Where to start this week….
Well last week was our busiest week in our history. Splurging cheesecake fanatics drove sales for us! As most of you would have been aware ‘black Friday’ now runs for more and more days each year. The panic buy is quite something…I think we achieved over 5000 products sold over the seven-day period, only running a discount for four of those.
Generally speaking, for a lot of gifting and luxury companies, we are now submerged within the golden quarter, which runs from October to December and includes various calendar dates that urge people to indulge. Starting with Halloween, which I believe has kind of died out over the years and especially this year with no trick or treating. Following on from Halloween comes firework night and then we’re into the madness that is Xmas!
We all say it, but I swear it’s getting earlier and earlier each year where Santa related products start appearing are you’re hit with all sorts of marketing to draw you in.
For a lot of small businesses, this quarter is the most important and help balance out the rest of the year and that’s no different for Pleesecakes. Come January, everyone realises that they need to diet for 3 days and don’t eat cheesecake, so historically sales drop and we have that much-needed sigh of relief that we survived, learnt and grew another year.
We also get a bit more space to develop new products for the year ahead. This year however we are (fingers crossed) launching in a retailer that I am double excited about, I’ve loved this place for many years and have always loved exploring some of the incredible products that are available here. FYI, this is looking like a January launch and it will be a vegan range. Something different for us and I am hoping we can start reaching a new audience.
A lot of our following don’t realise we do vegan friendly products and it is something that we continue to work on, developing new recipes and trying to learn as much as we can. I believe growing this side of the business will help balance us out.
The business topic this week is supply chain. For me it has been a gradual process to network and centralise our supply chain. When looking for a supplier you want a few things from that supplier. Firstly, you want quality, there’s no point in using a supplier that has poor or inconsistent quality. It affects you as a business and your reputation, therefore do a small trial before fully committing and bringing them on as a preferred supplier.
Secondly, you want reliability. When you place an order for a certain date you should expect it to turn up on time (there will be the odd occasion where there are delays), but on the whole, you need your order to turn up on time in perfect condition. Again, if this is not met you incur delays which are passed onto your unhappy customers and your reputation diminishes.
What we struggled with in the beginning was centralising our supply chain, something to this day we continue to work on. The more suppliers you have, the more people you have to speak to, the more valuable time you waste. So, in essence the less suppliers you have the more time you will have to accomplish productive tasks. This will not be an overnight fix, it takes time to build relationships with suppliers and find the best suppliers for your business through trialling with each of them until you are confident that the preferred supplier can deliver quality on time!
A bit of advice would be to speak and connect with businesses in the same field as yours but are more established and simply ask who they use as their suppliers. Some companies may bit slightly apprehensive about releasing this information as having a great supplier can be the difference of success and failure, so you might have to do a bit of mystery shopping and go in at a different angle.
Business is partly about making money so with suppliers, should you find two that are equally reliable and deliver a quality product or service, at this point you can then start playing them off each other to get the best price.
Back to cheesecakes
Our Xmas ‘Build Your Own At Home’ (BYOAH) cheesecake kit is launching on December the 14th with an influx of pre-sales a few weeks ago. The limited-edition cake kit comprising of a mouth-watering buttery biscuit base crowded with pecans. Filling wise we have kept in theme and gone for a caramel pecan cheesecake which personally I think is my favourite flavour we do. By the way, the base and filling is the part we make for you in house, we then vacuum pack this and freeze it. We leave you to do the fun part…the chocolate ganache drip and all our festive toppings!! In the pack, you get a silky ganache pouch, candy canes, mince pies, home-made fudge, chocolate shards four ways and snow! This really is two in one, you get the fun experience of decorating a cake, which you will be able to follow along with me on our YouTube channel dressed as a plonker Santa if you need tips and tricks AND you get a centre piece for you Xmas dinner dessert that tastes incredible!!!
The kitchen is now a bustling place of cake making, not just cheesecakes anymore, but brownies, cookies, fudge, caramels, compotes…the smells that encase the building are bloody incredible and so tempting! I think the smell of baked goods are unbeatable, one of the best smells out there. Bubbling brownies and sticky caramel is a nightmare to work around and you have to be super conscious of consumption. I am all about balance and that includes a balanced diet! But some days, there’s just too many products to sign off (yes I have to sign off them all😉, I need to make sure that the quality is there!
Christmas Freezecakes launching next week. Sooo excited about these, our first new flavours since launching Freezecakes and we’ve learnt a lot from our first lot of flavours. So, I think these have improved drastically. Irish cream, white chocolate orange and mince pie head the line-up. This a limited-edition range due to the festive flavours and the lack of packaging and stickers we could get hold of! (I am going to let you into a little secret. If you’re reading this we have managed to get hold of some more packaging and stickers and will be dropping another limited run of our Xmas flavours on Friday 4th at 12pm)
That’s it from me this week. Give us your feedback on Insta or through email and I’ll see you next week. Holdtight
Ingredients was where