After surviving the coronavirus pandemic, staff at The Cake Shop in Oxford are hoping Christmas offers more than just a few crumbs of comfort.

New owners took over the business in February 2020 just before lockdown and had to quickly adjust to new trading conditions.

Owner Joanne Bunting, and her brother-in-law David Bunting, completed an extensive refurbishment and revamped the website and are now ready to make the most of the festive season.

Mr Bunting said: “The cake business can be quite seasonal and we cater all different occasions including Easter, summer, Mother’s Day, and graduations.

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“But it’s important to have a good Christmas - we make about a third of our profits in November and December, so we need the footfall in the market and we need our web activity to be strong.

Oxford Mail:

“Once Halloween is out of the way we will be raring to go and we will get the decorations out and start trading on Sundays.

“Since the easing of lockdown restrictions we are back to about 80 per dent of our pre-Covid trading figures.”

Mr Bunting said students returning to Oxford for the new academic year has also given the business a boost.

He added: “We get a lot of parents of overseas students from places like Hong Kong and Singapore ordering their children cakes - for example if they have done well in exams.

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“Some of our trade does come from tourists and loyal customers so we do want the market to be full of people.

Oxford Mail:

“Where we are situated it’s a bit of a goldfish bowl - you can see how many people are walking about and you want the pace to be full.”

The shop manager added that like all businesses they are reliant on their suppliers and there have been supply chain issues for important products including cake boards.

He added: “Our major suppliers are struggling as much as we are because of those supply chain issues.”

Mr Bunting said he would have no objection to the Government introducing mandatory mask wearing again to combat the number of coronavirus infections.

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He added: “At the moment the staff wear masks but some customers do and some don’t - I would be fine with it if it goes back to being mandatory again.”

Overseas orders from parents of pupils at Oxford schools and colleges have kept The Cake Shop staff busy.

They are some of the biggest spenders among customers - there is also a Cake Shop in Banbury.

Oxford Mail:

Now, the gradual return of international tourists would be the icing on the cake.

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