March Meet the Maker - Part 1
Day 1 - Story
My story started in January 2016 when I started my business, aged just 17, offering sweet cones and cakes, while still studying for my A-Levels and wanting to earn some money and be creative at the same time.
Fast forward to October 2017 and I started experimenting with chocolate and different flavour combinations. Since then I have grown my range of chocolates to include many flavours of bars and truffles alongside many seasonal products too. Now the two products that I offer are cakes and chocolates, but I am determined to prove the people who tried to kick me down wrong.
Day 2 - Hands at Work
I don’t have any photos of my hands at work as chocolate and cake making can be quite messy. However my hands are used quite often when making both cakes and chocolate. Whether it be hand rolling truffles, sprinkling toppings on chocolate bars or hand piping decorations in terms of chocolates. And with cakes it can be rolling, smoothing, lifting one cake onto another or hand cutting decorations or using moulds.
Day 3 - Time
Now time is something that I would always like more of, there never seems to be enough time in the day or week to get everything done. And with having so many ideas swirling around my head, I could work for days just playing with new chocolate flavour combinations or creating new products. And when it comes to decorating cakes they can take anywhere between a few hours to many hours and even days, with making the intricate little flowers and details to go on the cake in advance.
Day 4 - Branding
Some of you will already know that I am changing my business name at the end of this month and I think my new name is more fitting for what I make now and I can’t wait until the 1st April when I can finally tell you all and share my new logo and branding.
However for now, here is my current branding. My logo is on my business cards, flyers and even on stickers which go on each order box.
Day 5 - Close Up
Here is a close up of one of my chocolate orders. I love taking up close photos of my chocolates and sometimes cakes. It means you can really see the details and hopefully also the love that goes into the process of making them. This was a wholesale order of many packs of 4 hearts that all ended up packed in subscription boxes and sent to various destinations.
Day 6 - Reducing Waste
With the current environmental concern and trying to do my bit to help the planet.
I’m in the process of changing all of my packaging over to biodegradable or recyclable packaging. So currently all of my chocolate bars, lollies and new small flat egg slabs are in 100% biodegradable packaging.
Day 7 - You
My name is Dale I’m 21 and the proud owner of Pick ‘n’ Mix Parties & Gifts. I have been running my business since I was 17 and since then have seen it grow and my product ranges change and expand.
I love baking for both business and pleasure and ironically also bake to relax. I love trying new recipes and flavours and even inventing my own.Here is a photo of me with Theo Paphitis, collecting my small business Sunday certificate and handing him some cakes and chocolates to say thank you.
Day 8 - Love to Make
This is a hard one as I love to make everything, as if I didn’t love making it then I wouldn’t sell it, as it wouldn’t be made with the love and attention to detail as everything else.
But I suppose if I had to pick just 1 chocolate products and 1 cake it would have to be these.
I love making my chocolate shoes and this one has to be my favourite celebration cake to date.
Day 9 - Rough/Mock up
Here is a photo of some of my cake drawings that I have done. Now I’m a far better cake decorator than drawer, but sometimes a visual representation is needed to show a customer or just to get in my head what it needs to look like in the end. I also work with customers to design their perfect cake which is bespoke to them.
Day 10 - Authentic Space
So my space isn’t very special but here is one of my favourite pieces of equipment in my workspace.
I couldn’t make the cakes I do without this amazing mixer, which allows me to make large batches at a time.
But I would love to have my own space where I could work from one day and I have big dreams for the future, so I'm sure I will be able to get there in the future.
All images and content are copyright by Dale Patrick-Evans, owner of Pick 'n' Mix Parties & Gifts.