A CAKE maker based in an Oxfordshire village had to put her entrepreneurial dreams on hold during lockdown but is ready to get creative in the kitchen once more.

When Niki Pusey set up Blewburd Bakehouse, named after her home in Blewbury near Didcot, she never imagined what was around the corner.

A first inspection by Vale of White Horse District Council health team on March 9 saw the venture gain a top food hygiene rating.

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She said: "I'd done some things before for people in the village, people I know but this was the final piece of the puzzle and I was planning to properly launch at the end of March."

The 45-year-old said when lockdown came into effect she decided to put things on hold, with events cancelled and amateur bakers inspired by more time at home causing shortages of flour and eggs.

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She added: "I must admit at the start I also wasn't feeling particularly like baking anyway. I think it was because, especially at the beginning, everything was so concerning."

The former practice nurse said getting anything less than five stars for the food and safety standards in her home kitchen had never been an option.

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She said: "It was absolutely important. I think my clinical background made it so I would not settle for less.

"It was probably good to have got it out the way before lockdown so I am ready to go now."

With restrictions easing the mother-of-two said she is starting to get people contacting her for cake orders for special occasions and is ready to get back to her passion for baking. She said: "I started off buying ready made store cakes my children's birthdays but really enjoyed making tiny things to decorate them with.

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"One time my daughter asked why I didn't just make the whole cake and I've been doing it ever since."

Despite not officially launching until next month, the cake maker already has a collection of glowing reviews. One recent customer wrote on the business' Facebook page: “Niki from Blewburd Bakehouse made me 100 cake pops for a big celebration I was having earlier this year. They were beautiful and extremely popular. Everyone commented on how delicious and fun they were."

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Another happy customer wrote: “I have no creative talent so I asked Niki to have free reign and design something for my partners birthday, only criteria was chocolate. The cake was stunning looking and tasted absolutely delicious.”

Ms Pusey said lots of new baking businesses, particularly for cupcakes, have sprung up during lockdown but she hopes focusing on intricate and elaborate designs will help her stand out.

She added: "I think I'll probably need to diversify as well. Someone asked about making identical small cakes for a Zoom birthday celebration so that's something I think will be popular."

To contact Blewburd Bakehouse about an order visit the business' Facebook page or Instagram.

You can also email blewburdbakehouse@gmail.com.