James Fedden combined his love of baking with a passion for vintage vehicles to create ‘Cake Doctor’, a mobile bakery serving cakes, desserts and meringues from a converted 1979 Ford Transit Mark-2 ambulance.
Aware of the growing popularity of street food – good quality ready-to-eat meals sold in public places at affordable prices – James saw an opportunity to set up his unique baking business.
He said: “I knew I wanted to start a business and I was searching for ideas. I was going to street food markets regularly and noticed that most people were selling savoury food. I knew I had a perfect opportunity to combine my love of baking, especially cakes and whoopee pies, with a business idea.
“I was also really inspired by the passion and the skill of the people cooking street food. I wanted to be part of it. It’s an industry that has a soul and, from first-hand experience, it makes people happy.”
While setting up Cake Doctor, James sought the help of BSEEN (Birmingham Skills for Enterprise and Employability Network), which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
The BSEEN team support students and graduates who are setting-up businesses by offering mentoring, workshops, a business grant and workspace.
Carolyn Keenan, BSEEN Project Manager, said: “We have some weird and wonderful ideas pitched to us to join BSEEN but this one was unique. When we met James we knew he had the enthusiasm and determination to make the Cake Doctor a reality.”
With his renovated ambulance, which he bought on eBay, James has already wowed the crowds with his home bakes at street food markets throughout the Midlands. Over the next year, he hopes to take the Cake Doctor to music festivals across the UK.
James said: “I wouldn’t be this far along without the help of BSEEN- they have been invaluable. They put me in touch with a mentor, Tim Newman from Lloyds Bank, who has really helped me with the nuts and bolts of founding a business. I feel ready and excited for the year ahead now.”
A recent study concluded Birmingham is the best place for start-up businesses outside of London. BSEEN has helped to create over 80 start-up businesses in the last 12 months alone. New companies established by Aston graduates and supported the BSEEN programme include Beatfreeks, BKSK Inspire, Frumtious and Codevate.
For all of your baking emergencies, the Cake Doctor is on call and available for hire at events around the Midlands. Please contact James on: 07792012648 or firstname.lastname@example.org. He is also easy to contact on Facebook and Twitter.
Notes to Editors
BSEEN is a business start-up programme and collaboration between Aston University, Birmingham City University and the University of Birmingham.
The BSEEN project is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information visit www.communities.gov.uk/erdf
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