I recently caught up with Judith Bond who joins us today to tell us all about her cake business. Judith is a bespoke Cake Maker from North Wales and is the owner of Judith Bond Cakes based in Llandudno. As well as Wedding cakes, Judith specialises in celebrations, cupcakes and corporate events and has customers all along the North Wales coast and into Chester. Judith is an enthusiastic photographer and a member of the Welshot Photographic Academy; keen networker belonging to Network She and Mingle for Business; and she loves writing her blog charting her delightful adventures in cake. You can find out more about Judith on her new website www.judithbondcakes.co.uk. Her work has also been published in Cupcake Heaven Magazine.
PJ – Everyone loves cake but when did you first decide to pursue your business venture?
JB -Making cakes is a second career for me. My first career started after watching “Working Girl” and spending 18 years working as an Executive PA across North Wales. It wasn’t quite as glamorous as Melanie Griffith’s life but it was fulfilling and quite challenging. In 2003 I married my Harrison Ford, became Mrs Bond and moved a bit closer to my second career. After a break from work, a friend asked me to make her wedding cake and I knew this was the moment and if I didn’t grab it, it might not come by again. So I said yes, made my first stacked and fully decorated 4 tier wedding cake, and Judith Bond Cakes was born.
PJ – Describe your approach to business in a few words…
JB – From the beginning I was determined to run my business properly and professionally so I am fully registered with a 5* Hygiene Rating. My customers are at the centre of everything I do and I seek to always given them a little bit more than they paid for. I seek to show integrity in my work, be trustworthy in my relationships and honourable in my business dealings. I have always tried to make Judith Bond Cakes stand out from the crowd by showing excellence and innovation in my work.
We are excited to be approaching our 3rd birthday and owe a big debt of gratitude to our loyal customers and friends who have shown real support and encouragement all the way through.
PJ – Describe a typical working day for you…
JB – One of the reasons that I love this job so much is that there simply isn’t a typical day. My work is so varied that every day brings new challenges and opportunities. I might have a long day in the kitchen baking a tiered wedding cake or 300 cupcakes for a conference. The next day might be working in the office writing my blog, processing my photographs and sending out invoices. Evenings are busy too with business networking meetings. I’m a member of Mingle for Business, a brilliant business network across North Wales which I attend as much as I can. My days are structured around cake deadlines and deliveries so every week is different.
PJ – What inspires you?
JB – I’m inspired by so many things – coastal walks; sweet peas, tulips and hellebores; frothy cappuccinos; quiet stays in rural cottages; exploring historic buildings and museums; the colour white; heading out with my camera; great Spanish wine and tapas; the late afternoon sun in Sa Riera and spending time with Mr Bond and our mini dachshund, Henry. I love to write and never go out without a notebook to jot down new flavour combinations or an idea for my next blog.
PJ – If you could make a cake for anyone in the World – who would it be and what would you make them?
JB – I had to think about this question and I suppose the answer should be a celebrity or world leader, or perhaps a royal? But the truth is I have a nephew and niece living in Northern Ireland who I only see a few times a year. I miss most of their birthdays and there is nothing I would love more than to be able to bake and decorate their cake every year. Benjamin will be 17 next month and his cake would be a Star Wars Theme with maple cinnamon sponge. Hannah’s birthday follows in June and this year I think she’d love a MAC Make up Cake, probably Chocolate Fudge.
PJ – Give us 3 cakes that everyone should try…
JB – At Judith Bond Cakes we have a cake menu of 12 distinctive flavours that we offer to our customers for their celebration and wedding cakes and cupcakes too.
First, if you dream of the Italian Riviera when you close your eyes, you should definitely try our Almond Amaretto flavour – nutty almond white sponge covering in luxurious amaretto buttercream topped with crumbled amaretto biscuit.
Next up, everyone’s going mad for Salted Caramel and it’s by far our bestselling flavour – rich chocolate sponge filled with oozy salted caramel sauce swirled with creamy caramel frosting.
Finally, if you order one of our epic chocolate fudge cakes you won’t be sorry. It’s rich but milky at the same time, perfect for chocolate lovers. We use buttermilk which gives it an extra smooth creamy texture. One of my customers called it “epic” and the name kind of stuck.
PJ – Which books/magazines are currently on your bedside table?
JB – To be honest by the time I get to bed, reading is a bit of a struggle. You’d be surprised what a physical job it is when you’re on your feet all day in the kitchen – and some days can be very long! However, I do love reading and if you see me on holiday either by the pool in Spanish Catalonia or tucked up in a cottage on the North Yorkshire Moors, you’ll find a hefty pile of books have travelled with me.
By my bedside you’ll find a copy of ‘Wedding Cakes’, the Squires Kitchen Magazine that I buy myself every month. It’s full of beautiful photographs and keeps me up to date on trends in the cake world.
You’ll find CH Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening – short daily inspirations to keep my life on track and remind me to trust God’s plan for my life.
You might also find a Catalan phrasebook which has been around for a good few years. Despite many years holidaying in this wonderful unspoilt corner of Spain, my language skills have not improved one jot.
PJ – What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received in business?
JB – When I first started out I was given an invaluable piece of advice, which I think of almost every day. When you own a business, you are head of every department and responsible for everything. Focus your valuable time on the aspects of business you enjoy and you’re good at. For the parts you don’t enjoy and are weaknesses, get someone else to do them. So for me I have an accountant so do my tax return, I have an IT specialist to look after my computer and I have a web specialist to look after my website. Everything else I do myself – and enjoy very much.
PJ – What digital and social media channels are exciting you right now?
JB – I have used Facebook for business since I first started out and have an extensive following and good engagement. I get strangely excited about twitter and love the scope and speed that it brings to the business. #NWaleshour is always a highlight of my week where I engage with other local business owners and attend the monthly #tweetups when I can! I find Instragram and Pinterest quite addictive and spend a lots of time collecting ideas and photographs to inspire my cake work.
PJ – Finally – what does the next 6 months hold in terms of the business?
JB – Good question! If you come back to my house on the Great Orme in 6 months I’m hoping you will find me in my Cake Cabin working away in what will be decorating and storage space with an area to meet customers, drink coffee, chat cake and take in the spectacular view across Llandudno Bay. It’s just in the early stages of planning but I’m already beyond excited, so watch this space.