Success is sweet

The Eggfree Cake Box is bringing a new franchise concept to the high street - fresh, on-demand egg-free, fresh cream cakes, for all occasions

For special occasions or an everyday treat, most of us enjoy a cake of some sort, but our busy lifestyles means very few of us have the time to make our own, which is why the retail franchise offering from The Eggfree Cake Box is proving popular in the UK.

The company was started after one of the directors, whose family follows a strict lacto-vegetarian diet, identified a gap in the market as a result of not being able to find an egg-free sponge celebration cake. After considerable research and development, a special cake recipe was formulated that didn’t compromise on the taste or quality of a sponge cake.

A retail operation was then developed to take the business to the high street. The first Eggfree cake box was opened in July 2008 in east London. Eggfree Cake Box currently has 20 franchises up and running, in Green Street, Barkingside, Birmingham, Bow, Derby, Ealing, Gravesend, Goodmayes, Harrow, Hayes, Leicester, Luton, Norbury, Reading, Slough, Southall, Walthamstow, Welling, Wembley and Wood Green. The company has set a goal of at least 12 new openings for 2013, with five stores currently in the fit out phase.

Pardip Dass, Finance Director, comments: “The rate of the new franchised openings are certainly gathering pace and with the number of potential franchises we have in the pipeline we should easily hit our targets over the next two years. The Eggfree Cake Box now has in place a turnkey package to replicate the concept in locations throughout the UK.”

Founder Sukh Chamdal says: “At The Eggfree Cake Box we make delicious, individually-crafted, celebration fresh cream cakes, in-store and on demand for everybody, even individuals on a lacto-vegetarian or egg-free diet, for personal reasons or because of an allergy.

“The great thing about our success is that you don’t have to pre-order or wait too long for a personalised cake. In fact, the average waiting time is around 20 minutes. We also have a range of cake slices for immediate take-out and can make wedding cakes in as little as 24 hours.

“With our systems, we have optimised the production and decoration of celebration cakes and wedding cakes, allowing you, our franchisee, to offer a unique service to your customers, maximising both your profit opportunity and customer satisfaction, thus producing a high percentage of repeat customers.”

As well as proven demand for its products (market research specialist Mintel says the cake sector is set to enjoy continued growth), The Eggfree Cake Box has put together a comprehensive franchise package:

  • Site selection
  • Full training for the franchisee and key staff
  • Assistance with shop design
  • Equipment supply
  • In-depth operations and products manuals covering all aspects of The Eggfree Cake Box operation
  • Ongoing support
  • Continued product development and innovation
  • Marketing materials and regular news letters
  • Business coaching and mentoring scheme
  • Regular shop visits to discuss business development

Great Potential

The brand has been rolled out nationally. As Pardip says: “The concept of cakes on demand, bought on the local high street and made to customers’ requirements, has proven a great success."

Potential franchisees do not need to have any business experience because of the systems we have in place. All they need is:

  • A commitment to providing the highest quality egg-free cakes to a diverse range of customers
  • An awareness of dietary needs
  • An understanding of the needs of those who suffer from food allergies
  • A commitment to providing the highest levels of customer service in a retail environment
  • £82,000 + VAT to purchase the franchise and set up get ready to trade

Prospective franchisees must also be team players, as successful franchising is all about the wider network that you will become part of. Sukh says: “We pride ourselves in our commitment to continuous support in running your franchise, and our network support ensures that you are never alone. We firmly believe that your success is our success.

“The Eggfree Cake Box is unlike any other franchise out there. There is strong demand for our cakes – every day is someone’s birthday and who in this busy life always has time to plan ahead? So where do they go? The Eggfree Cake Box, of course! Why not come and see us at any of our shops and experience it for yourselves. Join us and see the satisfaction you get from having satisfied customers.”

Ricky Bhambra - Eggfree Cake Box, Slough, Reading and Wembley

"I was a furniture importer by trade. In January 2010 when the recession started to really bite, I decided to change business.

"I was searching for a new business but was afraid of starting up one on my own again, because of the associated risks. As banking statistics show, 95 per cent of new start up businesses fails in the first year of trading.

"I discovered The Eggfree Cake Box franchise after I purchased a cake for my Mum’s birthday. After looking through their package I was sufficiently impressed to commit to their concept. They helped me locate a shop, research the area, the footfall, the demographics and the viability of the proposed shop. Once we had signed the lease they trained me in management, accounts, and the design and preparation of the cakes. They also helped recruit and train my staff. They project managed the shop fit out and all the equipment required for the shop.

"We opened our doors to our Slough branch in May 2010 and I have never looked back since. In December 2011, I opened my second branch in Reading, then in September 2012, I opened my third branch in Wembley and I am currently looking for a location for my fourth."