Sweet Sugar Makes
Selby, North Yorkshire
November 2019 - Founder Member
Selby,Leeds, Doncaster, Castleford, Pontefract, Wetherby and surrounding area
I’m Jenny and I am delighted to introduce myself as a Cake Minds teacher.
I am based in Selby; North Yorkshire and am a qualified Adult Education Teacher. Teaching is and has been my part time job for the last 12 years. Alongside my teaching role I have my own cake making business Sweet Sugar Makes that I run from home. I love to make the odd cake for a customer and try out new recipes, products and techniques. I do not actively pursue selling cakes as teaching is and will always be my first love. To be honest with you I am a people person and do not enjoy working on my own for too long.
There is nothing about sugarcraft that I do not love. With royal icing been my absolute favourite, modelling comes in at a close second, then wired flowers.
I currently work for the Workers Educational Association or WEA. I travel a lot across South Yorkshire and teach a wide range of classes specialising in sugarpaste modelling, mixed crafts and basic cookery skills for adults with and without learning disabilities. Having contact with people who have learning disabilities has been one of my absolute joys in life, I have no words for how much I love working with these amazing human beings.
I previously worked for Wakefield Education and Selby College delivering sugarcraft and cookery courses. I also spent five years teaching City and Guilds Certificates and Awards at level 1 and 2. During this time two of my students were awarded the prestigious City and Guilds medals for Excellence for their royal icing and sugarpaste work at Level 2.
I have also just finished teaching a day time class at Castleford Community Learning Centre. This class ran for an amazing ten years and this is how I know the long-term benefits of forming true and lasting friendships with people, taking a class beyond the initial learning. This class now runs as a group and I still attend and meet up with the students in the class as to break the ties with them is basically impossible. The friendship and therapy we all had and still do in that group is priceless and just reflects I think what Rhu and Cake Minds are aiming to achieve.
I feel very fortunate to have a role in life that makes a difference in so many ways, sharing my practical skills, but more importantly giving a person who may suffer from a lack of confidence the support to shine, not label or restrict who they are, who they could be. This is the number one reason why I love my job so much. I was not always the confident person I am today, so when I see this in others it just drives me to instil some in them, because I believe that is what teaching is.
What attracted me to Cake Minds was initially Rhu herself, her work, the style which I love and the fact I could help build something new with other teachers. It could also be a fabulous opportunity to build my own classes, private ones, in my local area and hopefully make some longer-term connections with both past students, and new ones too.
My sugarcraft journey has been a long one starting over 30 years ago. I have a lovely story really taking many years to achieve, but my love of the craft and my determination to succeed at the highest level I could culminated in winning a gold medal at Cake International and been placed first in class for my wedding cake 2011.
It is a story that even to this day I can’t quite believe I achieved because it was the first time, I had entered any competition at all, but it set me on a path and gave me the upmost confidence that you can achieve and it comes from within. I have since gone on to win another five gold medals at Cake International and two golds at Regional competitions for the British Sugarcraft Guild, and have also picked up a Silver from the Salon Culinaire and a Bronze too.
I am the Chairperson of my local British Sugarcraft Guild branch at Castleford and am currently a trainee demonstrator for the Guild and have completed many very enjoyable demonstrations around the country. I have had a tutorial published in the Guild newsletter and did my first online demonstration Live in the Lounge for the Guild in May this year, as well as demonstrating a cute snowman at the Guild stand at Cake International a few weeks ago.
Sugarcraft really is my life, it has brought me a lot of happiness, been my therapy when sad and learning and teaching it is literally everything I have ever wanted to do. It has pushed me too, driven me to never give up, pushed my patience as far as it will possibly go and stopped me from categorising myself or thinking that I cannot do this or that.
In my spare time I am an avid walker. This is something I have done for a lot of years now and something I really enjoy and have to do to clear my mind. It helps massively if feeling stressed and no matter what the weather I just push myself out of the door as least every other day, but more if I can.
The whole ethos behind Cake Minds is only partly about learning and having that satisfaction of making a lovely model to be proud of, it’s about positive connections with others and I certainly know that without a doubt this is what makes us truly happy.