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The Escapist: Alex Ridley co-founder of South East Cakery

Alex Ridley talks swapping dance floors for flour stores to co-found the South East Cakery & Cafe in East Dulwich

When we first met, my wife and business partner Maria was working as the events organiser for Bloomsbury Lanes in Euston. I meanwhile was working a handful of regular DJ bookings at a few South East London bars. With a desire to party to golden-era hip hop, we teamed up and started putting on our own Nineties club nights.

With our days freed up, we started spending a lot of time visiting cool food spots across the capital – more specifically, great sweet spots, bakeries and cake shops. As our obsession with brownies grew, we started to bake at home more and more; trying to make the things we loved just the way we liked them.

Not long after, Maria took a position baking in-house for Anderson & Co nearby in Peckham. With a combined drive to work for ourselves, Maria began to bake and I would sell the goods on to local cafes in our spare time.

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Soon we started to built up a regular client base (most of whom we still supply today) and had to cut our DJ schedule – Liquorish in East Dulwich and our monthly club night 'Pinkie Ring' – down to just a couple of nights a week. By the spring of 2014, we had traded at a variety of markets and events and were lucky enough to join Street Feast's Model Market in Lewisham.

Fast forward to 2018 and, after a few months of searching for the right premises, we found a great spot just near our kitchen in East Dulwich and set about launching the South East Cakery & Cafe. Our bold colours and explosive decorations have proved to be pretty popular and we've even baked for the likes of Katy B and Lily Allen!
Whilst we'll still smash a DJ set for the right party here and there, we've mostly ditched the decks and swapped our hobby for our living instead.

southeastcakery.com

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