Julie Hicks is used to confused faces when she delivers her stunning cupcakes.
“Many people do not believe they are cakes,” she said. “I delivered to a lady for her birthday recently after her daughter phoned me from New Zealand to order them, and she was worried as she’d run out of vases.
“I had to tell her she wouldn’t be needing any vases as they were cakes, not flowers!”
Julie set up Hilltop Cakery earlier this year, working from home to make traditional cakes for all types of celebration, as well as her unique cupcake bouquets.
The 52-year-old left her job as a receptionist at an accountancy firm in April to launch her business, and has already been inundated with more than 300 orders.
“The amount of work I am getting is incredible,” she said.
“I have had orders from New Zealand and Nigeria.”
“You do worry about going self-employed, it was a scary thing to do.
“I was making cakes as a hobby for friends and family and one day I was sitting at work and thought ‘life is too short to not give it a go’.
“I had thyroid cancer two years ago and someone once said to me to live each day like it was your last, and that stuck with me. I didn’t want to get to 60 and think ‘what if?’ At least I have given it a go and can say that I have tried.
“I get real pleasure out of baking and the surprise on people’s faces when they see the finished product. The satisfaction of seeing people so happy with what I have done and then coming back for more is wonderful.”
Julie’s cupcake bouquets are available with seven, 12 or 19 cakes.
She started making them after doing a basic course but says she is “learning something new every day” about baking.
“I really enjoy making the cupcakes because I like seeing people’s reactions when they see them,” she said. “They just can’t believe they are cakes and not flowers.”
Julie, who lives in Evesham Close in Heysham and is married to Duncan with a son Gareth, 29, is in the process of setting up a website, but in the meantime can be found on Facebook. She is also offering a 10 per cent discount on orders of cupcake bouquets to new customers who quote the code LGV/HC when they contact her.