Words: Zena le Roux | Images: Supplied
LunaBerry was founded by Héloïse Haupt upon her return from London where she learnt to master the art of classical French cuisine and patisserie at Le Cordon Bleu. They offer a range of celebration cakes, cupcakes, cookies, pièce montées and so much more. Héloïse shares her story with us.
How did your business start?
After I returned from London, I knew that I wanted to do something that gave me joy and allowed me to be creative on a daily basis. One of my greatest pleasures is seeing the look on my clients’ faces when they come and collect their cakes. One of the most valuable skills I learnt overseas was the ability to ice a cake in such a way that you could get a clean look and finish without having to compromise on taste or appearance, thereby offering my clients the best of both worlds. It just felt right to start my own business and LunaBerry was, therefore, founded in August 2015.
Why did you choose this area to set up shop?
I decided to set up my business in Rietondale – a quiet residential area that I grew up in. The location is convenient for me as it’s central, and I’m familiar with the surroundings.
How did you find your premises?
Having returned to South Africa after completing my training in London, I was determined to set up my kitchen and started the hunt for the perfect spot. Luckily, I did not have to look far. My family had a garden flat on their property which seemed ideal for me to convert into a fully functional kitchen – and knowing the landlords was also a big help!
Why are they ideally suited to your business?
As an individual baker, I was looking for a safe area to work from, with enough space for all my equipment, as well as easy access for clients and collections. Setting up a kitchen is an expensive operation and the fact that I don’t have a pre-determined lease or a landlord that will kick me out after a year, is amazing.
Who are your neighbours?
There are a few businesses in the area: Toni’s Pizza (I am a huge fan), a coffee shop, as well as a boutique venue called Maison De Leo.
What are the shop rental/sales prices like in this area?
The rental prices are reasonable compared to renting or leasing a premise in a shopping centre or a business park. It also suits me as my cakes and treats are all made to order, and I’m therefore not reliant on foot traffic or open to the general public unless an appointment has been made.
What is your shop footprint?
Currently I’m limited to taking on between 10 to 15 orders per week, given that I run the entire business as well as the baking by myself. I custom-make every cake by hand, ensuring I maintain direct quality over every order.
Do you have any expansion plans?
I would love to grow LunaBerry and hopefully will be employing someone to assist me soon. The one thing I don’t want to compromise on, however, is the quality and personal service that I’m able to offer my clients.
Do you operate online as well?
Yes, I have a website where clients can build and design their own cakes as well as pre-order items from a set list of products available. Clients can also send in custom orders via forms on the website. I am also on Instagram (@lunaberry_za) and Facebook (@LunaBerry.za).
What’s your most popular item/service?
I am best known for my cakes, I specialise in buttercream cakes and my top sellers have to be either a chocolate or a vanilla cake. I can then customise the design and decorate the cake to suit my clients’ needs. I am probably best known for my fresh floral and painted buttercream cakes.