What comes to mind when you hear the word tradition? Boring? Uncreative? Obligatory? It doesn’t have to be any of that. When planning a wedding, […]
Allow me to introduce you to this super talented woman in business, Toyin, the brains behind Tees Bakery.
I love meeting wonderful wedding suppliers and hearing their stories that led them to weddings. Before discovering the magic of the wedding industry, Toyin started as a trained Barrister and had a successful career in the banking industry.
It was due to the high demand for her cakes and a need to balance full-time employment and a young family, former Business Analyst Toyin, decided to leave the banking world to become a full-time mum and subsequently went onto pursue her unexpected and new creative passion of luxury baking.
Founded in 2015, Tees Bakery is absolutely soaring and has already been commissioned created some incredible masterpieces including one for the Queen’s 90th birthday!
Discover more from the lovely Toyin.
Say Hello! What inspired you to start Tees Bakery?
My name is Toyin Opebiyi, I am a wife and a mother of two boys aged two and five. I started Tees Bakery as a business about a year ago after a few months of making cakes in my spare time.
I started making cakes when my first son turned 3 and I struggled to find someone who could create a ‘Jungle Book’ themed cake that I wanted for him and so on the advice and direction of a family friend I decided to make it myself.
The results were amazing for a novice and in that moment a talent was discovered and the desire for the fine art of cake making and decoration was unlocked.
I started making cakes for family and friends and within 6 months I was getting orders from people beyond my circles. Every piece of cake I created not only wowed them by its look but by its taste also. I must say I have come such a long way in a very short space of time and it amazes me and those who hear my story every time.
What were you doing before Tees Bakery
I was working as a Business Analyst in the banking industry in the city of London as well as training and mentoring upcoming Business Analysts.
What made you decide to enter full-time self-employment?
The demand for my cakes kept increasing and I was struggling to balance this with a full-time job and a young family among other things. In November 2016, I decided to leave the banking industry to become a full-time mum and focus on growing Tees Bakery.
What’s the most intricate piece you have created and how long did it take?
It was one of the cakes I made for the Queens 90th birthday celebration. I was privileged to make 3 cakes for this event and the main cake was 5-tiers in gold and purple.
The purple tiers had a suede effect while the top-tier was a replica of the state crown. It took me a whole week to single-handedly make and decorate the cake. The crown was carefully carved and then I had to place every single pearl and diamond on it piece by piece.
The event had around 800 high-profile guests in attendance and took place at the Reveley Lodge in Hertfordshire on the 12th June 2016.
Who inspires you?
Quite a number of people inspire me, but my number one inspiration comes from my Grandma! An adorable English lady from a little town called Horwich in Lancashire.
Grandma was a skilled baker who had a huge desire and passion for it with dreams of one day starting and running her own successful bakery. (Nu Bride: Now I see where you get your talent from!) Whilst working as a nurse she met my granddad and fell in love. The two then got married and relocated to Nigeria.
She’s such a strong woman who adapted to the culture of the land very quickly and even began to speak the local dialect. Although grandma couldn’t fulfil her dreams of running a cake business she never stopped baking. She had seven children and lived right in the middle of the Nigerian civil war in Biafra. (Nu Bride: WOW!)
Growing up, the only cakes I knew were grandma’s cakes and I absolutely loved them especially her lemon cake with lovely homemade lemon curd – so yummy. When I had to make my first cake, she was there and taught me how to knead and roll out the fondant. She was almost in tears when I told her about Tees Bakery and all my plans as she was glad to see her own continuing the art she desired.
What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not working?
When I am not working, I love to spend time with my husband and my boys. They are my everything. I live for them. We are one big happy family and I continually thank God for being a part of their lives. They come first in everything.
What are some of your career challenges and triumphs to date?
One of my biggest challenges was turning my hobby into a business – it still is (Nu Bride: This certainly resonates)
My passion for cakes continues to increase and I find the art of cake making very therapeutic and something that makes me happy. This is one of the main reasons I exceed my client’s expectations as I pour my best efforts into every creation. Sometimes I get carried away and then have to remind myself that this is a business and no longer a hobby.
My biggest triumph so far is coming this far in such a short space of time. I have only been making and decorating cakes for 2 years and my work is becoming well-known across the UK. To be shortlisted in the Bridebook Wedding Awards 2017 as Wedding cake supplier of the year is also a huge blessing, especially for someone who made her very first cake just 2 years ago. I am so grateful to God for such good achievements
The industry is saturated with wedding cake bakers, how do you stand out from the crowd?
Every client of mine is treated like a celebrity and as a perfectionist with a passionate desire for creativity, I pour my best efforts into every creation, no matter how little – and I expect each cake to tell a story that combines its artistic design with a mouth-watering taste to leave a lasting impression in the mind of the client. With Tees Bakery my clients are confident that they will get a spectacular cake that exceeds their expectation both in design and taste.
Where do you see Tees Bakery in the near future?
I’m a firm believer in the saying that “your gift will make room for you” so as I continue to do what I love to do best I am hopeful that doors of opportunity will be opened and continue to set Tees Bakery in a place of prominence in the luxury cake circuit.
My desire is to use my gift to put a smile on faces of people from all around the world, so I would look forward to sharing my creations in other great cities across the globe.
Fantastic Toyin. What a delight to hear more about you, your journey as a business woman and the inspiration you have behind your creations. Still can’t believe you baked your first cake only two years ago. What an exceptional talent you have!
Please visit Tees Bakery for more luscious creations!