Based in Mawdesley in Lancashire, The Cake Pavilion has enjoyed flourishing success on the back of a dedication to perfection. As a result of this, it was recognised as the Most Outstanding in Luxury Cake Design for the county of Lancashire in LUXlife Magazine’s 2019 ‘Ones to Watch in the Wedding Industry’ programme. Naturally, we were eager to speak to The Cake Pavilion’s Owner and Cake-Maker Extraordinaire, Suzie Bunner, to find out more about her work and company.
Over the last decade, weddings have evolved to become an entirely different beast from the purely tradition-driven events of yesteryear, they have become fuelled by a desire for bespoke finishes, and unique experiences. The days of cookie cutter weddings are over, as today’s couples look for personalisation and customisation above all else. This is also true for the day’s centrepiece – the wedding cake. Whether they opt for traditionalism, or the avant-garde, the wedding cake is something that should reflect the tastes and personality of the couple of the centre of the day’s events.
Equally, the stakes couldn’t be higher – after all, the wedding day is supposed to be the epitome of perfection. It would be fair to say that clients expect only the very best. Perhaps it is no surprise then that The Cake Pavilion has enjoyed the success that it has as Suzie aims for nothing short of perfection in the pieces that she creates. Each captures the heart of the client, acting as testament to the deeply personalised approach she takes to her work. After all, as Suzie explains, her work is her passion: “I started a small business to allow me to realise my passions for working closely with clients and being creative. I had worked in the NHS for many years with long hours away from home and I wanted to move away from that. My role in General Practice was extremely rewarding but stressful.
“I now create beautiful bespoke wedding cakes. I offer a highly personal and professional yet, friendly service. Every cake is individually designed with the client. I provide a relaxed atmosphere in quintessentially English rural surroundings opposite the village cricket pavilion for wedding consultations, so that I can get to know the clients and create a cake for them that reflects their personality and ideas. The cakes are made from scratch with only the best and freshest ingredients. We pride ourselves on producing a cake that tastes as good as it looks. the cakes are delivered and set up nationally by The Cake Pavilion. This continues and completes the personal service offered to the clients. The couple can relax knowing that their cake will arrive and be presented at their wedding in perfect condition.
For Suzie, whose parents ran a successful bakery, providing great customer service forms the foundation of The Cake Pavilion’s success. “They provided exquisitely decorated and delicious cakes with exceptional customer service – I learned a lot from them. Although fashions have changed the principles that guided them have not and I will always go that extra mile to ensure that the client has the cake of their dreams. Ultimately, I follow the same principles of integrity that I held in the health professions and I hope this, in turn, inspires trust and confidence in The Cake Pavilion.
“We truly believe that it is our privilege to share in the client’s special occasion.”
Suzie continues, elaborating on the everchanging trends and fashions of the wedding industry. “Customisable cakes and designer cakes are growing in popularity which naturally supports sales in the bespoke cake market. There is also a demand for freshly bakes cakes and healthier ingredients. We use all butter and free-range eggs in our cakes and we hope to introduce organic options in the future.”
“At the end of the day, I hope to set trends rather than follow them. I have never been a follower of fashion, and this continues in my work now. Though clients bring pictures of cakes that they like, I never copy cake designs – I use my own creativity as a cake artist to make my own personal interpretation of the client’s ideas. But some
things will never go out of fashion – think floral arrangements for wedding cakes. The Cake Pavilion prides itself on the quality of its handmade sugar flowers. The flowers can be combined with different foliage, berries and filler flowers to change with the times. Flowers and foliage can range from opulent cascades and crowns to contemporary single blooms. They are suitable for all styles of cakes.”
Where The Cake Pavilion does follow trends it does so with its uniquely distinctive style, offering a different perspective to the usual and the expected. “This year, geometric shapes and marble effects are on trend. We’ve found that marbling using softer alabaster colours works beautifully. Moreover, using gold accents is a strong trend at the moment.
We especially enjoy using 24ct gold leaf to decorate cakes in either a solid form covering a tier or sometimes more excitingly in a random, broken effect – which looks so effective as a background for a posy of beautiful sugar blooms.”
“Finally, people are experimenting with texture this year. A plain white or ivory cake can look flat but by adding texture using hand piped royal icing or using bas relief gives a cake depth and interest without it coming too fussy. I encourage clients to add texture, such as copying the exquisite lace from a dress on to the cake by hand piping the design. This not only adds interest but helps create the truly bespoke elements of the cake that make it personal to the client. I always try to add detail to a cake that is developed from some other aspect of the wedding arrangements, such as a design from an heirloom piece of jewellery that is worn on the day. Equally, a piece of patterned fabric can inspire the design for hand painting on a cake, such as a water colour style floral or a delicate Chinoiserie or Toile de Jouy.”
Alongside these design elements is a greater trend towards digitisation, as businesses of all sizes capitalise on the merits of moving to an online platform. Whilst Suzie acknowledges the importance of the online ‘marketplace’, she believes that maintaining that key personal, face to face contact is at the crux of her services and success as a cake designer. “The growth of online sales in other areas of commerce is an issue we are aware of but we do though feel that in order to have the best possible experience in the luxury bespoke cake market individual contact is important.”
Finally, the discussion turns to the future of The Cake Pavilion, and what Suzie plans to do to expand her business and client-base. “I entered Cake International at the NEC in Birmingham for the first time last year. It’s a global competition with competitors from all over the world. I received a certificate of merit on the back of my submission for the ‘Fantasy Flowers’ category, which was a great achievement. I was complimented on the standard of my sugar flowers and the delicacy of the petals. I received very high marks for originality and concept. One of the aims for this year will be to enter again in November and continue to compete against the best in the field.”
“The Cake Pavilion will continue to design and produce beautiful cakes, develop new designs to meet the client’s needs and develop my cake artistry to future define my signature style. We will be producing more cakes with royal icing and hand painting. Combining traditional icing skills which are not commonly seen anymore, such as royal icing, with newer techniques such as hand painting on cakes. Very few cake artists hand pipe royal icing now, but here at The Cake Pavilion we pride ourselves on producing cakes using this highly skilled and intricate decorative technique.”
Company: The Cake Pavilion Contact: Suzie Bunner Address: Ormskirk, Lancashire, United Kingdom Website: thecakepavilion.co.uk Telephone: +44 (0) 7756 443129