All Content, Blog

Safeguarding Your Business Against COVID-19 #cakershour

Hey cake chums!

I hope you will allow me to get a little bit serious for a moment. I think it is safe to say that, along with many countries around the world, the UK is facing an unprecedented crisis right now and like many businesses, those of us on Planet Cake are facing uncertain times ahead.

Following the latest updates from the UK government and their team of experts, the key new measures that we need to be following are that:

  • Everyone should avoid gatherings and crowded places, such as pubs, clubs and theatres.
  • Everyone should work from home if they can.
  • All “unnecessary” visits to friends and relatives in care homes should cease.
  • People should only use the NHS “where we really need to” – and can reduce the burden on workers by getting advice on the NHS website where possible.
  • By next weekend, those with the most serious health conditions must be “largely shielded from social contact for around 12 weeks”.
  • The UK is now “three weeks” behind Italy – the worst-hit country in Europe.
  • If one person in any household has a persistent cough or fever, everyone living there must stay at home for 14 days.
  • Those people should, if possible, avoid leaving the house “even to buy food or essentials” – but they may leave the house “for exercise and, in that case, at a safe distance from others”.
  • Schools will not be closed for the moment.

In light of these latest developments, I know that many of us are continuing to field cancellations left and right, as well as facing the fact that baking ingredients seem to be some of the latest products to be rapidly disappearing from supermarket and wholesaler shelves, leaving us concerned that we will be unable to source the supplies needed to produce any orders that do remain on the books.

While I would love to say that I will be able to provide all of the answers in these worrying times, unfortunately, like many of you, I feel like I am just muddling my way through at the moment. However, that being said, I am sure that we all have had some experiences already that may be able to provide some support and clarity to our friends and colleagues within the industry.

With that in mind, I thought that it might be useful to use this week’s second instalment of #cakershour to address some of these concerns and allow us all the time to share any experiences or advice that might be of use to everyone.

#cakershour graphic 18.03.20

Before we meet for #cakershour, you may well find it useful to check out Monday’s Facebook Live from The Cake Professionals team, which you can find at this link. And if you know of any other sources of information or advice – including any guidance you may have had from accountants, your local EHO and the details of any local cake supplies retailers to you that might be expanding their range of products to include core baking supplies – please do make a note of them ready to share with the rest of us. You never know who else this information may be able to help out.

With that in mind, this week’s focus questions will be:

  1. How are you handling cancellations or postponements? Have you taken any legal advice or had your T&Cs reviewed by a solicitor? What has the response from your clients been?
  2. Are you struggling to get hold of any cake supplies? Have you found any creative solutions to plug any holes in your supply chain?
  3. What plans do you have in place to be able to continue with any cake consultations during a period of enforced isolation or lockdown?
  4. What other challenges are you facing that we may be able to help with?
  5. How are you going to keep yourself busy during a period of enforced isolation or lockdown?

I am also pleased to be able to announce that Phil and Christine Jensen of Peboryon – the clever bods behind The Cake Professionals – will also be joining us as my guest co-hosts for this week’s #cakershour and I am looking forward to hearing their perspectives on some of the key challenges that we are all facing.

Phil and Christine Jensen of Peboryon
This week’s guest co-hosts…

It will be important to keep things supportive and professional – we don’t want to allow things to descend into panic – and hopefully, we will be able to use this time help us all navigate the uncertainty we are facing during these unprecedented times.

I do hope that you will be able to join us for this week’s #cakershour and I will see you there…

 

Twitter #cakershour is hosted by Mr Baker’s Cakes and takes place every Wednesday from 9:00pm. To find out more, check out the intro post here.

All Content, Blog, Competition

The time has come…

Yup, it’s time to announce the winner of my exciting competition, with Natalie Porter of Immaculate Confections!

If you can remember right back at the start of June, reintroduced you to Natalie in the latest interview to be added to Mr Baker’s Blog. In that interview, I explained that in some rather exciting news, Natalie had kindly agreed to offer the readers of Mr Baker’s Blog the chance to get their hands on a very special signed FREE copy of her new publication, Book One: Sugar Flowers!

To be in with a chance at winning, you simply had to make sure you had subscribed to Mr Baker’s Blog (using the sign up box in the sidebar on the right or at the bottom of the page, if on mobile), share the link to this interview on your favourite social media platform, letting me know which project you were most looking forward to getting stuck into: Pretty Pastels, Sunny Blues or Tropical Delight and making sure you tagged both Mr Baker’s Cakes and Immaculate Confections, of course.

Well, lots of you got involved (thank you!), but unfortunately only one could win and I am delighted to announce that the winner is…

Huge congratulations to Rebecca Claessens on her win! Please get in touch via one of my usual channels and I’ll arrange to get your prize sent out to you! You can reach me through my Facebook page, the dedicated Cake Chums – with Mr Baker’s Blog Facebook group, by emailing me directly or, if you’d prefer, you can drop me a line at:

Mr Baker’s Blog
PO Box 752
FAREHAM
PO14 9RZ

 

While you’re here, I’ve had a few people mention recently that I don’t seem to be as active on the blog at the moment.

They’re not wrong.

Unfortunately, the last little bit of the summer term at school tends to be ridiculously busy with copious amounts of meetings, report writing, assessment, transition conversations with colleagues and so on. And that’s before you add in the whole ‘I’m moving schools’ thing to the equation.

Rest assured, I am still here and, as I have already mentioned a few times now, once school breaks up next month, I plan to devote a lot more time and energy to the blog and to my YouTube channel.

And come September of course, I will be working part time, meaning that I will be able to dedicate plenty of extra time to developing fabulous content on both platforms.

In the meantime, stay tuned to my social media channels (you can find me on Facebook hereTwitter here and Instagram here) because I am still posting and it will keep you up-to-date with what’s going on here at Mr Baker‘s Cakes HQ.

Which, incidentally, is currently very heavily studio themed… #exciting

Oh, if you haven’t already checked out the ‘What have Whedon?’ collaboration from The Cake Collective that posted last week, make sure you hit this link to see our celebration of all things Joss Whedon in honour of his 55th birthday. As a massive fan of his work, I was delighted to contribute a piece to the collection and loved how my Dark Willow from Buffy the Vampire Slayer came out.

The main image was hand drawn with Fractal Colors’ Calligra Brush Pens on Renshaw Flower and Modelling Paste, before being airbrushed and splattered using Fractal Colors’ FlowAir colours.

The magics were created by colouring Squires Kitchen Isomalt and pouring it over ice. I also tried to use isomalt to fill Willow’s embossed catchphrase – which was REALLY hard! 🙈😂

And finally, I was also thrilled to be interviewed by Kimberly Chapman’s Eat the Evidence podcast a couple of weeks ago – the result of which was released this week. If you have yet to bite the podcast bullet and discover them in all of their easy-listening wonderfulness, then Kimberly’s is a great place to start.

You can find Issue 43, featuring my interview – where I discuss everything from my journey into this crazy world of cake to how you could be making your social media work better for you – right here… don’t forget to subscribe!

Thanks so much for taking the time to catch up with what’s going on with me at the moment and until next time… happy caking!