- Cuppa Cake has relocated from Bancroft Road to Standish Street in the centre of Burnley;
- Founder and owner Cheryl Jackson has overcome the difficult past few months to open the new store and told Burnley.co.uk there is no other town she’d rather be based in;
- She believes community spirit is important and has launched her Cake It Forward initiative, where customers can buy an extra treat for someone in need.
When Cheryl Jackson had to close her sweet treats business Cuppa Cake during the first national lockdown, she knew she faced an uncertain few months.
But the Burnley businesswoman used the time to reassess her goals and has now opened new premises on Standish Street in the centre of Burnley.
Speaking exclusively to Burnley.co.uk, Cheryl explained that just before lockdown, Cuppa Cake was the busiest it had ever been and doubled turnover within 12 months. Based at the Lancashire Digital Technology Centre, she had plenty of customers from surrounding businesses.
But when lockdown happened, footfall declined and despite being able to run on a takeaway basis, she furloughed her team, shut the store and took a part-time job at Tesco.
“I wanted to make sure I could protect the jobs of my staff and I decided to use the time to reassess my goals. I had a five-year plan to open a town centre store and always wanted a shop on Standish Street – it’s a fantastic location.
“I worked at Tesco to keep myself busy and used the opportunity to network with new people. We reopened on 3rd August and then the perfect store came up on Standish Street. It had lots of windows for beautiful displays and space for a bespoke open plan kitchen, where people could watch us bake. It does feel a bit like a goldfish bowl sometimes, we’re still getting used to it!”
Coming back stronger
The COVID-19 lockdown isn’t the first time Cheryl has faced challenges. Cuppa Cake was born in 2014 when she baked from home as a hobby, and it started growing as a business. In 2016, she was made redundant from her family business after it was severely impacted by the Boxing Day floods of 2015 and had to close. She used the redundancy pay-out to open Cuppa Cake at Bancroft Road.
Cuppa Cake opened at its new location, the former Cosmetic Corner, on Saturday 21st November and Burnley.co.uk was lucky enough to be invited down before the official 10am opening to look at the incredible creations. We were particularly impressed with the Cake It Forward board.
Cake It Forward – what’s it all about?
Community spirit is important to the team at Cuppa Cake, with Cheryl previously working at a soup kitchen. Customers can come in and buy an extra sweet treat, which gets written on a post-it note and stuck on the Cake It Forward board.
“People who are down on their luck or who perhaps cannot afford a luxury such as cake can come in, take a post-it note to the counter and receive their free treat. Our motto is ‘life is better with cake’ and I don’t want anyone to feel they can’t have such a small treat because of their circumstances,” she told us.
Any unused Cake It Forward treats are baked and given to the charity of the month. From now until the end of December it’s Church on the Street, with the team impressed after seeing them in action. People can vote for a new charity every month in store, via the website or through the Facebook and Instagram pages.
So, what’s next for Cuppa Cake?
“As I said, I had a five-year plan to have a store in the town centre, so to do that within three years has been amazing. We’re a family business in a family-orientated town and there’s nowhere else we’d rather be. Hopefully we can do a grand opening some point next year, but for now, we encourage everyone to pop down to take away some sweet treats, to Cake It Forward and to nominate their charities.”
Burnley.co.uk wishes Cheryl and her team all the best with their new premises and fundraising efforts.