In June of last year at a friend's daughters christening, I had a chance conversation about how great it would be to sell cakes in my very own cake shop. Another friend's partner is a chartered surveyor and so we were joking about location and where would be best suited, and he happened to mention a little unit that had recently come on the market. No more was said, but I couldn't stop thinking about it. So I mentioned it to Helen (we had had many conversations about running a cake shop) and decided it wouldn't do any harm to take a look.
It was perfect for us, small, quaint, in a good little location, and reasonably priced. We got so excited and started doing cash flow forecasts and business plans....and it looked manageable! It looked like we COULD do it.
However on closer inspection the unit needed a lot of work doing and we really didn't have the capital for that. We were really gutted but, having done the work, excited about the prospect. So we decided we would join forces anyway and work towards a shop. The Raspberry Cakery was born! We launched officially on the 1st September 2012.
We still kept an eye on the estate agents but city centre locations were expensive and we couldn't find anything suitable. We eventually decided we would just start going to look at places and meeting agents who may be able to help and we went to see a unit at a new development in Swansea, despite being a little dubious about the location. Again we got excited, went back and revised our forecasts, and decided 'what the hell!' so we decided to put an offer in. As a new unit it didn't need the structural work the other place did and it is in an area that is being revamped and developed. After a bit of negotiation we eventually signed the lease last month.
The unit is part of the Urban Village development on High Street. Although not (yet) known as the place to be in Swansea, Mosaic - a fab restaurant that has recently opened there - has a great reputation, and we are hoping that the other units will bring some other great businesses too.
Last week myself and Helen went to see our shop for the first time since the viewing where we met with the architect, project manger, construction company and everyone else involved. It was so exciting to see our shop coming together - although still in very early stages - and we had to resist the urge on several occasions to jump up and down and squeal, while answering serious questions about electric points and toilet doors and making important decisions like what colour we want the ceiling. (Um, can you do raspberry pink?)
There is still a bit of work to do, but WE HAVE A CAKE SHOP! :-D
To think this wasn't even on the radar this time last year, to actually be planning kitchens and picking furniture is amazing. And although it has been a dream for a number of years, I guess I always thought it would be a long way off - almost an early retirement plan maybe. I think sometimes I forget I'm 31, and still feel about 17.