“Life is too short to let any dreams die!”
Berkshire bakers husband and wife, Segun and Fehintola launched MonAnnie Cakes from a dream to bake, and create beautiful things.
With the ethos that “life is too short to let any dreams die” this mighty team are certainly not going to without trying their best first. And it’s clearly working!
We love that you are a husband and wife team of bakers! What initially made you take the plunge to form your own business?
S: It’s a far from straightforward story!
F: I’ve had an interest in baking and food for as long as I can remember, however this was outpaced by my desire to become a doctor. I qualified in 2007 and started working in paediatrics, however I would bake to relax in my free time.
S: When we got married in 2009 she would bake cupcakes and take them to work. She kept talking about opening a coffee shop on the side, with me making hot drinks… it was always our dream, bakers and cakes!
F: And then in 2013 I sadly became very unwell due to work stress. Turning to baking helped me find meaning again. I kept at it, trying different recipes, and eventually decided that I’d like to try making bigger cakes!
S: At the time she was so unwell I quit my job too to stay at home. When she started making cakes it really helped, and one day we decided to take the plunge and make it a business. MonAnnie Cakes was quite literally born overnight!
Do you think being such a close team of bakers has helped grow your business to the successful brand it is today?
…just kidding! Everything works better as a team. Each person has different strengths and different weaknesses, and by overlapping the strengths are magnified and weaknesses diminished.
We would not have been able to get anywhere near where we are now on our own.
F: This isn’t to say that it’s impossible to build a brand by yourself- I think we are just saying that working together has worked for US.
Your confectionary and cake range is so large, showcasing everything from macarons to tiered masterpieces – therefore, what has been your most challenging brief to date?
F: A lovely client came in and asked for a “big cake with lots of flowers”.
By that she meant a 6 tier cake with about 200 sugar flowers!
That was two weeks of solid work.
S: Real grit was required to finish that one!
A real specialty at MonAnnie, find their Sugar Flower Garden here.
From this, if you can choose… what has been your favourite masterpiece to date?
S: Most of all, it has to be the Alice Cake.
F: I’ve recently discovered a love for making children’s cakes, and a lovely mum asked me to make an Alice in Wonderland Cake based on the drawings by John Tenniel.
We were both really pleased by the way it turned out- and had the pleasure of presenting it personally to the little girl involved. Her eyes nearly popped out of her skull, and her mum was moved to tears.
It was a powerful moment that neither of us will ever forget.
We love the sound of the MonAnnie Cake flavours, especially Chocolate Peanut Butter (dream!) – do you have any new flavours soon to be announced that you can share with us?
We’ve just started making waffles as a dessert table item. Our first flavour will be apple and chocolate butterscotch. Maybe some more to come soon!
Without stating the obvious, why do you think creative Cakes and Confectionary at events are so important?
F: Segun always talks about how special memories are what make life worth living…
S: In my other life, I work in intensive care, looking after sick people. One thing that has always struck me about the ones that do – is that they have something to look forward to. The birth of a child, a wedding, an anniversary, also birthdays – special moments that instil their lives with meaning.
Cakes and desserts have such powerful, long-lasting flavours- and evoke such warm memories- that they seal in those moments. It’s almost like they sharpen the mind as you eat them, allowing you to experience the fullness of that particular point in time.
It’s as if they give your meaningful moments even more meaning.
Cakes and confectionery, when properly made, go beyond being just a treat. They remind us that life is beautiful and sweet. And, a most noteworthy ethos for bakers to strive for.
We’re so excited for the future of MonAnnie Cakes… what we can expect from you over the next couple of years?
S: Our own showcase at an exclusive London hotel!
F: Yes, we will get to that…
Rather I love learning and developing new recipes. As a result, what we’d really love to do is develop into a “gourmet kitchen”. As well as applying our approach to sweet treats and desserts to all kinds of foods, including savoury dishes. We’d love to be able to provide clients with a wonderful culinary experience over a wide range of food – creating afternoon teas, for instance.
In conclusion, the answer we’re dying to know – as bakers, what are your favourite sweet desserts?
S: Some kind of chocolate peanut butter dessert- like a deep rich chocolate cake with peanut butter icing…
F: I like apple crumble and custard. The catch is the custard has to be cheap- proper penny’s worth powdered custard. With lumps! It’s my comfort food…
If you want to find out more about these fantastic bakers – explore MonAnnie’s profile here.