06 Nov 2017
6 years of Vanilla Nova Cake Boutique!
So, this week, Vanilla Nova hits 6 years old (although it’s over seven if you count our previous incarnations). I’ve never been one to share any personal information on our social media because, let’s face it, you’re here for the cakes, and cakes are what we do best! But as we’ve reached this milestone this week, I thought I would pop together a little post about how the Vanilla Nova you know today came to be.
Vanilla Nova came about in 2010 after I decided to stop practicing law and pursue doing something that I love. I started at home, supplying cakes to restaurants in Liverpool under the name “Villanova Cakes”. This went on for a couple of months, until I was hit by terrible health problems that took me out of work for a few months. During this time I met Dave, and we decided to take the cake business to the next level. We changed the name to The Formby Cake Company and took on a small space in a wedding shop in Formby. Whilst it was wonderful and we loved the people we worked with, we knew that we needed a proper bakery. Somewhere we could do more. I found a little shop on Bold Street online, went to see it the following day, and took it on immediately. As we were moving out of the Formby area, we knew that a name change was essential, and as such, Vanilla Nova Cake Boutique was born.
With a set up budget of less than £300, we fitted out our little shop to the best of our abilities and then worked tirelessly to get people through the door. When we opened the doors in 2011, Bold Street was a bustling little road that was jam packed with wedding businesses. We were fortunate enough to quickly make friends with many other wedding suppliers (even other cake shops), people who are now some of our best friends today. Despite being the new kids on the block, we were fortunate enough to become part of a network of suppliers all of whom recommend and pass work to each other. That’s the great thing about the wedding trade in Southport: we genuinely do look after each other.
We hit the ground running and, from day one, we’ve had a steady, consistent client base. We’ve had countless people come in as clients and leave as friends, and as the years have gone on, we’ve had our original wedding clients come back in for Christening and birthday cakes as their families have grown. We’ve made cakes to celebrate their new homes, cakes to celebrate new jobs, even cakes to celebrate successful surgery! It has been an incredible honour and privilege to be that shop, the one that our customers automatically come back to for every big event in their lives. We don’t forget anyone we’ve done a cake for, we bump into you all everywhere: we’re constantly seeing customers out and about in town, in the theatre, even at the airport! We have old customers who pop in for a chat, send us emails letting us know how they’re getting on, and those we stay in touch with on social media. To us, Vanilla Nova has become more than a cake shop, it has become a community of people that we have loved working with and who we love staying in touch with over the years.
As the business grew so rapidly, we moved into the premises next door, doubling the size of our shop. We did get to the point where we were doing 10-12 weddings per week (plus celebration cakes) but we made a conscious decision earlier last year to cut back on the number of weddings we have been taking on. I had reached a point where I was very unhappy that I wasn’t getting to spend as much time with our brides and grooms as I would have liked, so we went back to our 2010 principles, cut down on bookings and focused on people. This has made our job an absolute joy and allowed us to spend more time with our customers, which is just a blast. We are very fortunate to do what we do.
So what does the future hold for Vanilla Nova? Well, if you follow our social media accounts then you’ll know about my alter-ego, The Boho Baker. The Boho Baker is the nom de plume of my recipe writing and development persona away from the shop. Although I’ve been super busy working on the book and working with the lovely people at Booths (the supermarket chain here in the North), this doesn’t affect Vanilla Nova as it has slotted in beautifully alongside the dozens of wedding and celebration cakes we send out every month. In fact, my Boho Baker work is pushing Vanilla Nova towards bigger, bolder things. Things that I (annoyingly), cannot disclose right now, but are going to be utterly amazing.
So, over 1000 weddings and 2000 celebration cakes later, Vanilla Nova is still rocking, rolling, changing and evolving, and it’s all thanks to the thousands of lovely people we’ve had through our doors over the years. We’ve laughed, cried, and celebrated with so many of you since we first opened, and we hope to do so for many years to come. We want to thank everyone for every order, however small, as these are what have made our little shop the success it is today.
Here’s to seven wonderful years, and many more to come.
Thank you. Thank you all.