Swapping the classroom for the sweet life of making creative cakes

Andy Poar, Ruth Potts and Apprentices, Rob Thompson and Tilly Ball
Andy Poar, Ruth Potts and Apprentices, Rob Thompson and Tilly Ball
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Cake enthusiast Ruth Potts swapped the classroom for the kitchen to follow her baking dream.

The former primary school teacher opened Cakes By Ruth in Chorley last September, offering sweet treats to suit any occasion.

Apprentice at Cakes By Ruth, St George's Street, Chorley,Tilly Ball

Apprentice at Cakes By Ruth, St George's Street, Chorley,Tilly Ball

And the mum-of-two, who specialises in bespoke decoration, is even making her own five-tier wedding cake for her wedding next month.

Ruth will marry partner Andy Poar, who is also a partner in the business, on September 5 – a year to the day since the shop first opened.

“It’s gone really, really well, says Ruth, 42.

“We do a lot of celebration caked and wedding cakes, and we also sell all the cake decorating supplies as well.

Apprentice at Cakes By Ruth, St George's Street, Chorley, Rob Thompson

Apprentice at Cakes By Ruth, St George's Street, Chorley, Rob Thompson

“And I run classes, and we also do private parties for adults and children.”

They have also just launched a new venture as part of the business called Eat My Logo, which provides branded cakes for the corporate market.

Ruth says her favourite element of her work is running the classes.

She explains: “I used to be a primary school teacher for 14 years in Warrington.

“I absolutely loved it, and then when I had my own children I decided to stay at home with them.”

She began baking while at home with her sons Harry, 10, and Alfie, six, and says: “It just went from there, from doing cakes for my own boys and friends, and when I stopped teaching everybody said I should start a business, so I did.

“There’s things I’ve done I never thought in a million years I would do.

“The bit I really really love is making the bespoke decoration, the figures, I love a challenge.”

Ruth’s recent creations include a cruise ship and a giant flea, and said: “I love it when it is something completely different and a big challenge.”

She is now planning her own five-tier wedding cake, and said: “I couldn’t let anyone else make it, I really want to do it myself.”

Partner Andy Poar, 46, says: “Ruth is very much the creative side, and I more deal with all the financial things and the marketing side of things.”

Andy, who also works as a telecoms consultant, says: “I enjoy the fact it is something completely different.

“After spending 20 years in the world of telecoms it’s been a really interesting challenge.”

He says he loves working alongside his partner, and says: “You can trace it back to when we first met - on our first date she turned up with a cup cake with a picture of my face on it.”

Apprentice Rob Thomson, 21, bakes the cakes from scratch using fresh, local ingredients.

He had trained as a mechanic, but was always interested in working in the kitchen from a young age.

He says: “I always used to do bits at home so when this came up I thought it was something different.

“I enjoy it and every day is different.”

Tilly Ball, 20, looks after the social media aspect of the business, and also ices the cakes. She says she enjoys the creative side: “I learn something new every day. When it comes to decorating the cake, I like the part where you turn the customer’s idea into an actual cake.”