HOMEMADE cakes and snacks of yesteryear have been going down a treat at a Cirencester coffee shop and now it has been nominated for a Women in Business award.
The Cake House, in Bishop's Walk, is up for New Business of the Year in the 2012 Citizen and Echo Women in Business Awards.
The business has continued to buck the trend since opening 18 months ago and is often full of a range of different customers.
Owner Sarah Tremblen, who has lived in the town for over 30 years, said: "We are getting fantastic repeat business, which is brilliant. But we are having new people come in all the time and are getting busier.
"We get a whole range. Mums on their own, groups of mothers, older groups, lunchtime people from work. It's a real cross-range. Customers can come twice, three times a day."
Bakewell tarts, lemon drizzle cake, coffee and walnut cake, brownies, flapjacks and muffins are among the delights on offer at the cafe. And customers can also choose from a range of light meals, including soups, jacket potatoes and lasagne, with vegetarian options and teas and cakes from around the world.
Sarah, who trained as a baker and cake decorator at the former Gloscat in Cheltenham, now specialises in celebration cakes, including novelty cakes and cakes for weddings, birthdays and Christenings.
She said: "They are becoming more and more popular. We are getting more calls and more enquiries.
"Its about constantly reinventing yourself and trying new things. You have to push different ideas."
Sarah took on deputy head cook Jo Errington last December so she could concentrate on the celebration cakes and ensure growth of the business.
She now has two cooks in the on-site kitchen, who produce cakes throughout the day, using as many local ingredients as possible. And Sarah said the takeaway side of the business was also taking off.
The coffee shop currently employs four full-time staff and four part-time. They have regular social evenings including quiz nights.
"I do believe in making it a fun place to work. We are a great little team," she said.
Sarah plans to open a second "slightly smaller" The Cake House in Cheltenham before the end of the year, on her understanding that the socio-economic grouping is very similar to Cirencester.
The coffee shop is holding a Valentine's special today, which includes a glass of Champagne and a three-course meal, with the choice of four starters, mains and puddings.
Sarah was in the hospitality industry previously, before marrying and having children.
There is still time to enter nominations for the 2012 Women in Business Awards.
Visit the website at www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk/wibawards or call Gill Brimfield on 01242 278044 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.