Close this search box.

Worker Bee: Meet Candice Bannister, founder of Candy’s Cupcakes

Candice turned a passion for baking into a huge business that is aiming for a £1m turnover this year
Candy's Cupcakes

Candice Bannister, who grew up in Dunkenfield, did not have a traditional business background when she set up Candy’s Cupcakes. 

Her journey from social housing to successful entrepreneurship is as remarkable as it is inspiring.

Candice spent 11 years working in social housing before venturing into the world of baking.

Her passion for creating tasty cupcakes ignited when she had her first child, leading her to experiment with recipes and share her creations locally via Facebook.

In 2014, after the birth of her second child, Candice made the bold decision to leave her social housing career and pursue her passion for baking full-time.

And in many respects, it’s been a fairytale story of success. 

Since then, Candy’s Cupcakes has experienced significant growth. In 2020, Candice hired her first employee, and by 2024, the company had expanded to a team of 16 individuals.

The business reported an impressive £900,000 turnover in 2023, representing a 31% increase from the previous year.

With plans to further expand and break the million-pound turnover mark, Candy’s Cupcakes continues to thrive under Candice’s leadership, showcasing the power of dedication, hard work, and entrepreneurial spirit.

We met the lady who made it happen. 

What got you started in your field of work?

I enjoyed baking and loved trying out new flavours and designs, that I would then gift to family members for special occasions.

I posted pictures of the bakes on Facebook and started to gain interest from friends who began asking me to make some for their family and friends.

The hobby began to take up more and more of my time and I wanted to learn more about sugar work and how to bake bigger cakes.

I then registered as a sole trader in 2011 and set up my own business and Facebook page for Candy’s Cupcakes.

Who have been the biggest influences on your work?

Originally I remember following a lot of cake decorators, and I would watch hours of YouTube tutorials to learn how to make sugar flowers and models.

I also found that Pinterest was a great tool, as well as looking at delicious recipes from famous bakers, such as Mary Berry.

Today, I take inspiration from everywhere, including random places such as cocktail bars for our cocktail cupcake flavours and designs.

I also follow the most amazing cake artists for their use of colour and colour combinations.

I have found my ‘style’ in the cake industry and try to stay within this in everything I create.

What is your proudest achievement so far?

My proudest achievement so far is when I catch myself standing back and looking at the huge space we now occupy with 16 staff busy baking, decorating, packing and being live on TikTok, all simultaneously. I love watching everyone work as a team to bring my creations together.

I often want to pinch myself because I started as a home baker and could never have imagined where the business is now.

What does your typical day involve?

Each day is different depending on the volume of work and if there are any special events, such as Mother’s Day. On busy days I get stuck in and support the staff in the kitchen with orders, packing and keeping the place tidy.

On a regular day, I enjoy keeping in touch with each member of staff and making sure they have everything they need to carry out their tasks.

My day-to-day jobs also include creating social media content, meeting customers, photographing and creating new products, liaising with our suppliers to ensure we are keeping our costs down, and, when needed, supporting our admin team.

Myself and my husband Oliver also have to top up the stock each day, so our local Morrisons are used to seeing us there regularly!

I am also managing our new TikTok whilst it’s still in its infancy stage, however, my role has become much more operational, ensuring that the place is running smoothly.

And how do you relax on your days off?

I go to the gym about five times a week, mostly in the early mornings, as I find this sets me up for the day. I also walk my Frenchie, Darwin in the evening and I have the best family and friends that I keep in contact with regularly, planning meals and evenings out.

On weekends I like to plan activities with my children and we use our National Trust membership a lot! We enjoy walking around local parks.

What is the best advice you have been given or can give?

Hazel, from what was previously called Hazelnut Bakery, once told me that to be a good cake decorator you need to be good at problem solving. This is very true but as the years have passed, this is true of being a business owner or manager.

Daily, I have to think on my feet or ‘fix’ issues when both staff and customers, look to you for advice and answers.

I also admire Steven Bartlett and I have found that his advice on ‘failing fast’ resonated with me and has helped me through times of reflection when things have not worked out as they should.

As a business owner, I have always been quick to change the way we work if something has not worked as it ought to.

If things hadn’t worked out, what else could you have seen yourself doing?

I worked in the Supported Housing field for 11 years and gained a degree in Applied Community Studies therefore I would have likely gone back into this and worked my way up within a housing company.

I enjoyed the work I did and I have always, and still am, keen to support people. I continue to work this way with my staff to a degree and will take time to get to know them all and support them if they have any personal issues where possible.

Tell us one thing about yourself people might be surprised to hear…

I have never gained any qualifications in cake decorating or business. I am completely self-taught! Hopefully, this will inspire others who believe that you need to go to college or university. If you have a genuine interest then you can learn it if you are willing to work hard and fail a lot!!

Red or Blue?


If you could change one thing about Manchester, what would it be?

The weather. Manchester is mainly grey. When it’s sunny it’s a different place and vibe altogether. I adore Manchester and spend most of my free time socialising with friends there or out shopping and going to activities and events that are on throughout the year with my family.

And finally, what do you love most about Manchester?

Everything! I love the diversity, the atmosphere and the wide variety of places to visit. There is something for everyone. My daughter loves Afflecks for its diverse clothing and culture. Oliver and I love the nightlife and the variety of restaurants too.

You can find out more about Candy’s cupcakes on their website by clicking here

Did we miss something? Let us know: [email protected]

Want to be the first to receive all the latest news stories, what’s on and events from the heart of Manchester? Sign up here.


Manchester is a successful city, but there are many people that suffer. The I Love MCR Foundation helps raise vital funds to help improve the lives and prospects of people and communities across Greater Manchester – and we can’t do it without your help. So please donate or fundraise what you can because investing in your local community to help it thrive can be a massively rewarding experience. Thank you in advance!

Got a story worth sharing?

What’s the story? We are all ears when it comes to positive news and inspiring stories. You can send story ideas to [email protected]

Close this search box.