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Dale Jackley, from Jackley's Bakehouse, has quite the tale to tell! His dream of owning his own bakery business came to fruition through a lot of hard work, but at a frightening cost to his health. Fortunately, Dale was able to recover and, also adjust his business to support a healthier work/life balance.
1. How did your sweets business or journey begin?
My whole baking journey started 20 years ago as an apprentice baker at Brumby's. After 13 years of perfecting the art of bread making, running a bakery and managing staff I decided to go out on my own and start my brand. I bought an ex Brumby's store with my wife and we created Jackley's Bakehouse. We started as primarily a bread store but, with a downturn in the industry, we quickly diversified into a cake shop as well and that is where the journey has really been fun.
2. What has starting your own business meant for you?
I always had the ambition to have my own store but nothing could have prepared me for the ups and downs of business. We have learnt on the fly and had to make adjustments to find our niche, with the help of social media marketing we have been able to build our brand with a very loyal customer base who follow our journey as much as our products.
3. What have been/are the biggest challenges you face(d) regarding starting/building/maintaining your business?
Finding a balance between having a healthy life and surviving in small business is always a challenge. When times get tough in small business you can always revert to doing all the work yourself however, sometimes that comes at a cost of your health and I have learnt that lesson. At the age of 32, I had a stroke as a result of stress, long hours and too much coffee. I have been able to change my lifestyle and hours worked however, my love of coffee will always be there (lol).
4. What do you feel are the benefits of using edible images?
They offer a very wide array of styles for cake decorating, and using printed edible images allows us to take our cakes to the next level. Sometimes it is just a small addition to add that extra little detail that our customers love, and on other cakes, it may be the main element. Our customers also love being able to put an image of the birthday person on the cake!
5. What is your favourite type of treat/design to create?
I enjoy taking a customers idea for a cake and being able to work some magic on photoshop to bring that idea to life, turning that into cake, cookies or cupcake toppers with printed edible images makes my job easy.
6. What is the current trend you’re seeing in edible images?
A lot of our clients are businesses who love to promote their brand with edible marketing. We are seeing a lot of people spoiling their clients with cupcakes with their logo on it.
7. What is the funniest/most unusual sweet creation you’ve been asked to make?
We have made so many memorable cakes for all kinds of reasons. One funny one was two mates in a bubble bath together. We made the cake as the bath with bubbles and then had the boys' heads popping out the cake using edible images.
8. Do you have any tips you can share when either printing or applying edible images?
We live and bake in Far North Queensland so we battle heat and humidity daily. For us, the most important thing is storing and transporting cakes with images correctly. A ten-minute drive up here with a cake can turn into a disaster!
9. What is your “can’t live without” sweet making tool?
My airbrush, I like to put the finishing touches on everything from cakes to figurines, it just brings the whole thing to life.
10. What do you do for yourself within your life and business to help avoid or alleviate burnout?
Changing my core business was vital. Instead of starting at 1am I now start at 8am. We are blessed to have some awesome staff around us so training yourself to walk away and allow them to do the job is also key.
11. What is your career highlight to date?
I have a lot to be proud of, one highlight would be the reputation in our brand. We get a lot of great word of mouth around Far North Queensland, it definitely makes it all worthwhile.