£11,117.10 FUNDED

Ladyvale Bakery - New bakery and café

Woods Café

A project to support the expansion of the existing café and cake making business by equipping a new bakery and café kitchen at Nansleden

Baker’s recipe for business success

Every business plan must answer the question, “what is the unique selling point?” In other words, what is your company providing that goes beyond the ordinary?  For Lara Spurrell, owner of Ladyvale Bakery in Nansledan, Cornwall, the answer can’t be found in the mixing bowl alone, because, as she explains, her company’s aim is “to make people’s lives a little more joyful.”

Bakeries and joy go hand-in-hand. If our noses are not enticed by wafts of freshly baked rolls, then our eyes will probably succumb to those towering displays of iced fancies. This delightful assault on our senses has secured the humble bakery’s position as a staple of the British high street for over 150 years. Now, with its bespoke celebration cakes, as well as hand-made hot chocolates and heavenly high teas, Ladyvale Bakery offers more than the sustenance; it offers sustainability. “To make a living in a way that is sustainable is really important,” says Lara.

Home-made and home-grown

Though Lara’s primary focus might be on bringing joy to her customers – both seasonal and local – she is forging a business with a positive impact beyond her client base, by promoting a robust circular economy: “We’ve got so many amazing local businesses,” she says, “ingredients, products we can use.” And in turn, the close-knit community she champions is showing support to her small, independent bakery.  “It’s a community,” she says, “and it’s perfect.”

The ethos of balance extends to the local environment. “I take a lot of inspiration from nature. We grow all our own edible flowers,” explains Lara, who adorns her statement cakes with these delicate blossoms. Abundant wildflowers result in happy bees and happy bakers: “The garden in full bloom is really amazing!”

But this sense of equilibrium didn’t come immediately. “It’s been a tough start for our business,” says Lara, who launched Ladyvale in 2019. Almost immediately, she faced Covid lockdowns, followed by the energy crisis and the cost of living crisis. “It’s hard making a living… and it might get harder now,” says Lara, but her outlook remains positive. “There’s a real hub of people that appreciate being creative… and are happy to pay what it’s worth.”

LEADER funds allow flexibility and buying power

With the “fantastic” support of her Leader Programme advisor, Lara accessed funding to equip her business. Large-ticket items – such as a proper coffee machine and other essentials – ensured quality and longevity. “We knew we wanted to be in this for the long run,” she explains, reflecting on the impact of the investment. “It [the funding] gave us more flexibility and more buying power.” Not having the worry of rental contracts or second-hand machinery meant that Lara could focus on doing what she does best… Confection perfection!

To find out more about Ladyvale Bakery, go to


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