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A day in the life of cake POP bakery founder, Clare O’Connell

We spend a day with cake-making Clare, from rise and shine through office hours to bedtime

Posted: 9 March 2015
by Catherine Hudson

They're almost too beautiful to eat!
A POP likeness of Paddington Bear.
Claire O'Connell and her mother started their company almost five years ago.
Paint your own cake POPS with this kit.
Here's a look behind the scenes at the POP Bakery.
Peter Rabbit comes with his favourite treat.
A brilliant cake for the dino lover in your life.

Clare, 27-year-old POP Bakery founder and owner, lives in Queens Park, London.

What is your office environment like?  

I have a small station for office stuff in the front of the shop. It’s nice as I can welcome customers, but at the same time keep an eye on the POPs being made in the back!

Do you have such a thing as a ‘typical’ day?

Sure do! I get in before 9am then make the cake balls for the rest of the day. I leave them in the fridge to harden for a while and I then do my emails from over night. Then I start shaping the cake POP shapes before the girls get in at 11am. We then dip and paint all day and serve any drop in POP Paint customers. I normally finish at about 7pm.

Did you always want to do what you do now, for a job?  

Specifically cake POPs, no, as they were only around a few months before I started making them myself. But I think I’ve dreamed of having a bakery for a long time, yes. I toyed with having a chocolate shop or a cupcake shop but once I found cake POPs I knew they were the perfect balance for my love of chocolate and cake decorating.

What was the first thing you wanted to be ‘when you grew up’?

An interior designer, I was obsessed with changing my room (and changing rooms) for a long time, constantly reinventing my pokey little bedroom!

What is the best thing about your job?

It’s just nice being in such a creative environment, especially now we have the shop. Thinking of new products and ways to do up the shop is so much fun!

Are there any downsides to your job?

Long, long hours. And so much responsibility, even more so since moving to the shop. Also, it now being a seven day a week business means I can never really switch up, but hopefully I’ll get there soon.

How do you come up with creative, original ideas?

Customers inspire us every day with all their crazy requests! And I follow a lot of amazingly creative people in America on Instagram, so I get lots of inspiration from them!

How do you juggle family life with work life?

I don’t have kids, but it is handy that my mum works with us, and I rope my sisters in to working on the weekends too! 

What do you do outside of work, with your family?  

At the moment it’s just one day off a week, if I’m lucky. I just walk around nice parts of London or treat myself to a shopping splurge!

What is coming up, work-wise, for you and your business? Any new ventures?

We will be introducing new edible paint colours this year, including a UV glow in the dark paint which I’m really excited about! But mainly just trying to keep the business strong, considering all the new overheads we now have since moving to the shop.

Would you want your children to follow in your footsteps?  

If I have kids I would LOVE them to take over POP Bakery. We joke, at work, that if I did, I’d have them rolling balls and making POPs from a toddler!

If you had superhero skills, (flying, invisibility, super strength), what would be your dream job?  

If I could stop time I would find the time to go to art school and learn how to be an illustrator so I could do more original designs for POP Bakery and make my own cards.

Visit POP Bakery's website to order POPS, paint, or cakes from Clare. 

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cake, cake pops, clare o'connell, pop bakery, paddington bear, peter rabbit, mother-daughter business, day in the life, q&a, celebrity chefs

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