Tag Archives: cookies and cakes

A Cupcakery Update My Life 18 OCT 2013

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:

Chantelle's Cupcakery Business Card

(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.

chantelle's cupcakery high heel cupcakes

Putting on my Sales Cap for Chantelle’s Cookies and Cakes My Life | Personal Musings 11 MAY 2012

So Chantelle’s Chantelle’s Cookies & Cakes baking business venture has been running for more than a couple of months now, and pleasingly it is going quite well, especially after we discovered the world of food markets through which to sell her produce. (No more wasted effort in printing flyers and trudging from postbox to postbox in the wee hours of the morning in the hopes of drumming up business for this old horse any more!)

Of course, this really is no surprise considering just how HUGELY talented Chantelle is when it comes to food, baking and of course decorating!

Unfortunately we’re not making a huge amount of profit just yet, certainly not enough for her to quit her day job and move into baking full-time (the ultimate goal of this plan), but the profit that we are making is most definitely a very welcome (and desperately needed!) added income stream for the Lotter’s monthly budget.

Like I mentioned above, at the moment our primary sales come through the stall at the Willowbridge Slow Food Market which is held every Saturday at the open air Willowbridge Mall, with trading from 09:00 in the morning to 14:00 in the afternoon.

Because of Chantelle’s shift work at the guest house, she can currently do a market every second weekend, which means that for two weeks of every month, Chantelle is faced with the daunting task of working pretty much 15 hour days for five days of the week, mixing the baking and packaging in with her regular work at the guest house.

So not to beat around the bush here, but quite frankly she needs a helping hand (and because we need the money, we can’t just quit this, and do in fact need to be able to service more markets), meaning that I have decided to don my hitherto untested salesman’s cap, roll up my sleeves and dive in head first to assist my wife in making her baking venture a success!

As it turned out, last weekend was my first taste of Cookies & Cakes life as I squeezed myself into the kitchen on Friday night, working alongside Chantelle in packaging and getting everything ready for Saturday morning’s early departure.

Of course, Chantelle won’t let me behind the oven just yet, but based on how impressed she was with my assistance on the night, I can’t see how she’ll manage to keep me away from the actual baking for too long! ;)

That of course meant that Saturday was my trial by fire, and half-way through the day’s trading, I pitched up in Bellville with Jessica, dropped her off with Monty and Rob for safekeeping, and then proceeded to Willowbridge where I relieved Cheryl and tagged in next to my wife, knocking the socks off both Cheryl and Chantelle as I exhibited my previously repressed natural charm and ability to sell, making an absolute killing at the table in the process!

Needless to say, after doing such a fabulous job and selling a hell of a lot of cake, I got the job, which means that tomorrow if you happen to be hanging around Willowbridge between 09:00 and 14:00, you’ll find yours truly (along with Cheryl), manning the fabulous Chantelle’s Cookies & Cakes stall.

And yes. It really is the perfect little gift to pick up for Mother’s Day come Sunday! ;)

Upcoming Fight: Chantelle versus Willowbridge Slow Market My Life 08 MAR 2012

There’s a reason that I have no space in my fridge for my beer.

That’s because my fridge is filled to the brim with all manner of chocolate truffles, turkish delight, chocolate cake, etc. You see, Chantelle is gearing herself up for her very first appearance at a food market, namely the Willowbridge Slow Market this coming Saturday, 10 March 2012. The market runs from 09:00 in the morning until 14:00 in the afternoon, and from what I’ve been told it is usually well worth attending.

Of course, now that Chantelle is exhibiting her tasty wares there, it is imperative for one and all to attend – there really is no excuse unless you live hundreds of kilometres away. :P

So seriously, come and support us on Saturday – we’ll love to see your faces (and hopefully convince you to buy something!)

Oh, and if you want to learn more about the Willobridge Slow Market itself, visit the website here.

Taken from the site: “The Willowbridge Slow Market conveniently brings together a variety of fine foods and wines. You will experience an ancient way of shopping in a modern context. No long cold storage is used to bring foods to market, no chemicals are used in their production, no excessive food miles are wasted and no doubtful production methods are employed. Customers have a chance to taste food before they buy it and bargaining and swapping of recipes is the order of the day. By trading the food grown on the urban edges the Fresh Goods market is aiming to make the food chain more sustainable and environmentally sensitive. All foods are fresh seasonal and locally grown making them simple, nourishing and delicious.”

Right, so it’s a deal then? See you Saturday! :)

Chantelle’s Cookies and Cakes versus the Ants My Life 22 FEB 2012

Shame, I felt so sorry for poor Chantelle on Monday morning, after we woke up only to discover that overnight, a hungry horde of ants had descended upon the giant, moist, chocolate box cake that she had baked the previous evening for an order due to be delivered on Monday evening.

We are experiencing such a mission in terms of ant infestations this summer, and to be honest, it is so bad that you can’t leave anything remotely resembling food anywhere without a pack of ants starting their tell-tale supply line in the time it takes you to look away and then look back again! Of course with Jessica, full out insect poisoning won’t work, so for now it is defending the best we can, even if that means creating baby powder rings around all food items left outside of the fridge overnight, including the cat’s pellets (which of course results in quite cute and funny little white footprints appearing all over the house the next morning!).

Anyway, with the cake completely covered in ants and obviously a write-off (I cried a little as that big, delicious cake slid off into the black refuse bin), a new one had to be both baked and then iced and decorated – all before Monday evening’s delivery due date!

Impossible you might think, but not so. The cake was completed and delivered on time, much to the amazement (and ravenous joy) of the birthday recipient! (And as it stands, this marks Chantelle’s Cookies and Cakes first order to be generated thanks to the laminated A4 notice placed on our home’s outside wall!)

And of course, where would we be without some photographic evidence of the completed rescue cake? ;)

Looking into Food Markets: Hathersage Farm Market My Life 06 FEB 2012

Outside of our Kirstenbosch family picnic, visits with both Ouma and Oupa, and then Evan, Natasha and Evalynne, the other thing we slotted in two weekends ago was a trip through to Hathersage Farm, situated in Somerset West and host to “The Marketplace“, a local goods market that is held every second Sunday on the farm grounds.

Currently looking into possible places to try and market Chantelle’s Cookies & Cakes, local goods, or food markets if you will, is actually a pretty smart choice for something like our treats, because people are more likely to pick up on something that they can see and taste in front of them, and then hopefully make the purchase which in turn will set the juggernaut that is word of mouth rolling.

Hathersage has a fantastic vibe to it as people picnic outside under the shade of this huge tree behind the farm house, with a good selection of local goods stalls dotted around the grounds. Music flows freely into the air, and often you’ll get an impromptu performance from a marimba band or even the local Taiko drumming group as extra entertainment.

Now for the section most interesting to us – the food segment! All of the food stalls at Hathersage are hosted in the farm house itself, creating a bustling hub of activity as people cram in around all the little stalls while the salespeople do their best to get their product noticed. Everything from pies to waffles, sandwiches to homemade sorbet are available for purchase, and as a whole it is a pretty exciting little spot.

However, and it is a big however, the fact that all the food stalls are indoor presents a considerable problem for me as the heat generated inside is pretty high, meaning chocolate covered goods like my truffles and Turkish delight would simply not hold – and getting a stall outside would be pointless because a) the foot traffic outside is a lot less and b) the people know to go inside to buy food goods.

So despite the delicious food we ate and the time we spent lazing in the shade and soaking in the vibe, it looks like Hathersage Farm won’t be right for Chantelle’s Cookies and Cakes after all.

One of the first local goods markets that we visited, Lourensford Farm Market (which is also in Somerset West) is still in the running, but their rather slow and lackluster response to our various queries and slightly stringent appearance agreement means they certainly aren’t at the top of the pile. On the other hand, Willowbridge Market at the Willowbridge Shopping Mall in Durbanville is not looking too bad at the moment – despite the fact that they are the most expensive to exhibit at and are situated 50 km away from our center of operations!

Hey, what we need now is foot traffic, and after all, they seem to have that in droves…

(Anyway, for more photos of our little excursion to Hathersage, click here.)

Chantelle’s Cookies and Cakes My Life 14 DEC 2011

So a little earlier this month, wifey Chantelle got her game on and went ahead and launched her homemade treats as gifts business (just in time for Christmas!), which I then went and duly dubbed Chantelle’s Cookies and Cakes after deciding that she needed a website to support her new venture.

So why Chantelle’s Cookies and Cakes as a name then? One, it describes pretty accurately what Chantelle is doing and two, her previous venture back when she was fresh and just starting out had been called Chantelle’s Cuisine, so this just seemed kind of apt.

Pleasingly, she seems to like it.

She’s already taken a couple of orders which is pretty exciting, and after being “forced” to do some quality assurance after I convinced her she needs to make trial batches in order to get the pricing right and so that I could get some pictures for the site, I’m happy to announce that if you have a sweet tooth or are keen on giving someone something pretty awesome this festive season (or any other time for that matter), then you should certainly give Chantelle a shout at chantelle@cookiesandcakes.co.za!

So far the pricelist includes such decadent delights as chocolate truffles, chocolate-dipped turkish delight, chocolate brownies, real butter shortbread, peanut butter cookies and outydse soetkoekies.

And yes, I can indeed vouch for them all in terms of quality and taste! ;)

So yeah, now you know.

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(And for the record, the website is coming along quite nicely, though there are still a lot of tweaks and whatnot I need to give it under the hood before I’m completely happy with it. But at least it is up and running, populated and ready to inform, just as a website should be!)

Related Link: http://www.cookiesandcakes.co.za