The Story of Kakes and Bakes...
Hi, I’m Katie. The owner, and some would say – brains, behind Kakes and Bakes! I’ve always had a passion for baking from a young age and it’s my mission in life to make sure everyone enjoys cake.
When I was little my grandma taught me how to bake during the summer holidays. She was a keen baker of cakes, biscuits and pastries and she taught me everything she knew, she remains one of the biggest inspirations behind Kakes and Bakes.
When I was little, I dreamed of opening a cake shop and selling cream cakes and afternoon teas, I always said in the summer I would serve strawberries and cream and have Wimbledon on the TV. But life, as they say, happened and the dream remained that.
I became a teacher and worked in a special school for kids with behavioural difficulties, imparting all my baking knowledge during Food Technology lessons. During the summer of 2016 I began to get ill. I had been struggling with the demands of my job as head of sixth form at school, I was getting a divorce and my son was going through an autism diagnosis and in October of that year, I had a breakdown.
After being signed off for a few months by the doctor I made the difficult decision not to return to teaching and focus on my son and my mental health. I began baking, mainly as a boredom buster but also for therapeutic reasons, and the rest they say, is history.
I started my pop-up stall in Leeds Kirkgate Market in April 2017, 2 days a week to begin with and it went from there. In January 2018 I decided I wanted to take the plunge and fulfil the dream, so I began a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to open up the shop.
So, here I am, in unit 23 in the historic, grade 1 listed, 1904 hall living my dream! I bake and make EVERYTHING in store by hand and source all the fresh ingredients right here in the market – something I am very proud of.
The business itself is a family affair. My boyfriend delivers cake orders when he can and my son helps by picking out the fruit for the fresh baked gateau or chooses which flowers I should buy to put on the tables.
I spend the days baking, serving customers and chatting to the many varied customers that come into the shop each day. It’s a bit cliché, but every day is massively different from the last – and I love it.
So, what do you do when all your dreams come true?? Dream up some more of course! I won’t tell you what I’m planning next but be sure to follow me on twitter, facebook or instagram and I’ll definitely keep you updated!
I look forward to meeting you soon!