Meet Micaela Franklin, a young lady creating the most amazing confectionaries with a lot of passion and love for what she does.
Baking is an art form and a science. It is the art of creation blended with the science of flavours and ingredients, brought together in harmony in an edible form. Micaela Franklin is one such artist who is a 22-year-old Ballito local and has taken our town by storm with her incredible confectionaries!
Mickey Bakes started at the beginning of 2021 when Micaela decided she wanted to start her own business. “Mickey Bakes sort of started as an accident, actually,” Micaela exclaims, “I made some cupcakes for my family and decided to go a bit crazy while piping the icing, and everyone loved it!” Her family then convinced her to create an Instagram account for her creations, and Mickey Bakes was born! Since she had been baking with her mother and grandmother from a young age, she naturally gravitated towards baking. She is completely self-taught, and when looking at the work she does, it’s mind-blowing. “I love experimenting with recipes and décor styles,” she smiles, “I’m a crazy perfectionist, so sometimes it takes me a while to be completely happy with the result.”
As she continued posting her creations on her profile, people started requesting to order them. “So, I started taking orders, and the business kept growing,” Micaela says, “I went from just cupcakes to mini cakes, then bigger cakes, brownies and even lunchbox cakes.” She didn’t stop there! She also supplies The Orange Tree Café in Umhlali with her famous fudgy brownies.
Her favourite things to bake are cakes, and we can definitely tell by how she personalises each one so that no two are the same. Her attention to detail really shines through in all of her work which is nothing short of art! She does cakes for all of the special occasions you might have, “I feel so lucky that my customers want me to make cakes for the special events in their lives,” she expresses. From birthdays to engagements, Micaela gives her all to bring the best possible quality of confectionaries to her customers.
Knowing how much of a perfectionist she is and that she loves experimenting with new flavours and designs, there must be a lot of sampling going on! “I still do a lot of sampling, with the help of my friends and family,” she laughs, “I can only eat so much by myself!” Her family are very involved in her processes. Whenever she has a new flavour idea, she runs it by everyone first to get their takes on it before working on it for her customers. She is actually currently working on a range of new gourmet cake flavours! This is exciting news for all cake lovers out there, “I can’t wait for my customers to try all the new treats I’m working on,” Micaela exclaims excitedly.
With her business’s popularity rising so quickly, she expresses that her greatest challenge has been learning just how much baking she can take on at a time. “Mickey Bakes grew suddenly from a hobby to a business, and I wasn’t prepared for just how many orders I’d be getting!” Micaela exclaims. She has gotten better at handling the demand, but it can sometimes get overwhelming. “I still hate telling my customers I’m fully booked, and I’m definitely guilty of squeezing in orders for my regular customers,” she tells us, “I can’t say no to them!” Since she bakes from home, she emphasises the importance of having the support of her parents in her business, “I wouldn’t have been able to keep up with the demand if they weren’t helping and supporting me behind the scenes,” Micaela tells us fondly, “I’m so grateful to them and all my customers for believing in me and letting me turn my passion into a business.”
Looking to the future, Micaela is moving toward rebranding Mickey Bakes! “The name just came from my little hobby Instagram account, and I’ve never gotten round to changing it to a real business name,” she shares. We will definitely be looking out for this exciting change.
As an ultimate future goal, Micaela would like to have her own bakery one day, “I’d still do my custom cakes and cupcakes, but I’d like to have ready-made treats for people to come in and buy whenever they want.” As she expands her services and menu, even looking at baking classes, we can’t wait to see how Mickey Bakes grows in the future! Micaela has turned her love for baking into her full-time job, and we are so happy she does it!