Congratulations to Tina for being our first Featured Trader! This is part of Errol Sunday Market’s new initiative to promote traders that are going the extra mile in terms of business development and customer service. We have conducted an insightful interview with her about her business and her lifelong passion for baking.
What age were you when you first started baking? Is it a skill that runs in the family?
I started baking at the age of 10. My grandmother was a great bread baker and cook but my great grandmother was the real baker of the family, and as well as being my baking teacher she was a huge inspiration to me in life having survived bringing up 16 children on her own with no benefits or help available.
Incredible! So, how did your first ever bake sale go? Did you feel any sort of “aha!” moment where you realised that this was the vocation for you?
My first bake sale at the age of 14 went very well and I realised then that I could make money from something I enjoyed doing! However I didn’t have the confidence to take the bull by the horns and take on baking as a full time career so did it part-time around a fulltime job. It was only after losing my husband six years ago that I decided that life is too short and to just go for it and start my own full-time baking business.
And you’ve recently rebranded your shop name and logo. Can you tell me a bit about that process and what inspired the change?
The pandemic changed the dynamics of my business and my original tearoom was closed by covid. I didn’t give up and found a small retail premises to continue my baking. However the name of Tina’s Kitchen was confusing to people as they thought I had a café so I decided it was time for a change of name that basically said what the business is, Wee Cake Box.
It’s clear you’re someone that adapts to change pretty well! In terms of comfort though, is there any recipe of yours you consider to be a classic?
I have a few favourite recipes but I think the firm consistent seller has to be the Victoria sponge, and an old family recipe for date and walnut loaf.
Ooh, I love a good walnut loaf. So what was it that initially attracted you to trade with us at Errol?
I had worked the markets in England for a number of years but was unable to find anything when I moved to Scotland (west coast); however, I was able to get onto some agricultural shows. I was introduced by a friend and decided I needed to get myself there as I realised how much I was missing the market atmosphere.
What’s your fondest or your funniest memory of your time with us?
[I have] a good few funny and fond moments, but one that sticks in my mind was when I was trading as “Tina’s Kitchen” and a nearby [former] trader was always calling me Mrs Kitchen as they thought that was my name. I never did tell them!
And finally, my last question for you is- what’s the best thing you’ve ever bought at the market?
China, china, and more china!!!