Have you ever been to a party that changed your life? Kelsi Davis, owner of Baked House Co Carnoustie, has.
Each attendee had to bring along a dish to said party, and Kelsi was landed with the dessert course.
Though she has been in the kitchen since she began working at a local pizza place at 17, baking was entirely new to Kelsi.
But, she figured she’d give it her best shot.
Little did Kelsi know that just three years later, she’d have her own popular baking business, creating 400 cakes, 300 truffles, 500 cookies, 18kg of fudge just for Christmas orders.
Kelsi baked a range of treats for her pals, including Kinder Bueno fudge, choc chip shortbread and chocolate-covered strawberries.
“I wanted to do something that my friends could all pick at, rather than a big cake or cheesecake,” recalls Kelsi.
“Everyone said: ‘you could sell that’.”
“I was a bit nervous about putting myself out there. But after them going at me for a few days, I thought: ‘I’ll do it and see what happens’.”
This was back in November 2021, and now her very own business Baked House Co is a resounding success, with repeat customers ordering her Wee Night In boxes packed with her tasty homemade treats.
‘I’d never even made a brownie before’ says Baked House Co Carnoustie owner
Before that fateful party Kelsi, now 29, had never baked before in her life.
“It was really out of the blue,” says Kelsi, “I never thought that this would be my path.
“I always thought I was going to do savoury cooking.”
But baking just felt right for Kelsi – once she got the hang of it.
If someone had said to me two and a half years ago that this is what I would be doing, I wouldn’t have believed them.”
Kelsi Davis, 29-year-old baker at Baked House Co, Carnoustie
“I really didn’t know what I was doing at the start,” recalls the baker from Carnoustie, with a laugh.
“I’d never even made a brownie before. I had no baking experience at all.
“The shortbread was the first thing I did. But then I thought, if they like the shortbread, I can try a brownie.
“So I made a brownie which was… not great.
“There were a lot of errors made and a lot needed to get thrown out.
“But once I realised that baking is an exact science, things started working rather than being a disaster.”
The baking star Kelsi had a “huge fear” that people outside her social circle wouldn’t like her creations.
“When it’s your friends or your family, you think: ‘you’re just sugar-coating this to boost my ego a wee bit’,” says Kelsi.
“It took me a long time to get to grips with that.
“It’s crazy looking back. If someone had said to me two and a half years ago that this is what I would be doing, I wouldn’t have believed them.
“I’ve been very lucky that people will come back to me and I’ve been able to build good relationships with regular customers.”
How does Kelsi come up with her mind-blowing bakes?
Kelsi creates a variety of baked goods, including cookie pies, cupcakes and brownies, all at home.
Her favourite item to bake is the cookie pie, which she has mastered over the years.
Her quirky creations are huge – even featuring cookies on top of cookies.
So where does Kelsi get her ideas from?
“I’ll just go stand in Tesco and look at all the sweets they have available, and think about how I can put them together,” laughs Kelsi.
The Carnoustie baker clearly has a creative side, having studied art in high school.
Now, she gets to let that creativity flourish with her bakes which are a work of art in themselves.
The Baked House Co Kinder Bueno fudge has a delicious creamy texture, and they become more moreish with every bite.
Her cookies are made for sharing – huge in size – and just begging to be scoffed with their colourful and irresistible toppings.
There’s also her brownies, which consist of a huge thick double chocolate brownie base, then a similarly thick layer of homemade caramel plus milk chocolate – with caramel Galaxy pieces on top.
‘It’s given me a drive I never knew I had’
Baking these extravagant cookies is very fun, but it’s also a lot of work.
“Having your own business is like a 24-hour job,” says Kelsi.
While it has been good fun setting up Baked House Co, there have also been stressful moments with orders flying in.
But no crazy busy week can tarnish the pride Kelsi has for her very own business.
“Knowing that you have built something for yourself gives you a great sense of achievement,” she says.
“I was at a point that I needed that.
“I was in a bit of a rut before I started, in that mid-20s ‘not knowing what you’re doing with your life’ stage.
“It’s given me a drive I never knew I had.
“I’d always done the same thing since I left school. All my friends had gone to uni and were doing these different things.
“I was stuck in this routine.”
Since setting up Baked House Co in Carnoustie, she hasn’t looked back.
Now, she’s mentoring others new to the food and drink scene through Enable Works.
“If someone had been able to sit down with me at the start and explain that it wouldn’t be this massively difficult thing,” says Kelsi, “I think I’d have started out a lot sooner.”