Interview With: Beth Mottershead
Company Name: Cakes by Beth
How did Cakes by Beth get started and how long has the business been going?
Cakes by Beth started as a simple Facebook group, which I created to showcase my cakes to friends, family and anyone who was interested. A good friend of mine suggested I started a blog about my cakes, so I did, but quickly I wanted more. My website officially launched in May 2010 so Cakes by Beth has recently celebrated its first birthday!
Have you always wanted to make cakes for a living?
I have always loved baking, but growing up I didn’t even realise that people could make a living from the kind of things that I now do, unless you were famous like Jane Asher or owned a bakery, and to do that I thought you had to grow up in one. At school I was very good at science and art, but overall the science prevailed and that is what I went on to study. It was during my PhD that I decided to make my first 3D novelty cake (a surprise Oscar the Grouch birthday cake for my brother). I absolutely loved creating it and the reaction I got was amazing. So the story of my cakes began.
Can you remember how old you were when you made your first cake?
It is a running joke in my family that whenever I baked anything I would go above and beyond with the level of detail and amount of effort. I remember decorating apple pies, jam tarts and all sorts of baked items as quite a young child, all with pictures and details on top created out of pastry. It took me hours and I used to take over the whole kitchen. The first time I remember decorating a birthday cake was in my early teens for my dad’s birthday. It was a pond with little fat frogs sitting on lily pads. This was also in the days before digital cameras, and unfortunately when we got the film developed all of the images of it were blurred. I was devastated.
What type of cakes do you make?
I create bespoke cakes and cupcakes for special occasions; from weddings to birthdays, christenings and corporate events. I also offer a range of cake pops and cookies which, along with cupcakes and mini cupcakes, make fantastic edible wedding favours. Everything is made from quality ingredients, locally sourced and fair-trade wherever possible, and hand-crafted with the utmost care and attention to detail.
What sets Cakes by Beth apart from other cake makers?
When I design cakes, my aim is always to make them clean and contemporary but with an interesting twist and something that makes them stand out. I get so many fantastic reactions from people who say that my cakes are something different that they have never seen before. That is definitely my aim, to create cakes that are modern but still sticking to a lot of traditional values. I currently find that my designs featuring clusters of blossoms and edible vintage brooches are particularly popular.
I am also an ethical wedding supplier, not only in the ingredients that I use but in my pricing. I don’t believe in hidden charges and price hikes just because the word ‘wedding’ is mentioned. I pride myself on a personal, good value service with cakes that will exceed your expectations and fit perfectly with your special day.
What’s the best thing about your job?
As much as I absolutely love creating all of the details and decorations for my cakes and seeing the whole thing come together, the absolute icing on the cake (so to speak) would have to be the moment when the cakes or cupcakes are first seen by their intended recipients. It is an absolutely magical moment and a great feeling, knowing that I have made their day extra special by creating something personal to them that is also delicious.
Does Cakes by Beth have a specialist area?
As well as beautiful, contemporary wedding cakes, I also make excitingly different novelty cakes, which was where Cakes by Beth started and is still a major part of my business. People come to me particularly for my 3D creations and cute, fat animals. They are fantastic for children’s birthday parties, but a lot of big kids order them as well!
Do you have a favourite cake that you have made?
This is really tough as I have so many favourites! Can I select two? These would be the Palm House wedding cake, which I created for a wedding in Sefton Park. The decorations were inspired by the exotic plants at the venue, as well as the bridesmaids’ dresses and the bride’s bouquet. It all looked absolutely stunning.
My other favourite is a cupcake tower that I created for an Islamic engagement party. There was a huge stage, beautifully decorated in reds, creams and golds and so the cakes reflected this. It is really dramatic and different to have a gold cake, and with the gold cupcake cases and gold and red flowers I was absolutely in love with the way everything looked together.
Random question…Strawberries or raspberries?
Raspberries, definitely. They are so fruity and go with so many different flavours, I love them. People tend to think that chocolate and strawberries is a classic combination but I much prefer chocolate and raspberries, or raspberries and lemon. Two incredible combinations in cakes.
Where can I find out more about Cakes by Beth?
To find out more about my work and to view lots of photos of cakes, please visit my website www.cakesbybeth.co.uk. I am also on Facebook Cakesbybeth Manchester and on Twitter @Cakesbybeth.
I also have a promotional video created by the fantastic Deneemotion HD Wedding Videography, where you can see the gold cupcake tower being created and hear me talk about Cakes by Beth.
Images courtesy of Jenny Purdy Photography and The Vain Photography.
Visit the Cakes by Beth supplier page on The Wedding Community