The Local Woman Baking Up A Storm

Cherry Willingham resident Sam Mason is a self-taught cake baker and decorator and owns Mason’s Bakes, an independent cake business specialising in bespoke occasion cakes and sweet treats.

The origins of her business could be called accidental, as 10 years ago she offered, with no experience, to create a spiderman cake for a member of her husband’s family. As a complete novice, Sam turned to YouTube for help and the final result surprised even herself, “I got loads of compliments and thought ‘oh, I quite liked that maybe I should do it again’!” Sam recalls, “someone else saw the picture and asked if I could knock something up for them, so I said I’d give it a go and it has just spiralled from there.”

After years of refining her skills whilst baking creations for friends and family, in 2019 Sam finally took the plunge and left her full-time management position to pursue her cake business and orders started coming in thick and fast. “I was on maternity leave with my daughter and was on rubbish maternity pay, so I thought if I don’t do it now I will never make that leap, so I thought I’d go for it while I’m used to the money and it just blew up!” Sam continues, “I was so busy, it was everything I could’ve dreamed of! It worked really well, and it’s been like that ever since so I’ve been really lucky. Because I’d been making cakes for friends and family and sharing them, people already knew about me, so I think that really helped.”

It wasn’t long after deciding to bake full time that the pandemic hit, and it was a scary time for new businesses. “I shut initially because I thought people can’t be coming to collect a cake from me as it isn’t essential, so I had to think of a way to keep my business alive. I designed lots of biscuits that could be posted during my daily walk which worked really well.” Customers could send biscuits with messages on to connect with loved ones that lived on their own, or who they simply couldn’t be with at that time.

Wanting to help in any way she could, Sam made donations once a week of cakes, biscuits and treats to keyworkers throughout the pandemic as a personal thanks. Recipients included Lincolnshire Police, the midwives at Lincoln County Hospital, Lincoln Community Larder, HM Prison Lincoln, Lincoln Tesco as well as her postman and binmen!

Easter also fell into the pandemic, which resulted in Sam once again adapting and creating personalised bunny biscuits for those who couldn’t give easter eggs to their loved ones as usual. It would be these ideas that would ensure Mason’s Bakes could continue to thrive for years to come. “The biscuits are still so popular now, and I just think back if we hadn’t of had those, would I have ever really branched out into small treats?” Iced biscuits have proved popular with those who want a less wasteful option for party favours, and work great as gifts.

Through Sam’s work she is often helping people celebrate the large milestones in their lives, which can be extremely personal. “I know I’m not saving lives or anything like that, but I love the satisfaction it gives me when I see the joy on faces, especially kids as they won’t pretend!” she chuckles. Sam also collaborates with Mama Bear Photography UK, another small business based in Branston by baking the popular smash cakes for baby photoshoots.

Looking forward, Sam hopes to delve deeper into wedding cakes once her children are both at school and has plans to have her own cake studio in her garden to host consultations.

If you would like to find out more or place an order, search Mason’s Bakes on Instagram and Facebook, or email masonsbakes@hotmail.com