Food & Drink

‘This year we did our biggest order to date of 10,000 cupcakes’: Cupcake entrepreneur Candice Bannister on her recipe for success

Owner and founder of Candy’s Cupcakes Candice Bannister began baking cakes and cupcakes as a hobby in her home kitchen in 2011 and now works alongside her husband and a team of eleven bakers.

She works with big brands like Amazon and Goldman Sachs, has provided sweet treats to celebrities such as The Black Eyed Peas – and she even recently received an order of 10,000 cupcakes.

After developing a loyal local customer base through social media, the company now offers nationwide delivery of its cupcakes, cakes in jars, cakes in boxes, brownies and cookies – but it hasn’t been an easy journey. 

Candice said: “People don’t see baking as a serious job sometimes so that can be quite frustrating and challenging.

“Now that I have achieved what I have achieved, I think people do take me more seriously.” 

Candice previously worked in social housing, but gave up her full-time job in 2012 to follow her passion for baking.

Her business has reported a whopping £900,000 in revenue in 2023 with plans to break the one million pound turnover.

The pandemic was a rollercoaster ride for her business, as for any other – and one that shifted public attitudes towards baking.

Candice said: “When lockdown hit, every man and his dog were baking at home, which was a little frustrating for us because we were the next level up doing wedding cakes and corporate.

“Baking is a serious job and I believe a lot of that makes it look easy.” 

But fortunately for Candice, the pandemic also saw customers buying from the business more frequently – choosing to send gifts across the country in place of being with friends and family. 

And the business has kept on growing ever since. For instance, it started selling products on TikTok in September last year. 

That’s just one example of how Candice keeps things up to date with what is new and relevant, rather than staying in her comfort zone – and she’d recommend the same to any business owner.

With the cost of living crisis impacting businesses at the moment, Candice’s advice is to go online rather than rely on bricks and mortar.

“Going online is something I’d strongly recommend businesses to do, rather than perhaps buying premises, unless they need to – because the high street isn’t where it is going, I don’t think.”

She’s also full of encouragement for female entrepreneurs.

“You can literally do anything no matter what – even if it is a very male-dominated industry. I am going to meetings and chatting with football clubs, very male-dominated industries. But I think as long as you are quite focused on what you want to achieve, I’d say reach out and get support.”

The Candy’s Cupcakes bestseller at the moment is their pick-and-mix and photo cupcakes – where customers can mix up their toppings for their cupcakes, or upload pictures or personalised messages. 

Candice adds: “We have also gotten into selling cookies and brownies and they are absolutely amazing. 

“We can’t keep them in stock long enough because they just sell out.”

Photo courtesy of Candice Bannister

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