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Baking up a storm for business success

DATE: 24/09/18

COUNCIL AREA: Ards and North Down Borough Council

ENTERPRISE AGENCY: North Down Development Organisation

BUSINESS ADVISOR: Emma Pearson

A local bespoke cake decorator from Bangor has turned herpassion for crafting baked masterpieces for all occasions into her very own cake design business with the support of the Go For It Programme, in association with Ards and North Down Borough Council.

The Go For It Programme is part funded by Invest Northern Ireland and the European Regional Development Fund under the Investment for Growth & Jobs Northern Ireland (2014-2020) Programme.

Leah Kerr launched Copperhead Cakes in March 2018 when she decidedit was time to turn her passion for handcrafted baked creations into a business after being inundated with requests from family and friends for her specially designed birthday and anniversary cakes.

Copperhead Cakes is based at Project 24 on Queen’s Parade in Bangor and specialises in designing and creating a wide range of bespoke cakes, all home baked to the highest standards,for birthdays, christenings, anniversaries and weddings, as well as corporate and novelty cakes.

Leah worked in accountancy for over 10 years, with baking and cake decorating a creative pastime for the Fine & Applied Arts Graduate. This hobby then turned into a career when she left her accountancy job to take on a full-time position with a renowned local cake decorator in 2016. Opening her own bespoke cake business was always something she wanted to do, but it wasn’t until Christmas 2017 that she decided to do something about it with the help of the Go For It Programme, in association with Ards and North Down Borough Council.

Leah Kerr, owner of Copperhead Cakes, said: “After graduating from Ulster University with a BA in Fine & Applied Arts in 2003, I chose an entirely different career path in Accountancy. Needing a creative outlet, I discovered a passion for baking and creating bespoke cakes in my spare time and after a decade of developing my skills at home I had an opportunity to turn this passion into a full-time job.

“I worked with Jenny at Jenny’s Cakes in Bangor for nearly three years, honing my cake design skills, as well as working on my own creations for family and friends. This was when I started to think about branching out on my own and launching my very own cake design business. My family and friends were always telling me I should do it, so I booked an appointment with North Down Development Organisation Limited andwent for it.

“My business advisor Emma Pearson was a tremendous help and really focused me on what I needed to do get my business up and running. She helped me pull together a personalised business plan, specific to what I needed, as well as helping me on key aspects such as complying with health and safety and finding the right business premises.

“Copperhead Cakes has been up and running since March and I have been inundated with orders for some spectacular and unique cakes for a range of birthdays, anniversaries and corporate events. The first few months have gone by so quickly and I am already looking at how I expand my service offering into the local wedding market.”

My business advisor Emma Pearson was a tremendous help and really focused me on what I needed to do get my business up and running

The Go For It programme is delivered free of charge by a team of experienced business mentors through Northern Ireland’s wide network of enterprise agencies. It provides expert advice and help with developing a robust business plan to help turn ideas into a commercial enterprise.

Emma Pearson, Business Advisor with North Down Development Organisation Limited on behalf of Ards and North Down Borough Council, said; “It has been a genuine pleasure working with someone who is as creative and passionate as Leah. She joined the Go For It Programme with a clear idea for a business and was determined from the outset to make it happen.

“We worked with her to develop a business plan and focused her goals on key aspects such as selecting the right location for her display shop, health and safety, marketing and financial forecasting.

“I am delighted to see Copperhead Cakes has got off to an amazing start with a loyal customer base and fantastic portfolio of fabulous bespoke cakes. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Leah and I look forward to ordering one of her masterpieces very soon.”

If you have a business idea you’d like to develop or if you are thinking about starting a business call 0800 027 0639 or visit: visit www.goforitni.com

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