Starting out’s not a piece of cake, but it’s worth all the effort

The Oxford Times: Rania Freij with one of her cakes Rania Freij with one of her cakes

TURNING a hobby into a full-time job is a challenge but one that Rania Freij eventually found hard to resist.

For the last six years Banbury-based Ms Freij has been baking cakes for family and friends, but as demand grew she found herself working longer and longer hours.

“I started getting busier and found myself staying up until 4am, so last month I decided to take the plunge and start doing the cakes business full-time.”

Ms Freij had previously worked in retail at Debenhams in Oxford for 10 years before taking a position as an administration manager with an art retailer in Warwick, both of which were full-time. Starting her own business has been a challenge, but she has no regrets.

“Baking is something I love. I enjoy watching people’s faces when I show them my cakes.”

The key to launching Magic Mixer Cakes and Bakes has been marketing, and Ms Freij, 34, has had some success using Facebook to go beyond her circle of family and friends using referrals.

She is also targeting the weddings market by contacting florists and photographers, as well as hosting children’s parties and running classes in cake decoration.

Working from home she covers a relatively wide area from Northamptonshire to Oxford. She has also started hosting vintage tea parties, having built up a collection of cups and saucers, and she is also looking to break into the corporate market to take advantage of the demand for quality cup cakes at events.

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Ms Freij says she can turn her hand to a wide range of designs from children’s cartoon characters to elegant rose-shaped creations.

She is being supported by her partner, Andrew Parrett, as well as her extended family and friends who often pitch in at busy times.

“I am passionate about what I do and I am slowly building the business, which is very satisfying.”

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