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Cake maker from Thurlby, near Bourne, turns hobby into career as COVID sparks boom in home catering start-ups




The COVID pandemic has seen many people adapt to change and, according to our local councils, there has been a rise in home-based catering start-ups.

Both South Holland and South Kesteven district councils have reported a growth in new food businesses registering with them over the past year.

Coun Anthony Casson, portfolio holder for public protection for South Holland District Council, recently explained that many people were diversifying due to the pandemic, as well as there being the opportunity for new home-based catering start-ups.

Jade Connolly-Beever, of Pretty Baked in Thurlby, decorating sugar flowers for one of her cakes.
Jade Connolly-Beever, of Pretty Baked in Thurlby, decorating sugar flowers for one of her cakes.

South Kesteven District Council said it has received registrations from 211 new food businesses since the first March lockdown, 114 of which are home caterers, with the vast majority of those being cake makers.

Among the entrepreneurial bakers who have set up a new business during lockdown is Jade Connolly-Beever.

Jade (30), set up her business ‘Pretty Baked’ in Thurlby, near Bourne, last summer, after being made redundant from her job at a tea room due to the COVID pandemic.

Jade's children Bradley and Daisy assist in the home kitchen of Pretty Baked in Thurlby.
Jade's children Bradley and Daisy assist in the home kitchen of Pretty Baked in Thurlby.

She explained: “I have been doing cakes as a hobby for a while for friends and family and I’m self-taught. I’ve learnt a lot from YouTube videos.

“I got made redundant in June and got set up and taxed in July. I had a Facebook page set up and I announced I was going full time.”

Jade holds a Level 2 Food Hygiene certificate and her business is registered with her district council.

“It is a leap setting up by yourself but it’s been really great,” she added.

“Mainly what I specialise in is occasion and celebration cakes and obviously people are not having parties so I have adapted. I also offer other cakes, afternoon teas and brownies.”

Working from home means that Jade, who lives with husband James (37) and children Bradley (10) and Daisy (5), has had to do a bit of reorganising in the kitchen.

“I have had to buy new cupboards and jiggle things around,” she explained.

Her children are particularly big fans of her cakes.

“They get really excited when there are leftovers!” she added.

Jade will also be joining her mum Sapphira Waterson as manager and baker at a new tea room set to open in Gosberton this year.

Her mum and step-dad Paul are turning the downstairs of their home, a 200-year-old former bakery in Wargate Way, into the tea room.

  • People starting a food business will need to register with their local council at least 28 days in advance.

Cabinet member for commercial and operations for South Kesteven District Council, Coun Dr Peter Moseley, said: “Our food safety work continues during the pandemic as we have a responsibility to all businesses, and their customers, to ensure everyone remains protected.

“It’s fair to say that we have been inundated with people wanting to start a food business – including home catering – which is great news for our residents and the local economy at such a difficult time.”

People starting up a food business can register at www.southkesteven.gov.uk/startup or register.food.gov.uk/new/south-holland depending on their local authority.



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