salford vegan cake

A local baker has taken the plunge and opened a new Salford vegan cake business, despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Jessica Tonks, 28, landed the new business idea by accident after people urged her to sell the sweet creations she was baking in lockdown.

The business owner, was made redundant in July after being furloughed and spent her free time embracing her new found hobby:

She said: “It was a blessing in a way to have so much free time that I really wanted to make the most of it, as it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.

“Even though my first intention wasn’t to be a baker, it quickly took over my life and all I thought about was cake and self promotion.

Cookies from Jess Bakes Vegan
Credit: Jessica Tonks

“Word of mouth really is a small business’ best friend and I was lucky to have the support of family and friends at first to get me off the ground”.

Tonks, bakes plant-based cupcakes, cookies and cakes from her home in Salford. They are available for collection, local delivery and she also posts her cookies nationwide.

The number of vegans in the UK is growing. According to a survey by, the number of vegans in the UK has increased by 62% over the past 12 months.

(Credit: Jessica Tonks)

This is another brand new journey for the Salford vegan cake enthusiast: “I became vegan in January this year, but I had been vegetarian for 18 years prior.

“I have always been an animal lover and stand by my belief that an animal shouldn’t have to give their life in order for me to live.

She added: “When your eyes are opened to the cruelty of the dairy and egg industries, it made me realise I didn’t want to be a part of that and I would never look back now.

“I’m happy to provide a service for others looking for dairy and egg free alternatives, and it means a lot to cater for those with intolerances too”.

The Makers Market at MediaCityUK offers people the opportunity to support local businesses. The 28-year-old experienced her first Makers Market in October:

“With making cakes, it’s hard to gage how many cupcakes to make as you don’t want to make too many and for them to go to waste or not have enough to go round.

“I’m hoping to do more markets in the spring as it’s so special to meet people who have found me on social media in person”.

However, starting a new business during a global pandemic has had its challenges for Tonks:

“The tier system has played a part as there would have been a lot more parties and celebrations that I could have catered for.

“I am working full time again, which I am super grateful for, but that limits the time I can spend growing my business.

salford vegan cake
Jessica Tonks
(Credit: Jessica Tonks)

“I am starting to find a healthy balance with it, but it can be draining trying to fit everything in and I really want to enjoy what I do”.

This has not stopped Tonks pushing for her dream, as she told Salford Now her aspirations for her new venture:

“The dream would be to have my own bakery and to do this every day including special occasion cakes.

Birthday cake
(Credit: Jessica Tonks)

“In the meantime, I would love to do more birthday cakes and try out new styles and build on my skills.

“Everything I have done so far has been self taught and I love that journey of learning how to be a little bit better each time”.

You can find Jessica’s vegan cake business on Instagram and Facebook at @jess.bakes.vegan


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