[quote style=”boxed”]I take small chunks of time off so I can shut myself in my cake studio and be creative. I can really achieve a lot that way. I also love walking in the countryside where I live, as nature inspires me so much too.[/quote]
Le Beau Cake was created in 2009 by Vivien Morrell, in reaction to the growing trend for pretty and personalized cupcakes. Soon after starting, she saw a gap in the market, and by using a private courier, she found a way to deliver beautifully personalized, decorated cupcakes all over the United Kingdom to delighted customers.
From appearing with her cupcakes on the “quintessentially English fete” scene to baking like mad and securing orders, she kept being asked, “How do you make these?” From there, the progression towards running her own cake decorating classes was very natural.
Vivien has now taught hundreds of people to make and decorate their own, beautiful cakes, with students coming from as far as Mexico, the U.S. and the United Arab Emirates for private, one-on-one classes.
Le Beau Cake is always moving forward in the cake world, from teaching people how to make the innovative fondant-covered cake truffles and chocolate wrapped cupcakes to sourcing new sugarcraft cutters to sell that make the art of creating beautiful, large peony flowers easy.
What are you working on right now?
We regularly get lots of inquiries about classes from people all over the world, who are unable to attend classes in person. Right now, I’m working on developing online tutorials to enable cake enthusiasts everywhere to learn our unique techniques.
Where did the idea for Le Beau Cake come from?
I could see an exciting trend taking off around cupcakes. I knew I would love to run my own baking business. I have always loved the idea of combining creativity and aesthetics with great-tasting food.
What does your typical day look like?
I get up at 6:00 a.m. and drink strong coffee. I check my emails, take my son to school, do a mail run, and grab another coffee. If I’m not teaching a cake class that day, then I will more than likely be preparing some cake decorations for an order, making phone calls, finishing off a cake, or photographing Le Beau Cake’s latest creations.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I take small chunks of time off so I can shut myself in my cake studio and be creative. I can really achieve a lot that way. I also love walking in the countryside where I live, as nature inspires me so much too.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
I love the recent trend of beautiful, big peony flowers being made from edible flower paste. They look so stunning on a simple wedding cake and give a romantic, soft feel to everything. We at Le Beau Cake have just sourced a fantastic, easy-to-use peony cutter set, which is proving to be very popular.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
I once worked in an office where every day felt like the movie Groundhog Day. It taught me the importance of variety and having a positive, inspirational environment around you.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I would have started my own business earlier.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I am constantly teaching myself new things. If I don’t know the answer to something, I go out of my way to find it out.
What is one problem you encountered as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Going to bed with things on my mind after a bad day. Now I always write a list of what I need to do the next day before I go to bed. Things are often better after a good night’s sleep, and you can look at them from a different perspective.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Fondant fancies–cute, little squares of cake covered in poured fondant icing. I love the way these little cakes can also be customized and decorated to suit every taste.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?
Cruelty to animals. I would dedicate as much effort as possible into educating people all over the world to have more compassion for animals.
Tell us a secret.
I sing every day–jazz, classical, blues or whatever the mood calls for.
What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?
If I have a question, I turn to Google first. I like Amazon for the sheer range of products that I can have the next day if necessary. I’m also love any supermarket delivery service; I’m always too busy to go on a big shopping trip, and it saves me so much time having groceries delivered.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I have so many but I will limit myself to two: Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor E Frankl and The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks.
When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?
I laugh a lot with my husband and our son. Probably the most recent time was when my husband accused me of being a “salad dodger,” meaning I have been putting on a few too many pounds! Also, anything that the cat does when she is trying to look all aloof and cool that goes disastrously wrong makes me laugh a lot.
Who is your hero?
My father, who worked tirelessly for years and years to raise his family and never complained. He always found time for his children and taught us so much. I will always be grateful to him.
What do you love most about your business?
I often get asked what I love most about my business. There isn’t a single answer to that. I love the whole process of coming up with new ideas and turning them into realities. I love teaching people who arrive with little to no experience in decorating cakes and then seeing their faces when they leave having made something really beautiful. I am very lucky that a lot of my students come back for more classes, and it is always nice to see them again and teach them some more. I am always excited to meet people from different countries and backgrounds, and from all walks of life. I feel very lucky to be able to do what I do every day.
Name five things that excite you.
Spending quality time with family. The prospect of long summer evenings spent with friends over good food and wine. Traveling and airports. Singing with great musicians. Running my own business!
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Vivien Morrell’s email: [email protected]