We Love Local: Cakes by Robin
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 by Douglas And Gordon
Tell us a little bit about Cakes by Robin?
Cakes by Robin is a bespoke cake, cookie and cupcake creator based in Southfields. We deliver all over London and have made cakes for well known people including Prince Charles, Gary Barlow, Lily Allen and Rita Ora.
Cakes by Robin was born at the kitchen table of Robin's one bedroom flat in Earlsfield. Having been made redundant from a job in banking, Robin decided that baking was where her passion lay and the company was founded. Working from home for a year, it soon became clear that bigger premises were needed as cakes boxes were taking up every available space! Fate intervened as an existing cake shop in Southfields came up for sale and having begged and borrowed enough money, Cakes by Robin moved into its current home at 26 Replingham Road.
When did the business first begin?
2008 was when the company first came into being and then moved into the shop on Replingham Road in 2009
What made you want to get the business?
I'd always wanted to have my own business but knew it would be very difficult until I had a good idea. One of my friends got married and had a lovely wedding cake and I was inspired. I needed to do something that didn't require a lot of startup cost (as I didn't have much) and so setting up a cake business from home seemed like the ideal option as I'd always cooked and loved making cakes
What do you think makes Cakes by Robin unique?
We have a very unique style of cakes which are recognisably ours. We try to make each cake fun, memorable and exciting. Ordering and designing a cake for an occasion should be an enjoyable experience from initial thoughts through to finally eating it. We are unique in that we are totally led by the customer and rarely make the same cake twice. I always say that we can and do make anything and everything out of cake and sugar and love doing it.
What do you love most about working at there?
I love the creativity and the fact that no week is ever the same as the last. Each week brings new clients with new ideas for cakes. I have an amazing team of cake artists and I love it when we present the finished cake to a client and they are overwhelmed. We've had tears (in a good way!)
What occasions do you generally cater for?
We make cakes, cupcakes and cookies for all sorts of occasions. Birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, corporate events, baby showers and engagements are the main ones. We also make lots of cakes which people buy by the slice or individual portion for a cheeky little afternoon treat.
What do you love about baking?
I love baking because you can take some simple, inexpensive ingredients and turn them into something totally delicious. It is a real science and with a few tweaks of ingredients, you can come up with something totally different and equally yummy. We try to experiment with different recipes but there are also some firm favourites that we will always have like our chocolate fudge cake.
Personally, what is your favourite type of cake to make and why?
We have recently started making a rainbow cake as part of our patisserie cake collection which looks amazing. It is a very time consuming cake to make as it has seven layers of cake coloured like the rainbow but the effort involved is totally worth it when the cake is cut. The colours look stunning together.
What are some of the strangest or most amazing cakes you’ve been asked to make?
We've made cakes for dog's birthday parties, we've made cakes in the shape of babies, we've made 'naughty' cakes and we've made two metre long cakes. All in a day's work!
Tell us a little about the cake decorating courses you offer.
We do two types of cake decorating courses. The first is for adults to learn cake decorating skills. These are aimed at mums who would like to learn how to decorate cakes for their children and people who have an interest in learning the skills and tips needed to make impressive cakes themselves. Our classes include covering a cake perfectly, making sugar models and flowers, writing and 3D cakes.
We have also started holding children's cake decorating parties. These take place on a Sunday in the shop and we have up to 10 children for two hours learning how to decorate cupcakes and ice cookies and then have a birthday tea. It’s great fun and something a bit different.
At Douglas & Gordon, we love local. Why do you love Southfields?
Southfields is a lovely place to work and live. It has a large number of genuinely independent shops which give Replingham Road a fantastic village feel. The houses are lovely, schools are great and there are lots of green spaces. It is a very kid friendly area as well and you can't help but bump into people you know, which is lovely considering we are not far from the centre of London.
Do you have any favourite spots around Southfields?
I am a big fan of Chanteroy which is the lovely French deli on Wimbledon Park Road. Their bread, croissants and filled baguettes are delicious and amazing value for money. The Olive Garden is great for lunch and they are super kid friendly. At the bottom end of Replingham Road there is also a lovely family photographer called Neverland Photography who has taken great pictures for me. The butcher has brilliant meat and they make their own sausages and the Greengrocer have lovely seasonal fruit and veg. As an independent shop owner, I know how hard you have to work to run a successful business and am always keen to support people who do a fantastic job.
Anything else you would like to add?
Local shops need the support of the local community in order to thrive so I would urge everyone to think and shop locally as much as they can.
Douglas & Gordon are running a competition to give away a voucher to the value of £50 to be used in store or online at Cakes by Robin. The voucher can be used for cakes, cookies, cake decorating equipment or even decorating classes. Visit us on Facebook or Twitter and let us know why you love Southfields to be in with a chance of winning! To find out more about Cakes by Robin, you can visit their website .