Charlie Brooker may be so over them, but we’re over desperately hyped tv satire series. No, we’re still very much in the cupcake corner. Or fairy cakes. Call them what you will, they won’t be around long enough for a spelling bee.
It’s true, over the past few years it’s been cupcakes at dawn around these parts. But, to SevenStreets, unlike sago and semolina, they’re a retro sweet treat we’re glad to see dusted down, even sprinkled with hundreds and thousands, and given their time to shine again.
Enter Laura’s Little Bakery – soon to be arriving in the real world, with her concession in the Home Quarter on Hanover Street next week. For the past few years her tweets have lifted the lid on the secretive world of the confectioner – we’ve even seen Stevie G come round for a furtive nibble. God knows the team could do with something to lighten the mood these days.
Perfectly rising from a hobby into a nicely plump and golden small business, Laura’s Little Bakery is all the proof you need that, if you really want to make it – the way to a successful business is via your stomach.
“I came back from a trip to New York quite keen on their cheesecakes so I decided to try my hand at making those after not finding anything close to the quality I tried over there,” Laura O’Connor tells SevenStreets. “It was for my own enjoyment to begin with but this in turn led to me experimenting with other types of cakes, all of which I tested out on various family members and friends. With their encouragement I approached Bold Street Coffee and other cafes with some samples and everything just snowballed from there.”
For Laura, that heart-in-mouth moment of launching a business was successfully avoided. Like her creations, everything just happened to rise perfectly.
“I never felt daunted because it all happened quite organically and before I knew it I was doing it full-time!”
But what, we wonder about the dreaded cup cake crash? Aren’t we all so over them now? Hasn’t the cupcake backlash begun – to be fought off with the mighty sword of detox and smoothies?
“I find cupcakes are more accepted as a cake like any other these days, the ‘fad’ faze is over I agree but they’re definitely here to stay! Most popular at the moments are the salted caramel cupcakes in particular, cheesecakes, carrot cakes and brownies. But my favourite items are still my bespoke cupcakes, I enjoy the challenge of tailoring the decorations to customers’ specifications.”
Talking of customers, how did a certain No8 come to sample your goods?
“I’d previously supplied one of the club physios with LFC themed cupcakes (he’d found me through Twitter). Steven Gerrard got wind of it so ordered some for his wife and kids! I delivered them personally to him at Melwood, naturally!”
He’s not the only one. If we’re honest, we were more impressed when, at last year’s Adam Buxton Bug show at FACT, the beardy one opened a box of Laura’s delights as competition prizes for the evening.
“Social media, such as Twitter, has been instrumental to my success,” says Laura, who’s still beating us on follower numbers. Damn her!
“I’ve met some amazing people through Twitter, many of whom have become not only regular customers, but also great friends. It’s also provided me with some terrific business opportunities and was a great aid in organising a charity event I held the Marie Curie centre.
As for my impromptu appearance at Adam Buxton’s FACT show, my husband & I have been fans of his for some time so before the show I dropped some cakes off for him as a gift. Little did I know he would namecheck me during the show, give the Bakery a huge plug *and* give out cupcakes to audience members as prizes!”
After social media – gulp – the real world beckons, and Laura’s Little Bakery is set to move into the bright and showy Home Quarter in Liverpool ONE next week. Scary?
“The shop came about when The Home Quarter got in touch and told me their cafe (formerly known as Cafe Coco) was lying empty and asked if I’d like to take it over. It didn’t take much deliberation before I said yes!
The plan is basically to sell cupcakes, in the main, but also other proven favourites from my menu. I’m quite nervous – but in a good way! Excited? Definitely, it’s an amazing opportunity for me in such a great location! More people starting up their own enterprises in the city can only be a good thing for Liverpool. I’m proud to be a part of one of Liverpool’s biggest local independent successes with Bold street Coffee, I hope to become one in my own right too!”
We have a feeling this sweet story is set for a very happy ending indeed.
Laura’s Little Bakery
The Home Quarter,
Hanover Street, Liverpool