Pictured above: A Moomin themed birthday cake I ordered
from Hazel for my partner’s birthday
Recently, there has been speculation that a new cake shop may be making an appearance in Blaenau Gwent. To see if there is any truth behind these rumours I went out to interview the potential business owner myself.
The lady behind the baking is twenty-one-year-old Hazel Roberts. When interviewing Hazel, she explained “I first started baking when in school, I remember my first cookery class, I thought I was going to hate it…but look at me now, making a living from it”. I then went on to ask Hazel what made her decide to start selling her cooked goods, she responded “My mother encouraged me to do so, I would often bake at home and find myself experimenting with lots of different cake designs and themes.”
When asked if she is planning on opening a shop in Blaenau Gwent, Hazel laughed “Well, right now it is not something that is on the table, I run my business from home as its affordable for me, I am contemplating renting a stall in the Abergavenny market once a week just to possibly bring in new customers. I am not ruling out the possibility of opening my own little cake shop one day, but I am also a full-time student and at this point in time, I wouldn’t be able to commit”.
I then asked Hazel, “Is social media a useful tool for individuals who are just starting out with their own business?” Her response was as follows “Yes, it really is. Social media can be such a handy business tool, the ability to create your own business pages allows for constant promotion. I am constantly uploading images of my creations and then you get people that support you and what you do by sharing the images of my cakes with their friends.”
When asked if there is anyone who inspires her, she replied “My Grandmother, she has a keen interest in baking too, she doesn’t like to faff about with the icing and detailing but she makes the most amazing cheese cakes.” She continued “As soon as I realised that I had a passion for baking, me and my grandmother would spend hours on end in the kitchen baking treats, that we would later go on to share with all the family.”
I then asked Hazel what she thinks in regards to an individual setting up their own business in the Blaenau Gwent area, she responded, “Starting your own business anywhere I’m sure, has its challenges, luckily for myself I haven’t had to take any of the big risks that others may have had to take. The only money I am having to invest into my business is the cost of ingredients. I don’t have to worry about paying rent on a property and ensuring I have a constant flow of customers to be able to do that. One of the reasons I am considering starting out with a cake stall is because, it will help me get used to the idea of taking risks. I will not be putting as much on the line as I would do if I were to invest in a shop.”
I also asked Hazel, what is one skill she wishes she had other than baking. She laughed “I have always wanted to be able to play an instrument, nothing specific, but I would love to be able to pick up an instrument and make music. I listen to music everyday but I would love to discover a new-found appreciation.”
Towards the end of the interview I asked Hazel, “What is a piece of advice you would give to other young people who are thinking of pursuing something they are passionate about and making a career out of it?” Hazel smiled and responded “Go for it, if you are passionate about something and get the opportunity to make a career from it, don’t shy away. I know some people find themselves spending decades in a job that they don’t enjoy, wouldn’t you rather be able to pursue something you are passionate about earlier in life and continue to do so throughout?”
Hazel is one of many young people in the Blaenau Gwent area that have started their own at home business, hopefully the advice she has shared during this interview will go on to inspire many more young people.