By Janet Tansley
AS a young girl Sarah Nolan spent hours in the kitchen being taught to bake by her mum, sticking her finger into the mixture to take a cheeky taste whenever her back was turned.
But the hours weren’t wasted as the 37-year-old from Huyton now has her own company, Licky Lips Cakes, creating fantastic fondant creations for a variety of events and celebrations.
And the icing on her company cake? “One of the people who works for me is my mum!”
Sarah says: “I started Licky Lips two years ago and the business has really taken off. I began on my own but now I have two people helping me, my mum, Hazel, along with Sue Jones who I worked with on a volunteer project I help out with. It’s great.”
Sarah was originally a graphic designer with her own company who felt increasingly unhappy with her role and the stresses it placed on her. She was living with constant migraines and decided to do something to help make herself feel better.
She had always baked – “Ours was a house where there was always a homemade pie or pudding to be had after tea and my mum taught me how to make crumbles and scones from scratch” – and so decided to go on a night-school course, learning how to decorate cakes.
“I loved it so much. I guess the fact that I was creative helped and it just came naturally, within two years I had walked away from my own company to do something that made me happy and I enjoyed so much more.
“In fact, I had just started my own cake company when I entered the big Cake and Bake Show UK competition and I won it – so that meant the order book was full even in the first year, and it’s just gone on from there.
“This year my mum has just won the same competition I won too.”
Sarah continues: “It’s funny, when I started my career and started baking, my mum was the first person I called on for tips and advice. She was the one I had such fond memories of, working hard to make me and my brothers’ birthday cakes.
“The 3D Care Bear cake she made for me had to be my favourite and I always remember being amazed at the tiny heart detail on the bum of the bear!
“As the business grew I leaned on my mum more and more and she became an integral part of the business and the roles reversed as I showed her how to make sugar work and manage fondant.
“Within weeks she was known as the cupcake queen! We bounce off each other with our own skills and out mum and daughter relationship has fallen perfectly into our working relationship. It’s the perfect partnership and Sue has fitted in brilliantly too.”
Sarah adds: “There is pressure, especially when there are a lot of orders to get out, or there’s an intricate piece of work that needs to be done but I don’t see it as stress because, to me, it’s fun. It’s great doing something I love so much.”
Licky Lips offers just about every cake you could imagine from wedding cakes and birthday cakes, to cupcakes and Christening cakes; contemporary or classic, or just downright fun.
“We have had some fantastic requests. But with all of the cakes we make, we assure the utmost of detail to make sure it a memorable centrepiece for any occasion, and a cake people will never forget.”