Rebecca McEwan, 38, established Fondlyiced in 2010. The award-winning Stirling bakery specialises in personalised celebratory cakes.
Fondlyiced also supplies twelve cafés and a medical company with baked goods, like traybakes and cakes. They also provide treat boxes, which took off in lockdown when business was declining.
The bakery is based in a Stirling Enterprise Park unit. Since entering the premises, Rebecca has converted the former office space into a fully-equipped bakery.
“It started with a cousin I’m close with having a wee girl and she asked me to do the celebration cake for her naming ceremony,” said Rebecca. “The business just grew from there, with friends and family asking for cakes.
“It does get lonely. My mum and dad come through the week and the delivery driver is lovely. I have a good support network. For the medical company we supply, it’s individual packaging because of Natasha’s Law, so my dad came the other day to just sit and package.”
Rebecca is a qualified chef, having worked all around the Stirling area. She was furloughed during lockdown and continued working on her business on the side while taking on roles for extra money. By August 2021, she was self-employed full time.
“Fondlyiced was going to be a play on celebratory cakes – which are made with lots of fondant icing – so something like fondant memories, but there were lots of companies down south using the name. I was like aw no! Tried different ones, and eventually, Fondlyiced stuck.
“I like to think a creative industry needs an inventive name. We trademarked it too. I’ve worked in a lot of places so it’s good to keep that recognition for yourself.”
Rebecca didn’t know what she wanted to do when she left school so she started a course at Falkirk college in Film and TV, which she says helps with advertising her business.
As a one-woman bakery, Fondlyiced faces difficulties like long hours and pricing correctly.
“People have no concept of price,” says Rebecca. “I had one guy looking for a cake for four people with a £20 budget – my prices start at £55. If you saw me making a cake, you’d see how much effort I put in. It can take days.
“You don’t want to overprice but underpricing costs you so much money. At the end of the day, it is just cake. Sponge is cheap to make. It’s the décor, hand-carved figurines. It takes days. So, you’re not getting it for a cheap price.”
Alongside celebratory cakes, Fondlyiced produces 2000 empire biscuits a week, cupcakes, millionaire’s shortbread and rocky road.
“Sometimes it’s about getting through the hard months. In December a lot of cafés closed, and January had a lot of breakages.
“I do 90-hour weeks sometimes. I average about 70.
“I do deliveries myself on a Saturday morning to keep in touch and see how customers are. I love my van – best purchase ever. Sold my car and made my life so much easier.
“I couldn’t go back to cheffing. Never expected to be here even though I always talked about it. I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s hard work but worth it.”