Ms Cupcake wins accolade as baking's brightest new star
London baker Mellissa Morgan aka Ms Cupcake has been named the UK’s brightest new star in the baking industry’s equivalent of the Oscars.
Mellissa, a former theatre worker and teacher, has been crowned Rising Star in the annual Baking Industry Awards 2011 after impressing judges with her storming success since introducing the capital city’s first vegan bakery shop just 18 months ago.
Launching the business from her kitchen, Mellissa first wowed shoppers at London’s Greenwich Market with her range of vegan delicacies before opening her first shop, in Brixton, South London, where she now employs seven staff.
Her range includes indulgent brownies, cookies and cupcakes, as well as a plethora of other sugar, soya and gluten-free treats.
Mellissa’s efforts were recognised last night in front of more than 800 industry guests at a gala awards ceremony at London’s Park Lane Hilton, as she was presented with her award by TV presenter Richard Madeley and award sponsor David Powell.
The judges were particularly impressed with Mellissa’s passion for baking and her signature cupcakes, which come in more than 100 seasonal flavours, including watermelon, blueberry cheesecake and Pimm’s! She describes her recipes as “classic American with a British flavour twist”.
They also admired how Canadian-born Mellissa had stamped her personality on the business and her “great flair and creativity in developing a unique product range”.
Mellissa also impressed with her clear strategy for growth, including planning a manufacturing site and developing national distribution for her range. Her fame is spreading so quickly that she has already been chosen as a supplier for the 2012 Olympics.
Martyn Leek, editor of awards organiser British Baker magazine, said: “Mellissa’s enthusiasm and passion for baking, coupled with her dedication to developing the tastiest treats for people following a strict vegan diet make her a very worthy winner.”
Celebrating the award, Mellissa put her success in winning the BIA’s first ever Rising Star award down to being hands-on in the bakery, and the fact that she loved meeting customers at lectures and roadshows. “Their feedback inspires new recipes and ideas – like selling ingredients and cooking equipment,” said Mellissa.
The annual Baking Industry Awards is the premier event in the UK bakery calendar and has been recognising industry excellence for 24 years. Run by British Baker magazine, prizes are awarded across 12 categorie.
* Ms Cupcake is running a competition during National Cupcake Week, 12-18 September, to find the best vegan home baker. To find out more click here.