The sunshine and smiles of Long Beach, California, are lovingly mixed into each one of Cecily Box’s homemade cupcakes.
The South California native, with her big grin and cheeky sense of humour, can be spotted most weeks displaying her frosted goodies at Thorne Market.
The California Cupcake Company was founded on July 4 this year - independence day in America. But the business blossomed far from the sparkling seas and golden sands of Long Beach.
The 38-year-old moved to Moorends for love in 2007 after meeting her British husband Simon, 35.
The computer science graduate was unable to work in the UK straightaway due to visa constraints but after her first year she got a job working in a corner shop and then a supermarket.
She eventually got a job as an IT specialist, but was made redundant in 2009.
“The way my mum raised me was to have no fear - you can do anything that you set your mind to,” said Cecily, of Gainford Road.
With her determination and enthusiasm - and via an unsuccessful sewing enterprise - Cecily decided to set up the California Cupcake Company.
“I tried my hand at my own sewing business. Everyone really liked my stuff but they didn’t want to pay out what the time and fabric was worth,” Cecily explained.
“It was home-made and good quality but generally speaking, people would rather go elsewhere and spend £2 on a cushion so that just didn’t work.
“Then, earlier this year, I was over at my friend’s house and she was making beautiful buns. I was watching her and I thought - that’s not that hard.
“When I was a little girl in the States we would always go to a family friend’s house at Christmas and we would bake a cake and decorate it and it was a blast. But I always thought it was really hard to do the baking because there are so many ready mix cakes on supermarket aisles.”
Cecily’s first attempt at cupcakes were ‘a bit dry and stodgy’ - but practise has made perfect and she can now whip up deliciously fluffy cupcakes, mini cupcakes, and celebration cakes to order.
In addition to Thorne Market she plans to sell her wares at forthcoming fairs and additional markets. She has a gluten free range and is working on a recipe suitable for diabetics.
For more information, visit www.californiacupcakecompany.com