Home baker opens first shop after business 'snowballed' in lockdown
- Credit: Kayce Russell
A talented home baker has turned her hobby into a thriving business after learning to bake during the pandemic.
Kascey Russell, from Long Sutton, started baking during the first lockdown after she couldn't find a cake for her daughter's birthday.
The 36-year-old has now opened her first shop, Maple Tree Bakes, in Vancouver Quarter in King's Lynn, and sold out of all her stock in the first two days of opening.
"During the first Covid lockdown, I couldn't find a cake for my daughter's 12th birthday so I decided to make my own and it turned out really well," Mrs Russell said.
"After sharing pictures of my creations online, people became interested and things really snowballed from there.
"Life hasn't been the same since."
During the multiple lockdowns, the home baker made hundreds of macaroons and practised her decoration skills until they were perfected.
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Mrs Russell's celebration cakes became popular through word-of-mouth and she began to gain more clients, including The Saturdays and Loose Women star Frankie Bridge.
After visiting a shopping centre in Milton Keynes, which had small retail pods, Mrs Russell was inspired and thought similar pods would be an ideal space for her own bakery shop.
"A week or two later after visiting Milton Keynes, I saw the pod advertised for rent at Vancouver Quarter and thought, I've got to go for it," she said.
"King's Lynn needs somewhere selling home-cooked bakes and not just mass-produced products from bakery chains.
"There aren't many places like this around here.
"The response since opening has been great. Everyone has been really friendly and they are so happy to not just see another vape or mobile phone shop.
"I'm overwhelmed to have come this far already but I'd love to keep building the business and maybe have a little chain of other Maple Tree Bakes."
Maple Tree Bakes sells a wide range of products, including macaroons, brownies and blondies, all of which are baked by Mrs Russell in her fully-inspected home kitchen.