The Secret Garden

Hi. It’s been a while. It’s been a crazy few months for me and I am so excited about how well my business is going. I have encountered so many wonderful people and received some amazing feedback. I still feel a little like a fraud at times – I find it hard to believe that people will pay good money for something that I have made. But, pay they do, and some even come back for more!

I have been in Cornwall for just over two years now. While we were visiting the county to try and find a place to live we had a trip to Truro. I had to entertain the children while Mr. Green had a business meeting and we pottered around the museum for a while before looking for a café. I had perused the internet beforehand looking for places to go and really liked the sound of ‘The Secret Garden’, a vegetarian café tucked away from the main streets. After a little bit of searching we found it and went in for tea and cake.

That was the first of many trips to The Secret Garden. I went there for lunches with my brother when he visited and we would eat and talk, putting each others worries into perspective. I took my daughter there for ‘grown up’ girly lunches without the boys. I went with my husband when we had some child free time and I went on my own to sit and enjoy some peace. The place saw me through my first 18 months in Cornwall, during lonely times, job changes, bereavement and happy times. It was a constant where there was always a friendly face and always cake. And goodness me, what cakes they had… drool worthy delights that were works of art. Some were a little too fancy for me my tastes but they always looked so beautiful and tasted great.

The Secret Garden isn’t there anymore. I’m sad about that for many reasons. There is, however, a silver lining – it is now owned and run by the lovely Dawn and Paul White and goes by the name of ‘The Cornish Vegan’. It’s different, of course, but it still has great food, friendly staff and, of course, cake. But, now…it’s my cake! I can’t explain how thrilling a feeling it is to have my cake being served in one of my favourite places. And it is even more thrilling to hear the lovely, positive feedback I get from customers; especially those who try my cake in the restaurant then contact me to order more. I went in there recently for an event and felt almost like a celebrity when I was introduced to people and they said “oh, you’re the lady who makes the cakes!” For someone who has always struggled with self esteem it is a real boost to feel that I am doing something right. Even better to know that I am making people happy. I also love the circularity of the continued link with my old haunt.

I have grown as a person since becoming vegan and more so since starting my business. In the book of ‘The Secret Garden’ Mary asks for a bit of earth. She begins to grow things, makes friends and starts to think beyond herself and her own needs. All I need is a little kitchen in which to keep creating, experimenting, learning and providing; and a few friends along the way.

chocchilli

It’s all about the cakes

Hi all, it has been a busy month at LGVB but here I am again, finally. I thought I would let you know a little about the cakes I make. In general, the vegan diet tends to be a fairly healthy one – rich in fruit, vegetables and pulses and low in saturated fat. Being vegan doesn’t mean you don’t enjoy less healthy foods however! I enjoy healthy food and we could probably all do with watching our diets but there is definitely a time for sweet treats. If I want cake I want proper cake – not a gnarly piece of flapjack or date loaf. I want lovely flavours, soft sponge, sweet icing. As a vegan out and about it’s often hard to find anything suitable to eat, especially baked goods, and when available they do tend to be, well, rather dull.

When I first started making vegan cakes they were rather wholesome affairs, full of flaxseeds and vegetable purees, agave nectar etc. They were nice. But they weren’t what I was really after. So I did more research and found some really good recipes that worked and tasted good. The book that quickly became my baking bible was “Ms. Cupcake: the naughtiest vegan cakes in town”. (If you haven’t already, you should check it out). Once I became confident using the recipes I started adapting them with my own tweaks and different flavour combinations. Initially I thought the cakes needed more sugar, but I soon realized that with vegan cakes it’s all about the flavour. Standard cakes are given a fair amount of flavour from butter and sugar, so you can make a fairly plain one that will still taste good. Vegan cakes rely heavily on added flavour whether it’s from fruit, spice or chocolate. Once I realized this I was able to reduce the sugar (thankfully). I now get through a lot of vanilla.

So, what kind of cakes do I make? Well, there are the standard sponges like chocolate, vanilla and lemon. I make a range of fruity cakes: lemon and raspberry; strawberry and orange; carrot, orange and maple syrup; blueberry, banana and almond. I make plain and flavoured chocolate cakes; coffee and pecan; cherry bakewell; lime and coconut. More exotic flavours like chai latte; rose and pistachio; coconut and mango. The more decadent caramelized banana, walnut and chocolate chunk; peanut butter and salted caramel or black forest cake. I also make brownies, flapjacks (sometimes), scones, cereal  bars and truffles. I am happy to offer decorated birthday cakes – this is in area I need to improve my skills in but no complaints so far!

alice

I do like to be flexible and offer a personal service, making sure that the flavour and the look of each cake is right for the customer. I try to avoid baking when I am stressed or cross as I feel that my emotions affect my baking. I feel that the feelings I have while baking somehow go into the cake and may be passed to the recipient. It probably sounds weird but that’s me. I like to make people happy and if I can do that by making tasty cruelty-free cakes for people then that makes me happy too.

mangorasp

Welcome

Hello all, welcome to the Little Green Vegan Bakery. I am a vegan baker based in Cornwall and make delicious edibles to order. I have been a keen baker all my life and have made many cakes for friends and family over the years. I have been vegetarian all my adult life and after much soul searching became vegan on January 1st 2016.

I have a career background in science and healthcare but changed circumstances led me to take a job cooking in a little café in Cornwall last year. Since then I have grown in confidence, learned loads and developed a passion for vegan cooking and baking.

In April 2016 I set up the Little Green Vegan Bakery, baking and selling vegan cakes and other items wholesale and to private customers. Since then I have had the privilege to make several special birthday cakes as well as becoming a regular supplier to  a vegan food business. I still work at the café but fit in orders around that and I have many more ideas.

I mainly make cakes but also make brownies, flapjacks, scones, savoury tarts, vegan cheesecakes, raw energy bites and veganised chocolates such as Ferrero rocher and bounty bites. I can cater for picnics and packed lunches as well as cream teas and birthday parties.

I will be adding to the website as and when I can but do keep an eye on my facebook page for regular updates.

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