Entrepreneur and single mum Lauren Curzon-Price talks to Nick Mosley about her new bakes business – the Home Baked Gift Company.
What advice would you give to other single mums who want to start work again but need to balance child care?
It’s certainly a tricky balance, both logistically and emotionally. As a single parent, the return to work is usually of financial necessity; it can be a difficult transition and particularly tricky when trying to fit a job around childcare hours. Thankfully, there is a movement towards flexible working hours and opportunities, and I have been lucky enough to work with some fabulous ladies at ‘Mum’s Enterprise’ who support mums in retraining, enterprising and finding flexible work. In learning how to balance work and family demands, I have found the key is routine! I stick to my weekly planner religiously, which ensures I work productively and efficiently. And even get a bit of ‘me’ time too.
Your products make perfect gifts. What kind of options are there in terms of making them bespoke?
I currently offer a huge range of shortbread gift ideas, all of which can be personalised and customised to order. Every order is shaped, flavoured and packaged to request. This summer, the shortbread gift bags were popular for children’s party bags, as were the mini bride and groom wedding favour boxes. These are all personalised with each guest’s name to make unique, hand crafted gifts. They’d be perfect for the Christmas table too.
How popular are the monthly subscription boxes?
The beauty of most of the bakes is that they travel very well by post, so offering a monthly subscription service is perfect. Each morning, the trays of flavoured brownies and shortbreads are made, and then posted right to the customer’s door. What could be better than a delivery of freshly-baked gourmet goods? I currently send over 150 boxes per month, most of which are bought as birthday, anniversary and thank-you presents. The Deluxe Hamper Gift Box makes a perfect Christmas gift, containing eight different delicious flavoured brownies. Its a really luxurious indulgence.
What areas of Sussex are your bakes available in?
I am based in Seaford, and supply several local cafes, gift shops and retailers already. I am looking to grow this considerably in the next few months to include Brighton, Lewes, Eastbourne and surrounding areas too. I think it is incredibly important to encourage and support local trade, so I focus my attention towards smaller retailers. Over the Christmas period, I will be bringing some festive joy to the Seaford, Brighton and Lewes Christmas markets; think Rudolph Tiffins, Christmas brownies, and Spiced Orange Shortbreads… yum!
Is your son a help or hindrance in the kitchen?
My son, Joshua, is now three years old and naturally wants to ‘help’ at all opportunities but this is rarely anything but a hindrance! However, I do encourage him to get involved and experiment in the kitchen. We cook a lot together, which has certainly helped him explore new foods. All my business baking is done whilst he is in nursery as then I have the time, peace and kitchen to myself – and of course, because NO child can resist licking the spatula.
Any tips for creating great bakes at home?
My number one rule is to use decent ingredients. Good quality products come from good quality ingredients. And I would always encourage experimenting with flavours and ideas – you never know what exciting surprises you may create.
For more information you can contact Lauren at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07946 537 932