When workmates Sarah Martin and Rosie McGregor first became friends, it wasn’t long before they realised they both shared the same dream: to run their own food business.
“We both liked baking at home with our families, I loved cooking and went to Dundee College to study professionally cookery before working in restaurants in St Andrews, and Rosie had a real flair for cake decorating and loved making pretty biscuits,” Sarah explains.
The chums put their heads together to come up with a business plan and a business start-up loan from The Prince’s Trust meant they could start looking for a shop and get it ready for opening. Six years later, independent boutique bakery Temptations in Cupar’s Lady Wynd is their dream come true.
Here, they sell muffins, brownies, truffles, Belgian chocolate chip cookies, slices of Sarah’s signature cheesecakes, and boxes of handmade chocolates and, in the run-up to Christmas, Rosie makes festive shortbread in flavours including cranberry and orange.
“We make everything we sell in our shop, from our everyday small cakes and our luxury cheesecakes to our handmade chocolates and bespoke celebration cakes,” says Sarah.
Proving that two can be a team, Rosie is the baker and decorator, while Sarah is the chocolatier. Highlights for them both include having free rein to create tasty treats for the shop and making creative celebration cakes to order.
“The challenges of chocolate work keep my work from never being boring,” smiles Sarah. “Our handmade chocolates include flavours such as salted caramel fudge, hazelnut pralines or morello cherry – I love the way the creative and technical processes coming together.
“We make all our chocolates and cakes in our kitchen which is attached to the shop. Once we have decided on a design of a cake we bake it, make the filling and then we can start to decorate it, which is where we can really use our imagination.”
Sarah and Rosie also make bespoke celebration cakes for all occasions, from baby shower cakes, to special birthdays and wedding cakes.
“Usually a customer will come into our shop with an idea and we work with them to come up with a design,” explains Sarah.
“We love being given the freedom on a design to really get creative and my advice to anyone baking at home is to add your own twists to recipes.”
After a day of working with cakes and chocolate, you might think the friends would be tired of the sight of sweet treats. Quite the contrary, reveals Sarah.
“I love chocolate and don’t seem to get sick of it at all! Rosie is vegan so is limited to what she can eat but does love our mint thins which we make at Christmas time.”
A typical day for the twosome will see them baking goodies for the cabinet, with as many ingredients as possible sourced locally, before moving on to their bespoke orders, more baking and decorating.
Running their own business has been a learning curve and not without a few challenges.
“There are always challenges when being self employed and we have had to learn skills we didn’t need before but it’s been great to prove that we can,” says Sarah.
“We’ve had to learn to manage our time well, to keep on top of paperwork, and the importance of being organised. My wee boy Indi is 19 months so juggling work and family life can be difficult at times.
“But we love getting to come to work every day to do something we really enjoy.”
With best sellers like their chocolate fudge cake and, Rosie’s favourite, the Christmas boxes of mint thins, locals are never short of tempting goodies to take away.
“Our most popular product is our cheesecake,” reveals Sarah. “I really enjoy taking people’s special requests for flavours.”
When the friends aren’t working or out delivering Christmas cakes they use part of their weekends to teach decorating classes to children, in the classroom attached to the shop.
“Indi often comes in to the shop to ‘help’ now and again,” smiles Sarah. “He is our chief brownie taster. Fortunately lots of our family members are happy to help out during busy times – Rosie’s dad can often be found doing the dishes at Christmas!”
Temptations’ annual Christmas event to view the full range of Christmas desserts, taste them and place an order with 10% off , takes place on Friday November 29, 6.30pm-7.30pm. 31 Lady Wynd, Cupar.