Beth Wakefield, a self-taught baker from Worsley, launched her business The Wakey Bakery in 2018.
The 25-year-old, who has spent the past couple of years catering events and pop-ups as well as doing deliveries, had to close her business during the lockdown earlier this year.
But now she’s back, with her first permanent premises in Swinton, which opens today.
And it will be serving all the tempting treats that have earned Beth over 12 thousand fans on Instagram – from caramel cheesecake cookie sandwiches and sticky toffee pudding cupcakes to festive mince pie blondies.
“I decided to close my business in the first lockdown, due to my grandad moving in with us,” says Beth.
“He has terminal cancer, and the risk of me going out to the shops every few days for stock – it just didn’t seem worth the risk.
“As well, at this time, my grandma (his wife) was in and out of hospital and in a care home. People were taking care of her, when we couldn’t.”
Beth spent her free time during the difficult period making cupcakes for the nurses in her grandma’s care home, to say thank you.
“So then that made me decide to use my remaining stock and offer cupcakes for key workers, just to brighten their day slightly during a tough time,” she explains.
“Unlike me, they weren’t able to decide to stop working to protect their families.
“It got a great response and I managed to make 100s of cupcakes for key workers.
“Sadly, in April, my grandma passed away. She had no family around her, just care workers, during the height of lockdown.
“We weren’t able to say goodbye to her. In fact I didn’t get to see her for two months before she passed, as her home went on lockdown before the rest of us.
“NHS workers deserve so much gratitude, I was more than happy to spend my time in lockdown baking to make their days better.”
Beth was recognised for her contribution to her local community with a High Sheriff of Manchester Special Recognition Award.
“I was informed I’d been nominated for the award, but I didn’t think I’d get it to be honest,” she says.
“When it arrived I was genuinely shocked.
“But it’s so nice to be recognised for something I did, just out of the goodness of my heart. I’m really grateful.”
Today, Beth is opening her first shop in Swinton.
So how does it feel to be opening a new business during the second lockdown?
“Opening in the middle of a pandemic, is more than nerve-racking,” she says.
“I genuinely am so anxious. Like everything at the minute, It’s the fear of the unknown.
“I’m just trying be positive. Although scary, this is something I could have only dreamed of at one time.
“I’ve taken the plunge and put everything into this shop.
“It really is a dream come true for me, down to every last detail.”
Swinton just got a lot sweeter.
The Wakey Bakery is open now on Chorley Road, Swinton.