The garden may seem an unusual place to be at the heart of a business, but for Lucy's wedding cakes, it is where it all begins. Lucy provides handcrafted quality vegan wedding cakes, but in an attempt to educate the everyday customer about animal welfare, she also provides wedding cakes with an unusual twist. The garden is home to Lucy's flock of chickens (all rescued ex-battery hens), and it is the fresh eggs laid by these hens that are essential to the quality of her non-vegan cakes. “When the egg is fresher, the air stays in it when you whisk it up,” explains Lucy, “so this is a great selling point for couples, and allows me to teach them about the egg industry, and the price animals are paying for our current fast food attitude.”
It was the amazing birthday cakes concocted by her grandparents when she was growing up that inspired Lucy to start making cakes herself, and now having moved into Veganism, it has the added bonus of doing good at the same time. “Having spent many happy hours in the kitchen with my grandmother, baking has always held a certain element of delight and fascination for me, says Lucy. “Years on from those beautiful memories, sugarcraft still holds that same magic.”
Handcrafted quality vegan wedding cakes
As she began to plan, Lucy knew that she wanted there to be plenty of scope for creative in-put, not just from herself, but also from her customers. She gets a real buzz listening to brides' thoughts and ideas and turning them into reality, and is always up for a new challenge. “With our combined ideas and visions we have come up with some exciting designs,” she says. “I really enjoy the experimental approach that this requires, and the fact that as a result, every cake is unique and individual.”
But while every cake is meticulously hand made to specification, Lucy was determined that bespoke does not have to mean unaffordable. She is happy to work to a budget, and regards it as all part of the friendly and approachable way that she likes to run her business. “Whenever someone contacts the company, it is always me that they will speak to,” promises Lucy.
What Lucy tries to achieve is not just cakes which are delicious and beautifully designed, but also cakes which are made and delivered in the most ethical way possible. She bought a Smart car, so that transporting the cakes to their destination could be done with minimal environmental impact. “It presents an interesting challenge when it comes to a wedding fayre,” laughs Lucy, “trying to fit all my cake dummies in such a small car is not easy.” She is a keen recycler and never buys plastic that can't be recycled if she can help it. The chickens consume any suitable edible waste, and of course Lucy's family are only too happy to help recycle the off-cuts from the cakes.
As well as caring for the environment, Lucy also lavishes care on her hens. She now has ten of them, all acquired from the British Hen Welfare Trust. They are in a sorry state when they arrive, and petrified of humans. Lucy nurses them back to health, but it takes a long time to gain their confidence. “It's such a lovely bond of trust when you succeed, and nothing can beat it,” enthuses Lucy. “They all have their own personalities, and follow you around like lost puppies. At the end of a long day, they really lift your spirits and make you smile.”
As for the future? “It is this love for the artwork behind every bake which I hope to be able to pass on to others of the younger generation through my work,” says Lucy. “I have been just thrilled at the reception my cakes have received, and can’t wait to continue spreading the word about animal welfare and the impacts our purchases have on others..”