A CAKE-MAKING entrepreneur has expanded her business after nearly six years of working from home.
Michelle Rose, 45, had always made cakes for friends and family stretching back more than 20 years.
But six years ago, when her three children Michael, now 22, Amanda, 19, and Emma, 12, had become old enough, her hobby became her business and she worked from her Fens area home.
She formed Michelle’s Cakes and she was soon pulling in clients from all over town and further afield.
The icing on the cake for Michelle, who is married to 45-year-old computer engineer Kevin, came when she expanded into a unit within the Hartlepool Enterprise Centre, in Brougham Terrace.
She said: “Cake making is something I wanted to do since I was a child.”
At first it started out as cakes for relatives and friends. “It was just a wedding cake here and there,” said Michelle, who currently runs the business on her own.
“As the children grew up, I needed to go back to work. I began baking cakes from home and did everything from scratch. I bake them, decorate them and deliver them.”
Most of her trade came by recommendation and then came the decision to expand into a business unit.
Now Michelle bakes cakes from her unit as well as selling cake decorating and sugarcraft equipment in her new workshop, including cake boards, boxes, ribbons, coloured icing, paste and dust colours.
She said: “It is a case of slowly building up the business and I get trade from a lot of christenings as well as weddings and other areas.”
Popular trends at the moment include cupcake towers. Another quirk of her trade is the current demand for cakes with a Las Vegas theme.
Michelle explained: “People come back from getting married in the USA and have a reception back here.
“They often want something like a bride and groom on a roulette board.”
Next for Michelle, she says, is hopefully getting into a position where she can recruit a worker.
“There is only so much I can do and I would like to take on an extra pair of hands.”