During the first lockdown, Leeds baker and nanny who launched an online brownie business as a 'hobby' has become so successful she is working round the clock to keep up with demand.
Savannah Roqaa, known as The Savvy Baker, 24, set up her baking business from her small apartment kitchen in Roundhay as something fun to do during the first lockdown. Within a few months, she now has a successful online business, six full-time staff working around the clock to keep up the demand and celebrity clients such as Leeds and England player Kalvin Philips.
Savannah, formerly a makeup artist developed her love of baking while looking after young children in her most recent role as a nanny.
Savannah said; "I've never been a baker, but I'm naturally creative and it was a fun and educational thing to do while looking after the children. When lockdown started in March 2020, I started making brownies and dropping off care packages to my friends to cheer them up! They shared images of the cakes them on social media, and before I knew it, I had people direct messaging me for brownies and cakes and overnight I set-up The Savvy Baker."
"Initially I worked from home, but right from the off I was baking 30 - 40 boxes of brownies a week so quickly outgrew my kitchen. I have lots of friends in the nightlife industry, so they kindly let me use their premises to bake from."
The Savvy Baker offers a range of cakes, cookies and brownies from £10 to £35 with the biggest seller by far being the OG – Mars Brookie.
Due to the power of Instagram, within six months, the business had grown from strength to strength with over 25k followers. The Savvy Baker now posts out over 500 boxes a week, has moved to commercial premises and employs up to 6 staff, ranging from assistant bakers, packers and drivers.
Most of the staff she employs are friends from the hospitality industry who have lost their jobs due to COVID, and Savannah was keen to help and give back where she could.
Her older sister, Tia Roqaa, another entrepreneur who also runs an online business, Rocca Box was a massive inspiration to Savannah.
Savannah said; "I watched my older sister set up her own online business and admired her dedication and drive; it was this drive and passion that inspired me to set-up my own business. What started as something to make my friends happy in lockdown has now turned into a full-time business. My positive mindset and ambition have helped me through these difficult times, and I'm super grateful for the success I have achieved to date."
What is next for The Savvy Baker? Like many other businesses, Savannah has seen how an online business model can be far more cost-effective than retail and has no plans to open a shop any time soon. She hopes to continue growing the online side of the business and with the help of Social Media grow the brand nationally if not globally.
Last weekend The Savvy Baker staged her first-ever pop-up store on Street Lane and within 90mins had sold out of 1000 brownies
Savannah said; I couldn't believe my eyes, I could see people queuing right down the street and in less than 2 hours we had sold out!"
As well as developing the online side of the business and increasing production to meet demand, her longterm ambition is to stage 'pop-up' events all over the city and hopefully the UK.
This young lady is indeed 'savvy' and is destined for great things.