September 30, 2023

Small Enterprise sat down with Katie Cross, director of vegan bakery Cake or Death, one of many three winners of the Small Enterprise x Sage pop-up store competitors.

Cake or Dying was one in all three successful companies chosen by our skilled panel to occupy a pop-up store area in London’s busy Oxford Avenue earlier this month.

The Devon-based bakery creates luxurious brownies delivered by way of your letterbox in iconic pink leopard-print packing containers. The Impartial named the mail-order bakery Finest Letterbox Deal with in 2020.

Lifelong baking fanatic Katie Cross began her vegan cake enterprise in 2019 promoting on to bakeries, cafés and eating places. She pivoted the enterprise to promoting direct in the course of the pandemic.

Earlier than her reinvention as a star baker, Katie Cross loved a profitable profession as a fundraiser and marketer within the charity sector, working for the NSPCC and Greenpeace UK, amongst others.

The place did the thought of Cake or Dying come from?

It advanced over numerous years. It began once I utilized for The Nice British Bake Off. I obtained fairly far by way of the audition course of though I didn’t really get onto the programme, which was an excellent disappointment. However I feel it confirmed me that I had a ardour for baking, and that I needed to pursue it as a profession. So, over the following yr I experimented with baking and some occasions and that obtained me to the purpose the place I used to be able to stop my day job.

How lengthy has Cake or Dying been in enterprise?

We’ve been working for four-and-a-half-years now. We began as a wholesale cake enterprise, however we needed to pivot sadly firstly of the pandemic as a result of most of our wholesale prospects needed to shut their doorways. We determined to ship our brownies, which had been our hottest product, by way of the put up in letterbox-sized packing containers and now hundreds of individuals ship them as presents, principally to household and pals.

What made you determine to enter the Small Enterprise x Sage pop-up store competitors?

Two years in the past, Cake or Dying moved from its kitchen in London to sunny Devon, which was a private transfer for myself and my household. We’ve arrange a bakery in Exeter. The concept of getting a presence in London for 4 days was actually thrilling. A whole lot of my prospects are based mostly in Londoners, and I knew I may get them to come back and see us within the pop-up store. It was actually thrilling to be in such a busy a part of town.

What’s your expertise been of being within the pop-up store?

I do suppose that footfall is absolutely excessive on the street, however it’s been more durable than I believed to get folks to come back in. Individuals are not too certain about what the thought is. We’ve discovered essentially the most profitable factor to do is to provide tasters on the street and level folks in direction of the store. Individuals are fairly reticent about strolling into a store after they don’t know what’s happening.

What would your recommendation be to anyone coming into subsequent yr’s Sage pop-up store competitors?

It’s best to go for it, however you want a straightforward retail-able product, and you have to really feel that the consumers on Oxford Avenue are your kind of buyer. It’s essential to have put some thought into advertising and PR. We laid some groundwork by performing some PR work and a radio interview forward of time, and we reached out to Instagram influencers to come back and see us on the primary day. We’ve additionally been priming our prospects for per week to come back and see us. Doing that groundwork is absolutely vital.

Extra on the Sage pop-up store competitors

Sage pop-up store winner #1 – Deborah Maclaren, LoveReading – Deborah Maclaren, managing director of LoveReading, sits down with SmallBusiness to speak about what successful one of many three coveted spots within the Sage pop-up store competitors means to her

Sage pop-up store winner #3 – Katie Hanton-Parr, Baboodle – Katie Hanton-Parr, founding father of Baboodle, tells Small Enterprise what successful the Sage pop-up store competitors has meant for her on-line child gear subscription enterprise