Friday, 1 February 2013

Chit Chat Friday with Local Sugar


Finally I bring you Chit Chat Fridays. Each Friday I'll chit chat with someone new so we can get to know them a bit better. I don't know about you but I love knowing what inspires people and how they got to where they are now. It inspires me knowing that each successful person had to start from somewhere.

I had the great pleasure of chatting with Melissa from Local Sugar. What an inspiration she is! Like most of us, she had to make that crucial decision in her life to either keep going down the corporate route or to really follow her dream. And you know what she did???? She followed her dream!!!! Local Sugar provides us with the most scrumptious mini cupcakes ever!!!! 

My husband brought some Local Sugar cupcakes home for me one evening. He set the cutest pink egg carton in front of me and told me to open it. Inside were these gorgeous bite size cupcakes. Oh and they were so so tasty!!! I thought to myself what a great idea, bite size cupcakes in an egg carton. They are the perfect gift. There are several favours to choose from or you can have some specially made. They also deliver!!!!

So put your orders in now for Valentine's Day or Easter or just because you want some tasty cupcakes!!! 

To order your cupcakes contact Melissa at Local Sugar:
+44 (0)7425 175 594 / melissa@local-sugar.com

Read on to find out more about her amazing mini cupcakes: 


1.     TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF, HOW DID YOU START MAKING BESPOKE SWEETS AND INDULGENT TREATS?

I’ve always seemed to love baking… from the time I was 6 and received an Easy Bake Oven that allowed you to ‘bake’ a pie and cake by the power of a lightbulb!!??!!

Fast forward to 2000, I was bringing cupcakes into work at the BBC, before the cupcake craze hit.  I got a few commissions from high end London florists, restaurants and fashion agencies.  I thought “Wouldn’t it be great if I could sell cupcakes full-time?”, then thought “C’mon Melissa, how many cakes do you think you’d need to sell to cover your London mortgage!?”  So, that idea quickly fizzled.  Five years later, I moved to Seattle and saw that the emerging cupcake trend in NYC and LA was going global.  I felt like I’d missed my opportunity, and kicked myself for not taking the plunge in London back in 2000.

People say, as one door closes, another opens.  In late 2010, the blue chip company I worked for closed down our whole division and it made me think:  do I take the ‘easy’ path and stay with a large corporate company? Or see this as a second chance to do what I felt I should have done years ago. I took the plunge.  I moved back to London, got engaged and started Local Sugar!

I have always had a passion for baking and a love of sharing.  Local Sugar is becoming known for its one-bite, filled mini cupcakes, hand-crafted in small batches, with high quality ingredients. My mission is to create cakes that both taste and look amazing, that customers can really indulge in.


2.   WHY MINI CUPSCAKES OPPOSE TO STANDARD SIZED CUPCAKES?


Our one-bite mini cupcakes are just perfect for a cheeky little indulgence.  They’re fabulous for parties as you can eat them standing up, without the social faux-pas of getting buttercream on your nose!  They’re also great for children’s parties since they are easy to handle and are just the right size for little ones.



3.   HOW DO YOU COME UP WITH YOUR FLAVOURS? DO YOU BAKE THE FLAVOURS YOU LOVE; DO YOU GET SPECIAL/CRAZY FLAVOUR REQUESTS?


I love coming up with new flavour combinations and decorating ideas based on what’s in season and what holidays are around the corner.  Our ‘12 Cakes of Christmas’ special was great fun in thinking up seasonal cake ideas and decorations!  Our most requested cakes tend to be our Berry filled Vanilla, Chocolate Mint and Nutella-filled Chocolate.



4.   YOUR PACKAGING IS SO GREAT, HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE IDEA OF THE EGG CARTONS?


Oh, thank you!  We think our pink egg box packaging is pretty darn cute, and makes a very easy, portable way to carry your mini cupcakes in –without fear of them tipping over.  The idea came about a year ago.  I was meeting my friend from Preston in London, with her 2 little girls.  I had 6 mini cupcakes for them, and couldn’t find a box that was small enough.. I knew they’d be a right mess by the time I had 5mins on the tube!  My empty egg carton was still on the counter top, and thought ‘that might make quite a handy little carrying device!’  And voila.  My friend and her little ones were my guinea pigs!  When I told them I had a present for them, and handed them a ‘box of eggs’, their little faces lit up when they opened it and saw 6 pink sugar dusted mini cupcakes inside.  And thus, our Local Sugar bespoke packaging was born!



5.   YOU OFFER A BESPOKED SERVICE AS WELL, HAVE YOU EVER RECEIVED A REQUEST THAT TOUCHED YOUR HEART?


Yes.. last April I received a call late one Sunday night.  It was a lady in NJ who found me on Facebook.  She asked if I could do an order for her young niece who was really unwell.  I delivered a dozen mini cupcakes to her family,  as a little surprise from her aunt and uncle.  I received an email some weeks after the delivery to let me know that the young girl had passed away.  The email said “ We will always be thankful for you fulfilling my last minute order. Wanted you to know that what you do - it makes a difference! Keep up the good work! “  It touched my heart and I thought – if that’s all it takes to bring some joy into the world, then I’m doing the right thing.



6.   IF YOU COULD COLLOBARATE WITH ANYONE, WHO WOULD THAT BE?


Hmmm… I was fortunate enough to meet ‘THE’ Jimmy Choo in my previous job.  He was always so gracious, humble and generous with his time.  When I started Local Sugar, we had tea and cakes, and he offered me some fabulous advice.  Thinking about it now.. maybe we should collaborate on some Local Sugar minis!



7.   DO YOU LISTEN TO MUSIC WHILE YOU ARE BAKING? ANY FAVOURITE TUNES AT THE MOMENT?


YES!  Have to have music on whilst baking…!  Here are some of my favs of the moment:

Lion’s Roar – First Aid Kit

Benediction – Hot Natured and Ali Love

It Gets Dark – Holy Ghost!

There’s Nothing in the Water We Can’t Fight – Cloud Control

And of course..

Sugar Time – Johnny Cash



 8.   WHERE DO YOU GAIN INSPIRATION FROM FOR YOUR DELICIOUS CUPCAKES?



I get my inspiration from a number of places… magazines, on-line blogs, restaurants, markets, seasonal produce, travelling…. I went to Istanbul in October and tried these little honey pistachio donuts.  Delicious.  I came home and immediately made vanilla honey + pistachio mini cupcakes.



9.   DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE CAFÉ, SHOP, BOOK STORE, ETC YOU GAIN INSPRIATION FROM OR JUST LOVE TO GO AND PONDER?


In the winter, I tend to curl up on my sofa and scour food magazines and international food blogs.  It’s wonderful seeing what other cities and countries are doing food-wise.  And I LOVE going through old cook-books.  What goes around, comes around as they say.. and it’s so true.  Jam Roly Poly is hip again!  So you know I’m going to create a Local SugarJam Roly Poly mini cupcake!



In the summer, I get inspiration from some of the fabulous markets – Borough Market and Columbia Road Market are two of my favourites.





10.   ANY ADVICE OR ANYTHING YOU’VE LEARNED LATELY THAT YOU  WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH US?


When I decided to leave my corporate job and take the big leap into entrepreneurship, I kept a list of quotes that gave me the inspiration to believe in myself and what I was trying to create… here are three of my favourites:

“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.” -Elbert Hubbard

“Some people think it’s holding that makes one strong—sometimes it’s letting go.” -Unknown

“Life isn’t about finding yourself, Life I about creating yourself” –Unknown



11.   IF YOU COULD GO ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD, WHERE WOULD THAT BE?


I’m going to visit Thailand in a few weeks – which is a place I’ve always wanted to visit.  I can’t wait to see the beauty of the land and the people.  And of course, see what fabulous sweet treats I can taste and perhaps integrate into Local Sugar’s menu!












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