Soho’s Cakery offers a wide variety of freshly baked goodies, from your traditional tiered cakes to your beautifully decorated cupcakes, in many quirky and/or elegant designs.
These are ‘Fabby Cakes Baked With Love By Miss Love!!’ That’s Antonia Love, a.k.a Tonia, a twenty -five years old, self employed, Home Baker based in Glasgow. All of the ingredients she uses are vegetarian, however, some sweets used may contain gelatin. And her creations? Well, they’re fun, intricate, challenging and delicious and can be designed to your desire.
We asked her a few questions about Soho’s Cakery and the cakes she’s worked on as well as how her journey began and continues!
Where you always interested in baking?
Actually, I started baking out of boredom after I had Rudie (Antonia’s son, a.k.a Rudeboy). It actually helped the time go by while he was sleeping. I was so used to working that it gave me something to do to keep busy. Plus my Granny always baked, so I learned how to do sponges with her and then I just did more and more, till it just continued from there.
How did your experience of baking for others develop?
When Rudie started to go to Nursery I started to work in a wee cafe, two days a week, while we were in Troon. I still had time to bake though and decided to practice for family and friends. Then a friend suggested I make a Facebook page to let people see what I was making as well as doing some Fairs to sell my cakes there. Although, sometimes I’d go to the Fairs and be competing with the Grannies there. It was good competition!
Then when I moved back to Glasgow, it allowed me to get a better cooker, which meant I could bake more cakes as well as other types, allowing me to challenge myself and learn, just as I was getting interest from Facebook customers.
Did anything surprise you at the beginning?
Probably that orders kept coming, and fast. Not that my work was terrible, but, just, sometimes I’d think ‘I could have done the icing better’ or ‘I could have worked a bit longer on the filling’. I’m quite hard on myself. So yeah, at the beginning I was surprised that people kept coming back.
While I was doing Fairs on the side, once I’d moved back to Glasgow, a woman came up to me and asked if I was Antonia. I was like ‘…eh. Yeah?’
She then said someone at her work, which was Wholefoods, was ranting and raving about my cakes and she wanted to offer me a job there. This was surprising too. I was a bit taken aback and declined at first but then decided to see if she was legit. And she was. That’s when I started at Wholefoods.
So that’s when I made the decision that I needed a kick up the arse and to do that I decided it was time to create it into a business. That’s when I started managing my orders better, making sure costs were covered.
I have a blakboard in the house where I schedule what needs to be done and when. Sometimes I’ll skip something to watch a movie with Rudie, but I’ll know that because I’ve skipped two hours of work I’ll need to work later, maybe even during the night.
If it’s sunny outside though, I’ll drop everything and tell Rudie we’re going to the park or something. He’ll be like: ‘Aren’t you supposed to work today?’ But we’re sun worshipers and I’ll rather work through the night and get my orders done properly that way, rather than not go out with him at all.
If there’s an event coming up, I won’t take orders until it’s over. Or, I’ll try not to, but sometimes one might squeez in.
In between the Tuesday and Thursday though, I ice the board, cut the letters or model bits and bobs.
So, back to Wholefoods. How did working there help you? It got me into a great routine when I needed it, refined my multi tasking skills and how to keep to a time schedule. My technique got better, like, getting quicker and better at the buttercream. I also learned how the business worked, especially at a large scale; how they dealt with leftovers and used them for other things instead of wasting. As well as how they bake from scratch. I’ve known others who’ll freeze their sponges, even transport them here from down South. Some even use cake mix.
Cooking in the house means separting everything. Two shelves in the fridge. One cupboard for all my ingredients. Also, I have drawers for tools, case boxes and everything else. You need to abide by regulations, as well as keeping in mind people’s allergies.
What events have you been to recently were you sell your cupcakes/cakes/creations!?
I did cupcakes for Comic Con and Comic Mart. I’ve done Flash cupcakes, Batman ones, Danger Mouse! I made 400 for a weekend and planned two other cakes that week for other orders, cause Ithought I had time, since it was all organised. But on the Saturday I sold roughly 300 of the 400 cupcakes I had planned. So I had to bake all that night to have more and finish the other cakes by Sunday. I even had a nap under the table. But I basically sold out.
Ahh man it’s horrid. I was wearing ballet pumps in the kitchen a few weeks ago and managed to drop egg on my bare foot. I have no idea why I hate them though. I’ve always been iffy about eating them but I think when I was pregnant they just pushed the boundaries. Gadz!
When I worked in Wholefoods, I had to take over making meringue once, cause people were off sick. I swear it was horrifying. I couldn’t put my hand in the bowl, it gave me the heebies and made me want to spew. In the end my boss took over because it really was a traumatic ordeal.
And, finally, what advice would you give someone wanting to start a business in baking, like you have?
Don’t! Not if you don’t know what you’re getting into. Work somewhere first and learn how it all works, get experience. Because this industry can be bitchy and very competitive. Really. Some bakers use Home Bakers to do cakes for their own businesses too, you don’t get credit for them, only the money. It’s something that happens, so you can’t be too protective of your work if you decide to do this.
Also, get inspiration from everywhere. I get it from other work online, through Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. It’s also the best way to share your work too!