This week we have a new member of Parentville Parties family we want you to meet. She runs an Artisan Bakery based in West London, writes a weekly column for the Evening Standard and provides London’s cake lovers with deliciously chic and alluring cakes, packaged to perfection.
Read how Laura began her business, what are her biggest challenges and what she has planned for the future.
ParentVille: How did Laura’s London start?
I’ve always loved baking since I was very young. My grandmother was an amazing baker and made the most wonderful wedding cakes. She taught my father to bake and he then taught me. I decided to start my own bakery in 2016 and I have never looked back since.
P: What did you do before?
Before I started Laura’s London I worked in fashion so I’ve always had a creative eye. I’ve always loved to bake but I’ve never had any formal training. It’s something that has been self-taught and practice always makes perfect.
P: What was your biggest challenge when you first started?
The biggest challenge for me was just stepping into the unknown. I’ve never started a business before and I don’t come from a family of entrepreneurs so I was very unsure of what to expect! Believing thoroughly in myself and the business was the positive attitude I needed to drive forward.
P: Is London a good environment for starting a business?
Absolutely! Although London is a marketplace full of competitors it’s also a marketplace full of creativity and people who love to try new things! The sky really is the limit in terms of how far you can take your business because there is so much opportunity to be had.
P: What is your biggest achievement so far?
It would definitely be having the opportunity to supply my cakes to Fortnum & Mason! This was something that happened just 6 months after I launched my business so I feel incredibly grateful.
P: Who are you baking for? Do you have a specific target?
I really don’t have a specific target audience as my cakes cater for all types of people and markets. Birthday cakes for children, celebration cakes, mini loaf cakes for office workers, wedding cakes etc.
P: Any favourite kitchen appliance or special hack you would like to share?
My favourite kitchen appliance that I literally couldn’t live without, apart from the oven, would definitely be my Kitchen Aid. It’s a total lifesaver and makes baking seamless. Definitely an investment for all of the keen bakers out there.
P: What was your most successful marketing technique?
My most successful marketing technique so far has to be when I first launched I hand delivered samples of my cakes to all of the press – newspapers, and magazines – that got me some great coverage which helped spread the word of Laura’s London.
P: Any advice you would give to a fellow entrepreneur?
My advice would be to absolutely have a marketing strategy. This is so essential to start-up businesses to drive awareness and therefore drive sales. Also social media especially Instagram has been pivotal to my business. Make sure you’re active and taking great imagery. Plenty of businesses have gotten successful just from social media alone.
P: What are your future plans?
Future plans are to keep growing the business and keep satisfying London’s cake lovers.
P: How do you maintain your work/ life balance?
I have to admit – running a start-up business is incredibly hard work! Any business opportunities that come my way are taken and that means long hours and sometimes working seven days a week but it’s all definitely worth it! I try to keep a few evenings free every week to relax.
P: What do you like to do on weekend?
It has to be driving out of London! Me and my partner have family in the Cotswolds so we spend a lot of time there when I have time off. Lots of walking and pub lunches! If we are in London then my favourite thing to do is try different places for lunch and dinner. Eating is definitely my favourite pastime!
P: What is your favourite hot drink?
If I’m at home I’m a 100% classic tea girl. But at a coffee shop, espresso or black Americano.