Sophie’s Choice at Ely Markets
Visit Ely Markets when Sophie’s Afternoon Tea and Cakes is selling its wares and we defy you to go home without a slice of sponge. Sophie Elliot is the star baker behind the business, as Velvet finds out
- Have you always been a keen baker? Tell us how you discovered your talent. . .
I've always loved baking, but it wasn't until I did a cooking course in Somerset for my Gold Duke of Edinburgh that I realised I wanted to turn it into more than a hobby. That led me to Bournemouth University, where I did a two-year course in Professional Culinary Arts, a mix of practical and theory which also geared you up if you did want to start your own business.
- Why and when did Sophie's Cakes come to be?
After I finished uni, I got a job at Rectory Farm in Milton in their cafe and worked therefor 14 months, cooking, baking and serving food, while I was deciding where to go next. I then set up Sophie's, starting with a stall Cambridge Market two days a week and doing orders. I’ve built it from there: now, five years later, I do Ely Farmers’ Market, Newmarket Market and cake orders, as well as catering afternoon teas and supplying cakes to The Old Butcher’s Shop in Balsham.
- What makes it stand out from the cake-company crowd, would you say?
My traditional afternoon tea service, I think. I take a full afternoon tea experience to people’s homes and businesses. I use vintage china and I make all my own scones and cakes as well as the sandwiches. I am aiming to set up my own tearoom soon, which has been my dream since I started my business.
- Any signature bakes we really have to try?
I guess my signature bake varies. I always have the firm favourites like Victoria sponge, millionaire’s shortbread, lemon polenta and cheesecake, as well as brownies and fruity flapjacks, but I also like to have some 'showstopper' cakes on the stall - and I always make sure to have a few gluten-free cakes too.
- And any Easter specials coming to the market?
There will definitely be a variety of creme egg based bakes: I've already done creme egg brownies, creme egg millionaire’s shortbread and creme egg chocolate cake. But I've got more up my sleeve!
Follow @SophiesAfternoonTeasandCakes for more information.
First stop Silver Oak Coffee, for an energy-boosting cappuccino and Gourmet Brownie (we recommend the raspberry), then you’re all set to shop. From groceries to gifts, flowers, vintage finds and a delicious selection of street food, you’ll find it all at Ely Markets.
The Easter weekend is set to be brilliant: there will be a Saturday Farmers’ Market and Craft, Food & Vintage Market, a Sunday street food and bric-a-brac event, and a special Monday Bank Holiday Market. May brings the ever-popular Vegan & Vintage Fair, which runs alongside the main markets on Saturday and Sunday, May 8 and 9.
Top tip? Take plenty of bags.
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More by this authorAlice Ryan