Nestled down a Little Quay Street is a pink palace, a little iced gem, a cute cornucopia of cupcake curiosity

By Manchester's Finest | Last updated 24 September 2012

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Nestled down a Little Quay Street is a pink palace, a little iced gem, a cute cornucopia of cupcake curiosity – here lieth Hey Little Cupcake and here be a go to destination for any cake fiends or those in need of a sweet fix.

Hey Little Cupcake is the brainchild of Sarah and it’s much more than some fanciful, sugary creation that’s will be here in one bite and gone with the next. Sarah has ten years successful marketing behind her, passion in her heart and ambition in her belly. We caught up with her over a good portion of cupcakes:

Nosh: So cupcakes? Jumping on the bandwagon or a burning passion?
Sarah: No, I did spot a gap in the market with there being nothing like this down Spinningfields way, but I’ve always been a passionate baker and baked from on early age with my family. It’s been a dream for years and I finally made it a reality.

Nosh: What made you take the step from a successful career in to having your own business?
Sarah: Someone once told me, ‘Never have any limit apart from the sky,’ and that’s how I life my life. I got to a point in the my career where I knew I could make this step; now I’ve made it I never place a limit on what I want to achieve so I can carry on achieving above and beyond.

Nosh: How did your background help you with setting up Hey Little Cupcake.
Sarah: My background’s advertising, so I’m a creative person – I wanted to make Hey Little Cupcake look amazing, but back that up with fresh, natural ingredients and products that taste as good as they look. The whole concept of Hey Little Cupcake has been important – even the pink and white chequered flooring – it was a pain to source and very expensive, but it added the final touch and now everyone talks about it.

Nosh: Your cupcakes certainly tastes as good as they look – where do you get your inspiration for flavour? (editor – were you eating as you asked this question perchance?).
Sarah: Every cupcake we make has a story – take the latest collection, The East Coast of America – each cake takes inspiration from my journey up the East Coast. We looked at places I’d been to along the way and then created cakes from these. So Key Lime Pie has been translated into a lime cupcake with a crushed biscuit base and a light lime frosting.

Nosh:Obviously to any business there are pitfalls, what have been the hardest moments for you?
Sarah: When I first started I was a pop up and it was crazy – I was getting up crazy early, baking, running the store cleaning up, prepping and then just grabbing the merest few hours of sleep. When we first opened it was also very busy and I had been making a giant cupcake for a customer as a comission, I tripped and dropped it. I was gutted, I had no time to make another, but I just had to pick myself up and push on. Luckily now I can see the fruits of my labour and the success from all my hard work.

Nosh: What would you say has been the best part of this?

Sarah: Apart from succeeding and giving life to my dream, it’s the little touches. Only the other day a Grandma came in with her three grandaughters – they’d been in a few days before and had come back especially to give us a handmade thank you card as they’d enjoyed their cakes so much. It brought a tear to my eye and I got all emotional in the shop, it just made my day and made me realise that what I do does have a positive effect on people and does matter.

Nosh: So it’s pretty pink in the shop – is it a girly paradise where men fear to tread?
Sarah: You’d think so, but nearly half our customers are guys, and not just ones buying things for their girlfriends or ones that have been dragged in. It’s very funny, but within the space of a week we had two sets of male friends come in who had been shopping for engagement rings – both sets left the engagement rings in the shop and had to come back for them! When we make our collections we always try to have some more manly ones on that are less sweet and have heavier flavours.

Nosh: What’s your advise to others wanting to set up their own businesses?
Sarah: If you’re passionate about it, believe in it and be confident enough to make it work. Never set a limit, the sky’s the limit!

Nosh: And what next for Hey Little Cupcake? You’re a driven and passionate person, so there must be a plan?
Sarah: We’ve come so far in 18 months; but you’re right, there is a plan. We’re looking at expanding to other sites and we’ve got some other, extra exciting plans too (and yes, dear reader, I was privy to them…). Keep your eyes peeled!

Hey Little Cupcake is located on Little Quay Street in Spinningfields, right next to Nandos. As well as cupcakes they run baking and preserving sessions, take on bespoke cakes (big ones too) and are available for parties.

Hey Little Cupcake, Little Quay Street, Spinningfields, Manchester M3 3HF –

0161 832 0260 –