A young mum who has just opened her own cake shop helped to inspire other entrepreneurs at an academy set up by a Dragon’s Den tycoon.
Christy Collins, 27, spoke to business students at the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy in Nottingham.
She was invited to talk to them about starting up her own business, The Swoon Bakery in Retford, and answer their questions.
Christy, of Trent Street, Retford, was working from home before deciding to take the plunge and invest in shop premises.
She said: “I was quite nervous giving the talk but they wanted someone who was just one step ahead of their business students.”
“They were great so hopefully I’ve inspired them a bit. I have been invited back in September to talk to the new students and I’ll also be doing some mentoring.”
Christy said that opening a shop had been a big investment for her. “It’s like the next big step, but I wanted to give it a go,” she said.
“I’ve been up at 6am baking, and until 11pm at night, so life’s very busy at the moment but I want it to be a success.”
The shop is in a 300-year-old Grade 2 listed building in The Square, accessed through Jubilee Courtyard.
It was previously used by the council but has been refurbished and made into shop units.
The Swoon Bakery is above the Bassetlaw Hospice shop and has two rooms, one of which Christy will use to run cake decorating courses.
She is starting with a cupcake decorating class on 8th May, 1-3pm.
She is about to qualify as a patissier at New College, Nottingham, after doing her NVQ level three in patisserie and confectionery.
Christy, who has two daughters, Georgia, six, and Ruby, five, said: “I do the patisserie pastries and cream cakes for Saturdays, because they don’t keep as long with the fresh cream.”
“I make them fresh on Saturday mornings for sale that day.”
“The most popular one so far has been Paris Brest, a French dessert made with choux pastry and filled with cream and fruit.”
As well as patisserie products, Christy also offers a full range of cakes, and makes celebration cakes to order. She also offers a consultation service for brides.
She said the favourites in the shop are cake pops, small chocolate-covered cakes on sticks.
She also makes Italian biscotti biscuits in gift jars.
The Swoon Bakery is open Wednesday to Friday 10am-4pm, and Saturday 10am-1pm, and Christy is being helped by her mum Lesley.
They are also offering vintage china for hire, which people can use to hold afternoon tea parties.
For more information, and to book a place on a cake decorating course, go to www.theswoonbakery.co.uk or to the Facebook page.