Can you introduce yourself and describe what you do?
I’m Alice Marples and I own Marples Cakery. Here at Marples Cakery we create bespoke creations for special occasions and everyday indulgences. We create everything from wedding cakes and celebration cakes, to cupcakes, brownies, traybakes, macarons, blondies and so much more! I own the business and I solely create all the orders, so I work closely with clients to help create their perfect bespoke creation for their occasion.
Have you always wanted to be a baker?
My passion for baking began when I was just 10 years old, when I was bought a set of a matching floral whisk, wooden spoon and apron for my birthday. I began by creating my very first batch of cupcakes, and immediately fell in love with baking. I started with very simple recipes, and as I started to grow in confidence, I started to experiment with more complex recipes, making more and more adaptations and changes until I was creating my very own recipes. As my passion for baking grew, it became my dream to own my own cake business- 10 years later I did exactly that and my dream became reality.
What was the first thing you made as Marples Cakery?
My first order as Marples Cakery was a corporate cupcake order from a new social media company that was launching their app – this entailed creating over 200 cupcakes decorated with rose swirl buttercream and their logo printed on edible wafer paper on each cupcake. It was a wonderful first order to create!
How would you describe your aesthetic and how did you develop your style?
We work exclusively with buttercream here at Marples Cakery, so I would describe our style as very artistic. The versatility of buttercream along with our bespoke service means that we can create any buttercream cake design that a client would like, which means we can adapt the styles of the cakes depending on the design. As an example, one of our most popular designs is our chocolate ganache drip cakes decorated with doughnuts and macarons, so this is quite a modern style, whereas we also create rustic style wedding cakes with semi-naked buttercream and fresh flowers from local florists and fresh fruit, so the possibilities are endless!
What’s your favourite thing to bake?
My favourite thing to bake has to be wedding cakes. The whole process from start to finish is so special - from sitting down with clients and discussing initial ideas (which is currently happening over Zoom during the pandemic), working with them to experiment with flavours at the wedding cake tasting evenings, to building the design from the ground up until its perfect on the big day! All of our creations at Marples Cakery are completely bespoke, so all the orders we make have unique touches and flourishes that make every creation all the more special for our clients.
Can you describe your workspace? Where is it and what is in it?
I work from my business kitchen in my home in Burgess Hill. Our kitchen holds a level 5 food hygiene rating, and I just love having an organised workspace. In my business cupboards and draws you can find everything from over 50 food colourings, cookie cutters, cupcake topper stamps, edible glitters, cake stands, cake tins and so much more!
Is there anything in your kitchen that you could not live without?
It’s so hard to choose just one! I’d say the one thing that I could not live without in my kitchen has to be my KitchenAid mixers.
What is the best thing about being creative? / What does being creative mean to you?
The best thing about being creative is having the ability to express yourself through your work. Being creative is an opportunity to show your artistic vision in whichever medium you choose.
How does it feel to be part of the UK craft scene?
It’s a privilege to be a part of the UK craft scene, and it’s always amazing to be able to connect and collaborate with other creatives within the industry.
What would you say to someone thinking about getting into business?
A piece of advice I would give to anyone who's thinking about setting up their own business is to make sure that once you have an idea that you're passionate about, together with a clear plan for your business, before launching ensure you have created a clear, simple and distinctive logo and branding. You want to build a brand for your business, so that your logo is instantly recognisable, and customers will see your logo and immediately know who you are and what you do. From that make sure all your social medias are updated and in place along with a website, and once you've done that you're well on your way to creating a business that you will be proud of, and a business that your customers will be proud to do business with.
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