This week we are sitting down with the incredibly talented Gemma from Gemma’s Cakes Castledawson. Gemma and her husband John started their business 5 years ago and their success story is remarkable! Currently they are Galgorm Resort’s preferred cake supplier and the Wedding Journal’s Cake Designer of the year…not bad for a couple who started their business by making their daughter’s birthday cake!
So let’s get to know Gemma a little better…
How did you get started making wedding cakes?
It all started when I made my daughter Olivia’s 4th birthday cake. I was looking for a ballet themed cake and couldn’t find one so I decided to give it a go myself! The cake was a huge hit at the party and I went on to make a few other cakes for friends & family. A short time later I started a Facebook page and overnight I had a business! Olivia is now 9 and loves that she helped start the business! Over the years the business has progressed to focus on wedding cakes.
What’s your favourite part about your job?
I love being creative, meeting new people and being my own boss. It’s so satisfying when a bride & groom contact me to say they loved their cake and that it was a talking point with their guests!
You work a long side your husband, what’s the best parts and the worst?
John and I get on really well most of the time, we enjoy each other’s company and keep each other motivated!! I’m sure it’s not for everyone but it works for us! It also means we can work around the kids and be there for them when they need us. Sometimes it is hard to switch off and we could find ourselves just talking about cake all the time so we need to try and get a break away every now and again! We definitely appreciate a family holiday so much more now!
Tell us a fun fact about you that no one knows?
A lot of people won’t know that I used to work for Sir Richard Branson and one of the trips I qualified for was lunch on The Orient Express!
What kind of wedding cake did you have at your own wedding?
Oh goodness, John and I got married nearly 14 years ago! With all the detail that goes into weddings now we sometimes feel like we didn’t get married at all!! My mum’s friend makes cakes so she made our wedding cake! It was 3 separate tiers with sugar flowers on top of each tier on a swan stand!
“How much should I expect to pay for a professional wedding cake?”
Every wedding cake is different, depending on design, number of guests and where the venue is. We offer complimentary tastings and consultations where we run through exactly what’s included and there is obligation to book. Brides and grooms can also enquire via email etc if preferred.
“When should I order my wedding cake and how much of a deposit will I need?”
You should order your wedding cake as soon as you have booked your venue. You don’t need to pick final design or flavours at this stage but it will mean your date is secured. At the moment our deposit is £50, this will rise to £100 in October.
“Is delivery and set up included in your pricing?”
Yes we include delivery and set up in our pricing! We want our brides & grooms to not have any added stress on their big day so we like to take care of this by delivering the cake on the day.
“How much cake will we need to serve our guests?”
One of our 3 tier cakes will cater for approx 150 guests, however if you need more or less cake we can of course cater for this.
“We are having a smaller wedding but still want the WOW factor cake, what can we do?”
We use dummy tiers so you can go for a larger cake but we can provide you with enough cake to cater for your numbers (which can be cut in the your venue’s kitchen and given out, no one will ever know!).
“Our older guests will expect to be offered traditional fruitcake (but we don’t like it), should we order it?”
It’s entirely up to you as it’s your day! We would recommend rather than pick it as one of your main flavours just add a small slab to keep everyone happy! Ours is especially yummy!
“One of our guests is gluten intolerant, what can we offer them?”
We can either do a gluten free cupcake for them or you can have one of your flavours gluten free.
“I have no idea what design I would like, can you help design our cake?”
Yes, all we need is colours, style of dresses, invites and general theme and we can come up with something to tie everything together.
“I have seen a cake on Pinterest that I like, can you make the same one?”
Yes we can certainly come up with something similar, however every cake designer is different so it will never be identical.
“What flavours do you offer? (And what’s your most popular flavour?)”
We have a huge list of flavours, our most popular at the moment would be raspberry & white chocolate, Chocolate Guinness & lemon. (We can verify that both the Chocolate Guinness and raspberry & white chocolate cake are fab!)
“Can we choose more than one flavour?”
Absolutely, infact we encourage it! If you’re having a 3 tier cake, choose 3 different flavours, it will give your guests plenty of choice!
That’s all from Gemma but make sure to check out her Facebook, Instagram, Website , Youtube and Snapchat (username: gemmascakes). We would highly recommend following Gemma on Snapchat as she is hilarious!