge again, this could boost sales further when people try our cakes at a festival or market and decide to order more in the days or weeks.
Of course, now, I realise I am in fact a bit of a salesperson and it’s always been that way. It’s essential the good of the company. I’m not pushy, but I’m driven, I know our target market and I want to make my company a success. If that makes me a salesperson, so be it!
I want to say some ‘thanks’ before I sign off. Thank you, of course, to my bakers – you’re fab! Hard-working, creative and passionate, couldn’t have developed 280 Bakes to this level without you. Secondly, thank you to my husband for his patience / ability to ignore me and get on with it when I am working on the laptop or elbow-deep in flour. Lastly, thanks to Robin, who made me try this whole target thing out – inspired!
Do any of you have small businesses? Do you ever set goals like this? I’d love to hear about your experiences – just comment in the box below.
Enjoy your weekend,
Owner, 280 Bakes
We celebrated our second birthday today, and this is how it went down!
First, we announced an expansion in our business!
From today, we have bakers based in Stroud, Gloucestershire, who are delivering our cakes in the town. Find out more here, including how to join our team of bakers.
Then, we actually WENT to Stroud!
Given the main part of our birthday celebrations was the above announcement, we decided to surprise a business in Stroud with a cake. This is where Spacehoppers Co-working came in - we delivered a 280 Bakes branded cake (see the logo and BRIGHT PINK nature of said cake in the picture below!) to three entrepreneurs who were at the time working in the shared office space. A complete surprise to all and a welcome tea break from their hard work!
We chose Spacehoppers because we've had previous experience in co-working environments and we love the vibe from entrepreneurs who work in such places. A big 'HELLO AND THANKS' goes to Ben at BeKagool who tweeted us a photo of the cake being enjoyed in the office after we left.
Finally, we popped along to St Andrew's Park, Bristol...
We had to celebrate on 'home turf' too, of course! Word got to us that the Bristol Vegan Parents Group was meeting with the kids for a half term get-together, so we took them some complimentary cupcakes to sort out a snack for that lovely lot. The meeting point was "by the coffee hut in the centre", so cake and coffee worked out perfectly!
A fabulous day - we feel well and truly celebrated!
Thanks to all our willing cake eaters and our hard-working team. Here's to another successful year at 280 Bakes!
Owner of 280 Bakes
Big News: Our home baked cakes are now available for delivery to homes and businesses in Stroud, Gloucestershire.
We were looking for some significant way of celebrating our second birthday (today, yay!), and thought that expansion into a third town would be perfect!
Our cakes are now available seven days a week in Portishead, Bristol and Stroud.
From today, we have home bakers ready to take your orders and bake a delicious cake for your office meeting, birthday party, or just a nice treat for tea. Just give us a call on 07835 882817 or contact us here and we'll deliver. Same day delivery is available, and of course, we have our fabulous vegan and gluten free recipes if you need them.
Want to work for us?
And, if you're a keen baker, we're expanding our baking network, so take a look at the details of our baker position - it could be for you!
We're excited to have you, Stroud - let's fill your town with home baked cake!
The Team @ 280 Bakes
Who would like to win a month's supply of home baked cake?
Short and sweet today - just take a look at the top post on our Facebook page to find out how to (easily!) enter. Bristol and Portishead only, vegan and gluten free cake available.
The Team @ 280 Bakes
Welcome to the 280 Bakes blog! Most posts are by our team, but if you fancy guest blogging, give us a shout!