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Janet Yuksel from Illawarra Cake Print is a testament to how a love of cake decorating can evolve into a business and then how that business evolves and adapts to a niche market. Janet identified a market for printed edible images, then found her customers also wanted the whole "shebang" - so Janet started making the cakes as well!
1. How did your sweets business or journey begin?
I ordered a cake from for my daughters 1st birthday & the cake maker forgot to make it.
I was so upset that from that day on I was determined to make my own cakes. I enrolled myself into cake courses & started out making my kids cakes, then family & friends. I saw a niche in the market for edible prints for cakes so I solely began printing edible images for people. I soon had people asking if I could also do the baking so I started making the cakes/cupcakes as well. Then my husband purchased me a laser cutter so I could make toppers to add to my cakes.
2. What has starting your own business meant for you?
It's been fantastic. I've loved cake decorating since my Food Technology school days, so I'm doing something I'm so passionate about.
I enjoy having control over my work/life balance. I'm a Mum of 4, so being my own boss has made juggling kids & their activities a lot easier.
I get a real buzz out of helping people with the things they have imagined come to life. We post Australia wide & love receiving pictures of our clients' creations.
3. What have been/are the biggest challenges you face(d) in regard to starting/building/maintaining your business?
I'd have to say keeping up with the paperwork side of running a business. I much prefer creating.
4. What do you feel are the benefits of using edible images?
Edible images definitely make creating designs so much quicker & easier. The options are endless when it comes to edible images. I love how you can really personalise what you are creating with edible images.
5. What is your favourite type of treat/design to create?
I really love the photo collage cakes. They are so memorable & a great idea especially for a milestone birthday. Everyone adores old photos & it’s even more special when they are edible. The cake becomes a real talking point & something that sticks in people's minds.
6. What is the current trend you’re seeing in edible images?
I'm seeing edible images being used a lot more. Things on cakes that used to take hours to make out of fondant & sugar paste are being created in minutes using edible images. Edible images have become something we can't live without. They are making our lives so much easier.
7. What is the funniest/most unusual sweet creation you’ve been asked to make?
I got asked to make a boob cake with ‘breast wishes’ written on the board. The bachelor was so happy with his boob cake.
8. Do you have any tips you can share when either printing or applying edible images?
Always give the image a chance to dry properly before handling it. Be careful when using water to adhere the image, use the smallest amount with a paintbrush so you don't ruin the colour in the image.
9. What is your “can’t live without” sweet making tool?
My Thermomix without a doubt. It mixes, it chops, it whips.... It's used every time I make a cake. I'd be lost without it.
10. What do you do for yourself within your life and business to help avoid or alleviate burnout?
Always make time for my kids. We take the kids to the beach a lot & just time out to relax.
11. What is your career highlight to date?
I'd have to say repeat customers & having your business tagged in posts for recommendations. This always makes me feel proud & makes what I do worthwhile.