A talented cake maker is celebrating her very own rags to riches story, after opening her first shop in Southport – and being invited to bake a special cake for the Cinderella pantomime!
Lauren Wickham, owner of The Cake Box at 22 Market Street, is the latest local independent business owner to move into the growing Market Quarter area of the town centre after the official opening of the new look Southport Market this summer.
The Market has been transformed into a new food, drink and events attraction following a £1.4million transformation led by Sefton Council.
Since the market opened, the existing businesses in the area have been joined by exciting new local independent ventures moving into previously empty units including: The Cake Box; Season Coffee, Bar and Kitchen; Urban Attic; and Ewa’s Sewing Room. New owners have now taken over The Coronation pub site on King Street while German Doner Kebab is investing £500,000 into converting the former McDonald’s site on the corner of King Street and Eastbank Street. The area is booming.
Lauren, aged 27, said: “It has been a very successful first few days! It couldn’t have gone any better!
“We had lots of local people at our Grand Opening and it’s been busy since then!
“I’ve had lots of Just Eat orders and great feedback from customers.
“I am now doing crepes in my store, which I expect to be popular.
“I’ve also been invited to do an amazing Cinderella cake for the press launch of the Cinderella pantomime in October!
“I am looking forward to having pictures taken with panto star Claire Sweeney and an advert in the programme.
“I am looking forward to another exciting week!”
Lauren has attracted a huge following since launching her new business last year, after being furloughed from her job as a beauty therapist when the Covid pandemic hit the UK.
She has been helped along the way by her chief taster – her daughter, Hazel.
Lauren said: “The opening of the new Southport Market definitely inspired me to move to Market Street, as it’s such a busy area with all new eateries.
“Hopefully the Market Quarter area will become a little community for all shop owners and new businesses.”
Lauren was furloughed from her job as a beauty therapist in March last year.
She decided that she needed something to keep her busy and earn a little extra money.
Lauren started to do the Southport Market Trail once a month with a little table outside her house selling her home-made cupcakes and cakes. It was really popular and orders started to flood in.
She said: “I have enjoyed creating a beautiful new bakery selling cupcakes, blondies, brownies, milkshakes, tea and coffee and so much more, as well as custom design cakes for all occasions.
“I am selling my products on Just Eat and Deliveroo so customers can even order from home.
“There are tables and chairs for people to sit in.
“Since I started my home bakery during lockdown it’s unbelievable the support I’ve had from the local Southport community, I couldn’t have done this without the support from all my customers over the past year.”
Lauren is now so busy she is expanding already, looking for someone to come in and work alongside her.
She said: “After a busy couple of weeks and lots of cake orders booked in until Christmas I’ve decided it’s time to find someone to join me at The Cake Box.
“This would be a part time position and anyone who applies would need to have experience.
“Please send me a message or call me on 07502106834.”