Customer award is the icing on the cake for Cirencester's Sugar Box
For part two of our series on the winners from the Cirencester Chamber of Commerce business awards Charlotte Shepherd met Kelsie Hall from cake making company The Sugar Box.
AN AWARD for customer service at the Cirencester Chamber of Commerce Best for Business awards is an accolade that truly marks a business out as doing something right.
The fact that this award, sponsored by the Wilts and Glos Standard, was voted for by the public made the winning that much sweeter for Cirencester cake specialist The Sugar Box.
"I have a great relationship with my customers and a really faithful client base. Winning this award was so exciting," said Kelsie Hall, The Sugar Box owner.
Mrs Hall, who has been a confectioner for 40 years and is a national judge for the British Sugarcraft Guild, opened The Sugar Box in Cirencester in 2000 and quickly built up a loyal following. "I get to know my customers and am often with them through all sorts of happy events in their lives from wedding days to christenings, although not always in that order! It is really nice to part of the good times and it is an honour to be part of someone's special occasion," she said.
Mrs Hall views her job as more than just providing a cake that will form the centre piece for an event. "It is a very emotional job. Young mums come to me really stressed out planning a birthday party and I can offer advice, help and a box of tissues," she explained.
It is this approach of going the extra mile that helped to earn The Sugar Box the customer service award.
Over the last 11 years, Mrs Hall has received her fair share of strange requests for cakes and will give most things a go. "I will try most things but a few have defeated me such as a cake in the shape of a galloping horse and the north face of the Eiger," she said.
In 2008 The Sugar Box outgrew its premises on Park Street and Mrs Hall, with her assistant Lyn Smith, moved to Ashcroft Road in the town centre. The move was a success for 18 months, but as the recession bit rates and rent proved too much for a small independent to manage.
However, The Sugar Box continues to trade with a weekly stall at the Corn Hall's Thursday market. The website is being updated and a workshop has been built at the bottom of her Kemble home to give her space to continue creating her cakes.
No matter what economic challenges face her business, Mrs Hall has vowed to carry on cake making. "There are highs and lows to the business but it is huge fun and I feel like I was born to do it. I even have a bent finger from all the pressure of the piping bag. I just love my job," she said.