Days off school baking with grandma were the recipe for success for one Blackpool woman who switched careers to become an award winner.
Katie Haskett from Cleveleys has been named in the top 100 women entrepreneurs nationally in the #ialso Top 100 competition run by the f:Entrepreneurs organisation which aims to promote women in business.
Mum of one Katie, who now lives in Leeds, picked up the award for her cakes shop in the historic Kirkgate Market in the city.
The former Norbreck and Montgomery High pupil had always had an ambition to have her own business, but the journey has been a roundabout route.
Katie, 34, said: “I studied drama art and film at Blackpool sixth because my parent wanted me to do A-Levels but I was not really that keen and later I took a year out and worked for a year at Pizza Hut.
“I realised that was not for me so i went back to college studying fashion and textile and then went to Uni in Preston. I then trained as a teacher and taught for many years ending up in Yorkshire.
“But I have always enjoyed baking, I used to bake with my Grandma when I was off school in Blackpool.
“It was always a pipe dream to have my own cakes business”
Katie’s son Noah, five, has autism and so Katie gave up work to look after him and used the break as a chance to start her own business.
“I worked one day a week at the market selling things I baked at home.
“I later did crowd-funding and was lucky enough to reach my target of £1,000 to put a deposit down on a shop unit at the market.”
Katie’s shop Kakes and Bakes was nominated for the award and the range of cakes and its specialisation in vegan and gluten free cakes helped her win.
“My motto is ‘everyone need to eat cake’ and my nephew who is coeliac inspired me to make gluten free cakes.
“People kept coming in and asking for vegan bakes, the idea is that people should not even know they are vegan. “Now I supply other cafes who want the vegan and gluten free cakes.
“It is great to receive the recognition.
“It is hard running your own business, especially as a single mum whose child has a disability and the award has opened up new opportunities and allowed me to meet other business people to compare notes.
“Apart from juggling the family, many female entrepreneurs don’t just do one thing so the theme of the award, #ialso, is very appropriate.”
The f:entrepreneur Campaign and #ialso awards were set up by entrepreneur Michelle Ovens MBE to celebrate the dynamic and inspirational businesses led by women in the UK.