I’ve been dying to get this gal on the blog for ages! This month I’ve got Alison from ARD Bakery with her insanely amazing geo colour block cakes. ARD has been on my radar for the past year or so, and on finding out she was a fellow Scot living in North East London (she’s Tottenham, I’m Walthamstow!), and a fellow art school grad, my love of her brand just grew even more! She’s my go to for gifting (I used her little favour selections as my festive company gifts this last year) and I will forever be amazed by her sculptural cake vision.
So here she is as this month’s Supplier Spotlight…
Please introduce yourself:
My name is Alison, I am the owner of ARD Bakery, which I run from my home kitchen in Tottenham, North London.
1. What made you want to set up your business?
I actually never set out to start a cake business, it kind of happened by accident! I was on maternity leave with my second child (now 2!) and whilst I had always enjoyed baking, I now started experimenting more with decoration. I was working as an accessories designer for a fashion company, and started to realise I could approach cake decoration in a similar, more design led way. I started posting the cakes I was making on Instagram, and people started asking if they could order them, and it just took off from there. I decided to give this a go, rather than go back to work!
2. What’s the best part of your job?
I love designing new cakes. Doing something I haven’t tried before. It’s what I get really excited about.
3. What’s the worst part of your job?
Probably polishing chocolate moulds! – Sooo boring!! Also, I still find delivering wedding cakes in the height of summer very stressful!!
4. What’s the weirdest request you’ve ever had from a client?
Someone once sent me a photo of their dog, and asked if I could make it in cake. I don’t think they had seen my other cakes!
5. What’s been your favourite ever wedding you’ve worked on/at?
The first wedding cake I ever did was for my brother, and I had no idea what I was doing, or if it was going to even work. But it turned out so well, and really kickstarted the business in a proper way.
6. You’re surrounded by beauty in your job, what do you find beautiful?
I get a lot of inspiration for cakes from really graphic interiors and brutalist architecture, which I find really beautiful.
7. Best piece of advice to offer to those getting married?
Don’t try and please other people, just do what you want to, it’s your day!
8. Anyone you particularly admire in the industry?
I haven’t been working in this industry long, but I have to say it’s the friendliest place! Everyone I have met has been so lovely.
9. Best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Fake it till you make it!
10. What was your career plan B?
I guess maybe this is it?? Or maybe I am on C! I studied sculpture at art school, so Artist was probably A, then switched to design (B), and I suppose this is a bit of an amalgamation of the two – quite sculptural, designed objects (that just happen to be edible!). I do actually remember as a kid I used to say I wanted to be a baker – though it was more about getting to eat cake all day long!
11. Where do you call home?
Currently its Tottenham in North London. But I am originally from Scotland, and really want to move back at some point.
12. What’s your favourite shop?
Present & Correct – Office supplies of my dreams.
13. Favourite restaurant?
Berber & Q – Oh the cauliflower!!!
14. Who would you have play you in a movie about your life?
Julia Roberts maybe?? I mean it wouldn’t be a great movie!!
15. Cocktail of choice?
16. Your biggest extravagance?
I probably spend most money on holidays. I can spend weeks researching where to go/stay/do.
17. Do you collect anything?
No, but my house is still full of junk I don’t need!
18. What’s the most romantic thing someone’s ever done for you?
Probably a surprise fishing trip to Dungeoness! Not that i’m really into fishing or anything! Can you tell I am not a very romantic person!!
19. Where do you go to let your hair down?
20. Tell us something surprising about yourself!
I love Cher!
21. Invisibility or flight?
22. Any regrets in life?
23. Tell us your favourite Instagram accounts at the moment!
Lewis Capaldi is hilarious!
24. If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
Thank you so much to Alison from ARD Bakery for taking part! I’m a massive fan of hers so I couldn’t wait to get her answers back when she said yes to coming on the blog!
And with all she’s done and her background in sculpture and design, I really can’t think why she thinks a movie about her life wouldn’t be a very interesting one…! I beg to differ, just on these answers alone!!
I’ll join you for a margarita any day Alison – I’ll get the drinks in so long as you bring the cake, deal??
Please email any hellos or enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org