Diary of a Cake “Woman” days 7 & 8

This was John’s 40th birthday weekend and it was definitely quieter than planned.  We treated ourselves to pizza on Saturday night, opened the champagne John got for his birthday and sat down to watch some birthday messages from family and friends.  Well wasn’t that emotional!  It was really lovely, lots of funny and lovely messages.  No wonder I’ve been an emotional wreck all week with those coming in.

Today we went for a wee drive, we didn’t get out of the car but it was good just to see somewhere else! The clocks went forward last night, usually this means today goes a lot quicker, it really didn’t.  We had a bbq, then I dozed outside in the sun with a blanket and after that watched some tv.

Today the news has reported that another 6 people have died in NI bringing the total to 21.  I can’t imagine what those families must be going through right now.  All we need to do is stay in and news like this just makes me feel pathetic for being frustrated with this situation and way of living! 

Tomorrow I need to get my act together and try and find some routine in this the new normal.  I just really miss our old life. 

Look after yourselves 

Gemma x

Diary of a Cake “Woman” ~ Day 6

So today was actually quite a normal day but not a normal day….you know what I mean?!! Never ever on a Friday would we normally have time to take a breath but today was different.  The sun came out, which I don’t know about anyone else, but I honestly needed!  

I can’t help but wonder what it would’ve been like had this virus not disrupted all our lives!  Hectic I would say!  We would’ve been flat out getting orders out and packing for London for a few days!!  Anyway, no point in dwelling.  

Pancakes

Today we made pancakes!  Jack was supposed to be having a pancake day at school for a junior entrepreneur project….his teacher suggested we have our own little pancake day!  I’m so glad she did.  I have to acknowledge the positive in all of this and just be honest.  Never would I usually be free to do something like this…….never mind on a Friday (one of our busiest working days). 

Let’s be real….

Ok some of you maybe do normally have spare time to make pancakes with your kids and that’s wonderful.  You’re probably thinking what is the big deal? I simply share what we are doing as my own little daily log and for anyone who might be interested in reading or watching on my stories.  It’s not to make anyone (including me) feel bad or like they they need to prove themselves or their kids (although there’s nothing too threatening about our pancakes!).  It’s really not a competition.  There will be times when I can’t be with my kids and you can, and vice versa.  That’s ok!  A bit like our NHS workers and key workers, what they wouldn’t give to be at home with their kids right now.  So you Mum’s that have little, tiny kids please take my advice, “your” best is good enough for “your” kids. (Well wasn’t that deep?!) 

It really felt normal…

This evening we had a bbq.  This was all kinds of normal!  As soon as there’s a glimpse of sunshine our bbq is out!!  John spent this morning getting it shined up.  Then this evening we had our usual bbq as if all was normal.  It was so good!  It did feel normal.  Then you turn the tv on and you say to yourself…..is this honestly happening? Is this even real?  It is most definitely the most surreal time of my life!! 

Things I’m noticing

Brighter mornings and evenings ~ I’ve been longing for these.

If this is going to go on for weeks we need to find a new normal

We aren’t using anymore loo roll than usual.  So I guess we were right not to panic buy?!

Look after yourselves

Love Gemma xx

Diary of a Cake “Woman” ~ Day 5

Short and sweet today……I’m running out of things to write about, what did we actually do today?  We went for a walk, half way to Bellaghy. Need to make a point of getting out more.

Tell me what you’re up to, are you a key worker? Someone on the frontline? You’re all amazing, all we have to do is learn to do nothing and there you are risking your lives, dealing with the unimaginable.

I think we have established that in busier times as much as I’ve wished for days of doing nothing…..I am not terribly good at it! Didn’t I tell you, any day now I’m going to get into spring cleaning and decluttering mode!! I am the type of person that works best under pressure, with a deadline!  If someone could tell me what date we could all get back to normal…then I would set about doing some productive tasks! Maybe I should make up date ! lols

I’m sure I have mentioned Saturday is John’s 40th birthday, I need to fill the day.  John and the kids have collectively decided that burgers are the desired food for Saturday night dinner!!  I have a nice wee evening planned, however, I have another 8-10 hours to fill!  Ideas on a postcard please!  

Things I’m noticing…..

I’m so thankful that we are passed the polyphonic stage in this house ~ I never really got to grips with them.

Ozark season 3 is on Netflix from tomorrow

Friday night dinner series 6 is back on ch4

Friday night sorted!

Look after yourselves

Love Gemma xx

Diary of a Cake “Woman” ~ Day 4

Today was long!!! This morning I did school work with Jack, we are fairly on top of it. So far one-to-one seems to be going well. After this I spent most of my day doing very little. I know I should occupy myself with things (other than TikTok lol). I’m just not sure I could do anything that would be classed as quality at the minute! Tomorrow I think we need to go for a walk in the countryside. There has been rain here today so it hasn’t been that appealing.

Help is coming…

There is still financial worry. It’s getting close to bill paying time. As yet the Government have not released funds for grants. There seems to have been confusing messages for NI people with one helpline not knowing what the other is doing! Tomorrow there will be some kind of announcement on what they will do for the self employed. None of this is going to be a quick fix. What has really helped is we have had invoices that were due, paid. We are so grateful. Yesterday we had a May bride postpone until December. She insisted she pay us now as she was going to anyway. It’s these little acts of kindness that keep us going.

Together 24/7, how’s it going?

Would love to know how you’re all doing being indoors constantly with your other halves?! John and I haven’t really noticed any difference as we have had years of practice constantly being together. I know it takes a bit of getting used to but you will get there, I promise.

So much support….

Last night I had some lovely messages about this blog. I only started this diary as a place for me to vent. A way to give me something to do each day. Kind of selfish! I’ve had people message to say they can totally relate to what I’m writing. This is so comforting and good to know I’m not talking to myself. One of the people in contact was the lovely Emma from The Promise NI. She is the queen of wedding blogs in Northern Ireland. For Emma to say she enjoys my blogs is kind of a big deal! She has very kindly offered ten businesses the opportunity to advertise on her blog. I am now one of them. So here is the biggest shout out I can give. Emma’s business has also been affected, but she has chosen to help others.

News

The news is reporting deaths at a greater speed now, it’s scary. People who have no underlying illnesses among them. We are all scared, there is no getting away from it now. The best thing we can do is stay away from each other.

Things I’m noticing….

I am missing people I wouldn’t even usually see!

We all used to look forward to Summer, weddings and holidays, now we look forward to this sorry mess being over!

I can’t wait to throw a party! I used to be concerned that my house wasn’t big enough to throw a party. When this is all over I am going to throw the mother of all parties and of course there will be cake!

Catch up on Day 1, 2 and 3 in the blog

Diary of a cake “woman” ~ Day 3

Is everyone spending their time learning something new, cleaning out cupboards, and doing stuff they have been wishing they had time to do for months?  Are you?  Why am I not?…..I think it’s maybe because I am so used to being ‘all go’ that I just can’t get used to this new slow pace, I’m sure I will but I think I might just take some time and not force it, surely it will come! Lol. Please reassure me I’m not alone!  😬

Jack and I sat down this morning and completed all the essentials, spellings etc.  As we had put in so much work yesterday we just did one maths paper today!  I don’t know whether it’s easier with him because I can see everything he’s doing, with Olivia it’s all online with her teachers.  I feel I’m just trusting them to keep things going.

Last night Boris “kind of” put us on lockdown.  In some ways he reminds me of a parent who always gives in to their kids (we are the kids!).  It’s like he doesn’t want to tell us what to do but he needs to because some kids are a bit more naughty and don’t want to listen! 

No more work….

I had thought I would be able to continue with posting out cookies this week in a selfish bid to keep myself amused and deliver some cheer to people through the post. However, with the latest announcements it just doesn’t feel right.  This morning I messaged anyone who had ordered to let them know we would have to cancel.  I had made them all aware when they ordered that this might happen and they agreed and understood this was the right decision.  This way, trips to the post office will be avoided and postal workers will have a few less packages to deliver. 

Using up supplies….

John brought some of the baking supplies home from the work shop today.  Tomorrow he’s planning to make his yummy Biscoff traybakes!  There really are worse people you could be on lockdown with!! It does make me realise how few baking utensils we now have at home, we literally have a ‘mini whisk’ (which is no use to man nor beast) and a wooden spoon!  

In other news…..

…..It’s John’s 40th birthday on Saturday….we were supposed to be going on a trip to London, the four of us.  John and the kids didn’t know.  That’s now been cancelled and I’ve obviously told them.  I had booked the hotel and a few other things through Tesco with my vouchers.  They were absolutely amazing and refunded my points given the circumstances!  Hotels.com won’t answer the phone so I can cancel the booking and easyJet are still running flights and ignoring everyone.  We do have the option to change the flights until Thursday but when to?!  Life could be pretty hectic with weddings when this is all over.  Hopefully! 

Plans for Saturday?  We have a fruit cake from a wedding that’s postponed and we are just gonna stick a candle & a 40 topper in it!!! We all love fruit cake so that’s something to look forward to! That’s not me being sarcastic, we actually do love it!

Things I’m noticing…..

It’s totally fine to buy a block of cheese and grate it yourself! In-fact we had forgotten it’s a lot nicer and only takes a few mins! 

The kindness of people.  That is all….brides today, you know who you are.

Today we heard of the loss of an absolute gentleman in the wedding industry. We can’t attend his funeral due to current restrictions and he won’t get the send off he deserves, it’s so very sad and puts all these other things into perspective. All we have to do is stay at home for a few weeks to protect each other!

Look after yourselves

Love Gemma xx

Check out Day 1 & Day 2 of my dairy

Diary of a Cake “Woman” ~ Day 2

So much happens in a day at the minute never mind a week!  This day last week I was delivering a wedding cake, everyone was business as usual and my biggest worry was for my business!!!  Fast forward a week…..and having cried myself out completely over how we are going to keep going financially I am in the middle of realising it could be so much worse!  Our families are more important than anything!  With people not heeding advice to stay away from public places and stay in as much as possible I worry about how big an effect this will have on this little island.  Not sure about everyone else but I’m pretty sure lock down is imminent.  It’s so surreal, I just keep thinking, how is this actually happening?!! Anyway, that’s as negative as it gets today so it’s safe for you to continue reading!   

Orthodontist appointment…

This morning I had to take Olivia to her orthodontic appointment, she had a little break to one of her braces a couple of days after she got them in.  They are only doing emergency appointments and we were due to go this evening but they brought it forward as they plan to close from tonight.  The appointment was booked for 9am and as we headed off it was ghostly quiet, there was very little traffic in our village. a little busier when we returned.

Home Schooling ~ we are not teachers!

Today also saw the beginning of home schooling.  I think it’s going to take some getting used to but we got through quite a bit of work.  I am so thankful both John and I are here and can take it in shifts.  Olivia is receiving hers online so it’s a lot easier, just a matter of making sure she is keeping up ok. Still we are not teachers and it’s important that none of us get anxious and start thinking we have to be teachers….everyone is in exactly the same predicament! For want of a better word!! 

Tastings called off!

I had to email any couples booked in for tasting appointments over the next couple of weeks and let them know that tastings won’t be going ahead.  They were very understanding and some people had already made the decision to cancel appointments anyway. 

Waiting for Boris

This evening in a bid to find something to do, or something I felt like doing I had a nice hot bath, curled my hair and even put some make-up on! I feel better for it. It took me back to when I a teenager and would practice hair and make up even if I had nowhere to go! A bit of a different situation now, trying to wear my hair in a different parting just to hide the odd stray grey! Sitting waiting for Big Boris (as Jack calls him), he’s keeping us all waiting tonight. If he only knew the effort I had went to tonight, I even put a sparkly clip in my hair!

Things I’m noticing….

Tesco brand Jaffa cakes are so good!! Also Tesco custard!  Who knew?! 

John ate a pot noodle today!  This is extremely out of character, his body is a temple! 😳 

It’s quite tiring and draining this new way of living, why are we all so tired?

Look after yourselves! (I’m really tempted to come up with some kind of Jerry Springer closing for here!)

Love Gemma xx

Ps: If you missed my first diary blog you can read it here.


Diary of a Cake “Woman”

I honestly googled this today…… “at what age do you stop being referred to as a girl?!” My friends all know I hate being referred to as a “cake lady”!  Why? Because I still feel like a girl and I think it makes me sound ancient! Yes I 100 percent have issues!  So here’s what I discovered…..

according to google…

“once you’re 18 you’re a woman”

“it’s sexist and infantilising to refer to a woman as a girl 😳”

and

“a lady is a woman who is refined, polite, and well-spoken!”

……I guess I’m going with “Cake Woman” then!  Who knows maybe I will become a lady someday (when I’m ready!) 

So school’s out and Jack’s teacher left him a note saying it might be a good idea to write a daily diary with some illustrations! I will spare you the drawings but thought it might help me get through these long days to do one myself!  An entirely selfish decision that I won’t force you to follow! Disclaimer: I’m not committing myself to daily!!

Mother’s Day

It’s Sunday and it’s Mother’s Day.  We see my Mum pretty much every Sunday for dinner! If John and I have to work she minds the kids!  We are completely spoilt with that one!  On Mother’s Day we usually dander up to our local restaurant for lunch!  Instead I put a chicken in the slow cooker (would usually be beef but hey….. we are considering every £ at the minute) and I dropped it to her door.  She is in the high risk category so we can’t see her properly at the minute.  I ask myself am I even wise taking her dinner to her!  We are very much keeping ourselves to ourselves and staying in.  I’m shocked to hear that people this weekend have still be throwing birthday parties and heading to the North Coast! This is really not helpful!!!

Seeing the positives….

I am however finding some positives in this surreal situation we find ourselves in!  This morning I had a 41 minute telephone conversation with a friend!  (I checked my phone – it definitely didn’t feel like 41 mins!) Usually we just text. I had gotten to the stage that life is so busy I have started to hate talking on the telephone!  This morning it was just lovely and much needed! 

Weddings

You will know that weddings are being put on hold with everything that’s going on. However, admin’ is still ongoing, moving brides from their original date to their new date. I just feel so sorry for anyone who has had to postpone their big day, they will have played it out in their minds for so long. I have been reassured of the kindness of people in these situations. We have had one bride offering to pay a second deposit because she’s moving her date (in these circumstances we are just transferring deposits). Another saying she is continuing to make her payments to her suppliers before her original date so no businesses have to suffer as a result of her wedding being postponed! The kindness of people does not go unnoticed, especially at a time when they could, quite justifiably, make it all about their situation.

Things I’m noticing…

I’m getting quite good at putting on liquid eyeliner!

I quite like the sound of a lawn mower, it’s gives a comforting feeling that better days are ahead! I must say it’s not so comforting at night! So you have all day to work in your garden and then you come out and cut the grass in the dark?  Am I missing something here? 

Netflix really need to up their game, we are running out of options here! 

Lastly, I never knew there was such a word as “infantilising”!

Look after yourselves!

Gemma xx

Let’s have Coffee & Cake

Do you fancy it?

Some of you may know I have recently started a weekly live show on Instagram called, you’ve guessed it, Coffee & Cake! It all started with me pushing myself to do more live stories, not sure why I’m saying “more”, “any” live stories would be more like it lol.

Way out of my comfort zone!

If you follow me on Instagram you will think, what’s she talking about, sure she talks on her stories all the time?! Yes, I hear ya, but those aren’t live, if I don’t like it I can easily delete and repeat and then post! Live is live, there’s no going back!

I thought, come on Gemma, you can’t be afraid of this one thing, just do it! One Monday I decided, right…I’m going live this Wednesday night. The next thing I knew I had popped a notice on my stories so there would be no getting out of it come Wednesday.

Gemma sitting at table taking part in Coffee & Cake Live

I did it!

Wednesday came around quickly. Feeling very nervous and armed with both coffee and cake….AND….Wine and Chocolate…. I hit that LIVE button! In the end it was so much easier than I thought! I had some friends lined up to support me, just incase no one else turned up. I needn’t have worried, people turned up and I had interaction and questions. It was actually quite funny. During the live my doorbell went, I left John’s poor Auntie standing at the front door! Well I couldn’t interrupt my live!

Time for guests….

I had seen people do joint lives and thought, I could do this, who could I have as a guest? Maybe I should have a different guest every week? The first person I persuaded to join me was John Bakes Cakes! Obviously we live in the same house so we decided he could just sit beside me for his interview. Again people came on and asked questions. I needed to invite some more people, move over Pamela Ballentine…make way for Coffee & Cake with Gemma! lol

My next guest was Clive from PigmentFilm, followed by Nicola from Cherry Blossom Flowers! I am delighted to say March and April are now fully booked! It’s time to start planning for May now.

How can you watch or be a guest?

I have had a few questions from people who are interested in being a guest, and also people not sure how they can watch. I thought it might be useful to pop them here to clear up any confusion.

Firstly, if you want to be a guest, it doesn’t mean you have to come to my house…I mean you can of course (as long as you bring wine), but it’s not necessary. When you see me go live it’s a click of a button to join me, the screen splits in two and we’re all set! It means you can do the live in the comfort of your own home, car or wherever!

Secondly for people who want to watch, you can tune in on a Wednesday night at 8pm. If you follow me you should get a notification to say I’m going live and you just click into my stories. Here you can comment, say hello, ask questions. If you can’t make it on a Wednesday night, don’t worry. Once we have finished the live I save it for 24 hours so you can catch up in your own time. Within the following 24 hours you can click into my stories and select live at the bottom of the screen to watch. It’s that simple.

Gemma sitting at kitchen table taking part in Coffee & Cake

I love to chat and get to know the people behind the business

It’s all very lighthearted but a great way to learn more about businesses and the real people behind them. At the minute it’s businesses in the Wedding Industry I’m focusing on but who knows where it will lead.

If you’re thinking about being a guest please do not be scared, honestly you will be surprised! Anyone who has appeared so far has enjoyed it and it’s simply a chat with me so I lead you through. You actually forget anyone else is watching.

Tune in on Wednesday night at 8pm here!

If you are interested in being a guest on Coffee & Cake, just get in touch through our contact page.

Gemma x

Cathy & Michael – 5 May 2018 – Glenavon Hotel

I caught up with Cathy, one of our brides from 2018 who shared her favourite wedding suppliers and how she found the wedding planning experience along with some tips for your big day!

the happy couple - bride and groom

How did Michael Propose?

Michael proposed to me on our 7 year anniversary. We went to Ramore Wine Bar, followed by a walk along the strand. Little did I know I would be leaving with a ring on my finger! It was such a shock lol!

Where did you start with the planning?

I didn’t know much about weddings, however, one day I was looking in Local Women Magazine and noticed The Glenavon Hotel were holding a wedding fair. Michael and I decided to go and have a look around and from that day we loved it! We did look at other venues too but The Glenavon was definitely our favourite of them all. The staff were so friendly and helpful. Nothing was a bother to them and our wedding day ran so smoothly. We couldn’t fault a thing!

Who did you choose as your photographer?

We chose Denise Leacock Photography. I had noticed her photographs on Facebook and decided to snoop some more! We went to see her at a wedding fair and fell in love with her photographs even more. I loved her style of photography – it was exactly what I wanted. We met up a few times leading up to the wedding and it felt like I was having a chat with one of my friends, she was just so down to earth and friendly. On the morning of the wedding Denise snapped away and you wouldn’t have known she was there! Denise is so friendly and funny, she made Michael, myself and our bridal party feel so relaxed and at ease. The craic was 90 with Denise!!

bride and her father, pretty floral bouquet

What about your flowers, they were beautiful?

Nikki Dunlop, Portglenone. Again I saw Nikki’s work on Facebook and knew straight away I wanted Nikki to do my wedding flowers. I called over to her shop and we had a chat about what I liked and what I wanted. Nikki gave me plenty of suggestions and was so helpful. Nikki was also so friendly and nothing was too much trouble. I loved my flowers on my wedding day! They were exactly what I wanted. My mum did the flowers in the chapel with Nikki supplying the flowers which was so special. Nikki gave me lots of ideas and made the experience so enjoyable.

What entertainment did you have?

Infinity provided our entertainment, they are from Dungannon. These guys were at the wedding fair in The Glenavon and we got chatting. They seemed to be on the same level as Michael and I. They knew the craic and how important it was to get the crowd up and going at a wedding. We went to listen to them play in Granny Annie’s and they did not disappoint. The atmosphere was amazing and the crowd was buzzing. Just what we wanted in a band for our wedding guests. They lived up to their word on our wedding day, the dance floor was going all night, it never emptied. They were brilliant!

bride and bridesmaids

You all looked stunning, who did your hair and make-up?

For hair we had Rebecca Mulholland from Castledawson. Rebecca is fantastic. I knew she had a lot of bridal hair experience so I left it in Rebecca’s capable hands on the morning of my wedding. My hair didn’t budge at all and lasted all day.

Caoimhe McGlinchey from Bellaghy had done my make-up several times before and every time I loved it! Caoimhe is brilliant at her job and so professional. My make-up was perfect, it lasted all day and I did’t have to touch it up at all.

Wedding cake with marble and gold
bride and groom cutting the cake

And of course, the cake?

I am a keen baker and I love cake so there was always going to be cake!! There was no way I was going to have just any cake for my wedding cake either. I met Gemma & John from Gemma’s Cakes at a wedding fair and having tasted the samples I just fell in love with their cake. I wanted to ensure my guests could enjoy delicious cake and Gemma & John made sure of that. It looked amazing too.

bride by the fire

Tell me about the dress?

The dress was from Marie Therese Bridal in Coleraine – Riki Dalal. I went for a nosey one day with no intention of buying a dress as I had originally planned to have my dress made by a dressmaker. However, I fell in love with my dress that day and knew it was the one! Despite that, I had a love/hate relationship with my dress. Regretting the dress I had picked, did I pick it too soon, was there a nicer dress out there for me? The usual thoughts that go through a bride’s mind. However, on the day of the wedding I fell in love with my dress all over again! Roisin from The Sewing Box in Magherafelt altered my dress to perfection and it fitted my perfectly. My bridesmaid’s dresses were from ASOS and they were Embellished by Prim & Penny.

bride and bridesmaid
bridal party

Do you have any tips you would give to future brides and grooms?

I would say….”this is your day, the day you’ve both been waiting for for so long. Just enjoy and make the most of it! The day goes in so quickly and you don’t realise how busy you will be so eat plenty of snacks during the day. Most importantly, remember the reason why you’re getting married, it’s so easy to get caught up in the hype and excitement of it all.”

Thank you to Cathy for taking the time to help with this blog, I think we will all agree she was a stunning bride and they are a gorgeous couple!

Gemma xx

Get To Know Gemma’s Cakes

This is a guest blog I wrote for Galgorm Resort & Spa. Here I answer my most frequently asked questions and tell you a bit about the people behind the business. Put your feet up and enjoy a little read.

Tells us a bit about yourself and what you do……

I’m Gemma, I live in Castledawson with my husband John and two kids. Olivia (12) and Jack (10), oh and our pet rabbit Ralph who was named before we found out he was a she!  

What did you do before cakes?

Growing up I never really knew what I wanted to do in terms of career. I decided to enrol in secretarial, for two years I studied this.  My first proper admin job was in the Northern Ireland Housing Executive.  Whilst I was there I worked part time for ‘Richard Branson’!!  I was a party planner or direct seller to be more fancy!  I grew a team of girls and worked my way up to Branch Sales Manager. Even managing to qualify for various trips along the way.  Never did I think I would love sales so much, however, my experience with this gained me my next job. Wedding Sales Co-Ordinator at Galgorm Resort & Spa!  This is where a passion for weddings began!

How did you get into making cakes?

I’d never really thought I would love to get into baking!  In fact  when I thought about bakers I imagined little old ladies with grey hair in rollers and a ‘pinny’!  Although then baking became a young and trendy thing didn’t it?!  I started to see cake pages appear everywhere on social media.  Honestly I remember looking at their masterpieces and thinking, ‘how amazing that someone can create something so beautiful with their hands? I could never do anything like that!’  

This was my thinking until I needed a cake for Olivia’s 4th Birthday!  Ballet being her thing I really wanted to have a cake with ballet pumps on top.  I couldn’t see what I had imagined in the shops so I decided I would give it a go myself!  I could make the pumps and then just buy a cake and set them on!  I’m very much all or nothing so I ended up baking and decorating the cake as well.  It turned out well (looking back it was ropey enough but not bad for a beginner) and with lots of encouragement from John, family and friends I started my business page. Overnight life as we knew it changed completely!!

How did you decide on your business name?

Believe it or not it took a while….. I kept coming up with these quirky ideas involving cake. John just kept saying, keep it simple, go with Gemma’s Cakes!  So many times I’ve been glad I did, it saves people asking me my name for a start!

Who taught you?

Once I had set up my Facebook page, apart from an afternoon cupcake course, I just learnt as I went along!  As soon as someone would order a birthday cake I would figure out how to do it!  It was tough going. The kids were two and four and I was working a demanding job. This on the three days a week that were busiest for cakes.  After almost 8 months I decided something had to give and handed in my notice.  I loved my job but I knew I had to give this business my all!

Was it hard leaving your job as a wedding co-ordinator?

Looking back I think goodness it should have felt more scary, it just felt like the right move.  I was a little worried about going from working with others to being on my own. I knew I would miss appointments with my lovely brides & grooms.  Now our main business is wedding cakes I still get to do this and I love it!

How did you end up working with your husband?   We all want to know what that’s like!

As soon as I left my job business took off.  John was coming home at night from a job he had no love for and offering his help!  Initially I thought by the time I showed him what to do I could do it myself! I gave in and for four months until he left his job he baked at night and I decorated.  We had talked about him leaving his job eventually but his decision came sooner than we had planned.  This was a little more scary! He had my full support. We both agreed we would try it and if it didn’t work out he could just get another job.  From then on we didn’t look back.  I haven’t baked since!  John does all the baking and I decorate. 

Lots of people can’t understand and say they could never work with their husband.  I won’t lie, the first six months were tough enough working in our little kitchen. The noise of his mixer used to drive me mad!  We’ve always been happy in each other’s company. We are better together than apart so once we got into a routine it was great.  Like any couple we have our ‘off days’ but John is very patient!

Do you work from home or where do you make your cakes?

After working from home for almost 4 years we decided enough was enough – we were limiting ourselves.  It was obviously the right time as we managed to get our workshop just around the corner from our house.  The next best thing to working from home…we could walk there…we don’t though!  

I hold tasting appointments in our house and find people just love being invited into our home.  

Apart from cake decorating how do you spend your time?

Time with family is the best!  Being self employed can have it’s down sides, for example you never really switch off.  On the other hand, we don’t need to get a holiday form signed. For example if we want to take off somewhere for the day or go to something at school.  I also have a huge love for interiors and enjoy nothing more than another room to decorate!  I have a long list of things I want to do in our home. Unfortunately the bank balance doesn’t always allow it!  John is forever telling me to calm down.  Then there’s Instagram to share home, family and work life. Updating my stories daily is like some kind of therapy! 

What inspires you? 

Lots of things! Colours, themes…..I do love when a bride shows me her invites. I can come up with something that ties together cake, invites, tableplan etc.  Google is also my bestie – where would we be without Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration!

What’s the most common cake question you get asked?

There are probably two…

When do we need to book our cake? and What are your most popular flavours?

I recommend you book your cake supplier as soon as you book your venue. This way you are guaranteed your date.  It doesn’t mean you have to pick your design or flavours when you book. I don’t expect this until much closer to your wedding!

Our top two flavours are Raspberry & White Chocolate and Chocolate Guinness.  Both are great all rounders and the Chocolate Guinness is a huge talking point with your guests!  People always ask what about fruit cake?  Is it still a thing?  The answer is…if you want it to be?  There is no right or wrong!  I personally love fruit cake and John’s is obviously the best!  If you don’t want to pick it as a main choice you can add on a small one!  I have brides who tell me they only ordered to keep their mum happy. Then they ended up loving it too! 

Where does Gemma’s Cakes go from here? 

We are always brain storming so no doubt there will be new things ahead. Every year is so different so we are very excited for what comes next! Follow along on Gemma’s Cakes Blog (Instagram) to hear it first!