A Keswick 18-year-old is on the way to fulfilling a dream after setting up her own baking business on social media.
Ellie May Duplock started baking with her mum when she was just two years old and now her brownies and traybakes are being posted to addresses across the UK.
The home-taught baker and boss of Ell’s Cakes and Bakes is busier than ever, making a wide range of celebrations cakes, cupcakes, brownies, blondies and tray bakes.
Some days she is baking until 4am, getting her orders ready and then packaged for delivery the next day.
Ellie is originally from South Shields but she moved with mum Deborah Smith and dad Paul Duplock to Keswick when she was quite young.
The family now live at Calvert Way, which doubles as headquarters for her small business.
Ellie said: “I’ve dreamt of having my own cake business and eventually opening a tearoom since I was a little girl and I am part of the way there now.”
Baking has totally changed Ellie’s life as she has struggled with anxiety and depression for a number of years and was house-bound for about a year.
She said: “I didn’t socialise but baking was an escape for me. It helped me put things into perspective. It was almost like a therapy. It helped me concentrate and made me forget about feeling so useless.”
She originally just baked cakes for friends, family and neighbours and it was their influence which persuaded her to set up her Facebook page Ell’s Cakes and Bakes during the first lockdown in March 2020.
Now she has more than 500 followers, which allowed her to give up her full-time job as a hotel receptionist in September and become a full-time baker.
Ellie added: “It is safe to say the Ellie of two year ago would not believe how far I have come but knowing I’m one step closer to my dream makes me so happy.
“My story shows that struggling with mental health issues doesn’t have to stop you from following your dreams. Just push yourself to the max and you can do absolutely anything, no matter how much you doubt it.
“I just want to thank everyone for their support. My neighbours, family, friends also my customers, both new and old.
“They have helped me every step of the way and made this journey possible.
Ellie can cater for most anything in celebration cakes but her most popular product is a two-layer chocolate sponge with a chocolate finger surround and chocolate toppings.
She has also made a cake with four different flavours of sponge cake and fillings. All her cakes are available for collection or delivery.
She said: “I haven’t had any really bonkers ones to make just yet but am up for a challenge!”
Her popular brownie trays come with a choice of blondie or brownie base and a choice of nine different toppings or flavours, including jammy dodgers, salted caramel and Oreo/Biscoff.
As well as running her business Ellie also likes to give something back to the community and runs cake raffles for local charities.
Over the last couple of months she raised £140 for the Calvert Trust and is now working with Dr John Ferris to raise £500 towards a life-saving piece of equipment for the BEEP doctors.