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Sheffield Cupcake Empire Facing Liquidation

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http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/business/sheffield-cupcake-empire-facing-liquidation-1-5786748

A Sheffield cupcake empire which grew from a home kitchen enterprise into one of the city’s biggest brands is expected to go into voluntary liquidation today.

Fancie Ltd – which The Star understands has an estimated debt of £100,000 – is to hold a meeting for its creditors at Sheffield business rescue and recovery specialist Begbies Traynor.

The news comes only weeks after the company, famous for its colourful decorated cupcakes, closed its store at Meadowhall.

A five-figure rates charge at the shopping centre is believed to be one of the factors behind the sum of money owed.

A £100k debt on a business that produces cupcakes...

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It does seem the latest post-BTL fad. Dont want to belittle people who actually create something (making cakes is still better than rent seeking), but there can only be so much of a market for these, usually laughably overpriced things.

One wonders what kind of money is extracted out of these ventures for personal enjoyment though, a bit like mortgage fraud Self cert.

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Don't suppose it'll be the only one - I've recently seen a 'Completely Cupcakes' shop up for sale.

I'd have thought anyone could see it was a passing fad or fashion - personally I found them horribly sickly - usually far too much lurid icing.

Whatever happened to nice, unpretentious, un-sickly little fairy cakes? (or buns, if you're from Up North)

Edited by Mrs Bear

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It's all the UK has left now. Mom 'n' Pop shops. Me-too franchises. Cupcake entrepreneurs. Each of them one late payment away from extinction.

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Thing about cupcakes is, every third person can make them.

You open the first cupcake shop in town. Then another opens. And another. And another.

There are only so many customers for overpriced piles of sugar, and once they're spread too thinly, shops start disappearing. You could hope to be the last cupcake shop standing, I suppose, but it's got to be iffy, paying rent and rates and buying supplies while you wait for all the others to fail.

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Don't suppose it'll be the only one - I've recently seen a 'Completely Cupcakes' shop up for sale.

I'd have thought anyone could see it was a passing fad or fashion - personally I found them horribly sickly - usually far too much lurid icing.

Whatever happened to nice, unpretentious, un-sickly little fairy cakes? (or buns, if you're from Up North)

Largely agree, fairy cakes simply aren't high enough margin and the cupcake makers are presumably finding that as cupcakes become comoditised the margins are falling.

The real money (profit) is in the cupcakes for parties etc market and that is done from home in huge quantities (often outsourced to friends etc), with low costs and the bulk prices are much better than in the shops. The shops assume that they can still do well a bulk sales which they can't as their prices are too high.

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wasn't there a 'contestant' on the Apprentice who was into cupcakes B) - aka fairy cakes for those of use who remember these little cakes in fancy paper back in the day. Assume that is now non-pc.

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Thing about cupcakes is, every third person can make them.

You open the first cupcake shop in town. Then another opens. And another. And another.

There are only so many customers for overpriced piles of sugar, and once they're spread too thinly, shops start disappearing. You could hope to be the last cupcake shop standing, I suppose, but it's got to be iffy, paying rent and rates and buying supplies while you wait for all the others to fail.

Failure is baked in.

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Quick companies house search shows the lady owner in question has recently set up another limited company (in May) with

a similar name.

She'll probably sell all the equipment to her new co. and leave the creditors high and dry.

She's obviously learnt from the big boys......

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Thing about cupcakes is, every third person can make them.

You open the first cupcake shop in town. Then another opens. And another. And another.

There are only so many customers for overpriced piles of sugar, and once they're spread too thinly, shops start disappearing. You could hope to be the last cupcake shop standing, I suppose, but it's got to be iffy, paying rent and rates and buying supplies while you wait for all the others to fail.

Yes, you can only swim against the currant for so long.

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I have a friend who has her own novelty cake / cupcake micro business. From an outsiders point of view it’s easy to think of them as overpriced, but they can be incredibly time consuming. I know for a fact that her hourly rate works out at considerably less than minimum wage for most of her orders.

What I find more alarming is the number of people who have advised her in no uncertain terms to ‘get a shop’ (she currently works from home). The only thing that makes her business viable is that it has virtually no overheads. I do think there’s a market for novelty cakes but it certainly isn’t on the high street. Makes you wonder how many shops like that are opened on the back of such advice, without any basic number crunching being done. Either way, I’d be surprised if many of them have a life span of more than a couple of years.

Shame really. Although a lot of them insist on calling icing ‘frosting’, so my sympathy wanes a bit at that point.

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Yes, you can only swim against the currant for so long.

Look what we've got here - a Mr Smartie pants.

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Thing about cupcakes is, every third person can make them.

You open the first cupcake shop in town. Then another opens. And another. And another.

There are only so many customers for overpriced piles of sugar, and once they're spread too thinly, shops start disappearing. You could hope to be the last cupcake shop standing, I suppose, but it's got to be iffy, paying rent and rates and buying supplies while you wait for all the others to fail.

Before long there's hundreds and thousands of them.

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I know for a fact that her hourly rate works out at considerably less than minimum wage for most of her orders.

What I find more alarming is the number of people who have advised her in no uncertain terms to ‘get a shop’ (she currently works from home). The only thing that makes her business viable is that it has virtually no overheads.

Doesn't sound very viable to me. If you can make more on a min wage job and there's no future scope for expansion it does sound like a bit of a waste of time, unless its a hobby and you don't need the money.

But then that's the problem isn't it, its a hobby activity, think of all the bored boomers making cakes for the local summer fete etc, I wouldn't want to compete against people that do it for free.

I like the advice people offer such as 'get a shop'. It's worth a look at their cv and an examination of their present situation, what, exactly, qualifies such people to dispense such wisdom to a person who spends most of their waking hours living and thinking about their business, whereas they no doubt reached that conclusion in under 30 seconds?

Folk are funny. Folk that listen to them are funnier.

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Thing about cupcakes is, every third person can make them.

You open the first cupcake shop in town. Then another opens. And another. And another.

There are only so many customers for overpriced piles of sugar, and once they're spread too thinly, shops start disappearing. You could hope to be the last cupcake shop standing, I suppose, but it's got to be iffy, paying rent and rates and buying supplies while you wait for all the others to fail.

thats not really particularly cupcake relevant, its called the business cycle

Edited by georgia o'keeffe

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thats not really particularly cupcake relevant, its called the business cycle

Certainly, but I'm willing to bet the business cycle turns at different rates depending how easy or difficult it is to start a business of a particular type.

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Doesn't sound very viable to me. If you can make more on a min wage job and there's no future scope for expansion it does sound like a bit of a waste of time, unless its a hobby and you don't need the money.

But then that's the problem isn't it, its a hobby activity, think of all the bored boomers making cakes for the local summer fete etc, I wouldn't want to compete against people that do it for free.

I like the advice people offer such as 'get a shop'. It's worth a look at their cv and an examination of their present situation, what, exactly, qualifies such people to dispense such wisdom to a person who spends most of their waking hours living and thinking about their business, whereas they no doubt reached that conclusion in under 30 seconds?

Folk are funny. Folk that listen to them are funnier.

I know what you mean, but she's only been running the business around 18 months or so, so she's still building it up and it's viable in the sense that she's at least making profit. She's young (mid-20's) so it's a very good learning curve at that age too. It's things like wedding cakes or large cupcake orders where she actually makes a legitimate profit from what I gather. She clearly loves the creative side of it though, and of course she has the flexibility of working at home - considerably less soul destroying than stacking shelves for minimum wage.

Absolutely agree on people handing out advice like that. I like to think I provide a good counter-balance to it, but I always advocate running the numbers and doing her own research. We're based near Altrincham in Cheshire, which in terms of proportions of closed shops was recently voted the number 1 most derelict town in Britain. The rents and rates are farcical - opening a shop like that would be financial suicide IMO. She has people telling her things like "No-one will ever take you seriously if you don't open a shop." People are living in a time warp.

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It's all the UK has left now. Mom 'n' Pop shops. Me-too franchises. Cupcake entrepreneurs. Each of them one late payment away from extinction.

The Austin or Morris cupcake didn't taste right of late. I suppose a Kia or Hyundai cupcake with a 7 year icing warranty would do better?

What a silly story this is....ok businesses go cupcakes up everyday whatever the economic weather. That's life. Some other business will do better as a result.

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So the bottom has dropped out of the cupcake market. A mates girlfriend used to make those, they were very nice but very expensive for what they were when you compared them to Tesco or Asda cupcakes. Another fad gone then. How long before the coffee shop market collapses>?

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  • 239 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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