With Jappacakes your wedding cake is guaranteed to become a cherished memory you’ll treasure forever.
Cake designer Laura Japp started her highly successful Jappacakes business as a bit of an experiment.
“I was made redundant from my admin job when I was five weeks pregnant,” she explains. “I tried to get another job but wasn’t very successful. I had been trying to find someone to make a birthday cake for my son’s birthday and couldn’t find anyone local so decided to make it myself.”
Laura had always baked but hadn’t used fondant icing much. Undetered, she created a fabulous three-tier birthday cake which was such a success her friends started asking her to make cakes for their children too.
“So, pregnant, I decided to see if I could sell cakes to bring in a bit of cash until I could find a ˜proper job’ when my baby was old enough,” she says.
She registered as a sole trader with environmental health, sorted insurance and updated her food hygiene certificates.
By the time her son was born in April 2013 she had the Jappacakes Facebook page and had secured a few orders.
The name, she admits, started as a bit of a joke. “My husband Stephen’s nickname was Jappacakes,” says Laura. “When I first started discussing names I asked friends and family for name suggestions and jokingly suggested Jappacakes myself.
Everyone loved it! I think if I had known how well my business would take off I may have come up with something a bit better!”
A PERSONAL TOUCH
Laura and Stephen married abroad six years ago and their own wedding cake was a “mushy pile of sponge and cream” that they don’t even have a photo of.
However, when it comes to her customers’ cakes she gets really invested in their big day to deliver the cake of their dreams.
“We love to get to know our brides and grooms,” she says. “No one wants Jappacakes to be successful more than I do, and I feel the way to achieve that is by going above and beyond for our couples and ensuring we are always on hand whenever they need us. We cover all the bases with excellent customer service, the best quality ingredients, attention to every detail and a fantastic range of flavours. Nothing is too much for our couples and we do not cut corners.”
Laura draws inspiration from magazines and industry professionals’ social media, but also from the couples themselves.
“Some of them have amazing vision and know exactly what they want and it’s my job to turn that vision into reality.”
Couples who book Jappacakes to create their dream wedding cake can be assured that they are in complete control of the process.
“I always let them take the lead,” says Laura. “Some don’t want a lot of contact and some like to be in frequent contact.
“Some like to organise everything via email and some like to meet face to face. I’m very flexible and everyone always gets samples and the cake of their dreams so it works well.”
You can contact Jappacakes via phone, email or Facebook or at an exhibition. Laura takes bookings at exhibitions, via email or she’ll arrange for you to come in for a consultation.
Everyone who books gets to try all of the company’s flavours and after fine-tuning the couple will finalise the design eight weeks before the wedding date.
“Usually by that time I have a good feel for what their wedding is going to look like and know what their tastes and styles are,” adds Laura. “Then I contact the venue directly to arrange delivery and set-up.”
MOMENTS TO TREASURE
Laura loves working in the Scottish wedding industry as she gets to visit so many amazing venues.
“The scenery is incredible!” she smiles.
“I got married abroad as we didn’t want a big wedding or a reception but I’m glad I tied the knot before I was part of the Scottish wedding industry because it would be impossible for me to pick from the venues, photographers, venue dressers and stationers that I’ve had the privilege to get to know in the last few years.”
And for a woman who doesn’t even have a picture of her own wedding cake, Laura loves pouring over her happy customers’ cake-cutting photos.
“I know that couple are going to treasure that photo forever and it’s such an honour that my work is such a huge part of that,” she says. “I have an album on Facebook of cake-cutting pictures.”
One particular stand-out moment though was when Laura got to create a special cake for a couple through Gift a Wedding, the charity that gives people with terminal or life-threatening conditions a beautiful wedding day.
“Sadly the groom passed away a few days after the wedding,” she explains. “I’m so glad we could help in a small way, to give the groom a wonderful wedding day and to give the bride some memories she will cherish forever.
It was a very humbling experience and I think of the couple often.”
MY DREAM JOB
While Laura stumbled into her work almost by accident it’s definitely the dream job she never knew she wanted!
“It fell into my life when I needed something to pass the time and I love it so much I’ve made a full-time career out of it,” she says.
The future is looking really good for Jappacakes and Laura’s love for her job keeps her pushing for bigger and better things.
“We have our wee Jappavan and we will be looking at new premises hopefully late next year or early 2020 when my youngest is at school,” she says. “We have had part-time staff and I’m going to advertise a new position soon to help with baking and cleaning through the busy wedding season.
I’m very keen to expand but I’m also wary of compromising on our quality.
I take great pride in knowing that every cake delivered is to the standard expected by our customers and I would never change that in order to secure more business.”