Our business officially started approximately 4 years ago. Immediately prior to that, I had three major factors that changed my life very drastically – I was made redundant while pregnant from a job I absolutely loved, my husband and I foolishly invested in a franchise which basically took £10k and any savings we had and ran with it, and my third little babe was born with a severe dairy allergy. This all happened within the space of two years and it left me really struggling over here in the UK. Financially and emotionally I felt like a complete failure and I was really struggling with depression. I had been in the country for ten years already and I still wasn’t fitting in. I felt alone and for days I didn’t leave the house. Its not an easy thing to admit as I mostly come over as happiness and smiles, but I missed my family, my familiarity and my happy place – South Africa.
I popped into Tesco the one day for the usual grocery shop and was browsing the books and a recipe book popped out at me about a woman who had suffered with depression and had baked her way to a happy place. I had such happy memories of baking with my mom and Ouma as a child, I just thought it was a great place to start. Baby steps. I had subscribed to a fortnightly magazine about baking, but I hadn’t actually made any of the recipes in the books. I went home and gave it another read and decided to make a list and give it a go. I had made some ‘dodgooi’ cakes in the past but I always baked like I cooked – substituting this and that! Turns out if you follow the recipe you can bake! The weeks and months that followed saw me spending a very dark winter baking my way to sunshine, trying new recipes, learning new techniques and sharing my bakes with friends and family. It brought me such joy to be able to do this and it got me feeling that creative feeling again, a feeling I had not felt for a long time. The sunshine would beam through my kitchen window feeling warm on my face, I had my Jack Parow on in my ears and if I closed my eyes I was almost home.
The friends and family who tried my cakes started nudging me to start doing something about it. A place at a school fair came up in my newsfeed for the very next day and with my belly in my throat and so much support from my husband, I grabbed the opportunity. We spent most of the evening baking and used pretty much the last pennies we had for the month on making them amazing and the fair was a complete success! And we got people requesting cakes from us every day after that! Word spread very quickly. The children and I had a conversation about names, and somehow we just LOVED the idea of The Travelling Cupcake.
We are very lucky (please remind us of how lucky we are those days when we bicker like siblings!!) to work together as a family. We now have a busy retail store where we do all sorts of custom cakes and sweet treats! And wait for it…. SOUTH AFRICAN GOODS!