Love Handmade Cakes (Exquisite Handmade Cakes Ltd)


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About the Business

Company Name: Love Handmade Cakes (Exquisite Handmade Cakes Ltd) Company Number: 04475122
Business Type: Manufacturing Years Trading: 6-10 years
Business Location: LEEDS

About the Risk

Risk rating


Default rate


Bad debt rate


About the Security

Security Offered:

Fixed Charge Debenture - Fixed charge over the asset(s) of applicant company

Est. Equity: 0.00

Personal Guarantee - PG from Viv Parry

Est. Equity: 0.00

Risk Indicators Identified:

Important Files

Who are we?

Exquisite is now entering its tenth year of trading (since April 2004) and is headed up by Viv Parry, a qualified chartered accountant and the sole shareholder. Viv is a true entrepreneur, successfully balancing her family life (she has three daughters) with the rigours of running a business and maintaining a strong media profile. The company now has an extensive product range across several categories; cakes, traybakes and individually wrapped products. In 2009, a range of wrapped product was developed, this range evolved and became the springboard for the new branding which was gradually incorporated across food service packaging and promotional material. The evolution of the brand on wrapped products enabled the company to establish links and launch products with local transport companies including Grand Central and First Hull trains. The growing strength of the brand also gave the company the impetus to exhibit at the Lunch Show in 2011 and 2012 which resulted in bringing in prestigious clients such as Sodexo who cater at The Chelsea Flower Show and Royal Ascot. In 2013, Exquisite will also be the chosen cake supplier at the MCC, this contact was a direct result of a meeting at the lunch show. With the Ashes coming to England this summer, this is a fantastic coup.

There has been considerable investment in marketing and promotion to add value to the brand, so whilst Exquisite has continued to grow turnover, profitability has declined. However, Exquisite now has a stunning website, a broad range of marketing materials and exquisite packaging in development, which will be a platform to generate higher revenue higher profile clients. In 2012, considerable money was invested in training the management team and also in process documentation and quality control. as a result of which Exquisite now holds the prestigious SALSA accreditation. This is a recognised standard within the food industry and will give many potential customers assurance that Exquisite products are of a high standard and produced in a safe and legal manner. We have also invested in efficiency for our production process, with significant expenditure on equipment. This consists of two new cutting machines, a new oven and a new dishwasher.

Exquisite has recently been invited to be a supplier to Waterstone’s for their new Café W concept, which will be rolled out nationally. Exquisite has recently launched a range of wrapped products in the Premier Lounge at Leeds Bradford Airport, which attracted a large amount of PR in the local press and national airline publications. In recent months, the company, due to the profile of the brand and the customer focused approach, is taking clients from its closest competitor, the Handmade Cake Company.

Exquisite has recently entered into a licensing agreement with a bakery producing Gluten Free products. There is a growing demand for GF products which it is not possible to produce at Exquisite’s bakery due to contamination risk. The licensing agreement will allow for GF products to be sold under the Exquisite brand, each product sold will generate a licensing fee.

Exquisite has developed a range of reduced fat cakes which will be heavily promoted in 2013. The business is working on a range of Healthy Fruit and Nut bars, and hopes to tie in the promotion of these bars with the Tour de France's Grand Depart in July. (Exquisite is a member and supporter of Welcome to Yorkshire, the organisation responsible for the Grand Depart).

Viv was lucky to be invited on a trade mission to Boston and New York in 2012, this was funded by Santander as part of their breakthrough programme. As a result of the trade mission many links were forged with potential US customers, and one export order was sent to a prestigious hotel food hall in December 2012. In 2013, Viv will revisit the US with a view to further developing relationships with importers, as the USA is seen to be a lucrative market for niche UK branded products. Exquisite is also part way through the UKTI passport to export programme, this is a research based programme which identifies markets for UK products. There are many opportunities open to Exquisite for Export, most recently identified was a market for UK branded products in Iceland.

All capital purchase has been financed by Asset Finance and the company operates from leasehold premises. In August 2011, Exquisite took out a loan for £50,000 from Finance Yorkshire to finance the first stage of their marketing strategy – this has been repaid in accordance with the terms and now stands at approximately £26k. The company currently has a £40k overdraft facility for working capital and all other significant lending has come from family members. The reported profit and loss and balance sheet numbers for the year ended 30th Nov 2012 represent draft accounts which have not yet been filed at Companies House. The trading loss for that year reflects one off significant investment in, and reorganisation of, the manufacturing facility. This reorganisation will reduce the operating costs of the business this year such that the underlying profitability of the business will be restored this year. Whilst the most recent management accounting information to 28th Feb 2013, shows an operating loss, this is merely a reflection of the seasonality of the business. December, January and to a lesser extent, February, being slower months for trade. Encouragingly, turnover in these three months is ahead of that in the same three months of the prior year.

Viv graduated from Northumbria University with a BA Hons in Accountancy and went on to become a qualified Chartered Accountant, spending several years with PwC. She is also a graduate of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Programme. The involvement in the GS programme has given Viv the opportunity to be involved in many exciting activities including the recent hosting of a round table discussion with Vince Cable and a visit to the Houses of Parliament to take part in a House of Lords Select Committee meeting around export opportunities for food companies.

Viv is a mother to 3 daughters, 1 of who works part time in the business as a sales and marketing assistant.

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Loan Offers

What is the loan for?

The funds will be used to purchase a new piece of cutting equipment (ACCUSONIC 1000UDF SERVO ULTRASONIC SLICER) used in the cake manufacturing process.

Why consider investing?

A Chattels mortgage over the equipment will be taken to provide security against the loan. The equipment comes with a 12 months manufacturers warranty. Exquisite is a creative and vibrant company, which is at an exciting stage of growth. On the back of investment in time and money in 2012, Exquiste is poised for its next growth step. Exquisite will be an increasingly significant brand in the market place in 2013. There are many more products and markets available to facilitate growth of the Exquisite brand.