Nicci Peverill – Cupcakes in Camden
Tell us about yourself… It’s been a nearly 9 year cake metamorphosis!
Hi my name is Nicci Peverill, I am 45 years young and have a 9 year old daughter Livi and a wonderful husband Steve. I’m originally from Auckland, NZ and from a family that loves all things food on one side and all things art on the other!. I have evolved so much over the last 8 or so years originally starting as a cupcake business and now I create Wedding Cake stories, bake for our local Epicure Store and specialise also in gluten and dairy free cakes.
I guess I could call myself a “seasoned” retailer…I’m proud to have experienced and worked for well known companies like Virgin, Vodafone, David Jones, The Body Shop and Sussan. My retail days span more than 22 years which means I’ve spent more than half my life with You, the customer!
My business journey has very much been influenced by my late Grandmother Clare who made the best bakes and cakes for her 6 children. Traditional skills like baking, knitting and crochet are slowly going. I promised her that I will keep baking alive and share my knowledge with my daughter.
I am a lover of unique colour and style infusions, our local produce and supporting small local business when ever I can. Ive learnt to be resourceful over the years and I believe the best things in life are those that are perfectly imperfect.
Tell us about your business… My business is all about the element of handmade and connecting with people. I love to tell stories through cake by bringing in things clients love whether it be the style, flavour or colour palette. My business philosophy is simple, fresh and beautiful. Cake should be fresh, flavoursome and natural when it comes to colour. My grandmother never baked with anything artificial so thats what I would like to carry on. Ive covered alot of ground in 8 years and now i really specialise in Weddings, Engagements and milestone birthdays. I also bake GF for The Epicure Store in Camden. After 8 years I have a very loyal client base with some families following me from the very early days. With many I have been a part of their celebrations for more than 7 years.
Describe a typical day in the life of Cupcakes in Camden? Everything comes down to the planning and a smooth flow throughout the week. I prep the night before and bake very early in the morning as thats the time I can really focus and move quickly through my schedule. Bakers have to think alot about timing and temperatures and then theres the season too. I make sure I have breaks in between tasks as it can be mentally exhausting in days where I can have multiple projects in the kitchen. Organisation is the key.
What inspires you? I’m a really visual person so Im drawn to magazines, blogs, and instagram for images and colours. I also love to be outdoors and I take alot of photos for inspiration. Other local business people inspire me and also those who have really challenged themselves and grown from experiences. We are only human so we need to keep evolving and learning everyday. I escape to Art Gallerys and creative spaces alot and come brimming with ideas and freshness. For me its like getting a sweet fix, I grew up with an arty family so its my world.
Whay is your work different to other bakers? I think we all have our own signature style. People say to me oh we saw a cake at an event and just knew it was yours!. I bake by hand 99% of the time, it just feels right. By that I mean I hand stir everything rather than use my Kenwood KMIX. Although I love some technology I like to stay very basic and I’m big on staying with traditional methods. My creations are prefectly imperfect and I insist on baking the day of an event unless in the case of a Wedding tiered cake I need to let the cakes settle for construction. My flavour infusions set me apart from the baking mainstream aswell. I like to experiment with flavours that are not the ordinary match and when clients message me with a ” loved the flavour!” I know I have created a winner. I have an “eye” for lining more than two flavours up and saying ” that will work”. Sometimes my biggest risks have often been my biggest wins in businessso yes I’m not afraid to take risks.
Favourite soundtrack to listen to while you’re working? John Mayer has always been a favourite but then theres David Bowie, Lorde and The Rubens. Bit of a mix really. Music gets me through the big bakes and before you know it Im hanging up that denim apron for the day!
What is your favourite part of any wedding? I would have to say walking into a venue and feeling the goose bumps on my arms when I see a styled room. I remember doing this when I walked into The Rift in Bowral recently. It was so rustic, dreamy and lush all in one. The caterers were in the kitchen and the aromas were heavenly. I only got a glimpse of the bride and her maids and I could just see it was going to be a fabulous night!. Seeing your own baked creation blending in so well means you have really listened to the couple right from the beginning. Its always such a pleasure baking for a Wedding and yes I have cried on occasions when I have seen my brides on site. Feeling all that emotion and knowing their special day is finally here is quite amazing to watch.