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Cakes by Nia Cummings teamed up with local suppliers to help those in need during the lockdown

Cakes by Nia Cummings teamed up with local suppliers to help those in need during the lockdown Credit: www.skyeoneill.comCakes by Nia Cummings teamed up with local suppliers to help those in need during the lockdown.

To find out more, we spoke to Nia Cummings: "We're twin sisters, Louise and Nia, living in Surrey with two children and a wedding cake business a piece. When lockdown began, like so many people in the wedding industry, we found ourselves redundant overnight. 

"We threw ourselves into becoming very inadequate teachers to our poor, unsuspecting children. We clapped with our forgotten wooden spoons and saucepans on a Thursday, and drew wonky rainbows in our windows, but surely we could do something more. 

"Melanie Williams from Lavender Catering had joined forces with several local events and wedding industry professionals and was about to deliver meals to the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford. It just seemed an obvious solution, so we started supplying her with cakes and treats. 

"Melanie found some of the ingredients as and when she could (sugar was like gold dust and eggs might as well have come from a golden goose they were so rare). Neighbours began keeping boxes for us, donating ingredients and cupcake cases; an online company called Eat my Face supplied some cupcake toppers; staff in local supermarkets kindly scoured stock rooms for flour and smuggled it in quiet whispers over the counter to us. We both make high-end, elaborate cakes so scrabbling around for ingredients and baking according to what was available was a rather alien concept. We were mostly funding ourselves though so we embraced this new way of working. 

"Most importantly (to us at least), our children sieved, stirrred, packaged and drew pictures to accompany around 200 cakes and treats a week and they felt like they were doing something to help in this strange bubble we now found ourselves in. 

"Over 14 weeks, we supplied more than 2,500 cakes and treats to around eight local hospitals. We supported Project Wingman, an initiative set up by the airline industry bringing a first class lounge experience to the staff working so tirelessly in hospitals. We even met Her Royal Highness, The Countess of Wessex at Lavender Catering HQ. She came to help Melanie in the kitchen and left with meals and cakes to take to the Royal Surrey. My lovely friend Amanda, who owns Blakes of Bookham Florist (and has also been working as a nurse throughout lockdown) presented her with the most beautiful bouquet that would delight any bride. 

"It’s been such a worthwhile experience for us and our children. We have come across so many colleagues in the wedding industry who have adapted and done what they can to keep their business afloat and help those key workers on the frontline. 

"We’re hopeful we can return to creating the wedding cakes we love. We have told you our story, so get in touch, we would love to hear yours and create something unique for your special day."

To find out more, visit:

Louise Bernau Cakes 
@louisebernaucakes
www.louisebernaucakes.com

Cakes by Nia Cummings
@cakesbyniacummings
www.cakesbyniacummings.com

Photograph by Skye O’Neill
www.skyeoneill.com

Lavender Catering
www.lavendercatering.co.uk

Blake’s of Bookham Florist
www.blakesofbookham.com

Eat my Face 
www.eatmyface.co.uk

Project Wingman
www.projectwingman.co.uk

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