Chesterfield shop stalwart marks 50 years in business

A stalwart of the Chesterfield retail scene is proving life is what you bake it after marking half a century with her cakecrafting business.

Wednesday, 27th March 2019, 4:56 pm
Updated Wednesday, 27th March 2019, 4:58 pm
Gillian Davies has been in business for a whopping 50 years!

It’s been 50 years since a fledgling entrepreneur named Gillian Davies handed over 12 shillings to set up her stall, Jill’s Cards, on Chesterfield Market.

The rest is history as her business, Crazy About Cakecraft, has steadily grown into one of the largest sugarcraft stores in the north of England.

The shop is not only a prominent supplier to the sugar and papercraft industry- it’s also keeping the community in showstopping cakes after it branched out offer cakecrafting masterclasses.

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Daughter Julie Davies-Bowler said: “My mum is such an inspiration to both myself and my sister, Jackie.

“When we were growing up she would always include us in the daily running of the businesses and we were always helping out by taking price stickers off and making and dismantling items for the shops.

“In later years, we both have memories of helping out in the market hall and on the stall - in all weathers.”

It’s been a journey and a half for Gill - after launching her market stall in 1969, she moved to the town’s market hall where she stayed until the mid-1980s.

Working alongside Jackie and Julie, over three decades Gill ricocheted across premises in Chesterfield before settling at 1 New Beetwell Street in 2013.

She now sees regular customers coming in from Sheffield, Doncaster, Barnsley, Worksop, Rotherham and Lincoln. The store holds regular classes with an experienced tutor, undertaking sugarcraft and decorating techniques - notable creations include castle and unicorn cakes.

Julie added: “My mum has such a kind, pleasant manner and nothing is ever too much trouble for her. She always wants to help people, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen her angry.

“She has so many friends, regular customers and acquaintances and is admired by everyone she meets.

“She is currently still working in the shop four days a week, although at 78 years old we are trying to reduce her hours-but she loves coming in to the shop. I think it keeps her mind active.”

There will be a grand celebration at the shop tomorrow (Thursday, March 28) with balloons, flowers and what is certain to be a spectacular cake.

For more information on Crazy about Cakecrafting visit www.facebook.com/crazyaboutcakecraft.