Business management

Lisa Smith, Ginger Bakers

As part of our campaign with Getty Images to change the image of female-led entrepreneurship, the owner of Kendal-based Ginger Bakers tells her business story.

Ginger Bakers is an artisan cake business, founded in 2006 from Lisa Smith’s kitchen. She started out selling cakes at farmers’ markets then moved into cafes, delis and farm shops. She says the business grew out of her desire to create and sell something. “My family background meant I had plenty of experience of small businesses so starting my own was second nature.”

As for many small businesses around the UK, 2020 was a very tough year for Smith. She explains: “Ginger Bakers had to adapt and focus on sales to the end user rather than wholesale and the hospitality industry. It was a challenge, but one we rose to with enthusiasm. My hope is that when we return to more normal times we will be well equipped to trade to a wider audience.”

If I can offer insight and support to others as I have experienced myself then that is brilliant

Lisa Smith, owner, Ginger Bakers

She says her proudest moment to date is giving back to her community by “being able to offer work placements to those with additional needs or with mental health difficulties. I was an art psychotherapist prior to founding Ginger Bakers; I worked with people of all ages with additional needs and mental health difficulties. Twelve months ago, I was in a position to start offering work placements to this sector of our community and it has made all the years of hard work worthwhile.”

After 15 years as an entrepreneur, she says her best advice to women thinking about starting their own business is: “Talk, talk, talk. Gain advice, share experiences and learn along the way.”

What does it mean to be featured in the bank and Getty Images’ Female Focus #BeTheRoleModel initiative? “It is a fantastic honour, and I can’t believe I was asked to be involved,” she says. “If I can offer insight and support to others as I have experienced myself then that is brilliant.”

Lisa Smith of Ginger Bakers continued to trade throughout a challenging 2020. She adapted the business to focus on sales to the end user rather than wholesale and hospitality, and the business is ready for a wider audience in 2021.

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