An Interview With…Marie’s

Marie’s ( was the winner of our recent ‘Wedding Cakes Made by Mums’ competition with this beautiful and unique ‘Vintage Birdcage Cake’

 Vintage Bird Cage Cake

Here’s a little more about Marie’s in her winner’s interview feature.

Tell us a little bit about you and your business.

My name is Marie McGrath, and I’m married with two children Grace, 6 and Alice, 3.  I run my own cake making and bakery business, Marie’s.  I make all sorts of things from celebration cakes for birthdays and weddings, cupcakes, cake pops, cookies and biscuits, all manner of bakes and treats, dessert tables …..and I’ve just started getting into making chocolates and chocolate products.

What made you decide to start Marie’s?

When we had a Blessing Day for Grace (similar to a Christening), I ordered a cake from a local bakery, as I wasn’t confident about making a celebration cake on that scale.  When I went to pick it up I was so disappointed with the way it had been decorated, I was embarrassed to serve to it my guests.  When Alice’s Blessing Day came round I decided that I would decorate a cake myself, but have a bakery make and cover the cake for me as I was going to be busy with other preparations.  I went to collect it and they had forgotten to bake it!! I decided there and then that I was going to learn how to make cakes for my children and enrolled on a college course the following Autumn.  I absolutely loved it and friends and family encouraged me to start the business.  The following May I took the plunge and I’m so glad I did.

Where are you based?

I’m based in Urmston, Manchester, and currently work from home.

What made you decide on the name ‘Marie’s’?

It seemed to be the name that best suited.  Any name that used ‘cakes’ seem to exclude the fact the I bake other things, and as the long term dream is to have my own premises with a tea room attached, you could say we could see it above the door, and it just seemed the right thing to pick!

What’s your favourite cake that you’ve made?

That’s a really hard one.  I like different cakes for different reasons. I’m really proud of the modelling I did on a recent wedding cake, which had 6 human models and a dog!


I also really like the hand modelled Birkenstock shoes I made recently which accompanied a handbag cake.

What are the best things about running your own business?

The best things are that I get to be creative, and I get to bake, and I love both of those things.  I love having an outlet like this, that I can get totally absorbed in.  I’ve also met the most incredible group of people who I would never have come into contact with if it wasn’t for the cakes.  I love the feedback people give you about how they love how the cakes look, and also taste.

Lego Dinosaur cake

What are the worst?

Paperwork, most definitely! Followed by trying to price your work.  It’s hard to compete against supermarket prices for cakes, but you have to remember that you are getting a truly bespoke product, which is handmade and designed just for you.  And probably the very late nights too!

What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?

Spending time with my husband and two girlsAnd reading- although a lot of the time I’m also reading about cakes or baking!

What advice would you give to other mums thinking about starting up their own business?

It has to be something that you have a passion for.  If it isn’t something you love, you’ll resent all the time you have to spend on it to make a go of it, and it won’t work.

What plans do you have for Marie’s in the future?

I’ll been lucky enough to have been granted a sabbatical from my day job (I work part time as a SENCO in a Primary School), which starts in September.  That means I get a whole year to try out the business full time.  It gives me time to see if I can have a better work/life balance, and if I can really make a go of the business.  I have lots of different plans to try new things over the next twelve months.  I’d like to put together more dessert tables and teach more classes amongst other things. The dream is to have my own premises, but that will have to wait until the children are older.

What made you decide to enter our competition?

It really was a spur of the moment thing! I saw the post on facebook asking for entries and just thought why not?

How did you feel when you found out you had won? (Is there anything you would like to say to those who voted?)

Ecstatic! And very touched and humbled that people had taken the time to go and vote.  Many, many thanks to everyone who did.

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