As things start to open up again and we ready ourselves for an incredible summer of weddings we are looking forwards to seeing some of our favorite suppliers again, not least of which is the wonderful Joanna Evans Cake Design! It is always a pleasure to work with Jo, and it is not only because she always brings us the tastiest of cakes (her Raspberry Ripple is to die for), but because she always puts her heart and soul into her creations. Read on to find out more.
Who are you and how did you come to be a cake designer?
Hi, my name is Joanna, but mainly known as Jo and I am the owner of Joanna Evans Cake Design. My love of baking started as far back as I can remember when I was a little girl. I would stand on my Nanas kitchen stall and watch her create fabulous cakes and biscuits, and my Mum would create stunning birthday cakes for me and my brother. I have always enjoyed being creative and have turned my hand to many things including pottery, and watercolours. It was whilst looking for my next “hobby” that my husband Mark brought me a gift voucher for a cake decorating class, and that was it, I was hooked! I was determined not to make this just another “expensive hobby” and so registered my business, advertised, and received my first cake order in 2012.
In 2016 after rebranding and a new website, things continued to grow and in 2017 I entered Cake International and achieved a Bronze Award in the Wedding Cake Section. 2019 was a huge year for me. Having worked from my home kitchen for 7 years, I found a brilliant space just 2 minutes from home and converted this into my cake studio. I was also nominated as a Finalist for Entrepreneur of the year (Midlands) by LoveBiz Networking Ltd and was the Regional Winner – Business Category (East Midlands) on behalf of The Cake Professionals.
I absolutely love talking about, designing, baking, and decorating all sorts of cakes and am fortunate that my business is based on passion and imagination; one which brings to life, in design and flavours, your dream cake.
When I am not baking or talking about cake, I am a mother, wife, daughter, and sister. My favorite 5 things are watching movies with my Husband Mark and son Dominic, soaking in a bath with lots of bubbles, eating cheesy Wotsits, growing lots of different orchids, and singing badly to loud 80’s music.
What makes you different to other cake designers in the area?
I believe when I meet a couple, it is far more important to get along and feel comfortable with each other. I am naturally very friendly and outgoing and love to meet new people and especially hear about their plans for their big day. It is very important to me that my couples feel at ease when we are discussing designs or flavours. I have always taken pride in offering my couples luxury cakes, which are professionally made, and come with a friendly & personal service. It’s the little extras that I feel make all the difference, the attention to the smallest detail. I ask about the whole feel of the wedding, not just the cake. It is important to me to get the personality of the couple in the cake and make sure when the sketch is complete, they have already fallen in love with their cake. If I’m talking to a couple and for example mention Emma, Adrian or Kirsty at Hanbury they are reassured that I know the venue and also the people and this puts them at ease. I even offer a cake box in bed which are slices of your wedding cake presented in a lovely cake box just to make sure that you don’t miss out on your wedding cake if you are socializing, dancing and drinking. I also feel it is very important for me to continually invest and continue learning and be able to bring new techniques to my couples. In previous years I have been lucky enough to have a 1:1 Masterclass with Suzanne Thorp from The Frostery, and Phil & Christine Jensen from Peboryon, where I learned so many new skills.
Tell us some of your favourite memories to date.
One of my favorite memories involves a young couple who are due to get married at Hanbury this year. In 2018 we first met at a wedding fayre but they hadn’t got a venue booked at the time, but had tasted my cake and promised to be back. I think I then saw them at every fayre! It was around May 2019 that they came running up to me so excited & shouting that they had found the perfect venue; Hanbury Wedding Barn and could they book me. Each time we have met since then, they are both so excited to get married. It was due to this couple that I got in touch with Adrian & Kirsty and set up a meeting with them to introduce myself….with cake of course, and the rest is history!
What are your top 3 tips for a successful wedding day?
It’s really hard just to give 3 top tips for a successful wedding day but I do believe these three are the most important.
- Enjoy every second, and by that, I mean EVERY second! The day will go by so fast, there will be lots of emotions, from laughter to tears. From waiting to get dressed, to walking down the aisle, enjoying your food, listening to speeches and dancing the night away. Simple, just enjoy every second.
- Work with suppliers you feel comfortable with. There’s nothing worse than feeling that you are not able to say no to your supplier when you don’t like something or want to change it. Working with the right supplier should feel like you have a friend helping you, you have someone who will listen to your ideas, offer guidance and be supportive throughout the process. Again, it’s about making everything special for your special day and by choosing the right supplier they will achieve this for you.
- Have the cake you want! Just because Granny or Grandad love fruit cake, it doesn’t mean you have to have the whole cake as fruit. We can accommodate for additional flavours by way of a kitchen cake, so if you have 3 or 4 favorite flavuors of sponge, have those in your wedding cake.