Wednesday, 23 August 2017

From accounting to icing

From accounting to icing

A WOMAN from Henley who quit her job as an accountant to start her own cake baking company is in the running for an award.

Chloe Hill-Thomas, 31, changed career early in 2010 because she and her husband Rob were planning to have children and she wanted more time to look after them.

Now her business, called Cake! by Chloe, has been nominated in the wedding cake supplier of the year category of this year’s Bridebook.co.uk Wedding Awards.

The winners, who are voted for online, will be announced next month.

Mrs Hill-Thomas, who now has two young sons called Teddy and Bruin, makes about 500 cakes a year at her home in Vicarage Road.

These are for weddings, family celebrations and corporate events.

She had always been a keen baker and would often make cakes for friends and relatives on special occasions.

She then started advertising at wedding fairs and the business grew as a result of word-of-mouth.

Mrs Hill-Thomas, who previously worked in Hovis’s corporate finance division, said: “It has grown to the point where I’m making a good living from it but still have time for the children, which is lovely.

“The first few years were fairly quiet but it has really taken off. I’d love to eventually have my own shop in Henley and, all being well, I can’t see that being more than a few years off now.”

Last month she employed Verity Holliday, also from Henley, as a cake decorator because she was getting too many orders to cope with on her own.

Mrs Hill-Thomas, who appeared on Channel 4’s Baking Mad in 2012, also sells baking supplies through her website and offers private classes and has started a YouTube channel offering tips on baking. Her clients have included Bix Manor and Cliveden.

She said: “I’ve done some fairly memorable orders over the years. One of my favourites was a seven-tiered golden cake for a Russian lady’s birthday at the Victoria and Albert Museum. I love doing the classic, intricate ones with flowers but I’ve done everything from Tower Bridge to BB-8 from Star Wars so it has been pretty varied.”

Mrs Hill-Thomas said she was happy to be in with a chance of the award, adding: “It would be an incredible achievement to win.”

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