Sprowston

It’s the icing on the cake for Sophie

Just Regional
Apr 12, 2024 2 mins read

A baker has become the youngest entrepreneur to receive funding and support from Broadland District Council’s Business Builder scheme.

Sophie Yaxley launched her gluten-free baking business Dancing Bee Bakes when she was just 13, and has gone from strength to strength, with her cupcakes and bakes in great demand.

And now she has been awarded a £1,000 Build Up grant from the council, which has enabled her to buy a commercial mixer to take her business to the next tier.

Sophie, now 14, said she always enjoyed baking, starting when she was just two years old.

Even after a coeliac diagnosis a couple of years later, she continued to follow her passion and began whipping up delicious gluten-free bakes.

Then, two years ago, she completed a food technology qualification and, with her mum Jenny’s backing, started to turn her hobby into a business, setting up a commercial kitchen in Salhouse.

“What I love most is when people enjoy my bakes and have no idea they are gluten, dairy and egg-free,” said Sophie, who posts brownies to a growing number of customers as well as supplying the Cat Lounge in Norwich.

But as the demand for her goodies has grown, so has the demand on Sophie’s equipment. So when she heard about the Business Builder Programme she applied immediately.

“With the grant we were able to get a commercial mixer and now I can do 20 batches in one go, when before it was only two,” she said.

“Also amazing for my business was the online foundation course. I learnt so much so quickly that now I’m going to take my business GCSE a year early.”

Broadland councillor Martin Booth said: “More than 200 business owners have benefited from our scheme, with funding, training support and more. Whether you’re a well-established brand or a fledgling operation like Dancing Bee Bakes, we can help your business grow.”

Business Builder is a scheme offering advice, training and funds, and is designed to help businesses which are investing in their own growth. It is part-funded by the government and eligible businesses based in Broadland can visit www.southnorfolkandbroadland.gov.uk/business/business-builder-programme

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