Convection oven growing small business

A baker and her E711 convection oven

“I’d do it all again in a second, it’s really rewarding.”

Fondlyiced cake decoration was established in 2010. They are a small family run company based in Stirling offering birthday cakes, wedding cakes, traybakes and other goodies. Originally selling primarily to the public, Fondlyiced cakes and treats can now be found throughout cafes in the central belt.

At the start of the Covid-19 outbreak, Fondlyiced owner Becky McEwan found herself baking in her mum’s house, due to the tiny kitchen she and her husband have. 
“We did our socially distanced things, they’d come to the front door, we’d have a table set up, we’d put their order on the table and then cafes started opening back up.”

Becky has been very fortunate despite the pandemic, having officially gone self-employed in April 2021 and then hired her first permanent member of staff in August 2021.
“I decided to start doing treat boxes because most of the celebration cakes and all the wedding cakes were cancelled. So, we decided to start doing treats, traybakes, empire biscuits, things like that. And it just took off.”

Becky has found tremendous growth even with the knockback of the pandemic. “I supplied one café in Stirling, the Pend, I’ve supplied them for about 3 years. And then it just started coming in little dribs and drabs. At the beginning of lockdown, it was just the Pend that I supplied and now its 12 cafes throughout central, a big medical company, and then we’ve started supplying a farm as well”

Fondlyiced was able to move into a purpose-built kitchen unit in Stirling Enterprise Park (STEP) once the business outgrew her mum’s kitchen. Becky has since completed works on her new unit, still within STEP, but much bigger. “The thing is in here you could have 5 or 6 staff and not be falling over each other. Whereas in the old kitchen you couldn’t even have two of you, you would turn around and bang into each other, it was just far too small.”
“Now I can’t imagine not being here. We’ve done well. STEP have been amazing; I can’t fault them, and I have probably been quite difficult at times because I’ve been really stressed about money and how much its costing. They have gone above and beyond to support me. I would recommend it to anybody.”

With her new kitchen in play, Becky wanted to make the move from domestic to commercial ovens. Development Chef Shaune Hall helped make the decision to get an E711, a versatile, compact countertop, 1/1 gastronorm compatible fan-assisted convection oven. “We spoke about a couple of different things, I had said, ideally an oven would be the thing that I would need the most. When we started getting down to the nitty gritty of it, he said I think I’ve got an oven for you, would you be happy with that? He sent me the spec and it sounds perfect, then it came, and I decided that’s definitely the one.”

The E711 has been with Becky in both her kitchens at STEP. “The fact it’s 13 amp and stuff, makes the difference. We just literally unplugged it, put it on a trolley, pulled it around here, stuck it in and it just worked.”

“Last week we did 2000 empire biscuits, if I was doing that in the house it would probably take me a day, whereas we did it in here in probably a couple of hours. Especially having the oven we’ve got from Falcon, it’s the 1/1 GN size, you can’t get that in a household oven. I went through 4 or 5 ovens in 4 years, an oven a year pretty much, just because I was using them so much. (The E711) just goes, and there’s never any issues with it. It’s amazing. We wouldn’t have got to where we are”

With her new kitchen and oven, Becky is ready to keep growing her business. “At the moment there’s definitely scope for us to grow more than we are. I am the only one who does the celebration cakes side of things, it’s what the business is built on, I definitely would like to keep doing that myself. With the idea of doing our style of café cakes on a weekly basis for my customers not just for the cafes because then it doesn’t mean it’s just me that can make them, it means that my assistant can do it as well. That’s definitely the next port of call.
“We’re hoping to do some sort of weekly treat box collection, we just don’t have the time, it’s quite difficult trying to get time to do everything. 
“I think in the long run, me and my husband used to work together, he’s in hospitality as well, we would like to be able to have our own café someday… but that’s well in the future.”

“I wouldn’t be here in this unit unless I had that oven because I couldn’t have done things to the same quantity that we’re doing it.”

Find out more about Fondlyiced here, or search on Facebook.

What's in the Kitchen?

  • E711 Convection Oven


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