This week we caught up with Master baker Steph, founder of Baked by Steph.
STEPH, WE HAVE STALKED YOUR INSTAGRAM, AND HAVE FALLEN IN LOVE WITH THE BEAUTY OF YOUR CREATIONS, CAN YOU TELL US MORE ABOUT BAKED BY STEPH?
Why thank you very much! Baked by Steph started as a little passion project a couple of years ago when it was just me experimenting with all things baking related in my pokey little London kitchen. What started as a solo project has now grown into a team of 5 specialising in hand-iced cookies delivered all over the UK. We’re now known for our Instagram-worthy creations and are proud to have worked with incredible brands such as Benefit Cosmetics, Facebook, Marc Jacobs, Elizabeth Arden and Disney in the short space of time that we’ve been up and running. We have a whole range of cookies and cakes available on our website but also take on lots of custom orders. No two days are the same in our kitchen which is my favourite part of the job.
WHERE DID THE LOVE OF BAKING SWEET TREATS COME FROM?
Well, first of all, I have the biggest sweet tooth on the planet, so that helps! Also, my mum is a bit of a baking whizz and was always whipping up spectacular cakes and desserts for parties when I was growing up, so I guess that rubbed off on me. I think, more than anything, the big reveal moment when friends and family would see what my mum had created was always my favourite part. That ‘WOW’ moment really is the most rewarding part of what we do and that’s what we aim to achieve with every single order.
FOUNDING YOUR OWN COMPANY IS AN IMPRESSIVE ACHIEVEMENT, TELL US ABOUT THE PATH THAT LED YOU HERE?
It was really quite an organic journey for me. My background is in fashion, fine art and digital project management – the only cookies I was accustomed to were those you find on a website. When I started baking, it was just for fun and a bit of a personal challenge to see what I could create. I started to seriously consider it as a profession when a big brand got in touch having seen my Instagram page and asked for 600 sneaker cookies for an event that week. I had a full time job, a tiny kitchen and an oven that could fit about 25 cookies at one time, so of course I had to turn it down, but that was definitely a light bulb moment – people wanted to pay me to bake! Following that I started to take on limited orders, but it quickly got to a point where I couldn’t keep up. I was getting home from my day job at 7pm and then baking well into the early hours of the morning, often managing to survive on 3-4 hours of sleep – not the healthiest of schedules. I finally decided to take the plunge in December last year and officially quit my day job and launched Baked by Steph. It’s been a hectic year, starting a business is full of challenges and we’ve grown faster than I’d ever anticipated, but it has also been the most enjoyable year of my life so far and I’m so excited for what’s next.
WE HAD A LOOK AT THE RANGE, AND IT ALL LOOKS DELICIOUS, DO YOU HAVE ANY SUGGESTIONS FOR WHICH PRODUCTS WE REALLY NEED TO TRY?
Our Cookie message boxes are by far our best sellers and there are fun messages for every occasion. Personally, I’m a mega chocolate fan, so I recommend any of our chocolate flavoured cookies. We’re also about to launch a vegan range and a gluten free range which I’m very excited about…basically you need to try it all!
YOU ARE CURRENTLY ONLY BASED IN E1, ANY PLANS TO EXPAND YOUR LONDON PRESENCE?
For now, our main focus is on expanding our e-commerce offering and to start shipping internationally, all of which we fulfil from a private commercial kitchen in London, but we may consider opening up a London shopfront in the future for the full Baked by Steph experience.
WHAT WOULD YOU PERFECT LAZY SUNDAY IN LONDON LOOK LIKE?
Quite frankly – zero baking! My weekly schedule is pretty full on, so an ideal Sunday morning includes a long lie in (who am I kidding, my body clock doesn’t let me sleep past 8am), and a lazy brunch. Gloria and Rochelle Canteen in Shoreditch are my current favourite brunch spots and I’m obsessed with Dark Sugars on Brick Lane for a Hazelnut & Praline hot chocolate. I live in East London so a trip to Columbia Road Flower Market on a Sunday is always nice, weather permitting. And if I can muster up the strength to leave the East London area and venture further afield then I love a museum outing on a Sunday. I live with an architect and my favourite pastime is following him around design museums nodding my head and pretending to ‘get’ everything we’re looking at.
To view Steph’s incredible creations visit: www.bakedbysteph.co.uk