How are you staying sane during lockdown? DIY? Life admin? Zoom pub quizzes? Cleaning the bathroom for the 100th time?
My quarantine saviour has been cake. Sometimes I make them myself, dousing my kitchen in a cloud of powdered sugar substitute and almond flour. But there are times when there’s nothing better than ordering a box of exquisitely made cakes that are swiftly delivered to your door.
Not just any cake of course, but lovingly made vegan, keto cakes that are gluten free, sugar free and candida diet friendly by a family run company aptly named Yummzy.
As I’ve become more health conscious after years of rampant KFC devouring and doughnut gorging, I’ve completely eradicated sugar and refined grains from my diet and now adopt a primarily keto-ish diet.
Yet, embarking on this etherial, slightly smug food quest hasn’t stopped my desire for enticing baked goods – hence my love of this brand with their delicious, guilt-free goodies.
This low carb, high fat keto diet is renowned for many reported health benefits from weight loss to reducing anxiety. It’s even been proven to treat seizures in epileptic children as well as pharmaceutical drugs.
Keto may be on many people’s lips, yet many of its followers feel starved of baked goods. America is brimming with keto cake companies but the UK is slightly behind. Keto cakes and snacks in this country are few and far between, hence why I’m so obsessed with Yummzy.
So much is my adoration for this fabulous cake brand that shortly before the lockdown I decided to interview the husband and wife team responsible for all the magic – Jolie and Adrian. These wonderful humans came to my home with a platter of instagram-worthy Yummzy treats and an interesting tale to tell…
Tell me about how you started the company
Jolie- So it started off in 2018 initially by me wanting to enjoy baked goods as a type one diabetic. I had to bear in mind that my husband was dairy intolerant and can’t have dairy. Also my best friend is vegan and my cousin is celiac. so we decided the cakes needed to also be vegan.
When I made the first batch of muffins I invited my friend over who ate them and her exact words were “this tastes like earwax,” so we went back and made another batch of cakes which tasted great and they got better and better over time and now we get rated 5 out of 5 and are seen as gourmet level.
What is your vision for the future?
Jolie – We are a step back from where we were because we had issues with our last location. the next steps now would be finalising our new location, opening there hopefully with more than one oven and fridge. We would be in a position to expand online. at the moment there are only three of us. we hope people will be able to franchise the company at some point.
Tell me more about the cafe and shop in Shoreditch
Jolie- It’s gong to be low carb, sugar free, vegan and high protein. We plan to serve some non vegan products such as milk with tea or cheese with their keto panini. We want people to have the choice.
This way non vegan friends can come with their vegan friends and it’s more inclusive and that’s what Yummzy is all about.
Tell me about your cakes. What are your favourite ones?
Jolie- Last January we were in Canada and in Canada everything, including the flag, is all about maple – maple syrup on pancakes, maple syrup cookies, it’s everywhere! I asked my husband for a lick of his cookie just to get an idea of the flavour and I then went on to try and recreate it as a vegan, keto version. They took so much time and effort to make. We then decided to make it as a cupcake – the Maple Pecan Cupcake was born and it’s been one of our bestselling cakes. The triple chocolate tart which was created just a few months ago is also one of our customer favourites.
Which sweetener do you use?
Jolie – Yummzy is all about being inclusive. So we choose sweeteners which are considered safe. We use stevia and erythritol. A lot of people think stevia doesn’t taste good, but it just depends on how you use it. Most people use it wrongly so you get a bitter or cooling aftertaste.
How often do you eat your cupcakes?
Jolie – Everyday!
How long have you been going for?
Jolie – We opened open the 11th of the 11th at 11am!
Do you work on the business everyday?
Jolie – They say when you have a business its like having a child. Even when we are on holiday we will see things or taste things that inspire us.
Describe a typical day
Jolie – Everyday is different. but yesterday we took our dog for a walk. We got home and changed, went to our rented kitchen and frosted all our cupcakes. We then had to dispatch two orders and then made our way to Brixton for this plant based food market. We got there an hour early because we were so excited!
What are your thoughts about the Keto trend in the UK
Jolie – We first opened our cafe for diabetics but we noticed lots of Keto dieters coming to try our low carb and sugar free cakes. This trend is massive in America and Canada already and were can see it growing rapidly here. Everyone can cook keto at home, but they order from us for that special gourmet taste.
Do you have any tips for any budding foodie entrepreneurs?
No matter how hard things are or what people around you say, don’t give up on your vision and don’t give customers what you don’t want yourself. We had chefs coming in saying we should serve food that fell on the floor to the customers. This is what they had always done working for other restaurants – especially big chains. It’s just business to them. I asked them would you eat this yourself?
We use only the food we would eat ourselves and that’s the difference between something made quickly to make a profit and true quality.
Adrian – In London you have to have a lot of patience with new staff and be prepared to employ and be parted with many different people.
Jolie – yes staff is a huge challenge in London but we have also met some great people.
Who is the boss?
Jolie – I used to be but now Adrian is because he is more structured in his approach and a lot calmer when dealing with people.
How do you find working together as a married couple>
Adrian – I think my work ethics are heathy. I take a job and start from A and finish at Z. I don’t start at A and end up at Q and back to B.
Joilie – I do finish what I start, I just do many things at the same time!