Retail award is the icing on the cake for pair whose business survived Hemel Hempstead High Street roadworks chaos

From left: Kelly Donaldson with daughter Ashleigh, 5, son Aaron, 8, and partner Simon Humphrey at the opening of The Great Cake Warehouse
From left: Kelly Donaldson with daughter Ashleigh, 5, son Aaron, 8, and partner Simon Humphrey at the opening of The Great Cake Warehouse

A couple who opened up a cake accessories shop are starting the new year in celebratory mood after scooping a Retailer of the Year award.

Kelly Donaldson and Simon Humphrey’s business The Great Cake Warehouse was crowned the Retailer of the Year 2013 by the Cake Masters Magazine.

And to top that off – with hundreds and thousands, chocolate sprinkles and a glace cherry – they’ve recently had to move to bigger premises after their original site became too much of a squeeze.

The pair originally launched The Cake Shop in Hemel Hempstead’s Old Town High Street back in 2010, and soon garnered a loyal customer base.

And the growing popularity of home baking, thanks to high-profile TV competitions like the Great British Bake Off, meant they were in the right place at the right time.

They threw a party on Saturday to celebrate the grand opening of their bigger, better cake accessories shop, which they’ve aptly renamed The Great Cake Warehouse.

This is due to the fact that orders must be placed online and collected at the new site at 15 Mark Road on the Maylands Industrial Estate.

Customers can buy everything from cupcake cases, decorations and cake moulds to sugarpaste, candles and cake pop supplies – all on one site and under one roof.

Kelly said: “We’ve grown very, very quickly in the last year, so we needed to find bigger premises. We’re not a retail shop – people place orders with us and come to Mark Road to pick them up.”

The website was launched a year ago and was the light at the end of the tunnel for Kelly and Simon. It enabled the pair to struggle through hard times last summer, when the Old Town High Street was being torn up and businesses were being hit hard.

Kelly – who lives in Aylesbury with Simon and their two children Aaron, eight, and Ashleigh, five – said: “Things had hit rock bottom in the shop. If we’d relied on the retail side of things, we wouldn’t be here now. The website saved us. The award couldn’t have come at a better time, really.”

Kelly said the firm’s Facebook page has more than 9,500 ‘likes’, and they’ve had interested from customers as far afield as India.

As part of the new location launch, the duo have created a competition to win free cake supplies for a year – all you have to do is bake the winning cake, take a snap and send it in.

All entries should be emailed to, and the closing date is this Friday, January 10.

A panel will then judge the entries and the winner will be notified.

For more information about the contest, visit the website at