The time has come to meet another one of our great members here at Newmarket Kitchen.
Loraine is the creator of Devoted to Cakes. Loraine makes 'decorate your own' cookies as well as running sugar craft workshops and parties for kids. Not only are Loraine's cookies delicious but they also provide hours of fun.
When did you decide to become a baker?
I have been interested in baking since I was a kid. I did a baking course in the local summer project with two lovely old ladies and I loved it ever since. I remember baking some 80’s oldies like pineapple upside down cake and coffee cake which were delicious! After that I continued to be a home baker and eventually did some courses with the Baking Academy of Ireland.
Did you have any former training/experience?
Baking at home, Sugarcraft workshops and lots of practise.
Where have you previously worked?
Before I set up Devoted To Cakes I worked as a counsellor and addiction worker with the Perter Mc Verry Trust. I worked in a residential detox unit where clients came to rebuild their lives. It was a holistic environment and I encouraged clients to cook and bake which really helped with their recovery. I have also worked in recruitment, admin and market research.
What gave you the idea for Devoted to Cakes?
“Devoted to Cakes” originally came about after I made a birthday cake for my daughter Sophie and people began to ask me to do theirs. However very soon afterwards we emigrated to Jakarta for four years. While there I began to teach kids baking and Sugarcraft classes in an International School. They were a huge success and had a waiting list every term.
When did you set up your business?
When we returned to Ireland this time last year I decided to keep teaching our creative kids classes so thats when the business really started. We now teach our drop in Classes at different locations in South Dublin and Wicklow including Killruddery Farm Market and The Bakers Table, Greystones. I love seeeing how focussed the kids become on their projects and how proud they are of their accomplishments.
What prompted you to start your food business?
We decided to try out our cookie kits over Christmas and they were a hit with customers. We have since developed our ‘Decorate a Cookie” Kit and are selling them online nationwide. We felt there was a demand for a high quality kids baking/decorating project. We wanted to give the ‘Devoted to Cakes” experience to more people.The kits which include freshly baked cookies have everything needed to get creative.The feedback from our customers is that they are a great high quality craft activity. Some parents don’t have the time or opportunity to bake at home and they find this really convenient. Others just prefer the fun decorating part.
Is there a chef you admire most? Who and why?
Mary Berry - love her recipes.
Have you any tips that you think would help someone starting off a food business?
This quote sums it up - “Better an oops than a what if”
If you are really passionate about something and have done the research - go for it. Ask for as much help as possible from anyone and everyone who is willing to give it. Networking is the key. People genuinely want to help other start ups. You will make mistakes - make them early on.
What has been your best experience since starting Devoted to Cakes?
I love seeing how much enjoyment the kids get from our workshops and parties. They always come up with way cooler designs than me! I love giving them the tools for creativity and then letting them off to see what they come up with. They are always so proud of their achievements when they are finished and this is priceless.
Winning Silver this year at the ‘Irish Sugarcraft Show for my turtle carved out of cake was an amazing experience. We called him Fred and he has become a bit of a celebrity!
Where can we find your amazing products?
We sell our cookie kits at Killruddery farm market every Saturday where we also run our workshops. Our cookie kits can also be purchased online with delivery nationwide. We are also hoping to get them into speciality stores in the near future. Trade enquiries welcome!
Do you have any new or exciting plans for Devoted to Cakes?
We have some really fun arty themed cookie kits lined up next - can’t wait to launch them.
How have you found your experience at Newmarket Kitchen so far?
Great. It is very professional but friendly. Great facilities and a lovely atmosphere to work in with everyone looking out for each other.