My dad, Ronnie Lötter, hit the big 60 eight days after I hit 36, but seeing as he was first off for a fabulous weekend of golf in George with his social golfing club, we had to wait a good couple of days more until we could enjoy a small family get together in order to celebrate this big milestone with the man himself!
That said, turning 60 wasn’t the only milestone being celebrated – the end of May marked dad’s official retirement, meaning that at long last he could achieve his dream of retiring early, a very exciting prospect for mom and dad both!
To celebrate, Mom organized a braai at their place, with Ryan, Claire, myself and our respective families all present, and with a beautiful warm winter’s day in place, we enjoyed a relaxing afternoon of good food, chatter, and of course cake.
To mark the occasion, Chantelle came up with this fantastic safari-themed two tier cake that pulled in all the important loves in dad’s life, namely the great outdoors, squash and badminton, family, and of course golf.
(I in particular loved the reference to dad’s dead goose – an Egyptian geese that he once accidentally felled on the golf driving range back in the day!)
Obviously everyone had quite a lot of food on the day, which is probably why it was best that we then spent the rest of the afternoon playing it off with some competitive attempts at table tennis. (The games weren’t particularly great, but boy were they fun!)
Happy birthday Dad. Thanks for everything that you did for us as kids, and enjoy your retirement – you certainly deserve it!
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Before Chantelle finally made the decision to wind down her little baking business and its unreliable income in favour of a job back at the guest house where things worked out financially a little better, we toyed about with quite a few ideas on how we could boost Chantelle’s Cupcakery’s profits/business in order to keep it alive as a viable option.
One of the more interesting plans we had was for Chantelle to start offering various cake/baking themed classes under her Chantelle’s Cupcakery banner.
Chantelle settled on Cake Pops as being the best class to start off with (they were super popular at the time), and so to test everything out, we roped in friends Michelle and Natasha to pop in and learn how to make cake pops.
The end result?
Techniques learned, skills taught, and well from the look of it, lots of fun! :)
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Even Teddy Bear and Barbie weren’t going to miss out on this “how to” lesson!
Looking back at it now, it’s kind of a pity that this one didn’t quite work out in the end. That said, having two small kids at home is work enough thank you very much!
Having two kids is expensive. It doesn’t have to be of course – you could just dress them in newspapers and toiletpaper – but needless to say we prefer to be able to give them a little more in life.
Sadly, Chantelle’s Cupcakery hasn’t recovered very well following the loss of the Sacred Ground supplier contract as well as our withdrawal from the food market circuit, and saddled with the heavy debt incurred during the disastrous Stellenbosch Christmas Market debacle at the end of last year (don’t ask, but thanks to poor planning on the event organisers’ part, it was a complete and utter fail) – so needless to say, things have been pretty tight in terms of the Lötter household finances this year.
So much so that Chantelle has finally had her hand forced and has re-entered the job fray, joining up with her old employers Gordon’s Beach Lodge as a part time guest house manager for them (Hello Andy!).
So it is back to the horrible notion of morning and evening shift work, not to mention working over weekends, but what has to be done, has to be done. It just means that I need to up my Daddy skills – looking after one little girl is a breeze. Looking after one little girl and a baby by yourself – not so much.
Anyway, for Chantelle’s Cupcakery it is business as usual (wedding cakes, birthday cakes, cupcakes), but at least now we are guaranteed a little more stable of an income to make up for those times when everyone in the area appears to be on some or other diet…
Chantelle’s Cupcakery starts up again for 2014, kicking things off by manning a stall at the always bustling Willowbridge Slow Food Market on Saturday 25 January, followed by a stall showing at the impossible not to love Century City Natural Goods Market on Sunday 26 January.
So with that in mind, I’ve ripped the rest of this directly from their Facebook event: It’s back! The first Century City Natural Goods Market of 2014 kicks off this weekend giving visitors the chance to eat good, do good, listen good and shop good at the popular summer fair.
Shopping and eating at Cape Town’s premier natural goods market will be accompanied by the sounds of seven-piece country dub band The Suitcase Hearts. The band, with powerful vocalist Ilse Lotz at the fore, will play a set ranging from country to blues, jazz and folk. The rest of the 7 piece band are all stars in their own right and consists of Kyla-Rose Smith on backing vocals and violin, Simon Annet on drums, Doug Armstrong on trumpet, keyboard and effects, Dean Pienaar on bass guitar, Bood Carver on acoustic guitar and Brydon Bolton on electric guitar. (Starting at 11h00).
While adults enjoy the music, children will be thrilled by the exotic animal show by Zoo2You, an animal outreach programme that both entertains and educates. Kids will see farm animals, amphibians, insects, and baby mammals. (Open from 10h00 – 13h00).
Be sure not to miss the ‘Art on the Island’ exhibition of works by Thomas Mulcaire ‘Mirror 2014’ curated by Mirjam Asmal-Dik at the Eco Centre at Intaka Island.
Visitors to Intaka Island can expect a different artist’s studio showcase each month, interactive cultural events such as storytelling sessions or portrait photo studios, and a variety of high-end craft artists too.
While there’s an entertaining menu for visitors, the market gives shoppers time to celebrate the festive side of life with a glass of organic bubbly while browsing around the great selection of quality products and delicious food, kept cool and safe under Bedouin stretch tents created by Dimensions Tents & Structures.
We’re renowned for our food stalls so as always, there are healthy gourmet meals, curries, wraps, salads, samoosas, smoked fish, kudu burgers, biltong, pies, vegetarian, cheeses, beer, champagne, wine, specialty coffees, tea, cakes, cookies, preserves, olives, freshly baked farm breads, confectionary, jams, freshly squeezed juice and smoothies – we’ve got it all!
If you are looking for original gifts, there will be stalls selling crafts and clothing at reasonable prices, or you can spoil yourself with fabulous natural body care products and jewelry.
The on-site clubhouse has seating facilities, and offers coffee, tea and a bar. Visitors can also enjoy boat trips from Intaka Island to Canal Walk.
For the mutt lovers, African Tails will be hosting an adoption day with the cutest brakkies and puppies. Their stunning calendar is also on sale, and makes a wonderful gift.
Summer 2014 market dates:
Sunday 23 February 2014
Sunday 30 March 2014
Sunday 27 April 2014
Trading Hours: 09h00 – 14h00
Location: Central Park, Park Lane in Century City (follow Intaka Island signs)
There is ample and secure parking.
Directions: If you are coming from Cape Town along the N1, take the Sable road turn off, at the top of the off ramp turn left. Follow the road around the bend into Ratanga Rd. Follow Ratanga Road and at the third set of robots, turn right into Century Boulevard. Go over one speed bump, and you will come to a circle, go around the circle, and exit it right (3 o’clock) into Century Way (follow Intaka Island signs). Once in Century Way take your first left into Park Lane
Contact & Enquiries:
Tel/Fax: 021 531 2173
Andrea and Albert recently(-ish) hosted a Lollos-themed birthday party for little Bella who turned three (and when I say Lollos-themed, I mean that they had the actual Lollos costume there – which Jessica absolutely loved to bits mind you. It certainly helps to be in the entertainment industry, that’s for sure!)
Anyway, Andy tasked Chantelle’s Cupcakery with producing a simple cake print box cake for the party, which of course meant that Chantelle immediately turned to me and tasked me with coming up with the image to be sent off to the printers!
Luckily for me, a decent enough in terms of size Lollos image turned up after some deep Google searching, and with a little Photoshop magic, I introduced Lettie to the image and rounded off the remaining bits and bobs to end up with what was rather a colourful cake print:
Just in case you’re not so familiar with Lollos – it’s a kiddies entertainment franchise relatively popular with small Afrikaans kids at the moment – basically Lollos is a friendly alien creature who is learning all about us through his Afrikaans-singing friends. Kind of like an Afrikaans version of Barney the Dinosaur basically.
Anyway, you can grab the large print version here: Download Large Print Version
After the slightly disappointing Doilie Market at D’Aria in Durbanville, followed by the more than a little inconvenient crashing of her car coming home via the R300 on Saturday afternoon, Chantelle and I really needed things to go our way on Sunday if there was to be any hope of salvaging our work weekend – and pleasingly the Century City Natural Goods Market turned out to be a good one!
(Although it didn’t start out that way – I made the awful mistake of handing the cupcakes over to a porter to transport for me without completely thinking it through: sadly he did the transporting via a tilted two wheel trolley, which obviously squished everything up in their containers! The Pina Colada cupcakes were a complete write-off, but thankfully the rest could be saved/salvaged. I wanted to cry, shame, Chantelle did cry!)
Anyway, trade was brisk and Chantelle and I managed to sell most of our stock out over the course of the glorious summer’s day, with the market operating in the usual 09:00 to 14:00 time slot. Loads of people, a great vibe, awesome music (live band was a group of older gentleman performing under the name of Time Flies – what an awesome, awesome party vibe these guys manage to create!), entertainment for the kids (dog trick show, train rides, etc), and best of all (well for Chantelle and myself anyway) – Mom and Dad brought Jessica over for a visit!
(Jessica also had a good adventure this weekend: Saturday with Oupa and Ouma – with a sleepover – and Sunday with Granny and Grandpa!)
So all in all it was a fabulous way to spend a sunny Sunday (and not just because of the fantastic Kudu burger I had for lunch) – even if technically we were working! ;)
This weekend was a pretty hectic weekend for markets, what with Chantelle’s Cupcakery running three separate stalls over the course of Saturday and Sunday!
Saturday played host to our anchor stall at Willowbridge (manned – or I suppose womanned – by Leandra), as well as our first ever stall at the Doilie Market, located on the D’Aria wine estate in Durbanville. To round things off, Sunday played host to our stall at the Century City Natural Goods Market.
Chantelle and I handled the Doilie Market stall and I have to say, I was seriously impressed with the organization of this market. The market assistants were always available if needed, everything was well planned, and the market itself was very well laid out, with plenty of entertainment for both young and old alike. The live music was great, the kids enjoyed the jumping castle and petting zoo, and all in all the atmosphere was really nice – even with the slight breeze that would occasionally whip up over the course of the beautiful sunny day.
Unfortunately for our first Doilie Market though, foot traffic was severely impacted upon thanks to competing markets in the area (Meerendal and Kanonkop all hosted their own little markets), not to mention the Stellenberg Christmas Market and the Fairmont High School Festival that were also happening all on the same day.
Nevertheless, we did okay in terms of sales and in the end, after a visit from Jessica, oupa and ouma (lucky girl got the cutest of yellow dresses out of the deal!), Chantelle and I had a good day out!
(Sadly though, the day didn’t end on the best of notes – on her way home Chantelle crashed her Getz into the back of a bakkie, and to rub salt into the wound, the Stormers went and lost in the Currie Cup final to the Sharks!)
Yesterday Chantelle and her mom took the opportunity to run the Willowbridge Chantelle’s Cupcakery stall, with one of the main reasons for doing this being the unveiling of Chantelle’s newly printed PVC banner to proudly herald her business’ new identity.
The sizable banner was whipped up by the incredibly helpful and efficient team over at Sign-a-Rama in Somerset West, based on my business card layout, which in turn incorporates the gorgeously elegant logo produced by our friends at Branch Designs.
With a little Monty Montgomery ingenuity in terms of providing hooks and a pole to assist in the hanging, I have to say I was pretty proud to see the final result:
Chantelle had the camera with her on the day, so this will give you a good idea of how our now very recognisable stall currently looks:
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So we are now well down the path of Chantelle running her own little baking business from home, meaning that it’s probably about time I give a little update as to how its going.
The most recent big update to come out of the whole thing is of course the name change that’s taken place. Formerly known as Chantelle’s Cookies and Cakes, we’ve rebranded to emerge as Chantelle’s Cupcakery, with an image shift towards being more classy than the old homely appeal that we had pushed in the past.
We roped in our friends at Branch Designs and commissioned this stunning logo from them – which I then promptly went and added to all our official letterheads, posters and business cards:
(Sadly, I’ve been far too busy to even think of getting around to updating the new website, but that will come all in good time. At least the domain and new e-mail address are up and running though.)
In terms of our presence, outside of all the private orders of course, you can still catch our cupcakes, macaroons and cheesecake at the Sacred Ground coffee shop in Franschhoek, and of course at the weekly Willowbridge Slow Market in Durbanville. We’re currently in talks with Fruit & Veg Stellenbosch to get our cupcakes into their little coffee shop, and from this Summer season onwards we’ll be expanding our markets footprint, starting with the Doilie Market at D’Aria Winery in Durbanville, and the Century City Natural Goods Market in Century City. (In fact you can catch us at all three market locations on the upcoming weekend of the 26th October!)
In terms of production, Olga and Chantelle’s mom are now regular hands on deck to assist in all the baking and decorating, and if you pop along to Willowbridge on a Saturday then you’ll see new face Leandra manning our stall (though every now and then we steal her spot because we also love meeting all the people at the market!).
I’ve appointed myself official finance guy of Chantelle’s business and so we’ve spent many tedious nights doing costings and finances in my trusty Google Docs Spreadsheets, the end result being that I can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that Chantelle’s business is at least happily chugging along in the black.
And then of course there is the big Stellenbosch Christmas Market we’ve been accepted to be a part of that is busy looming its ridiculously large head…
So all in all it is good news all around for Chantelle’s Cupcakery! :)
And now you know.