Exmouth Business Awards 2018: back-to-back awards were the icing on the cake for Charlotte Crews

PUBLISHED: 16:02 07 February 2018 | UPDATED: 16:02 07 February 2018

The Cake Lady, Charlotte Crews won the independant retailer of the year at the Exmouth Business Awards. Ref exe 04 18TI 6925. Picture: Terry Ife

The Cake Lady, Charlotte Crews won the independant retailer of the year at the Exmouth Business Awards. Ref exe 04 18TI 6925. Picture: Terry Ife

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The Exmouth Business Awards 2018 - celebrating the achievements of local businesses - is coming up at Exmouth's Ocean on Friday, May 18. Here we look back at a previous award winner, honoured as Independent Retailer of the Year...

The Cake Lady, Charlotte Crews won the independant retailer of the year at the Exmouth Business Awards. Ref exe 04 18TI 6922. Picture: Terry IfeThe Cake Lady, Charlotte Crews won the independant retailer of the year at the Exmouth Business Awards. Ref exe 04 18TI 6922. Picture: Terry Ife

The Cake Lady is a familiar character at the Exmouth Business Awards, presented by the Exmouth Chamber of Trade and Commerce in association with the Exmouth Journal.

Hardly surprising since Charlotte Crews – who opened her business in 2010 from home and then moved to the Exeter Road – has been shortlisted five times in the awards, winning Small Business of the Year in 2016 and last year scooping Independent Retailer of the Year in 2017.

“I was ecstatic to win an award for the second year running,” said Charlotte.

What does she attribute her success to?

“Hard work and good customer service,” she said. “It also helps that I love my job.”

Charlotte creates celebration cakes for all occasions, from simple and elegant to unique and quirky, with wedding cakes being a big seller. She also offers cake decorating courses and cake decorating products.

How did she start?

“I’ve always loved baking since I was young and baking with my mum. I decided to take a leap of faith and launch the business, initially from my home kitchen.

“I have been in my current shop on Exeter Road for two years and it is such a lovely location. We are very busy and it’s lovely to hear people admiring the cakes in the window.”

It’s not just Exmouthians, either. HRH Charles, Prince of Wales and HRH Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall have been customers too. Charlotte was commissioned to bake a cake for them.

“I got to meet them and they said the cake tasted great,” said Charlotte. “Camilla said she was ‘blown away by the design’.”

Has winning the Exmouth Business Award given her business a boost?

“Definitely,” she said. “People see the award finalists and winners as trusted suppliers. It enhances your reputation and is a great way of getting people to know about you.”

What advice had she got for businesses wanting to win Independent Retailer of the Year?

“Go for it! If you put all you have into your business it will show, and people will appreciate it. I always strive to offer the best customer service that I can, and this helps.”

More: Get ready for the launch of the Exmouth Business Awards 2018!

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