Belfast Women’s Edible Flower Bouquets are a Booming Hit
Say it with flowers – and all the better if they’re edible. A recent surge in the popularity of edible bouquets has spelled success for Belfast Cake Boutique’s Nikki Kelly, who works from home to create floral creations you can enjoy with both your eyes and taste buds.
he South Belfast woman sold out her popular bouquets at Easter, delivering 110 bouquets in one day, and for Mother’s Day earlier this year she sold 400 of her floral cupcakes.
“Cupcake swirls, such as large roses and chrysanthemums, take about four or five minutes per cupcake, and that’s not including baking and dirty icing (or crumb coating). Then wrapping them can also be quite intense because they are so delicate,” the mother-of-two explained.
“I had to bring my mum to help pack and deliver [for Mother’s Day] because I was so busy.
Nikki has been baking since childhood, a hobby she loved with her grandmother, but lockdown is when she really leaned into the artistic side, as it has given her great relief from the stress and solved any quarantine annoyance for her children.
“I run a creche, so when we were closed [due to Covid] it was crazy for me, because I couldn’t sit still,” she said.
Nikki first posted photos of her delicious floral treats on her social media accounts, and soon many of her friends and family were asking if they could buy some.
“At the time, you were allowed to do food deliveries, but you weren’t allowed into stores, so I was asked to deliver the bouquets to people’s relatives for birthdays, etc. I am a little blown away…”
Apart from a certification in food hygiene and three online courses, she has no professional qualifications or training in baking.
A few years ago, she made her brother a cake that looked like a Domino’s pizza and even made a McDonald’s take-out cake.
She attributed much of her success to the novelty of baking “taking off on TV”, with bands like Great British Bake Off and Netflix’s Is It Cake? proving particularly popular with viewers of all ages.
With the Netflix show, food artists create hyper-realistic cake replicas of real objects — from bowling balls to rubber duckies — and contestants must guess which item is real.
“Most of my work now would be the bouquets, they are definitely my most popular product,” Nikki said.
“People today want more for their money. The flowers die, and I think these treats are like the best of both worlds. You can’t send flowers to hospitals, and they can’t be shared… People see the dual purpose. They are flowers, but you can eat them.
“People choose bouquets in their own size and colors. Three of my bouquets cost £11, and you get more for your money when you think a bouquet of real flowers might cost ten.
Her tasty creations have also been commissioned for wedding and special occasion centerpieces, and with the growing business boom, Nikki hopes to set up a separate cake kitchen soon in her Newtownabbey home.
“It took off beyond what I could have imagined. I was expecting to spend maybe an hour or two there a week, but now I’m blocking out booking weeks where I have free time.
“I easily make at least 10 bouquets a week and spend at least four nights or 16 hours a week there.”
The busy entrepreneur also shared how “buzzy” his two children are that his pastry has taken off.
Nikki’s son, Alfie (7), is her “chief taster”, while her daughter Gracie (9) is also her “assistant”.
“Even silly things like stapling the cups together to put the cupcakes in so they hold together like a real bouquet, she does that for me. Gracie wants to be a teacher when she grows up, but Alfie wants to come and work with his mom,” Nikki laughed.
The current cost of living crisis and sharp rise in food prices has affected consumers in Northern Ireland, and Nikki said she was no different, noting for example that ‘butter is up 75p per block and when offered now, it costs what it used to cost”.
However, she said that hasn’t deterred customers from placing orders with her.
“My cakes depend a lot on what the customer wants. It’s still a quality item and it’s made especially for them, and I use good ingredients. People know quality.
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