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From oil and gas to baking cakes – meet the woman behind Aberdeenshire business O’Caykx

Oyin Adekola. Image: DCT Media
Oyin Adekola. Image: DCT Media

Every Monday, we ask small businesses key questions. Here we speak to Oyin Adekola, owner of cake-making venture O’Caykx in Portlethen, Aberdeenshire.

She told us sky-high energy costs are “honestly overwhelming”.

How and why did you start in business?

To be honest it was kind of a fluke. I started making cakes for fun when I was 13, just because it made me and the people around me happy.

When I went to university my skills became a lifeline, as I was able to earn extra income by making cakes for other students. It wasn’t a proper business back then, but it did show me that as well as making people happy I could make myself a bit of money too.

How did you get to where you are today?

Getting to where I am now has been a journey of trust in God, resilience and hard work.

When I moved to the UK, I never considered cake making as a career or business option.

I completed my master’s degree and got a job in oil and gas.

Hard at work on another heavenly creation. Image: Oyin Adekola

But after a few years in the industry, my love for cake making was once again rekindled.

I found myself baking for a few friends, eventually registering the business as a side hustle in 2011.

Demand for my cakes took off so I thought I could probably do it full time. That was 10 years ago and I’m still fully caking.

Who helped you?

God certainly did, and I’m fortunate to have been surrounded by a lot of people and organisations that have helped at different stages of my journey.

My family have, undoubtedly, been my greatest cheerleaders throughout.

And the Federation of Small Businesses and other organisations have been really helpful in getting our name out there.

What’s the best piece of advice you have ever had?

“You can’t keep ‘feeding your business’ – you need to get to a point where it feeds itself”.

This advice, which is great for a cake maker, was given to me at the very start of the business.

I had to choose to either take out a loan or lend the business my own money just to keep it going. It spurred me on and really gave me the determination to grow my business and make it a success.

What is your biggest mistake?

I’ve certainly made a fair few but I rarely dwell on them. For me, mistakes give you the opportunity to learn and be better.

What is your greatest achievement?

My children – I have the most amazing kids on the planet. In business, I’m so proud of still being here after 10 fairly tough years.

I love my business, I’ve got great employees and we have our own premises, with space to grow. It’s an exciting time for me and my business, O’Caykx, right now.

Enjoying the Great Outdoors. Image: Oyin Adekola

How are you managing rapidly rising costs and how can the government help?

The rising cost of energy is honestly overwhelming. We can’t do what we do without using ovens and refrigeration, but my team and I are continually looking into innovative ways and ideas to save energy and keep the business going.

Other than that, I hate business rates and my life would be a lot better if I didn’t have to pay them.

What do you still hope to achieve?

We’ve recently launched our corporate “Cakescription” package, so I’m looking forward to seeing this feature in organisations throughout Aberdeen in the next few months.

This is one of our innovative ideas that I hope will bring the business more success in the future.

What do you do to relax?

I’m a home girl and love chilling with my family. I also spend a lot of time playing tennis. I like swimming, running and the outdoors. In addition, I enjoy going on solo outings as I love my own company.

Ms Adekola gets some top tennis tips from Judy Murray. Image: Oyin Adekola

What are you currently reading, listening to or glued to on TV?

Unfortunately, I’m not reading as much as I’d love to. I do listen to podcasts and a lot of gospel music. I rarely watch TV.

What do you waste your money on?

I’m not much of a spender but I love holidays and would happily spend money on that.

What’s the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?

I spend some time praying and meditating – and then go do a pee.

What do you drive and dream of driving?

I drive a Volkswagen ID.4 Electric. I’d love my next car to be a Tesla because of the range.