The Cake Shop, with shops in both Oxford’s covered market and Banbury, creates stunningly bespoke cakes for all occasions. In 2019, Joanne Bunting and her business partner were looking for an ‘interesting or complimentary’ addition to their current business, ‘Business Garage’. Business Garage provide business outsourcing and consulting services. The Cake Shop, which has been trading since 1986 was up for sale and as an iconic local business, Joanne and her co director saw an exciting opportunity to develop the brand further and modernise the idea. Looking for a new challenge, they purchased the Cake Shop just before the pandemic. This burst of creativity has been something Joanne has fully embraced as an entrepreneur and being such a big part of people’s special days is such a treat for her.
As a business specialising in providing cakes for celebrations and special occasions, The Cake Shop was clearly hit hard by the pandemic. As events were cancelled, Joanne had to fight hard to keep the business afloat and employees in their jobs. Furthermore, the lack of tourism in Oxford, which provides plenty of customers for the shop, had also dwindled. However, she was able to navigate this difficult time through innovation and a new website. Joanne is now happy to announce that the shop has once again reached its pre pandemic levels.
Despite the difficulties of being a business owner, Joanne is constantly wowed by the amazing creations that the decorators at the shop produce. Being able to witness these pieces come to life, and how they play such a memorable part in people’s special days is a true highlight for Joanne.
To advise aspiring business owners, Joanne puts her ‘commercial hat on’. ‘Be really mindful of the finances, understand cash flow and PLAN!’. Planning and innovation is what it took for Joanne to have such success. Now take a look at some of their amazing cakes!