Two young graduates who decided to set up a cupcake shop during a trip to Sydney have received an order from retail giant Selfridges.
Business partners Dalvinder Cheema and Mary Ashman had no practical business experience, and didn’t know if their idea was viable when they set up Kiss Me Cupcakes a year ago, but have managed to survive the recession.
The ethos behind their cupcakes is to source local produce, including free range eggs from Alandale Eggs in Kidderminster and fruit from local Essington Fruit Farm in Wolverhampton.
Ms Cheema said the brand had become so popular it featured in The Guardian’s list of the best cupcakes in the country in January 2009 and Selfridges approached them to supply their cupcakes with other suppliers as part of a concession in-store.
Despite their success, the pair are keen to grow carefully. Ms Cheema added: “We are delighted that demand and interest has grown to this level but we see Kiss Me Cupcakes as being about small numbers of hand-made cakes, made to order.
“We want growth for the business but it has to be slow and sustainable growth.”
Ms Cheema graduated in biochemistry and Ms Ashman holds an NVQ in Business Administration. The pair set up Kiss Me Cupcakes with help from Business Link West Midlands and later went through a business start-up programme and worked with a Business Link adviser to develop a business plan including financial planning; sourcing labelling, packaging and transportation.
The firm’s made-to-order cupcakes can be ordered online and can be found at the Birmingham Mailbox’s Artlounge; Co-go, Aston University and Urban Coffee.