Win Valentine's 'boucake' from Blackwater businessBy Amy Taylor
February 01, 2013
A BLACKWATER mum who has turned a love of baking into a popular cupcake business credits the encouragement of family and friends for her success.
Sharon Anand’s combination of business and culinary skills saw her create Sharon’s Cupcakes last November, her first work venture since having her two boys, now aged three and six.
“Remembering the days my mum would bake beautiful butterfly fairy cakes for me and my sister, I had a natural urge to do the same when I had my boys, and now that they are growing up and starting school I had the option to begin my career again or to try and turn my passion for baking into a business,” said Sharon.
“I decided on the latter and so far have not regretted it for a moment.”
Previous jobs in human resources and a degree in business administration before the birth of her eldest son, Jiannu, prepared her for the challenges of starting her own company, but it was others who convinced her that the time was right to get into the kitchen on a more permanent basis.
“Over the last year my friends and family have urged me to set up a little business, and after a push from my husband, who created my website and my Facebook page, Sharon’s Cupcakes was born.”
Her first customers were at the Camberley Theatre Christmas fair, where the feedback was positive and many customers returned over the next month to buy more.
“Two ladies in particular who purchased from me that day have given me so much encouragement and recommended me to friends,” said the 35-year-old. “The response I have had has been phenomenal.
“Other businesses locally are so supportive as well, they take business cards and no one has said no to helping hand out flyers.”
Her first big order, from Microsoft, came via a friend’s recommendation and saw her baking 250 cupcakes overnight in the week before Christmas.
Her orders range in size and variety, from giant cupcakes for birthdays, to ‘boucakes’ – seven cakes made to look like a bunch of flowers. Thanks to a double oven and good planning, she can turn around an order of up to 700 cupcakes in a day.
“I am fortunate to have the full support of my family and friends and they help out in any way they can, be it tasting new creations and flavours, to handing out flyers to sending emails to their own friends,” she added.
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, the News & Mail has teamed up with Sharon’s Cupcakes to offer two lucky readers a ‘boucake’ each for a loved one.
Each boucake is handmade by Sharon and is worth £20. Orders must be placed by Monday February 11 to be collected on February 14.
To enter, answer the following question: How many cupcakes are in one of Sharon’s floral boucakes?
Entries must be sent by the closing date of Thursday February 7 by email to email@example.com or by post to Boucake competition, Aldershot News & Mail, Stoke Mill, Woking Road, Guildford, GU1 1QA.
For terms and conditions, visit www.gethampshire.co.uk/rules. Only correct answers will be considered, and contact details must be included with the entry.
More information about Valentine’s offers at Sharon’s Cupcakes can be found at www.sharonscupcakes.com.