A self-taught baker from Worsley has been providing treats to the city’s key workers to show her appreciation of their hard work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Beth Wakefield, 24, has been baking since high school, and has been putting smiles on the faces of front line staff since her business, The Wakey Bakery, opened in 2018.
Miss. Wakefield said: “I have actually been doing this (providing treats for key workers) since my business originally started.
“If I ever have cupcakes left from events or pop-up shops, I always deliver them to A&E or the local fire stations, for example, I just never post about it.
“I’ve always been taught by my parents to give thanks and show appreciation to others”.
But the lockdown has stopped Miss. Wakefield from being able to make any deliveries in person, so the 24-year-old decided to reach out to front line staff on social media, inviting them to collect treats contact-free from her home bakery, in Worsley.
“I wanted to reach out to my followers and give back because they’ve helped me so much.”
“I genuinely wish I could make cake for every key worker in the UK”.
With a family that has served in the army, the baker has also raised money for The Royal British Legion in the past and also wants to thank one particular war hero who has captured the nation’s heart recently.
Captain Tom Moore is a British World War Two veteran who recently raised over £25 million for the NHS by doing 100 laps of his garden as he approaches his birthday in ten days that would make him a century old.
“I would love to make a cake for Captain Tom Moore’s 100th birthday. He’s an absolute legend.
“I’ve been trying to find a way to contact him over the past few days”.
It was actually the 24-year-old’s superb cake-making skills, that made people give her the idea to create an Instagram page in 2018.
“We’d always joked about ‘The Wakey Bakery’ every time I made a cake.
“So I just thought, what have I got to lose? I never imagined it would take off the way it did.”
And it certainly did take off.
The Wakey Bakery now has an Instagram following of ten thousand, and has made cakes and treats for the likes of former Love Island contestant, Ellie Brown, and the Burnley Football Club first team.
And the baker is grateful to everyone who has supported her business, stressing the importance of social media for The Wakey Bakery.
“It’s incredibly important to get your name and products out there and known by as many people as possible.
“I’ve had people travel to me from places over two hours away just for brownies.”
“It’s actually crazy when things like that happen, I genuinely do feel so proud”.
But Miss Wakefield admits that the journey has not been completely smooth.
“To begin with I had a job as a teaching assistant. So, I would work all day at the school, then I’d come home and bake until around 11 pm. It was so tiring. I have spent many, many nights in the bakery till after midnight.
“But when it’s your business and you’re passionate about it, you’ll do anything to make it a success”.
With The Wakery Bakery currently closed for business due to the coronavirus pandemic, Miss. Wakefield was shocked by how bare the shelves were even before the lockdown was imposed in the UK.
“I had so many orders booked for Mothers Day and I was unsure if I was even going to have enough stock.
“I became really stressed and anxious about the situation, so much to the point that I became ill for a few days.
“I suffer from a condition called fibromyalgia, which makes me experience chronic fatigue and widespread muscle pain mostly brought on by stress.
“Luckily my amazing followers got together, informing me on where had stock and people were dropping me eggs off from local farms. It was really lovely.”
Although other businesses like Miss. Wakefield’s have remained open for contact-free deliveries, the Worsley baker currently lives with her ill grandfather, a former member of the army, and does not want to risk anything happening to him.
“It wouldn’t be worth the risk. My Grandad is unwell, so it’s been really lovely to spend some quality time with him”.
“I’ve just been trying to keep active and use my time wisely, spending it with my family”.
And Miss Wakefield definitely recommends baking for those who are searching for ways to fill their days.
“It’s so fun. All the family can do it together, and of course, you have something to eat at the end, which is always a perk”.
So what does the future hold for The Wakey Bakery when life returns to normal again?
The 24-year-old hopes that sometime in the near future, she has moved from her home bakery into her own shop.
“I really want to find the perfect location for my shop. I have it all planned out in my head, I can’t wait for it to become a reality”.
So, if you’re looking for something to feast your eyes on during lockdown, you can find The Wakey Bakery on Instagram and Facebook, where you can place your orders once Miss Wakefield is able to do what she loves again.