Next on my interview list is Céic Bottled, a baking company that I was introduced to through an old work colleague – it pays to be the token vegan at work! I won’t tell you too much because that’s what the interview is for but there’s vegan sweet treats and it’s an eco friendly business, what’s not to like! I was kindly gifted a bottle of the vegan brownie mix to try and oh gurl is was good. Admittedly, my oven is a disaster I ended up with half a pan of perfect brownie and half a pan of the gooest chocolate ever, but it was still very tasty and very much my oven’s fault.
Céic Bottled have also offered my little community a discount offer – how sweet. So you can get 10% off with code: VEGAN21 from now until the end of the month (May 2021).
Tell me a little bit about Cèic Bottled?
I started making up bottled baking mixes as gifts for friends around Christmas last year. After receiving lovely feedback, I was given the confidence to start the process of setting it up as a proper business. As the new year came and most people were cutting back on what they were eating after indulging at Christmas, I was baking furiously, testing recipes – and of course eating the results! I launched the range at the end of February.
The word Cèic is Gaelic for cake which I chose to represent its proud Scottish results. I want the mixes to bring joy to others – either if received as a gift, if purchased to give the confidence to bake or if used by families to have fun baking with children. It’s been so important to me to make the products sustainable. The ingredients are from a local re-fill shop, ensuring zero waste; the bottles are re-useable and I encourage local customers to return to me (where they’ll get 10% off their next mix); the twine for the method tags in biodegradable; and the packaging for postal orders is all recyclable.
What did you do before you started Cèic Bottled?
I love my day job, which is as a Marketing Manager for a law firm. I do that 4 days a week, and my day off is my Cèic day! It’s meant the last few months have been a little hectic fitting everything in (from finalising the branding and packaging to creating the website and social pages not to mention lockdown being thrown in and having my 6 and 4 year old at home!) but it’s been a very rewarding time and I’ve loved starting the business and doing something for myself. My marketing background has been so valuable particularly for the digital elements and for the branding and packaging, which I’ve had so much fun creating!
How do you decide what baked goods you’d sell?
I experimented with lots of recipes in the beginning. I’ve always been an avid baker and had many favourite baking recipes but found the biggest challenge was creating recipes in quantities that fitted perfectly into the bottle. There were a few that didn’t make the cut as I felt strongly they had to be simple to make for someone who didn’t have any specialist baking knowledge or equipment such as a food processor. Soon after my launch I introduced the vegan brownies to the range and more recently a mini scone mix.
I know you’re not supposed to have a favourite… but what is your absolute favourite bottle?
I of course love them all and am so proud to see them lined up together in all their colourful glory! My favourite to eat is probably the brownie mix but it’s certainly not my favourite to bottle – filling up with cocoa is never a tidy job!
What advice would you give to people who are thinking of starting their own small business?
Don’t wait for the time to be right. If you’re confident in what you’re selling, just go for it. Planning is key, so keep lists and take one step at a time so it doesn’t become overwhelming. It’s hard not to take bumps in the road to heart, but you’ll get through them and be all the better for them.
Is there anyone you want to give a shout out to?
I’d like to thank everyone who’s supported me in launching the business and motivating me to go for it. I am also of course forever grateful to everyone who’s bought a mix – every time I get an order I still do a wee inside screech of excitement!
The important links!
- For the vegan brownies: Vegan brownies free all the cows from the yard mix
- Instagram: @ceicbottled
- Facebook: Ceic Bottled
Don’t forget to use the code: VEGAN21 for 10% off. Happy baking!