Menu
Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

Where it all began - Shelley at the cake stand in Hastings market.

Taking a stand for vegan cakes

One’s not a vegan and neither has a diploma in baking. But if you want a tasty vegan or gluten-free cake, 1066 Cake Stand’s Kevin Young and Shelley Feldman are the bakers to go to. Usually to be found in their shop opposite Morrison’s or weekly stall in Hastings market, they’ll be offering their wares, as well as their second recipe book, at St Leonards Festival on Saturday. Nick Terdre met them.

No diplomas, but that doesn’t mean baking doesn’t run in their blood. It obviously comes naturally to long-time cake-maker Kevin, as Shelley invited him to make her wedding cake. He took to baking the vegan way so that vegan friends could also enjoy his cakes.

The idea for the baking joint venture came from Shelley, Kevin says. Three years ago the cake stand in Hastings market became vacant and they decided to take it. It was an unexpected career move for both – Kevin is a telecoms engineer who teaches part-time at the college, and a member of the Territorial Army’s Royal Signals division, while Shelley had recently been made redundant from her job as a legal adviser to Shelter.

Although only one was vegan, at a time when there were plenty of bakers around, and good ones at that, the vegan/allergy-free products represented a market niche waiting to be filled, and that’s what they did.

It wasn’t all plain sailing – at one time they had five jobs between them, Shelley says. But now she’s working full-time on the business and Kevin will soon have some more time available when he retires from the TA.

Setting up shop

They moved into the premises in Queen’s Road in September last year, setting up two kitchens upstairs, including one reserved for gluten-free food preparation. By this time they had enough of a customer base to open a shop. “But the main reason was we wanted kitchens,” says Kevin.

Kevin in cake-cutting mode in the shop.

As their reputation grows, so does the business. Before Christmas they plan to put in a second oven in both kitchens. You don’t have to buy direct to enjoy their cakes – they supply various other outlets in town, including Trinity Wholefoods.

They’ve also discovered that there are a lot of vegans in Hastings – the Vegan Society used to be here,  Shelley points out – and a lot of tourists, both day-trippers and holidaymakers from home and abroad, call in at the shop or the stall. Nor does it do any harm that 1066 Cake Stand comes up quite high on Google when people are researching vegan possibilities in Hastings.

And then there are those who just like the taste of the cakes and biscuits and buns. Whether baking to meet vegan or gluten-free requirements, the end-results in terms of taste and texture should be no different from ‘ordinary’ cakes, Shelley says. Palate-wise, the products pass the test. Or, as Kevin puts it, “I wouldn’t have been making cakes like that for 20 years if they didn’t taste nice.”

In June they were present at the three-day Allergy and Free From show in Olympia. “This was the second time – it helps us to reach out to a wider audience, you find out what people want, and we sold quite a lot of recipe books there,” Shelley says. “We get customers coming to the shop because they’ve met us at the show.”

The recipe books are another thriving product. The second is out now. “The first one was a compendium of cakes, the new one is dedicated to savoury recipes,” Shelley says. “Food you can eat on the go – picnic foods, snack foods, stuff like falafel and bhajis.” It has sold well, and a second print-run has been ordered.

 

1066 Cake Stand, 82 Queens’ Road, Hastings. Opening hours: 11am-3pm, Monday-Friday, 11am-5pm Saturday. Tel 01424 532 103. www.1066cakestand.co.uk

 

Posted 08:32 Friday, Jul 12, 2013 In: Food & Drink

Also in: Food & Drink

«
»
More HOT Stuff
  • SUPPORT HOT

    HOT is run by volunteers but has overheads for hosting and web development. Support HOT!

    ADVERTISE

    Advertise your business or your event on HOT for as little as £20 per month
    Find out more…

    DONATE

    If you like HOT and want to keep it sustainable, please Donate via PayPal. It’s easy!

    VOLUNTEER

    Do you want to write, proofread, edit listings or help sell advertising? then contact us

    SUBSCRIBE
  • Subscribe to HOT