Born and bred in Coleraine, mum of two Kathy Dickie founded and manages Angel Cake Bakery which is based in one of West Bann Development’s enterprise units.
Located in the Killowen area of Coleraine, West Bann recently won a £20k Ulster Bank Skills & Opportunities funding award to help them implement an extensive employability and training programme from September onwards targeting local people aged 16-55.
Kathy established her business in 2010 and relocated to a purpose built design studio at West Bann Development’s premises in 2012. Angel Cake Bakery hosts a full programme of classes and workshops for all ages as well as producing a range of home baked party cakes and cupcakes.
Having learnt the key skills of baking from her granny and her mum, Kathy didn’t originally intend to pursue it as her career.
Instead, Kathy started a degree in Bio Medical Sciences at Ulster University. When she realised it wasn’t for her, Kathy left to start work in interior design which she succeeded in for four years. In 2006, when Kathy became a mother, she left work to care for her children. It was then that she began baking again for her friends and family from home.
Kathy’s casual baking for family and friends soon escalated until Kathy came up with the name Angel Cake Bakery and strapline Heaven Sent in 2010. Getting her first order in August 2010 was exciting. The order came from a friend who insisted on paying Kathy for her talented work. Kathy said: “I enjoy baking – making pretty cakes and buns for people and making them happy.”
Kathy’s husband, who works in IT, helped her to set up a Facebook page after one of Kathy’s friends blogged about how delicious Angel Cake Bakery’s creations were. As her company grew, Kathy was able to kit out her kitchen Cath Kidson style with vintage crockery and a large table for customers to bake from or sit and chat around.
Balancing her work with her young family, Kathy now bakes between three and four specialised cakes per week as well as cupcakes, and this increases around Christmas time due to high demand. As well as baking, Kathy started leading workshops from her own kitchen. As she got more and more requests from customers, she secured her own premises in 2012.
These days Kathy’s workshops range from two hours to two days and customers come from all over Northern Ireland and many travel from Southern Ireland too. Kathy now sells an array of baking products from icing kits and piping bags to decorating tools and icing. These are available to be posted out as well as collected.
Celebrating West Bann Development’s £20K Skills & Opportunities award from Ulster Bank is Eugene McFeely (right) centre manager pictured with William Black (left) Branch Manager of Ulster Bank, Coleraine and Kathy Dickie owner of Angel Cake Bakery based in West Bann Development ‘s enterprise units.
With a passion for baking and meeting people, Kathy isn’t preoccupied with profits. Instead, she is focused on delivering a great service and product range, making her customers happy and encouraging them to give it a go at home. She markets a range of baking birthday parties, hen days and afternoon teas to help people celebrate and provide them with an enjoyable day.
As Angel Cake Bakery has continued to grow, Kathy has been filled with joy by the customers that have kept coming back. She described the most rewarding part of her work as: “meeting so many different people and seeing them get excited about baking and enjoying themselves.”
In the future Kathy hopes to expand the teaching side of her job and potentially work with a local school or college to help deliver baking as an occupational study course.
Product range – cupcakes, cakes, classes, sugrcraft
Based at Killowen Court, West Bann Development in Coleraine