We chat to Terry Glover, owner and recipe developer at the London Review Cake Shop, in today's inspiring interview. Find out how she came to set up her own shop, what a 'day in the life' looks like, along with inspiration and words of advice if you're looking to follow in Terry's footsteps. Happy reading!
Where does your love of baking come from?
It began at my grandmother's side, clutching onto her apron, learning to make the lightest fresh fluffy sponges.
How did you decide that you wanted to make it your career?/How did the London Review Cake Shop begin?
Birthed by natural inclination, drive and a love of cooking food for people which is something I did as a young kid. My dad suffered a lot of burnt toast and poached eggs. It began as a simple dream and a key introduction – as a kid I grew up with a fantastic family-run bookstore that had a café attached. I spent many years visiting that shop growing up and I really wanted the combination of an old coffee house, city lights, conversation, music, creativity and vitality. The key meeting to Mary Kay Wilmers, the Editor of The London Review of Books, was when the stars aligned. She invited me to set up the cake shop and here we are today... She is very cool.
What special new recipes have you been working on? And which one of your creations is your favourite?
The Christmas cake is always fun a year spent brewing and curing the fruits in booze and spices getting the flavour notes just right, along with beautiful flavoursome stews with pinto beans and Irish seaweed. Plus the endless desire to make the perfect chocolate cookie – at the moment it's anise, raisin and dark chocolate.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
All over – a trip away to the coast, a glut of really good plums and I like to riff on other people's recipes too or chatting with friends discussing what they love at the moment.
How would you sum up your baking style, and why?
A mix of refined baking mixed with a rustic attitude and loads of spice. For example, a birthday might be a combination of an enriched lemon myrtle sponge an Australian Native with homemade kumquat jam and chamomile cream. Flavour is always the key.
What’s been your biggest achievement?
Equally creating a really good management style – one that is open, vulnerable and nurturing and being able to run a creative, fun, environment to work in along with those cakes of course.
What do you enjoy doing the most at the shop day-to-day?
I still love people, listening, talking and feeding people and having fun with all in the sphere of work. It’s been a challenge flipping the business style and it’s just beginning to take shape moving from little tea room, a concept that had grown organically over 13 years and really starting again – getting rid of systems and concepts that no longer worked, keeping the heart and soul and the fun bit... working up new recipes and products at the moment. This includes loads of jam and pickle making which I love.
Do you have any business advice for those who are aspiring to open their own cake shop?
JUST DO IT… Do your research, approach places and people you love and try and work with them. Also there are great affordable hospitality consultants out there that connect with them. Leith’s School of Food and Wine runs a good solid 'opening a food business course', too and I’ve done that twice.
What’s your creative process? Are you a cool and calm baker or is it an organised mess?!
What are your plans for the future?
I'd like to create FOOD + HEALING workshops – a safe space for women who have suffered trauma to heal and create care and self-nurture. And to keep expanding in healthy ways for myself and the people I work with.