Sheffield family bakers create edible art
The cake baking company Leanna Cake Specialists is run from the family kitchen, using traditional recipes. Sheffield Unchained contributor Corrie Pearce couldn’t believe her luck when she heard there was a family run bakery business she could interview…
I’m interested in anything to do with cake and I’m happy to say that I was not in the slightest bit disappointed, especially as they brought me a selection of their cakes to try for myself!
Lenka and Anna Schreinerova are the mother and daughter duo behind the baking business Leanna Cake Specialists and they were kind enough to take the time to come and speak to me about the brains and the baking behind their company.
Their recipes have been passed down over two hundred years with twists and flavours added by Anna, the mother, to ensure the recipes don’t become outdated and to keep the challenge fresh. These are central European cakes with a British twist which aim to bring the taste of Vienna to England.
Anna has been baking for over fourty years but it was only in October last year that she decided to go ahead with forming a company. She used to bake for family and friends until they suggested to her that she could make some money from her hobby by selling the cakes. Lenka, her daughter, is in charge of the business side of the company and also works as a translator. Even after exploring other avenues, she was always led back to the business idea with her mother.
We believe there is always a reason for everything. All the jobs and studies I have done have eventually led me back to this, to working and creating this business with my Mum.
Anna was ten years old when she first stirred for her own mother when she was baking and says she instantly fell in love. That love is clearly still present as she looks excited and passionate about every cake, every story and every bit of information about their business. She tells me:
I put all my heart and spirit into my cakes. They are my art, my creations.
She shows me example after example of the fine quality of cakes she’s been producing and Lenka explains:
Every cake is special. It has to be personal to the customer so we never do two cakes the same.
Their customers are clearly just as in love with the cakes as Lenka and Anna. The feedback they’ve had so far has been glowing. They’ve had to make smaller cakes as well as the main one because customers comment that the cakes look so good they are loathe to cut them. Anna chuckles to me as we talk about her decorations:
We’ve even had customers sniff the flower decorations on the cake as though they were real! It makes me happy seeing something beautiful made from my baking. My favourite moment is when the customer bites into the cake and looks so happy about it, but can’t describe it with words. They just make positive noises at me!
Even though it is just the two of them, the rest of the family are part of the team and help out wherever they can. Lenka’s brother provides constructive criticism and feedback on the cakes to help them ensure the highest quality, while her sister loves to help with the selling and comes with them to markets.
When I ask her about working together as a family, Lenka tells me they even dance their way around the kitchen together, singing and keeping each other in high spirits and in positive moods as sometimes they can be in the kitchen from morning to midnight.
It just works. I wouldn’t choose anyone else to work with; we’re the best of friends, as well as mother and daughter.
If you’re interested in ordering from Leanna Cake Specialists, you can see all their details on SU Listings. They will ask you for a list of preferred ingredients and make sure you get the exact personalised cake you want, before Anna and Lenka deliver the cake to your door themselves.
They’re taking the business one step at a time and seeing how it goes, but they aren’t short of vision. It could lead to them having their own café one day or even expanding into a restaurant that serves eastern European food, as well as their cakes.
It’s just the beginning for us. Watch this space!