Cakes conquer the recession

Toast celebrates first anniversary.

One of Honiton’s newest businesses is enjoying the sweet taste of success - even though it was launched at the height of the most unpalatable financial crisis in decades and then had to survive a cruel winter.

In the aftermath of the global recession, consumers warmed to the business and brought in the bread at Toast.

The High Street cafe, renowned for its mouth-watering cup cakes, is celebrating its first anniversary.

“For us it seemed like the right time,” said Kate McCaig, co-owner of the business.

“We had the idea and it just happened.

“We thought, if we can’t make it work now, we will never be able to make it work.”

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Mrs McCaig is in business with Becks Reed and, together, they have enjoyed loyal support from customers.

“We have some people who come in every day for a coffee, people who have lunch several times a week and even hen parties for high teas,” said Mrs McCaig.

“We opened just before the schools broke up last summer and it went crazy.

“We were not prepared for how busy it would be.

“It was sink or swim, but we have very good staff.

“The communication is good and it worked well.”

When heavy snow threatened Britain with a double dip recession at the end of last year, sales remained buoyant.

“Even through December, when the weather was really bad, we didn’t have a moment when we said ‘oh, goodness’,” said Mrs McCaig. “Every month has been better than we predicted and we hope things continue that way.”

Toast is located in premises owned by Yarrow Antiques, famously the former Hillside Espresso.

Words and pictures by Belinda Bennett.