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Keeping shop in the 21st century

Posted on 03 Feb 2020 in Karen's words of wisdom!
Karen Burton of Karen's Cakes

In the shop

I opened my first shop in Waltham Abbey in 1987 long before the internet, 24/7 trading days and hours or social media. It was a time when reps came in with catalogues to take your order and wrote it on bits of paper, customers paid with cash and books and magazines were where you found your cake inspiration. We had albums of previous cakes we’d made and display cakes to base new cake orders on, no Instagram or Pintrest back then. Wedding fayres were just becoming a thing but only the bigger high end venues held them, from memory the first few years we attend, there was no charge, they were only to pleased you exhibited to make their show work, this is no longer the case. I think I can safely say that is all a bygone era! Is that a bad thing? I’m not sure, in some ways I long for that simpler time but in many other ways I have happily embraced the new millennium with its generation of go getters and all the technological additions its brought with it.


Opening times

Shop opening times

There are many that bemoan the ‘Death of the high street’ and it has to be said shops like mine are currently dropping like flies! It may sound like a wonderful proposition to run a shop that incorporates the thing you love to do as a way of making a living but the reality is it takes commitment far beyond many other jobs, especially when you take into account the ‘deadline’ nature of a celebration or wedding cake! Now lets keep it real,  I’m not comparing it to being the PM or a brain surgeon but to be a successful specialist retail shop keeper these days requires dedication, specialist knowledge of your products and tenacity in bucket loads! Its really hard, which is why so many fail!

Wedding cakes

Display cakes

So what’s my point I hear you say, well my answer is quite simple! Karen’s Cakes has come a long way, this year, 2020, we will celebrate 33 years in business and over those years we have continued to evolve, we are very proud of this, our e-commerce website, our social media presence but most of all we are emphatically rooted in our high street premised in the vibrant Hertfordshire town of Bishop’s Stortford. We will continue to strive to excite and delight all our customers both old and new on the real and ever changing high street, we simply ask a couple of things of you to help us continue to grow – spend with us whenever you can but most importantly, tell your friends about us, review us on Google and Facebook and hashtag #hereatkarenscakes when posting on social media platforms whenever you use products brought from us or had a cake or tasted a cake from us…and remember to tag us in as well. That way our cakey tribe will continue to grow and grow and we will continue to enjoy being your go to high street cake shop!


A bear full of love