Q&A with Alexandra from The Pastry Corner

February 22, 2022 | Hampshire Wedding, Wedding cake

Today we hear from Alexandra from The Pastry Corner, she’s on track to provide 100+ wedding cakes this year so she knows a thing or two about what’s happening in the cake world…

Q. Hi! Firstly I’d love to hear about your background and how you got to where you are today?

A. It all started in my grandma and mum’s kitchen, making jam tarts and cupcakes. Then I studied at Highbury College and Southdown College, before getting my first job at L’Ortolan restaurant (Michellen star). This is where I learnt what a kitchen environment is really like. I was then lucky enough to get a job at Le Papillon Patisserie which is where I switched from just loving patisseries to also learning about creating wedding cakes. After my time there I became head chef at little coffee shop in Lee-on-Solent (The Tea Party). It was here I really started to grow and develop my business on the side. Before long I was asking to go part time, and then giving up the pay check altogether to focus solely on The Pastry Corner.

Q. Where do you get your ideas/inspiration for your bakes?

A. It mainly starts with pen and paper, and a little bit of Pinterest. We follow a lot of the wedding trends to find out the next in colours and styles, before we put pen to paper, and the creative juices flow.

Q. I saw on Insta you’re aiming to do 100 wedding cakes this year. That’s insane. How do you manage that practically alongside your Southsea shop?

A. So we have actually just done this. We have 102 wedding cakes booked in now for 2022, along with also full catering for weddings. I manage it by having a great team behind me… and super time management!

Q. Talk to us about Tropical Carrot Cake! (Yes I have been scrutinising your Insta feed!) Is this a popular flavour for 2022?

A. Tropical carrot cake is the new fruit cake of weddings. The tradition of fruit cake sadly died out a few years ago but some people still want that traditional element. This is a great way to put a modern twist on it. I’m getting married in a couple of months and I have created a roasted pecan and salted caramel carrot cake for my big day.

Q. What trends are you seeing for wedding cakes for the next couple of years?

A. Buttercream, lots of whitened buttercream, with coloured ombré through the bottom tiers. That, and I also see cupcakes making a comeback in 2023/24, alongside more cake tables.

Q. How do you stay on top of the trends?

A. Mainly chatting to my couples. Hearing what real people want for there wedding definitely gives me more guidance than the social media world.

Q. I love the clean design of your shop. It has such a chic, contemporary feel. Where did you get your inspiration for the shop design, colours etc?

A. During lock down I rebranded with a company called Think Creative in Winchester. They helped develop my colour palette and design for my business. I am fortunate to be engaged to an architect who helped with the layout of the premises. Once I could see the layout I just had fun picking out all the details. We’re currently redesigning the shop at the moment and adding more shelving, then we can offer more delicious goodies for our customers.

Q. Do you enjoy watching baking programmes? Might we see you on Bake Off one day?

A. I have toyed with the idea of one day entering Bake Off The Professionals. I like how the professionals is more about a team effort. I sadly don’t get much time to watch the baking shows, although I do try and find out what the challenges are so we can offer it in the shop that week.

Q. I heard you’re getting married yourself this year. Congrats! The obvious question – what cake are you having and are you making it yourself?

A. Yes we are making my cake. I will be doing the main cake myself  a couple of days before, and then my team will be creating the cake table items the day before, so I will get some surprises on the day. There is going to be so much cake at my wedding, its insane! From macaroons to chocolate-dipped strawberries. All in a teal/watercolour theme.

Q. Finally, what does the future hold for The Pastry Corner?

A. I am hoping for more of the same as the last year. I am so proud of what I achieved during lockdown. I am looking forward to seeing the shop how I want it, and sharing lots of delicious goodies with the south coast. Who knows, if it keeps going the way it is, maybe a second shop one day…

www.thepastrycorner.co.uk

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