Starting her entrepreneurial journey at just 17, Chloe Lawson has spent the past two years relishing her role as the owner of Alford-based takeaway and cake-making business, Chloe’s Kitchen Creations.
From a very young age, baking “has always been a hobby” of the now 20-year-old, who introduced her business to the local community, on the town’s Main Street, in May 2019.
Determined to continue operating during the Covid pandemic by offering a takeaway service, Chloe’s Kitchen Creations has come out of the difficult period stronger than ever.
It offers a wide range of breakfast and lunch dishes, sweet and savoury grazing boxes and afternoon teas, as well as tempting treats – including cheesecake jars, cupcakes and traybakes – coffee and ice cream.
Born to bake
It all started when Chloe, from Alford, started baking with her granny as a youngster. From there, her love for it has continued to grow over the years.
“I’ve always enjoyed baking, cake decorating in particular,” Chloe said. “For my 13th birthday, I attended a one-day cake decorating course and, after that, I started making celebration cakes for friends and family.
“I loved home economics at school and wanted to become a pastry chef. Once I had left school in fifth year, I got a full-time job and baking was part of it. A year later, I found out that a little shop in Alford was available so I just went for it.”
The entrepreneur took advantage of another one of her chosen subjects in school to make her dream a reality – business.
She added: “During business studies, we learned a lot about what it takes to run a business and I thought it would be a really cool thing to do. Plus, I’ve always wanted to be my own boss.
“I had created a business plan before as part of my learning so I thought I would give it a shot. With some help from my teacher, we created one for Chloe’s Kitchen Creations.
“We officially launched and opened our doors in May 2019 when I was 17 (right before my 18th birthday).”
Chloe has thousands of followers on social media, which she uses to showcase the takeaway’s offering and her very own celebration cakes and cupcakes.
Everything is made on-site by her close-knit team of six, with Mondays and Tuesdays being dedicated to creating traybakes and biscuits for wholesale. Wednesdays to Sundays are spent baking fresh goods and takeaway food to order.
The venue is open from 9am to 3pm Wednesday to Sunday.
Chloe said: “We work with a few local businesses supplying them with various cakes and bakes. Currently, we supply nine other shops with boxes of our cakes and deliver around 600 boxes weekly. These include service stations in Westhill, Watermill and Buckie to name a few.
“We also offer children’s baking workshops for ages four and up. These are extremely popular – our Halloween-themed workshop is already fully booked.
“As for our ingredients, we aim to use as many local suppliers as possible. Our eggs are from Katy’s Eggs in Torphins and our ice cream is from Shorty’s in Ballater. Also, all of our packaging is biodegradable.”
Chloe says she owes a great deal to her family. Without their help, she would have been unable to launch Chloe’s Kitchen Creations due to her age.
“Without my mum’s guidance, I wouldn’t have been able to open the business,” she added.
“It was difficult trying to adopt the correct work and life balance at the beginning. I put in lots of long hours whilst my friends were out partying.
“I am very surprised at how far we have come in only a few years. I couldn’t have done it without the help of my family and friends, who put in lots of time at the very beginning and continue to be my best customers.
“I am also very grateful for my extremely hardworking and dedicated team. I cannot wait to see what the future of Chloe’s Kitchen Creations holds. We are hoping to expand in the near future and I cannot wait to share the details when the time is right.”