Beccy Weston, Owner of Cabbage Patch Bakery
Extraordinary and healthy showstopper celebration, birthday and wedding cakes
I had a bad bout of appendicitis. There were a lot of complications in surgery and afterwards, so I took an extended break from my job as a restaurant manager. That’s when I had an epiphany: I didn’t want to do this the rest of my life! I was fed up of working every Christmas, Bank Holiday, evening and weekend, and missing out on quality family time.
Perhaps I could do something with my love of baking, which stemmed from my grandma? She was severely diabetic but loved cake. As a teenager, I searched for wacky recipes to swap out the sugar for vegetables. They probably tasted awful, but she was kind to me and always super-grateful!
I quit my full-time job in 2015 and found part-time work in a café so I could study cake decorating at college. When the course got cancelled, I taught myself the rest at the ‘University of YouTube’! It’s been a steep learning curve and I’m still perfecting my techniques, but I’m happy I’ve found an exciting niche…
At the restaurant, we worked as a team to create food from scratch for diners with dietary requirements and intolerances. I loved seeing the joy on people’s faces who hadn’t been left out and wanted to recreate that offering with my cakes. After years of experimenting like a weird alchemist, I finally perfected my recipes in the past 12 months. I use less fat and sugar, and sneak in vegetables which work hard to create texture, moisture and natural sweetness. You’d never know you were eating a parsnip, courgette or butternut squash cake!
My husband is my biggest helper and cheerleader, and things have gone from strength to strength, but it wasn’t easy in the beginning. I went through a dark period of feeling lost and inadequate. Joining an online cake community mentoring group got me out of that funk. It was in its infancy and we all learned from each other – including how to price a cake and pay ourselves a wage! I’m proud that I did something proactive rather than giving up.
Every day I live out my passion: helping people to have their (healthy) cake and eat it!