A Slice of Home – A Leeds-based family-run baking business
A Slice of Home specialises in making and selling bakes for local cafes and businesses. The husband and wife team also creates bespoke celebration cakes for all occasions. I spoke to Edd and Ali from A Slice of Home about their North Leeds based business and their plans for the future.
A Slice of Home – the beginnings
Ali explained that she has always loved baking. But when she and Edd had children, they started baking together to celebrate occasions and birthdays. Edd discovered a love of making decorations out of fondant – “It’s like edible playdough!’” When others saw their edible creations, friends and family started asking if they could bake cakes for them, and things took off. Ali and Edd were both working full time as schoolteachers. But when interest grew in their cakes, they decided to go part time as teachers and to set up a baking business at home. Edd knocked down the garage and built another kitchen. This, Edd said, helped to separate the business baking area from the home, dog and kids and allowed them to etablish A Slice of Home as a registered business in 2017.
As with any small business, A Slice of Home has experienced setbacks and challenges since the couple started out. “COVID-19 was a big obstacle for us,” Edd said. Prior to COVID, supplying cakes to local cafes and creating celebration cakes were key sources of revenue. But, when COVID hit, cafes closed and celebrations were suddenly a lot smaller. So, in order to boost revenue, Edd and Ali created much smaller celebration cakes – “Some were just 6 inches across, just for one family,” and they started to offer deliveries.
Brownies in the post – an opportunity to generate revenue during the pandemic
Delivering brownies was a new avenue of business for A Slice of Home. “We went down the brownie line,” Edd said, “It was Ali’s idea to post them, and we saw other people were doing it, so we knew it was possible.” Within a few weeks, the brownie delivery business went crazy. “Businesses were ordering loads and sending them out to staff and clients“. Edd and Ali have continued to deliver brownies, and it has become their biggest source of revenue. They have started doing big corporate events as well. “We deliver at least a few dozen boxes every week. It really just ticks by now,” Edd explained.
Supplying local cafes
‘We supply cakes and bakes to lots of local businesses: Junction in Meanwood, Cranberry’s in Adel and the children play space, Little Bees in Harrogate’, Edd told me. Edd and Ali have been supplying all of these businesses for a while, and many of them came directly to A Slice of Home to ask them to create cakes. They give cafes a basic supply list of their current bakes, but they are also happy to make bespoke creations. ‘”We made a bespoke cupcake for Little Bees, its got their logo on it, and they put it in their party bag.”
Edd was quick to the mark, saying “I like the celebration cakes!” Ali said that she enjoys trying out new things. “We keep trying to add to our selection. We’ve been at Meanwood market every month. We take something new there. It’s good to try things out,” Edd added. “Cafes and restaurants often want the same thing every week, but we like to give other things a go. Going to the market and talking to people to see what people would like is great.”
Ali and Edd have big plans, but right now they are juggling a lot. “We have 3 children. It’s a lot of work.” Edd said, ‘We changed from full time work to part time work as teachers, so we would have more time at home, more quality time with the children. But, that work life balance has gone out the window over the last few months. Now we have really long days. We want to shift to get good quality time.” In the future, Edd and Ali are thinking about opening their own café or bakery premises. “We would love to transition into a full time bakery one day.” Edd told me.
Buying products from A Slice of Home
Edd said, “At the moment, we primarily sell our bakes on social media and on our website. All the brownies and bakes are there. For celebration cakes, too.” Edd went on to say “We used to go to all the markets. But markets have been hard to get into. So, we are currently mostly online and in cafes. This year we are going to food festivals too. We’ll be at Wetherby Food Festival.“
A Slice of Home is a small family business. They pride themselves on providing excellent customer service, spending time communicating so that they can get it right for every customer. Ali and Edd seem to have the perfect combination of excellent customer service and a popular quality range of goods to sell. All they have to do now is make that move to quality time!