A FAMILY run bespoke celebration cake business which has been operating from the family’s home for the last three years has expanded to incorporate the supply of cake making ingredients to members of the public in its new premises in Rothienorman.
To mark the occasion of the opening of ‘Cake Affair’ last week, Jenny Robertson, who runs the business with husband Mark and daughter Jemma (25) devised a cake design competition in conjunction with Fyvie Primary School.
The children, from the nursery school up to P7 were all invited to design their dream birthday cake.
Jenny said: “It wasn’t necessarily the quality of drawing that really mattered, it was the new and fresh ideas that we were looking for regarding design.”
Judging took place before the shop opened by a panel of four who were Fyvie School head mistress, Elisabeth Irvine, Dianne Watt, chair of the Parent Council and Jenny and Mark Robertson of Cake Affair.
Continuing, Jenny said: “We were looking for one winner initially. In the end the pictures were so fantastic that we settled for an overall in the junior section (Nursery to P4) and a second winner in the senior section (P5-P7).
“We also settled for three winners from each year resulting in 21 winners, but the two overall winners were the VIP’s that officially opened the shop.
We were absolutely amazed at the standard. Some of the drawings must have taken hours – thinking about their design and putting their idea on paper – and it wasn’t just the older ones, it was the younger ones as well. They demonstrated a huge amount of talent.”
The 21 winners each received a cup cake in a presentation box and a certificate and the two overall winners, Lea Walsh (Junior P3/4) for her toadstool design and Ciaran Knight (P7) for his joker design each will receive a bespoke birthday cake made to their design, on their birthday this year.
In addition to individual prizes, the school also received a cheque in the sum of £100 which Mrs Irvine confirmed has purchased a trophy which will be awarded for art and design competitions on an annual basis.
Jenny added: “The children have been really enthusiastic. It has been so inspiring. The children that won displayed a natural talent – it was amazing that all this talent has been unleashed.”
Explaining that the shop was not meant to expand the celebration cake making side of the business which was operating to capacity already, Jenny said the idea was to encourage people to make their own cakes with the front retail part of the shop selling all cake-making ingredients and she said “my husband Mark, daughter Jemma and I are all on hand to give advice.
We are a small family business working in our own locality. We feel very strongly that our business is community based and that it must remain that way.”
Fyvie School head teacher, Liz Irvine said: “We set the task for the whole school from nursery right through to P7. The fact that the prize was a birthday cake made to their own design was a motivating tool – and the children made a huge effort.
The work was most imaginative and the designs were numbered, not named, so the judging was blind. It was very, very successful and it was difficult to come to just one winner. The standard was very high and it took us a huge amount of wrist-wrenching to come to a conclusion.
“All in all it was a superb task for the children who did really excellent work.
The older kids used research tools to research what was possible in cake making, to come to their design decision.
“Because it was so successful, we made the decision to use the £100 that Cake Affair kindly donated - we thought it apt to provide a trophy to reproduce the kind of skill Jenny had brought to the children through the competition.”