Referendum poll bakery to sell up

An award winning cupcake shop which created its own unique brand of polling in the run up to the Scottish independence referendum when it predicted the outcomes based on the sale of its Yes or No cupcakes, is up for sale.

Friday, 28th October 2016, 1:20 pm
Updated Monday, 31st October 2016, 8:52 am
Owner of Cuckoo's Bakery Graham Savage with the independence referendum cup cakes. Picture: Scott Taylot

Cuckoo’s Bakery is on the market for £220,000 after the owners, Vidya Sarjoo and Graham Savage, who quit their jobs in London to set up the bakery six years ago, decided to sell up to “pursue other opportunities”.

As well as its main Dundas Street shop, the leasehold of the Bruntsfield branch – which opened in April last year – is also part of the package, along with a separate production facility in Swanfield, Leith, where the company’s team of bakers currently makes around 1,000 cakes a day.

Cuckoo’s, which supplies products to Harvey Nichols and bookshop Waterstones and is known for both cupcakes and its celebration cakes, won the Best Individual Cake in the Bakery Scotland Awards in 2014 and 2015. The company launched its raspberry and white chocolate referendum cupcakes – Yes, No and Undecided – 200 days before the Scottish independence referendum on 18 September 2014. On the last day before the referendum, the cakes showed that 43.5 per cent of sales were Yes cakes, 47.7 per cent No, and 8.8 per cent undecided.

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The description by estate agents Cornerstone Business Agents, says: “The present owners, who have built up, established and positioned Cuckoo’s as an award winning bakery, now wish to sell in order to pursue new opportunities.

“A fantastic opportunity now exists for a motivated individual, couple, team or company to acquire a highly profitable, well-established business that can be developed and expanded further.”

It added that the brand could be expanded into a city-wide chain by the new owners: “In our view there is real opportunity to expand the retail offering by acquiring new outlets in Edinburgh neighbourhoods for this already firmly established business. In addition, the business has huge wholesale potential with expanding on the current customer base.”

The agent’s brochure says that the turnover of the business for the year ended 30 September, was £554,111 and claims it has a “strong trading profit”. Co-owner Ms Sarjoo, who worked for theatre ticket distributor Encore Tickets before setting up the bakery, said the sale was in “early days” and declined to comment.

In May, after the bakery won regional gold and silver awards for its cupcakes at the 2016 Scottish Baker of the Year cmpetition, the owners posted on their website that they were “brimming with enthusiasm” for the business.

They said: “We’re delighted to work in an industry that’s chock-full of inspiring folk, for a city full of supportive customers who not only get what we do but embrace it wholeheartedly.”