Moving to another Lincolnshire town has always been part of Ali Outhwaite’s semi-retirement plan, but discovering his talent for making edible bouquets of flowers came as a surprise.
Ali moved from Slough to Sleaford with her husband Roy in 2016 and after realizing that their new home didn’t need major upgrades, she was unsure of what to do in her spare time.
She said: “One weekend my husband went to see his son and I thought ‘oh I’m going to bake cupcakes’ – that’s all they were, nothing fancy because I didn’t ‘had no idea. “
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She found an online course and learned how to make flowers.
Since then she has grown and progressed – becoming the founder of Scooby Cakes and a social media sensation with over 6,000 Facebook followers.
Ali said: “I had a lady that was on vacation and her friend commented on a post and she saw it so she ordered a bunch while she was on the beach in Barbados.”
She said she chose the flowers because at the time they were different. The ones she kept seeing were in boxes, but her own creations are in paper cups, so they look more like a bouquet.
Ali added, “I mainly take my ideas from YouTube and do them for funerals, weddings, christenings, birthdays and gifts from friends and for new homes.”
It takes Ali about an hour and a half to complete a bunch of seven, but his larger size, a bunch of 30, takes just over three hours.
Ali started selling his cakes professionally when asked to have a booth at a local event. So she contacted the Environment Agency and got five stars.
She said: “Being new to Sleaford was a way to meet people and make friends because we literally didn’t know anyone.
“I was like, ‘I like doing that,’ especially the bouquets, because people smile so much when they receive them.
“If we deliver them locally, some ask if they need to water them and my husband says ‘no, eat them, these are cakes.’ “
Mother’s Day is the busiest season for Scooby Cakes.
Ali said, “It’s chaos. It starts a week before and continues until the end. For my first year, I was up 48 hours, it was mental.
“I have people who book a year in advance for Christmas and once it’s over I have to book slots for Mother’s Day.”
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, many independent companies have struggled to survive, but Scooby Cakes has been in demand.
“Over the past year, I haven’t stopped. Honestly, I thought it was going to subside.
“On the first lockdown I closed for six months, but then reopened to see if anyone wanted more and customers cheered when I announced it on my Facebook page.
“I recently made 150 flowers for a wedding, took them to Lincoln and the groom took them to Edinburgh – the bride said if he didn’t put them up there in one piece, they wouldn’t get together. would not marry! ”
Ali delivers his treats locally for a fee and makes bouquets of various sizes. Visit Scooby Cakes on Facebook for more information.