A selection of cakes from YUM Sweet Treats

Hungry For More

Based in Worcestershire, UK, micro bakery YUM Sweet Treats creates irresistibly delicious cakes in a galaxy of amazing flavours. From a personal love of baking, Bev Mitchell has grown her business beyond her family kitchen to a dedicated bakery space, making thousands of cakes for local markets, events and a rapidly-expanding list of local stockists.

CandyLion are huge fans of all forms of confectionery and we're always delighted to see YUM's distinctive pink branding on our high street - closely following their social media updates to discover where Bev's newest creations and unique limited editions will appear next.

Running one of Worcestershire's fastest-growing food businesses doesn't leave Bev with much spare time, but we managed to get a few minutes aside to discuss how it all started, where she gets her inspiration and her (even greater) ambitions for the future.

Why do you make cakes?

So I actually started the business almost by accident. During the very first lockdown back in 2020 we welcomed our youngest daughter into the world. A scary time for everyone, let alone with a newborn!

In what should have been an exciting period of time meeting family and friends showing off our new baby, we found ourselves as with the rest of the country locked down at home. We didn't want to risk contact with anyone with a newborn, as we were so worried about the virus and consequences. So with a tonne of time of my hands I started baking!

YUM's Choc Fudge Sundae Brownie

We had a couple of doorstep deliveries, and I remember one in particular being a selection of brownies. Less than impressed, the retailer in me (my professional background) saw a business opportunity and I went for it. Once my maternity leave was over I did return to work for a short period of time, but I had already made my mind up. I knew exactly what I wanted to do, so I left my role and professional career to sell cake. And the rest they say is history!

How and where do you work?

Initially I started off baking from my home kitchen as a registered business, despite a large kitchen I very quickly outgrew this space. The business grew as much as it could from the home kitchen but it was clear it needed its own space, everything had sugar.

Naturally when I started I was purchasing domestic sized product packs (eg 1kg sugar) but rapidly moved to wholesale volumes and sizes (25kg packs of sugar). It's not as easy to hide those in the cupboards! In fact we had four separate fridges in addition to our family fridge in the house at one point!

We release new flavours on a weekly basis to keep our customers taste buds tingling!

This year I have invested in expanding the space by converting our double garage into a separate baking space - we call it the bakery at home. It honestly has been a game changer. I opted for a commercial style set up stainless style counter tops etc, pantry area for ingredients, double sink, and finally, a commercial oven! It has been revolutionary in streamlining my productivity and has enabled me to expand our capacity to bake hundreds and hundreds more treats each week.

Where do you get your inspiration?

Quite often inspiration will come to me as I'm walking down the aisles in either the wholesalers or supermarkets. I'll see a new chocolate bar or biscuit and my mind starts racing with ideas. More often than not I come out of a shop with far more than I went in for! Personally I've always had quite a creative background, so I think this has subconsciously made its way into my baking brain!

There are lots of other small businesses out there very similar to ours. However I try to bring something new and different to the table combining different flavour combinations to create something a bit more unique. We release new flavours on a weekly basis to keep our customers taste buds tingling!

YUM Sweet Treats Stall

Where do you sell your cakes?

Our main outlet is markets and events. These vary from small local monthly markets, which have a strong local following, to huge shows which attract tens of thousands of visitors nationwide. We have numerous markets and events which we trade at each and every month and have consequently built a loyal customer base (Bromyard, GMFM, Fold, Worcester High St, Crowcroft and elsewhere). We have also now expanded to wholesale and currently have 11 stockists too, which I often have to pinch myself in disbelief!

What obstacles have you overcome?

Good question! This one has really me made me stop and think. Probably in all honesty, self doubt. For a long time I would compare myself to other businesses and question my ability. Yes, imposter syndrome got me!

I'm quite resilient and also very determined, so there was no other option in my mind other than to succeed.

Many other small business owners can probably relate here too. However when working for yourself, I think it's inevitable that you learn more about yourself and reflect on yourself as an individual. I would say I'm quite resilient and also very determined, so there was no other option in my mind other than to succeed. I've developed my own strategies to channel my focuses and energies more effectivity, which in turn has had a hugely positive effect on my business.

How do you promote yourself?

I often joke that I have a love hate relationship with social media, however I have to say it is inevitably my main source of promotion. It can be very time consuming, often a full time job in itself and with new features landing on the platforms regularly it can be very difficult to keep up. I try not to worry about it too much though as naturally when you have a product that customers love they will return to you, even if you don't end up posting that Instagram or Facebook picture you'd planned to all week!

Naturally we will continue to develop new flavours and products and the ideas bank is currently overflowing...

What are your future ambitions?

I'm currently working on streamlining our work flow at present to expand further next year. I'd like to expand our wholesale offering to new areas of the Midlands to spread the YUM vibe far and wide. Naturally we will continue to develop new flavours and products and the ideas bank is currently overflowing, so hopefully I can bring some of these to fruition.

After our busiest summer season to date we are ready for an even busier autumn and winter season. In fact, just last week we received a really exciting confirmation for Christmas! Blue sky would be to have our own Cakery (basically a bakery but for cakes!), I'm thinking Lily Bakes Cakes vibes. If you haven't already go check it out - cake heaven!

YUM Sweet Treats Stack

Do you have any advice for aspiring creators?

Believe in yourself! Stay in your own lane and run, go for it and don't look back. I certainly haven't!

Massive thanks to Bev Mitchell for sparing the time to answer our questions. Her cakes are truly the greatest we've ever tasted, so we highly recommend following YUM on Instagram or Facebook for details of where they will be appearing next.
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