Wednesday, 21 May 2014

60 SECOND INTERVIEW: Jane Burt


JANE Burt owns The Happy Cupcake Company, based in Lyme Regis, with her husband Chris, and has just opened a second premises in the town – The Blue Sea Café on the seafront. Originally from Birmingham, Jane joined the Army at 17 and was posted to Salisbury, which is how she first came to the South West. She then lived in Somerset before moving to her dream home in Lyme Regis with her family eight years ago, having previously visited on holidays. Jane and Chris have three grown up children, Laura, Jake and Joe, and two grandchildren. Their two sons will be helping them to run the new café over the coming months. 

HOW did you first get into baking?
I started baking at a very early age. The person responsible for getting me into baking was my auntie Lynne who sadly passed away at the age of 62 last year. She used to make lovely puddings on my visits. Queen of Puddings was a favourite and I wanted to be just like her.

WHEN did you open The Happy Cupcake Company?
I started what is now The Happy Cupcake Company with Chris as a market stall at Wells Market. It was called Absolutely Cupcakes then and it was very successful but we always dreamed of having our own place and so we opened the cafe in Silver Street, Lyme Regis. 
We could see that there was a market for the decorations that I was using on my own cupcakes and so started sourcing and importing unusual sprinkles, etc. from all over the world. When we opened the shop on Broad Street we felt it was better to focus our energy into that to get it established and now we also sell a much wider range of items, which include ceramics such as Jersey Pottery, beautiful homeware and the odd piece of vintage furniture.

WHAT did you do before this? 
I am a Bachelor of Laws and before I had my own business I was a local government officer working in the legal department at Somerset County Hall in Taunton. I enjoyed my job but I much prefer being my own boss and working with my husband.

WHAT will your new seafront café be offering?
The new seafront cafe will be called The Blue Sea Café and will be showcasing my homemade cakes and scones, as well as savouries like quiche. We have chosen to stock Purbeck ice cream, as this is fabulous quality and will use this in our sundaes also. In the summer holidays we are planning to offer a pudding club in the evenings to give people the opportunity to try my homemade puddings whilst enjoying the magnificent location.

WHAT do you enjoy about the job?
I love the compliments I get about my cakes. It’s lovely that we already have regular customers at the cafe and people even coming back a second time in one day because they enjoyed their cake in the morning so they come back for my freshly baked scones in the afternoon.

WHAT’S your favourite type of cake to bake?
This would be cherry and marzipan cake because it is my husband’s favourite and so I enjoy making it for him. It is a lovely high cherry cake with a layer of marzipan through the middle like a simnel cake.

WHAT are your other personal interests?
Going on holiday and travelling. I love touring around France, although because we can’t really holiday in the summer any more we haven’t been able to do this as often lately. I also love going out for meals and when I am on holiday and I’m a keen photographer. We went to Barcelona last April and I got some really great shots there.

WHAT do you like about the local area?
I was brought up in a big city so, living here, I love the sense of space and the quiet. I have seen dolphins swimming in the sea and I can sit up in bed and look at the ocean. What more could you want?

WHAT do you think it’s missing?
Personally for me, I think it’s missing a proper sports complex. Please could I have one?

WHAT would you do if you won the Lottery?
Easy! Buy all my children houses and a holiday home in the south of France for us, and a big donation to some well-deserving charities of course.

WHICH three people would you invite to your dream dinner party?
I have two wonderful grandchildren who live about an hour away. I don’t see them as often as I would like to due to my daughter’s and my own work commitments, so I would invite my daughter, Laura, and Tilly and Milo for dinner and we would have giant prawns and ham sandwiches (Tilly’s favourite), and pizza (Milo’s favourite) and then lots of chocolate and strawberry ice cream, which they both love. I cant think of anyone that I would rather eat dinner with.

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