You never know when a lightbulb moment is just around the corner. When Evelyn Day found herself in a friendly debate about cake, she had no idea this everyday conversation would change her life forever.
“In the summer of 2012 my friend and I were teasing my husband about his favourite cake being a Victoria Sponge cake”, Evelyn told us.
“I said it wasn’t a ‘proper cake’! So to prove a point, I offered to make her a proper cake - a chocolate cake - for her birthday.”
Evelyn spent weeks perfecting the recipe, adding more and more chocolate until it only made sense to brand her creation “a chocolate explosion cake”.
“I watched many videos online and tried all sorts of techniques and experiments learning to work with chocolate. To say it’s not easy to work with chocolate is an understatement.
The cake was a huge success and I loved making it so I continued to play with chocolate and post pictures of my creations online.”
It wasn’t long before Evelyn’s inadvertent marketing campaign paid off, and another friend asked if she could commission her to make another cake. Delighted, Evelyn pressed on and spent three days making a cake, earning herself £25. While the payoff wasn’t the biggest, being paid to do what she loved was an exciting feeling, and soon the commissions started rolling in!
Evelyn’s business has evolved into Chocadyllic - where alongside her chocolate delights, she creates incredibly spectacular, one-off showpieces. In 2019 she was featured in three episodes (2,3, and 10) of Channel 4’s “Extreme Chocolate Makers”. She was later commissioned by Brighton’s Royal Pavilion to create bespoke hot chocolate lollipops and was featured on Channel 5’s “The Wonderful World of Chocolate”.
When asked what her best advice was for people looking to take the leap into self-employment, Evelyn cited the importance of good preparation: “Planning is one of the most important things to do, if not the most important.”
Designing and making such beautiful creations takes a lot of time and energy that would typically be spent on paperwork and calculations. Thankfully for Evelyn and Chocadyllic, Crunch’s accounting software has helped.
“It’s important for me to review my business to plan upcoming seasons. Crunch helps me easily view turnover and costs which in turn help me evaluate what products I want to develop and the direction I want to take the business. It’s user-friendly and cost-effective.”
And for the cake purists out there, Evelyn has a welcome clarification:
“By the way, there’s nothing wrong with Victoria Sponge cake - I actually really enjoy it!”