The thriving new look Southport Market has attracted an inspirational local cake maker to open a new shop nearby.
Southport Market opened last month following a £1.4million transformation, with the ambition of sparking new life into the ‘Market Quarter’ area.
The Cake Box, owned by talented local baker Lauren Wickham, is now due to move into a vacant unit at 22 Market Street, directly opposite the side entrance of Southport Market.
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, eight-year-old Hazel.
Lauren, who celebrates her 27th birthday this Wednesday, 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 and no-one selling the same product as me.
“There is definitely a lot of potential business and passing trade.
“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.
Now she is excited to open her first ever cake shop opposite Southport Market.
She said: “This wouldn’t be possible without the support of all my customers over the past year since I started my little home bakery, so thank you to everyone who made this possible!
“I can’t wait to get in there and create a beautiful bakery selling cupcakes, blondies, brownies, milkshakes, tea and coffee and so much more, as well as custom design cakes for all occasions.
“I plan to sell my products on Just Eat and Deliveroo so customers can even order from home.
“There will even be tables and chairs for people to sit in.
“I will keep everyone updated with photos through social media and will let everyone know when the Grand Opening will be.
“I can’t forget my daughter, Hazel, who has been my number one cake tester for the past year. She has even started joining me at Southport’s Fancy A Nibble Cake Club once a month.
“I’m working hard at the minute to get the shop ready for the start of September.
“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.
“I’m looking forward to being opposite the newly refurbished Southport Market as it’s such a vibrant and busy part of Southport now!
“I have been baking since I was little and take great inspiration from my Mum and Grandma.
“They taught me a lot about baking and ingredients which I have built on myself over the years.
“I have also taken online courses to better myself and I hope to get bigger and better as the years go on.”
The new look Southport Market has attracted thousands of customers to the area since it opened in July, and hopes are growing that more local businesses like The Cake Box will be attracted into the area.
Sefton Council Tourism Service Manager Mark Catherall said: “When we started this project, we said ‘how can we help to kickstart local business in Southport?’
“I think the new Southport Market will be a catalyst for a real Market Quarter.
“Since we began the Southport Market project, we have seen plans progressing for the former McDonald’s building, which has been empty for a number of years.
“We are seeing other premises nearby which have also been empty which are now being filled by great new independents.
“We want other businesses to move in, whether it’s new restaurants, cafes, cake shops, tattoo parlours or other ventures, and to make it a really thriving area.”