A day in the life...Ellie Rymer
What did you do before starting your luxury wedding cake business, Milk Street Kitchen?
After graduating, I have to confess my main ambition was to 'move to London and do something creative', so I fell into working for a PR agency. I worked for corporate clients and then branched out into slightly more colourful consumer PR. I learnt a lot but it wasn't really scratching the itch I had to be genuinely creative. I took a break and enrolled on a six month patisserie course at Le Cordon Bleu. I loved it. I began doing market stalls and then when my friends started getting married and asking me to make their cakes, Milk Street Kitchen was born!
What are your 3 main roles/responsibilities at Milk Street Kitchen?
I make cakes and pop up patisseries for weddings and event. I work with couples to design their perfect sweet centrepiece. Everything is made from scratch and then I deliver and style the cake on their wedding day. I also spend time building relationships with other businesses such as venues, photographers and florists, as well as marketing myself directly to clients via social media and events.
What inspires you to do what you do?
The opportunity to work for myself and turn something I love into my job inspired me to begin. My family and friends inspire me to keep going. The many other incredible business owners I've met along the way and through the Inspiration Space community inspire me to think bigger.
In the kitchen, I find inspiration from the countryside around me and the flavours of English hedgerows, allotments and gardens.
How do you start your day? Do you have a set routine?
I have a two-year-old daughter so the day always starts early! During the first part of the week, work is mainly an evening activity and admin based. The second half of the week is in the kitchen, prepping for weddings and events at the weekend. Each day and week is slightly different, which I like.
What's something you cannot forget to do during your day?
Cook and eat. I am fairly obsessed with food and use cooking as a way to relax as well. I'm a firm believer in fuelling your body well to be productive.
What’s the biggest challenge that you face within your particular industry? How are you working to overcome it?
Pricing within the wedding industry can be tricky. There's often a perception that businesses charge a premium just because they can. So ensuring clients feel they receive a product and service that reflects their investment is important to me, while also making sure I cover my time and costs. I aim to be transparent with clients and provide a very personal service so they know they are not on a wedding production line.
What do you hate doing the most?
Washing up. There's a lot of it!
What do you love doing the most?
I love the sociable parts of my job a lot, meeting couples for tastings and setting cakes up at venue gives me so much energy. Also developing new flavours and ideas keeps the creative juices going.
Who do you go to for help and advice?
My sister and husband are my go-to sounding boards for new ideas - they are both very honest with me! For practical business help and advice I love hearing from people who've been their and done it or are still doing it. For that, I love going to events and listening to podcasts.
Mantra or favourite saying?
I can and I will.
Tool, service or skill you’ve recently learned or discovered that has significantly improved your working life?
Neither of these are very sexy but the Google accounting plug-in Wave has made keeping track of payments and invoicing clients so much easier and professional. I also use canned responses in Google Mail as a starting point for some of my emails which has saved a lot of time.
Where can we find you?