From mermaid and unicorn cakes to Fortnight and Harry Potter inspired designs, young Burnley entrepreneur Hannah Greenwood, 24, is attracting sweet toothed shoppers from all over the region to her bakery, Bella’s Bakes.
Originally learning her craft at renowned Manchester patissier and chocolatiers, Slattery and following a brief move down south to manage another bakery at just 21, in May of last year, Hannah opened the doors to her own shop, in her hometown.
“It made complete sense to set up my own bakery in Burnley, not only because it is where my family live but there’s so much going on in the town right now – it feels as though it’s a great community, especially for people like myself who are setting up their first business. Mortgage repayments are great for a space this size and its generally a better quality of life than if I was elsewhere in the county.”
The story goes that Hannah made the decision to ditch her plans of becoming an English teacher and instead pestered Slattery for a job aged 19 after her mum bought her a one-day cake making course which turned into a two-week work experience. This insight into the cake world whipped up the idea that her passion for cakes could be more than just a hobby and so she began her training and hasn’t looked back since.
Fast forward a few of years and Hannah is revelling in the decision. With 20 wedding cakes booked in this year already and with a minimum of 15 birthday cake orders every week, not to mention the daily delicious cupcakes that locals flock in for (we highly recommend the salted caramel and mint aero!), business is most definitely booming for this talented Burnley girl.
“Every single customer who comes through the door is lovely – it’s so nice to know everyone by name and know what they like. The vibe is so friendly – everyone genuinely wants you to do well.”
Today, Bella’s Bakes is Instagram-perfect and the ideal spot for a catch up over coffee and cake but as a takeaway in its previous life, it was a real family effort to transform the space into what it has become today.
“I sent my mum to look at the shop and it definitely had potential, but everyone pitched in to help us to get the doors open last year. Every inch of the bakery has been changed.”
Using local tradespeople and a new kitchen fit by Pendle Kitchens, a sofa made by Hannah’s cousin, a coffee machine from her uncle and not to mention the hours of time given by other family and friends to paint the shop, Bella’s Bakes finally took shape last summer.
Her best advice for other young aspiring cake makers and entrepreneurs?
“Be patient and practice. Everyone makes mistakes including me, but you have to try again, and again. Try not to get too frustrated. As my mum says ‘at the end of the day, it’s just cake!’”
Bella’s Bakes can be found at 299 Manchester Road, Burnley BB11 4HL | 01282 727 271