My cake-athon - Planned to Go Back to Work in March 2010

by Jenny

working on the dough

working on the dough

I am a 33-year-old mum, Jenny, who started my maternity leave in August 2009 and had my little girl, Anna, in late September.

I had planned to go back to work in March 2010 but my situation changed dramatically following the birth of my baby girl! When Anna was around two weeks old (and sleeping long, not anti-social hours) I decided to spend my spare time baking (between feeds).

Armed with my trusty Kenwood chef and a handful of tried and tested recipes I embarked on something of a cake-athon, much to the delight of my husband. It progressed from there really – my husband took some of my efforts into his work for his work colleagues to sample and luckily for me the wife of one of his colleagues has a small cafe in the local area.

He suggested I send on some samples to his wife who liked what she tasted! I have to say that the idea wasn't to start my own business but it has steadily evolving into that. I now bake a selection of cakes every other day for her cafe and, although this is strictly on a part time basis, I hope to canvas another local business in the near future.

The hardest parts to setting this business up were organising hygiene certification (I operate from home) and filling out all the legal/tax forms and working around feeds of course and calculating how much I pay for ingredients and electricity, and how much I can justifiably charge for each cake!

I am fortunate in that I enjoy baking and when I am baking there are lots of periods where I am sitting just waiting for cakes to come out of the oven so I get time to do household chores, feed, change and cuddle Anna. Besides which, my house always smells delicious!

If you feel like trying something new and seeing more of your child/children I would definitely recommend trying to set up your own business. I know some municipalities have start up grants available for ambitious ventures – for me there wasn't a great deal of start up costs required, but I know that I will need to consider this more when I expand (particularly in terms of marketing, labelling and packaging costs).

I think having my own business 'baby' has really made me feel more confident. I have my own income and a sense of independence and yet I get to spend time with Anna. I can't ask for more than that out of life....

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