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Weekly Blog – 05

29th June 2021

Let’s try it again.

I think we managed about 4 or 5 blogs in a row before things got busy, I got waylaid and our weekly blog was shelved.

I am going to try with a bit more consistency this time, when I say weekly, I mean I am going to be writing on a weekly basis. Pleesecakes as a company has an inordinate number of things occurring daily and I know it’s great to share.

 

I’ve been on this journey and up until now I haven’t realised the importance of being as vocal as possible about the successes and failures that have taken place. Do you know why I like doing this or speaking about my journey?…it’s the simple reason of inspiring others.

 

I sit at home today, waiting very impatiently, for the broadband engineer to arrive to fix the downed Wi-Fi, that has been harbouring my little rented 1 bedroom flat a vacuum. Completely uncontactable without the service up and running. No social media and no work-related dramas. Somewhat welcome, although it’s been out for 5 or so days and it’s getting to the point whereby I kinda need it back online to make sure I can connect with the team outside of working hours.

However, I can write and blog and tell you what’s going on in our cheesecake world. Before we start, I just wanted to give you a link to a book I am currently read, whether you’re a creative or not I think it shows some great insights into how ‘showing your work’ (title) can be super valuable to your audience and create real engagement with whoever follows. Super easy read, go check Austin Kleon – Show your work. (Austin Kleon)

So, for us as a business, there are constant refinements and changes that are made to ensure we work more efficiently, to our full potential and set ourselves up for greatness.

As of very recently we are hugely focused on simplifying our menu and really perfecting the products in hand. The first one is Chuffles, now if you don’t know what a Chuffle is, it’s a cheesecake truffle, small chocolate shells filled with sumptuous cheesecakes mixes, compotes and sauces, rolled in chocolate and hand decorated with all sorts of goodies.

I’ll tell you a little story, Chuffles, like a fair amount of our products, were conceived years ago, in fact, the first Chuffle was produce at our second rented kitchen in Ewell village back in 2018, on an army base. It was primitive, but conceptually very similar to what you see today. They got shelved and revisited and only released to you this year, so it’s been years in the making and Simon, our head chef who has been with Pleesecakes for almost 3 years, leads the development process for each flavour idea. I love being part of the idea process and will suggest some flavour combos that I think would, in my language, boot (taste really good) and then hand over to Simon to produce samples for us to taste internally. We probably go through around 3 – 4 sampling tests before we are comfortable for them to be uploaded to the website.

Although they are a new product, they really define us as a company. Cheesecake doesn’t have to be in a classic circular cake form, we are here to push boundaries and be disruptive in this sector and I believe Chuffles are a demonstration of how thinking outside the box can open up some wonderfully creative ideas. For me, the humble Chuffle is a perfectly manageable portion size, giving you that sweet cheesecake hit, without giving you a feeling of over indulgence. Flavours are ever changing and we have some incredibly tantalising combos in the pipeline.

For now, we have four unquestionably, delicious Chuffles that will create that naughty party in your mouth. Starting with cookies & cream, then Banoffee, cherry bakewell and finally lemon sherbet. We are doing a weekly drop on these, just to manage capacity in kitchen, retain high quality and not put the kitchen team under too much pressure, these are hand filled and rolled and need time and care. So, Sunday evenings at 8pm we upload stock to our website, all of which are available across UK mainland. www.pleesecakes.com/chuffles

Next up, I need to talk to you about Freezecakes and the journey we’ve been on with arguably the most exciting and revolutionary product to come out of our kitchen.

We released the first round of Freezecakes last year around June/July time, with admittedly not enough testing and development, but it gave us a real insight into where we needed to improve and so set to work refining and making the product as good and as unique as possible.

The three flavours we launched with were super delicious, but didn’t tick everyone’s box. They weren’t vegetarian and they weren’t as scoopable as the new ones, so that being said we went back to the drawing board and looked at the product. We knew we had to make the next batch vegetarian, check, we knew we have to make it more scoopable and smoother on the tongue, check, and we knew we had to extend the flavour range to create and lovely broad range to cater for all, check.

We achieved all the above in around 6 months and soon to launch are; lemon & raspberry, butterscotch & caramel, chocolate, cherry bakewell, strawberry red velvet and chocolate orange brownie all underpinned with new branding and packaging which has been curated by Laura and myself, mainly Laura though who has rinsed it. We’ve also dropped the names, Lily-Rose, Charlie and Bonnie & Clyde as I thought commercially if we are to expand this globally, consumers on different continents might not get it.

Freezecakes is a product I am incredibly passionate and excited about, I know the team is as well, “IT’S NOT ICECREAM” is our slogan, but it really is a new experience in the frozen ‘ice cream’ sector, that I feel we can attract a new audience and really freshen things up.

Lastly, product wise I would like to share the news of our mini range and the development that has been going on behind the scenes. As you may or may not know, Pleesecakes was launch as a solely no bake cheesecake company, no deviations. Since then, we have started really focusing on our baked range, for a few reasons, 1. They’re banging (incredibly tasty), 2. They’re robust and have longer shelf life, meaning as we expand across the UK and in to retail, travel and food services we have a product that is going to represent the brand and ensure the customer has the best possible cheesecake experience!

We’re going to introduce these as individual and duo boxes starting with 3 flavours (soon to be revealed) and will be available on Deliveroo, Amazon Fresh and Selfridges.

Our next big project is something we’re fairly well known for but comes in second to our products and that’s social media and our online presence.

For me, creating a community online whereby we can bring value through recipes and tutorials, inspirations through behind the scenes footage and showing where we’ve come from, motivation through business tips and tricks and education through showcasing how we use these platforms to grow and run businesses.

We want to give back by using our platforms to give away free and valuable content to our audience. We’ve got stories to tell, we’ve got recipes to give away and more importantly we want to help others succeed.

So, we’re going to be filming and producing more content across our platforms and really getting stuck in to bringing super valuable bits!

If you want to hear more about how we use social media, I am doing a coffee morning with The Legacy Club on July 20th at Bermonds Locke, with Chelsie from Blondies Kitchen and Keelan from Bwownies (the guy that sent me a letter about his journey, which is incredible by the way), this might be really valuable to some of you. So, here’s the link for legacy club and I am sure Chris (founder of Legacy) will be more than happy to see some of you there!  https://www.legacyclub.co.uk

Super excited to get back to festivals, with Taste of London kicking off next Wednesday in London’s Regent Park. We’ve done Taste for the last few years and it’s by far one of the best festivals we do, some incredible vendors and restaurants attend and if you’re a foodie like me, this is one for you. We’re taking our Freezecakes van this time, it’s first proper outing, since being constructed by Xquisite (a fit-out company that we have been friends with for years). I’m going to give you two links here, first one tickets to taste, would love to see some of you there https://london.tastefestivals.com and second one is Xquisite, they’re an incredibly creative fit out company and you should go and have a nose at their stuff @xquisiteproductions

That’s the first one back, more to talk about next week, in the meantime here’s a link to our latest recipe video, our long-standing Cadbury’s overload with a twist, trust me this one’s a banger!

See ya next week

Big up

Joe

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