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If Only They Knew Joe Moruzzi (Pleese)

Updated: Jul 7, 2023

In this episode of the If Only They Knew podcast, Ted Lawlor speaks to Joe Moruzzi about the rapid growth of his cheesecake brand Pleesecakes, making a cake for the Queen, the impact of Joe Wicks sharing the business and so much more.


This is a great conversation for anyone wanting to build a community, learn how to go viral or just wants to be inspired!


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Transcript:

yes people is Ted Lawler from If Only They knew the hub for young business Minds in this episode we speak to Joe

0:05 moritzi founder of please cakes and he talks about baking a cake for the queen how Joe Wicks impacted his business in

0:12 the early days and building a powerful brand and so much more so if you two want to learn how to grow on social

0:17 media and build a community then this is the podcast for you

0:24 every young business Minds so my name is Joe moritzi I'm the founder of please cakes uh currently

0:32 known as please now and it's a cheesecake company that started in January 2017 with the intention of

0:38 making a bit of extra cash on the side of my painting and decorating company and it's kind of scaled over the last

0:43 six years to a point whereby we are about to launch into their big retailers this year with the most Innovative and

0:50 exciting dessert products which is in line with our mission which is to become the world's most exciting dessert brand

0:58 nice and yeah you certainly carry that energy as well as one of the reasons I want to join this show you just there's

1:03 something about you and and the brand itself it you're you're able to sort of convey that energy and that excitement

1:09 so it definitely it comes across well thank you yeah thank you I'm I'm super passionate about what I do and yeah

1:16 um it's uh so originally I was I was I was I've always been a foodie and I've always been interested in food love

1:22 eating food love experiencing new new flavors and stuff like that and um always been creative so I think the

1:28 combination of putting both together has really helped um this business grow perfect and who are you before all of

1:35 this before all the um all the success came and all the followers came in because you've got like literally

1:41 millions of followers millions of views uh you've obviously been on TV multiple times and worked with massive Brands

1:47 massive people who were you before all of this like you like you mentioned um before you use like a paint and paint

1:53 and painter and decorator rather but you also did a few other bits as well I wanna I wanna say correct me if I'm

1:59 wrong you're like into stunts like he was a stunt man well I was training for standing straight yeah that was I look

2:06 like yeah I'll explain my journey in terms of like my working career like my professional career but

2:11 um I grew up in in tadworth in in Surrey All My Life um and I live in Epsom now

2:18 um and I was kind of I I never sort of I enjoyed school but I was an academic you know I was I I loved

2:25 um uh physical things I I love sport I love beer I love the Arts love being creative and I never really knew what I

2:32 wanted to do you know it was I never had a Direction all I knew all I wanted to do was something I was always quite

2:38 ambitious so there I was always looking at things that were slightly Outreach

2:43 like like becoming a pilot or becoming a stunt man but the process of getting to

2:48 these these positions um was slightly hindered in terms of like my my ability to

2:55 um um keep myself um motivated and my my attention span is

3:02 quite small basically so I lose I lose interest I lose attention quite quite easily and so I left school at 16 with

3:10 no real Direction I didn't know what I was doing I didn't know what I wanted to do I was heavily involved in sports I

3:15 was I was playing squash and and coaching squash I was playing for the county and I was doing that and I was

3:21 doing life Garden on the side so I was working at my my local David Lloyd as a lifeguard

3:26 still had no I didn't really have any direction over that period that was from about 16 to about 20 and I left I left

3:33 the UK when I was 19 to go to New Zealand to work for for six months or so

3:38 so again just trying to find things I was interested in and I returned on return I I fell into various jobs again

3:45 so the first thing that I fell into was landscape gardening so I did that for a year which I kind of loved it was it was

3:50 I was it was physical again it was Outdoors but again not not really not really passionate about that that job I

3:57 then became I then fell into painted but I only fell into painting because of the stunt thing so wow

4:04 um one of my family friend was the head stunt coordinator on on the Harry Potter

4:10 Harry Potter films and I started doing a bit of extra work and met people on set and met the stunt guys

4:17 and saw how much of a fun environment environment it was and to become a stunt

4:23 man you need to get on the UK to register basically and the UK register requires you to be or to master six

4:29 different disciplines so it's either fighting falling driving riding water scuba diving or swimming or whatever it

4:35 is and I started training for the stand register so um I was doing like kickboxing or whatever

4:41 it was but I had to fund this and and that's when I fell into Painting and Decorating to fund this the stunt

4:46 training and unfortunately it just got sort of fizzled out and I had to earn a living actor it was taking up too much of my time having this full-time job and

4:54 and trying to and trying to train at the same time plus you have to do like 60 days in

5:00 front of camera for the register where you have to well as an extra on on the Harry Potter films on things like X-Men

5:05 warhorse a ton of films that we I was doing it which was again a great experience you know that was a real experience early on must have been 21-22

5:13 um but then I fell into this depending decorate and I did that for for a number of years you know I worked for someone worked for Brendan who eventually became

5:19 my business partner in in painting we set up a company called Palmer our two names combined at the start of our two

5:24 second names combined and um they were successful you know like again it was something I I always sort of apply

5:31 myself like 100 if I'm doing something I'm giving it my all you know so I said

5:37 we set up this company and it was doing well we were doing a big luxury apartment blocks we were

5:42 doing footballers houses it was fairly successful you know we were doing we had 10 15 guys working for us

5:48 but I still had this Burning passion for food I love being I love being creative and that was that was on ground it never

5:54 went away that I know I love food um and I was my dad made a cheesecake one day it was

6:00 back in 2014 2015 or whatever it was and it wasn't very good I then attempted to

6:06 make a cheesecake and progress you know I continue to make them and I don't know what spurred me on

6:11 I don't know why cheesecakes I do like other desserts you know it's cheesecake is not the only dessert I like I'm not

6:17 just yeah but I continue to make them I continue to practice at home in my parents kitchen and just go to the

6:23 supermarkets grab grab the ingredients that I need and experiment with flavors I used to bring them to the building

6:29 site or the painting site for the boys to try so I'd get feedback on my um on

6:34 all the products I was making in little tubs and then I started making them excuse me and then I started making them

6:40 for friends and families for a birthday for an occasion and

6:45 over about a two year period they got better the cakes the products got better and I learned a lot but they were still

6:53 massive inefficiencies no no knowledge on on process or health and safety or

6:59 supply chain or social media at that stage I didn't have

7:04 a clue what the social media was really that was on Instagram but only a personal account uh so literally no training completely self in the food and

7:10 social media and in December 2017 December 2016 I've still got the notepad

7:16 in in our office next door I started writing down these ideas and I was like it's a new year in 2017. I'm gonna I'm

7:23 gonna take action I'm gonna I'm gonna do something about I'm gonna try and turn this into a little bit of a side hustle

7:28 and my intention was to sell a few of these cakes I was making on the side for

7:33 a couple of hundred pound extra a month you know that was that was my plan and I was in this notepad and I was writing it

7:40 down I was trying to write like a really brief business plan but please cakes that kept coming up I kept writing

7:45 please cakes down and there was like the build your own cheesecake bar there was like a bit of a menu there was like the

7:51 different formats all cheesecake all the big cheesecake related okay none of the other formats that we've done today like

7:57 the truffles or the freeze cakes and I then set up an Instagram account so I designed a logo on on an app called

8:04 canva which quite incredibly got picked up in a news article that I did last year with

8:10 um The Today Show in America and canva picked it up through maybe AI that I've mentioned them and we actually appeared

8:16 in one of their uh International TV adverts um as like showing that we use the app

8:23 basically to to for our story which is quite incredible and it was quite an experience like a two-day shoot with they flew over 50 50 crew members from

8:32 um Australia which is where they're from Australia yeah Australia so

8:37 um the incredible experiences that had that have come from plan and seat

8:43 um previously but anyway I sat up I set up this this logo a design and logo on this on the app canva and set up an

8:50 Instagram account on 3rd of January and that led on to that was my that was my

8:56 like pivotal action taking moment setting up that Instagram account I took like six photos on my on my phone and

9:02 back then I think the phones the iPhones were not as good so the quality of the photos weren't great but there was they

9:07 were they were good enough to be able to utilize these platforms as a as a business tool you know and

9:15 luckily like right place right time a bit of luck no no planning involved in it whatsoever one of my good Powers Joe

9:21 Wicks shared the page onto his page and he's got a ton of following and that was again another a real pivotal moment and

9:28 it's and I I say this quite a lot you know it sounded it sounds good it sounds great to get a shout out from Joe Wicks

9:33 but actually because the circumstances that I was in in terms of like my setup I like I was in my mum

9:39 Dad's Kitchen I had no email account I had no website address I had nothing in place I'd like like no supply chain

9:46 no facilities to really produce a product or develop the business so I was

9:51 exposed to a lot of interest on social media a lot of followers requests and orders and stuff like that immediately

9:57 like on the on the 6th of January he shared shared the page and the next day

10:03 I was making cheesecakes and I'd given up Painting and Decorating so it was like this overnight transition it was

10:09 you hear these people nothing's an overnight success and that's absolutely the case but in terms of transition from

10:15 like one one career to the next it was overnight yeah even though I've been making it previously yeah so no I was

10:22 gonna say just just thought to interject there like that is a really important point isn't it like it I understand like

10:28 the idea of like overnight success and and but like you said there's always like a lot of work in the background

10:34 even if it's not directly fitted to what that person became an overnight success with so it seems like that's like a

10:40 similar story with you you spend all those years doing different things from being a stunt man to Painting and

10:46 Decorating like all these all these different things but do you think that all those things all the people you met

10:52 along the way before you even opened up the the please cake Instagram do you think that all of that helped you and

10:59 build you as a character to allow you to succeed with this particular project like I don't think they all had an

11:06 effect on on your journey I think I think that's that applies to to everyone in their Journey like and that stems

11:12 from your childhood I suppose the environment you're brought up in um the People You Meet everything has an

11:19 effect has it has a has a it creates something that potentially could affect

11:26 your um the outcome later in life you know I think and I think it's it everything happens you know like

11:31 everything happens for a reason my painting decorating running that business had transferable skills so when

11:37 I was running that business that was people management or cash flow or whatever it was there were skills that I could take across the police cakes but I

11:43 think it goes back to the 10 000 hours or the the 10-year sort of um concept where nothing nothing

11:50 worthwhile nothing that's that's being built with value with real value happens overnight is that it's that I really

11:56 believe in that ten thousand hour concept or the 10-year concept we've been going um win our seventh year of business now

12:02 please okay you know it feels like a lifetime but it's gone in a Flash and we're still not there you know we've

12:08 still got through some really turbulent times this previous year just gone it's been probably the most testing and turbulent year of the the six years that

12:16 we've been going and I think with that four years away from True success and I

12:21 I how how do I measure success I think when it becomes um

12:26 that's going to be the harder part to measure success but I think at that 10-year point we can really sort of

12:32 gauge if it's been successful or not on that on that point you just mentioned just before that like in terms of

12:39 the time and that things take and obviously um you were fortunate for with please

12:45 cakes for it to be quite a quick thing to get off of the ground like even though you're obviously put in all the work beforehand at the actual starting

12:51 and it being out in the public it seemed like quite a quick turnaround if you want to put it that way but one of my

12:57 questions based off of that is like how do you know when to if things are not

13:03 being as quick as that if things are taking time your Project's taking time like for example me and this podcast

13:08 I've been doing this for five years and like no real sort of no real monetary return or no real direct impact from

13:16 from the podcast itself how do you know or what would you suggest to people like

13:21 how how how should you measure when to ditch a product project or keep going with it like is there is there a way you

13:27 can sell if I stick in a few more years it might pay off or do how do you know when to sort of like cut your losses and

13:34 say I'm out I think it needs to go back to like why you do it the why but what's

13:39 the purpose of you doing it like if it's for money solely then you're probably doing it for the wrong reasons you know

13:46 I think you've got to be led by your passion and a purpose you know I'm passionate about food I love food so

13:52 this could take me 20 30 years it could take me two years doesn't it I'm not looking at the time scale on that I'm

13:57 looking about my the purpose of what I'm doing and I'm trying to create the world's most exciting dessert brand so

14:02 it really has to stem back to the why you're doing it and if you enjoy this podcast it might take 10 15 years to get

14:09 off the ground but if you enjoy it then you keep doing it kind of thing I think that's that's got to be the the focus

14:15 rather than when to pack it and if it is monetary reward only and it's taken too long then

14:23 pack it in like but if you're passionate about enjoy doing it and it's giving you some sort of personal satisfaction or

14:30 it's helping others if it's bringing value to others then stick at it but yeah no thanks I really really

14:35 appreciate that and we in terms of like you're going back to how you got started I find something really satisfying and I

14:43 relate to how you started um like for example at the moment I'm starting a new project and like we're

14:49 trying to get investors and they're asking for business plans I'm like oh no I don't do like it's just not natural for me to do business plans and stuff

14:55 like that and like it seems similar to your story um I believe like a um a burger chain let you use their

15:02 kitchen I think you had your mum as a delivery driver you had no PR or marketing no uniforms no suppliers like

15:08 you literally just got started almost bare bones and and you built it and everyone come to you so yeah what just

15:15 sort of remind us of of that element that sort of bare bone element I think it's the the main thing for me to get to

15:22 for this for me to be in this position where I am today it's it was action

15:28 taken and it was the action of setting up the Instagram account that led to Joe Wick sharing it that led to the opportunities that followed from there

15:34 so it was that initial action taken I didn't have a clue about anything that that was related to this business

15:42 like you mentioned about supply chain about health and safety about processes about the logistics about anything I

15:49 didn't didn't have any clue I've never never dealt with this business before no experience never made a cake before

15:54 professionally like completely self-tool so I I I learned very quickly because I

15:59 was because it was such an instant transition I learned very quickly I made a ton of mistakes you know like I made a

16:04 lot of mistakes probably for the first six years I would say but which is the whole time we've been going yeah I'm

16:11 just starting to learn now I've been on basically a journey of learning for the last six years and I've made so more

16:18 mistakes than I haven't basically yeah and again this is going to be this is the the

16:23 cliche that everyone says you learn from your failures but it really is true um you can't you can't sort of sugarcoat

16:29 and you do learn from your failures um and at the start I surrounded myself with good people I was lucky because of

16:35 social media the ex production manager of Greggs who was made redundant Ian Campbell came on free of charge and sort

16:41 of supported us with the processes and health and safety and and that was a real sort of a great person to be around

16:47 initially I then started hiring professional chefs in the kitchen towards the end of the first year who

16:53 could help me scale up the production but we started on a direct consumer model which is again look at this is

17:01 this is again hindsight in business it happens a lot there's a lot of hindsight that happens okay so I look back now I I

17:07 started these large cakes these big large cakes that are that need temperature control distributions and if

17:12 you get kept at a certain temperature all these toppings on top that were hugely delicate like you cannot

17:18 distribute them we could distribute them but we only had one van so we couldn't reach the whole of the UK so we started trying to Outsource and use couriers and

17:25 they they take this box this beautifully decorated box this expensive cake product for someone's anniversary or

17:31 birthday or wedding and they kick it they kick it down the road you know they completely because they don't really

17:38 care about what's in the box even if you put fragile stickers on it so it's like I'm like how do I scale this like I'm on

17:44 a mission but I can't scale it so realizations very early on about how we're going to scale this brand and and

17:49 and and and become this this exciting dessert brand um so we soon identified other products

17:55 that we could focus on so mini cheesecakes were a bit more robust but still required temperature control just

18:00 distribution we focused on um Innovation and development so things like freeze cakes was an early idea but

18:06 got shelved because of the other cakes getting um becoming very busy and events and festivals and stuff like that and I

18:14 I I knew there was two avenues that I could have gone down with the business so I could have gone down manufacturing

18:20 and scale up manufacturing um which is highly risky which I found out today like that you see there's an

18:27 highly costly so I could set up a massive factory with 150 staff huge

18:32 Investments to set up the production lines um which covered Could Happen something

18:37 could happen anything could happen and we're in a very sort of costly position um or go down the brand route where we

18:44 focus on the brand we focus on social media we focus on MPD or new product development

18:50 um and and that's the that's the route that I've been trying to go down for the last three years so I've been trying to Outsource production you've called me at

18:56 quite a good time in terms of like where I'm in this transitional period so we've got our kitchen downstairs which has got us to the point today so

19:02 it's fairly big it's not big for production to service retailers or to scale the brand um and I've been working to try and find

19:08 a part for the partner for the last three years which is half the time we've been going basically and luckily we found it you know and I think a lot of

19:15 food bro this this will relate to this will probably relate to a lot of people who listen to who've got a food brand you know how to scale like there's that

19:22 Avenue there's brand and there's there's MPD and there's manufacturing and it's really hard to do both which I I've

19:30 figured out I think so and we've we've found manufacturing and that's really going to allow us to focus on the social

19:36 media and what we're good at because I think this is we're slightly different in terms of the type of company we are

19:41 we are we are product LED we produce products but we're also content creators

19:46 we create valuable free content with recipes and tutorials and advice and business tips and motivation and

19:52 inspiration and things like that so I think there's two two pillars to our business that we're very passionate about and they all kind of tie in with

19:58 each other and and and um it's it's a case of execution now for

20:03 me is it's executing these next launches over the next year and and and and and and I've made some incredibly bold moves

20:10 over the last year as well so we've gone from a team of 30 down to four people which has been um there's some drastic

20:15 changes that we've shut down production downstairs with we don't make products anymore we don't sell product we're

20:20 currently a non-operational company where we don't make any money at the moment but we have got these incredibly

20:26 exciting launches coming up this year as well so but that wouldn't have happened unless

20:33 big decisions were made yeah no it makes them please I guess it's almost like a catapult isn't it sometimes you sort of

20:39 need to learn right now is the time where I'm pulling back pulling back waiting cutting down waiting for that

20:44 one opportunity and then you can let go um yeah so that's I think self-awareness is a key attributes have for a lot of

20:50 entrepreneurs you know like being understand your the company's position or the position you're in like don't don't do not hide away from a situation

20:57 that actually you need to just like face and and be like this is the situation I

21:03 need to make some big moves now or changes or decisions to enable the longevity of this company and similarly

21:09 with with um being self-aware with my own skill set like I know what I'm good at I know

21:15 what I'm not good at if it's finances I've got FD who's who's involved heavily in the finances I'm still on it and over

21:21 it and stuff like that but I'm I'm quite self-aware on what I'm good at and what I'm not and I think that's really key for any entrepreneur to have no I agree

21:28 before we sort of uh continue on that self-awareness piece um I just wanted to put something in quick ugly because one

21:35 one of the one of the things I saw and I was like that's just crazy and it relates to what you just said there

21:40 about being product LED um and sort of focusing on the quality of the product because you've made a

21:46 cake for a very important person um who's no longer with us but yeah do you want to tell us about that I'm guessing

21:52 you know who I'm on about right the queen yeah the queen yeah I was thinking about this other day actually because because so I'll tell you the process and

21:59 I think there's there's actually a bit of content that I could or like a series or something I could get out of this basically so we were in the kitchen this

22:06 was six months into the company so in June of 2017 we get a call or Sam gets

22:11 cool he's been with me from the start of the the companies she's our director of operations now um and we get a call and it's it's

22:18 mcvitty's the brand the biscuit Brands and they say we've got this VIP we want you to make a cake for

22:24 um that's all they say during the day and then we we carry on with our day they call back about five o'clock six o'clock when we're walking out the

22:30 kitchen and they tell us who it is if they say it's the queen you know we're like what so we go back into the kitchen

22:35 we're only allowed to use mcvitty's products there's a process of getting clearance into Clarence House with the

22:41 products we made two cakes using Bitties only it was in celebration of the Jubilee or something like that I can't remember

22:46 what it was her birthday obviously um and we delivered them whether this

22:52 the thing this is the bit of content that I think like potentially did she ever eat the cake

22:57 there was no picture there's no they're not going to take a picture of her eating eating a please cake but it got

23:03 delivered to Clarence House we had to clear security whether she ate it or not there's there's potential for a bit of content

23:09 creation around a bit of detective work and to see if she actually had the product or not I don't know yeah that's

23:15 a pretty good idea yeah yeah you should do like you could definitely try and do that yeah it'd be good to know I don't actually hate it but do you know what it

23:21 looks it's it's been a talking point about the company for the last six years you know it's been a it's been it's an

23:27 incredible experience whether she had it or not I'm not sure but just to have that on our CV essentially is is pretty

23:33 incredible so just yeah just return it back to your point on self-awareness before we sort of spoke about obviously the queen which is just huge

23:39 um the reason I wanted to sort of pause on that point was you was asked a question relating to self-awareness

23:46 um on Dragon's Den when Deborah Mead and asked you she essentially asked you like what your weakness was

23:52 um so yeah I just wanted to sort of dive in I didn't think it would have had a feeling you wouldn't remember

23:57 um but yeah I just wanted to dive into into that experience as well because not only was I believe all in your first

24:03 year using selfridges you had all these products you obviously made a cake for the queen like you did so much all

24:09 starting off on such a a mad Journey because like you just didn't do it in

24:14 the conventional way so then to have Dragon's Den is sort of like the in some

24:19 people's eyes perhaps like the cherry on the cake after a mad year what was that experience like going on that show I

24:26 think oh yeah I think previously like we in that first year we probably grew too quickly we were we we were just because

24:31 the social media was great and the demand was growing but we couldn't facilitate the the demand basically and looking back like that's not that's not

24:37 a good business model we need to be able to keep up with demand you know we had a book deal in that first year we like we did a ton of stuff and it was really

24:43 exciting and it was like oh my God it's gonna it's gonna it's gonna be really successful really quickly and and actually like

24:48 we weren't prepared for it we totally weren't prepared for it early 2018 I got

24:54 approached by Ben Davies who's one of The Producers on BBC Two Dragon Dragons Den and said would you like to come on I

24:59 was actively looking for investment to help scale the business at that point I was still thinking I was going to continue manufacturing in-house

25:05 basically and so I was looking to expand the kitchen which got us us here today and actually just just on the point of

25:12 building on direct to Consumer was that's what built community and I think that was really important that we launched with direct to Consumer built

25:18 community and then we're doing this transition but anyway back to Dragon's Den got yeah I had to go through this due

25:25 diligence process about if we were legit and we're actually looking for investment um and we filmed it in the June of that

25:31 2018 so a year and a half in again not I couldn't really keep up with with the demand or the brand and the product

25:37 we're a new brand socials back then you could grow much quicker much more organically so we were growing at like

25:43 10 000 followers a day on Instagram that's unheard of unless you're like a superstar on TV all the time okay sorry

25:49 just quickly on that point why why why was it that that was because of the algorithm back then plus everything else

25:55 going on right yeah absolutely there wasn't a tick tock around back then like Instagram was the main Channel there were the out the Instagram was

26:02 customer-led you know it was user-led rather than when the Takeover happened with meta or Facebook

26:08 they're Revenue driven you know they don't care about the the users basically so if you're not spending on the ads if

26:14 not if you're not spending money on the platform and you're generating business and earning money through your business

26:19 organically they they're pushing down the algorithm so it became very challenging over the last few years to

26:24 to go on on Instagram and luckily I set up a tick tock with a tick tock account um which I suppose we'll get into the

26:30 social media side of things in a bit but if you want to cover Dragon stem first just that just experience so going back

26:36 to that so filmed in June aired in the September of that second year so the

26:41 second year was um sorry the second year was again quite mad like there was loads going on it was

26:47 the release of the book we were on this morning we're filming Holly again they were making a cake all that sort of stuff did Dragon's Den in September so

26:52 there was a ton of it like quite quite big exposure for the brand but it all

26:58 came too soon we went prepared if it were too young too naive too inexperienced didn't didn't I wish all

27:05 that happens now that would be a really good time to happen now it doesn't matter like it was incredible

27:11 and it really did grow the brand but the experience itself is is filmed up in Manchester I'm not sure if it is

27:16 still now but you go in there's three three or four of you per day and

27:21 um I'd set up in the in the studio as a studio it's not a warehouse um from that point the lift is fake right

27:28 I've heard this the lift is fake I don't know if I should say that but yes it's not a real life but you do that

27:36 you do it a few times you go backwards and forwards and you pretend to press the button and then on the final like

27:41 the final take the doors open and and the dragons are sat there in front of you walk up to a mark on the floor and nothing nothing it's a weird experience

27:48 because nothing really happens no one says anything no one's like and action it's kind of like you just walk in and

27:54 start pitching and and then and then you do your pitch and then they interact

27:59 with you and they they come up to the cheesecake bar and they try the product and they see the products and stuff like that they sit back down and then they start

28:06 they're questioning and and Grilling basically and obviously it's cut down from I was in there for two hours almost two hours down to like a 10 minute 10

28:13 minute slot on on the on the TV so um they couldn't include things like selfishes because The Branding for

28:19 advertisement and copyright reasons or whatever um but like it was it was a great experience I messed up my numbers a

28:24 little bit and and again like just my naivety with the business it was a very early days in the business but we still

28:30 got enough I still got nothing from Tuka Silliman who who offered 50 grand for 35 of the business which is

28:37 even back then even knowing what I did back then I knew it wasn't a good deal you know even though I could potentially

28:43 tap into his um Network which I I knew a few Brands food brands that he'd invested in and I'd never seen them

28:49 really take off so I was quite aware of that and uh declined politely decline

28:55 the offer and um and and walked out and I never saw them again that was it like you don't speak to them after or or prior got in my van and I headed back

29:02 down and I think straight back to the kitchen and carried on with production you know it was a it was a great experience and and when it aired

29:10 it it really exposed the brand again to the next level you know and I think um it grew our social media massively it

29:16 exposed it was again another talking point another incredible talking point that we can we can talk about for for years to come

29:22 um so all in all great experience but but scary and and and daunting at the time

29:28 you sort of touched on it there like in terms of um being perhaps too early like do you

29:35 do you are you somebody that sort of has regrets or like do things sort of way on

29:41 your mind like that or are you sort of similar to me I guess where it's just sort of like if it's meant to be it's

29:46 meant to be yeah I I believe that look there's there's always hindsight you'd always do something differently surely but

29:51 um I think the approach is a positive mindset I think for me I've learned I've learned a lot in the last six years it's

29:57 gonna it's armed me with some key skills some key attributes and and and and things I can use going forward now

30:05 and um I don't know I don't have any regrets there's things I would have done differently but I don't regret them

30:10 because you can't can you no and it sort of leads on quite nicely um obviously my

30:16 podcast is called If Only They Knew is there anything that you wish you knew at

30:22 a earlier stage when you were starting you mentioned their sort of the naivety the numbers and I guess there's there's

30:27 loads loads of things to answer that question right yeah I could have I could have been completely I couldn't be

30:33 completely knowledgeable about the industry and social media and courses and on cake decorating classes and all

30:39 that sort of stuff but actually the naivety led me to become quite fearless and I think if I'd had the knowledge and

30:45 understanding about how challenging manufacturing or starting a food

30:51 business was I probably wouldn't have done it yeah no I think

30:56 I think sometimes the less the less you know is is is a good thing I think being

31:01 being naive naivety can can support that fearlessness and actually allow you to take the action that requires you to get

31:08 started so um if there was something else I'd knew maybe yeah there's probably there's yeah there's so many things I'd like to have

31:14 known previously but I think I think it's just hindsight and and talking sort of more uh now what's going on in the in

31:20 the present you mentioned just before we spoke about dragons then um the social media platforms and how

31:26 how not perhaps not easy but how simple it was to grow back then um what's your

31:32 view on this like the social media landscape now what platforms do you use what's working for you and do you is

31:38 there anything sort of you're doing that you're like like this is this is key this is something we wasn't doing before but it's working now yeah I think it's

31:44 the lands the social media landscape changes very very frequently like it's

31:50 it's constantly evolving it's constantly changing um I started on Instagram that was my

31:55 main platform there was Twitter floating around like in the background for us but nothing we'd never really focused on

32:00 Twitter um and I I stuck at Instagram for for the first how long would it been three years so

32:08 yeah um when Tick Tock I I started Tick Tock basically in 2020.

32:14 and that's my team were like what you're doing like I said use a Young Person's

32:19 platform there's dancing on there like what there's there's going to be no there's going to be no value about going

32:25 on this platform and I stuck at it you know I stuck at it I was posting random content I was posting uh completely off

32:32 brand off product related content but I was being consistent I think that's a key key thing with social media's

32:37 consistency um and it started growing you know the numbers were coming in big and we grew to a million followers in in that first

32:43 year um and again like it it it it it it seems to happen and repeat itself from

32:50 platform to platform everything's slowed down on Tick Tock now it's a bit harder to grow there's ads now there's

32:55 algorithms there's there's it's a different platform I think it's easier to grow if you've got good content and I think there's there's some content that

33:02 we're releasing about how to make a video go viral you know and I think there's some key points I.E um being relevant so you're not you're

33:08 not posting something that's uh completely uh out of touch with what's going on in the worst if something's

33:13 tragic's happening in in the world you're not posting something that's really cheerful and happy I think there's things like timing so you've got

33:19 to get your timing right and that and that varies platform to platform as well um hooks so that a hook needs to be

33:25 happen in the first two to three seconds and then every two seconds something is changing in the video whether it's

33:31 subtitles or b-roll or zoom in or zoom out whatever it is there's also things

33:36 like keeping up with Trends and new features so there's some key points that are going to help and support your your content going going viral and that

33:43 doesn't that all differ again platform to platform but my main platforms are Instagram which we still use which is

33:49 our probably most engaged audience most relevant audience Tick Tock which is I

33:55 think is is going to continue to grow it's going to be a platform where we're going to see numbers just just explode

34:01 like there is still opportunity to grow from a small like to have no following and have your content go viral you don't

34:07 need a big following to have content over that's how the algorithm Works um and Linkedin which is we've been

34:13 plugging away at but I think and it gets slated quite a lot I think recently but I think for me it's been

34:19 it's been I can work on personal branding and I can also work on my business on the same platform you know I

34:25 think I've I've gained a lot of buyers and stockists and investors and like really really relevant contacts on that

34:32 platform and also I'm starting to create a bit of a personal brand on there and share my story and share things that

34:37 relate to that audience you know and I can I've got I'll have a bit of content that is has the same message and the

34:43 same and the same copy but in different formats so for tick tock that copy will

34:49 be video format obviously with subtitles for LinkedIn it's going to be a written post with a picture potentially you know

34:55 so it's just understanding platforms platform but then my three LinkedIn Instagram and Tick Tock so yeah just carrying on from what you said there

35:01 you're talking about obviously the social media platforms you leverage the tools you leverage and one of those tools was personal brand and if

35:06 something I wanted to to ask you a little bit earlier as well in the conversation um because how much has your personal

35:13 brand been at the the Forefront of of the company itself

35:19 or has it not been like what's been your play with that and how much has that helped you in terms of opportunities in

35:26 terms of people coming to you helping you out at Joe Wicks the the the man from Greg's all these people sort of

35:32 come in and and buying into the brand how much of that is to do with yourself

35:38 oh at the start I didn't want to show my face you know I just wanted to be product LED so it took me a while even to go on Instagram and and naturally I'm

35:44 not very good in front of a camera like historically I'd be I I look back at some of the videos now and I'm very

35:50 monotone I'm like this like can you follow us we're launching here a lot and it's and I I cringe it you know I think

35:56 it's real like it's good to look back it's like your progress but it's something that was quite uncomfortable

36:01 with and being on camera and doing live TV and social media is like it's not my comfort zone you know I don't it wasn't natural to me so it was something I had

36:09 to force myself to do and I think I'm still learning how to do it and how how to articulate myself and not come across

36:14 boring and or monotone and I personal branding has been

36:21 um quite a new thing for me I think like it very recently like or or how popular

36:26 it's becoming or how talked about is is it it's it's something that I've I've

36:32 noticed about the importance or how important it can be um to support my band so I'm not what

36:38 I'm not looking for is to be like the face of the brand in terms of like like Levi roots or KFC you've got the car no

36:46 that's not what I'm looking for I'm looking to support it in a different way in terms of like

36:51 my personal brand is my experiences but here's my company here's my products kind of thing you know so

36:57 um it's helped massively for by me putting a face to the brand on social medias because it becomes personal and

37:04 relatable when people like people people run into people if I just stuck a tub of

37:09 freeze cakes up on social media there's there's not much engagement there there's going to be there's going to be a lack of relatability and I think for

37:17 me it's it's very key for anyone to to to especially if they've got a brand or

37:23 even if they're just just personal branding it creates opportunity you know people like people like I say and and people buy into into your story and

37:30 storytelling's becoming very very popular and if you've got you need a story you can't just be like we make

37:36 cheesecakes it's like I was a painter and decorator with no experience and I didn't know what I was doing and I

37:41 launched this cheesecake company we made a cheesecake for the queen and there's a story there people like why how'd you do that like oh I can do that as well and

37:48 then there's the there's there's things behind that story that will help people I it's inspirational motivate someone to

37:54 get up and take action and I think that's where I want to take my personal brand you know it's not I'm not trying

38:00 to monetize my personal brand at all it's how I can help and bring value to the audiences on our social media

38:05 platforms and my social my social my personal social pages are non-existent

38:10 I've got a personal Instagram account I've just set up a personal Tick Tock account which I want to start building as well but

38:17 um obviously I do social media LinkedIn uh my from my personal account but um I think it's really important

38:22 personal branding um and I think it could be very it opens up opportunities if someone wants to just focus on personal brand and you see

38:29 all these people on LinkedIn now like they can create opportunities and create you can create an income for you well I

38:34 think I think there's a theme Here of like using what you can isn't it it seems like that's what you've done from the very beginning but I just wanted to

38:40 quickly dive into a few quick fire questions before the final question if you don't mind so yeah advice for young

38:47 entrepreneurs if you had to pick one today take action and your favorite creators at the moment you said you're

38:52 on all the platforms is there anyone that stands out for you creators creators or entrepreneurs anyone that

38:58 you see out there doing good things love what Stephen barl is doing obviously these are probably a bit more cliche but like Stephen Bartlett is killing it I

39:03 think I think he's just he's just he's just consistent like you can see the progress and

39:10 quality and his his the way he applies himself to to his brand and and his um

39:18 content is just it's it's nice to watch um other entrepreneurs Ben Francis doing

39:24 we're doing great with Jim I think there's some really like some um revolutionary

39:31 tactics about how they approach certain things um

39:40 I love supporting smaller Brands and I think you've had Keelan on here from from brownies yeah yeah I've got him on

39:47 that yeah yeah yeah so like I think I love these like these micro influences or micro creators as well and I think

39:53 there's there you'll see a higher engagement with these with these smaller accounts as well I think influencer marketing has is is kind of not dead but

40:02 I think there's a different audience I think originally you could are we that's how we grew you know we utilizing influencer marketing to help grow our

40:08 brand we can send out products and then promote it and our following would grow but actually he's become so saturated

40:13 where where influencers are just receiving free free stuff and it's it's disingenuous it's it's inauthentic and

40:21 people see through that now you know I think there needs to be a level of authenticity um another creator that Keelan actually

40:27 put me in touch or showed me was a page cutting in in America called mid mid Square

40:34 what they're called mid-square moment something like that if they're like a like a product like a

40:40 brownie or whatever it is but they're on a mission as well and they're really good at storytelling like I looked at this page and did greater storytelling

40:46 so there's there's a ton of content creators out there but I think it all goes back to someone who's doing something really relatable that is

40:53 really good at storytelling um and that is really passionate about what they're doing last couple on a

40:58 quick fight and what is the meaning of life to you it seems it seems like you're you're like that's about fun

41:03 enjoying it you seem like you're quite light-hearted if that makes sense am I right in saying that what's what's your

41:09 meaning to life I don't know who knows that's a million pound question I don't

41:14 know I honestly look it's a quite a deep question I suppose but I don't honestly no I don't know I'm not religious I

41:21 think um I don't know why are we here if you I always do it's quite what what are we doing like the vastness

41:28 of the of space and the universe is just mind-boggling it's incompendable but I honestly don't know like I think I just

41:34 I mean I think for me it's just trying to enjoy a journey a process um there's no like end goal it's not

41:41 like I need to get to a 100 million pound revenue and I'll be happy it's like oh I'm enjoying the journey I'm

41:48 enjoying the failures I'm enjoying we're on this Earth for like a tiny blip you know we're here for like and and

41:54 actually like that's a privilege I get to experience all these different emotions like

42:00 stress and pain and happiness and all these I get to I get to experience those

42:05 through this through this journey so I think that's just the journey process for me is really key no I love that I'm

42:10 100 on board with that one as well last quickfire one in relation to that large answer your legacy do you have a legacy at all

42:18 do you want to leave a legacy behind or is it is it something that doesn't interest you uh it's not something that

42:23 doesn't interest me I suppose I haven't thought about it in depth but I think if I can leave a positive message or have

42:30 impact on the Next Generation I think I would die happy I think if I

42:35 could I've always I've I've always wanted to support the younger generation especially in business I think there's

42:42 a ton of conversation happening around education and about how

42:49 that's not necessarily the right route for everyone you know I think starting a business or apprenticeships

42:55 um can be the best route for a lot of people and there's not enough funding or support in those areas you know I think

43:01 that's where I want to try and utilize my personal brand where I can Inspire or

43:07 motivate or support the younger generation in their journey to start

43:12 their very own business and hopefully make a life for themselves I love it and the final thing then it's been an

43:17 absolute pleasure having you on a really mean that it's been really good and what's what's next for yourself and I

43:23 apologize I kept saying please cakes is now please isn't it so yeah yeah tell us

43:28 about what's next for you and please and yeah wrapped into that if you have a final message for everyone listening as

43:34 well yeah so we've transitioned from Place cakes to please which please cakes hasn't gone anywhere we've just we've

43:40 just utilized our umbrella brand please which is going to be like the Heinz the Apple the Virgin and have all our sub

43:45 Brands underneath it like please cakes and freeze cakes and all the additional Concepts and the strategy is to

43:53 our mission is to become the world's most exciting dessert brand but how we do that is make our products more accessible at a better price but Remain

44:01 the best quality and like the most Innovative products out there and I think the only way we could do that is

44:06 scale up through other sectors so we've we've knocked direct to Consumer on the head for now um and we're looking to expand into

44:12 retail into the big retailers this year which um is going to be the biggest challenge you know it's going to be it's going to

44:18 be one of the hardest things we do because these are these are Big accounts these are

44:23 big numbers there's there's potential to get de-listed there's potential to lose a lot of money

44:30 um it's going to require more investment it's going to require building the team again um there's there's it's high risk like

44:37 it's high risk but that's the only way we scale so retail um is our next Port of Call and it's

44:43 going to happen in the next I'm hoping in the next few weeks we'll see so on a mission and uh I can't wait to share our

44:50 new brand and our new products

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