Welcome to the Emirates Woman weekly series ‘How I got my job as…’ where we speak to some incredible entrepreneurs and businesswomen both based in the UAE and globally to find out about their career paths that led them to where they are now; what their daily routines look like; the advice they’d give to those starting out; and the hurdles they’ve had to overcome.
This week we chat with Cake Artist, Mich Turner, Founder of Little Venice Cake Company, located at the newly opened Atlantis The Royal.
Synonymous with understated elegance, Turner is a pioneer in the baking industry, a consultant to the retail and hospitality industry and known to combine her creativity with her work. As an award-winning entrepreneur, she has been awarded an MBE in 2010, for her services in the catering industry.
Set to offer the best cakes for all kinds of celebrations from bespoke cakes to afternoon tea loaves, clients can customise the desserts as per their requirements. With celebrity clients such as Pierce Brosnan, and Emma Thompson, including Buckingham Palace and more.
While the road to entrepreneurship wasn’t an easy path, she went against all means to come out successful. To understand more, Emirates Woman sat down with the brand’s founder to learn about her career path and how she’s converted her passion into a full-time business.
What was your favourite subject at school?
Chemistry, Biology and Home Economics.
What was your first job?
Bakery and a Patisserie Buyer at a luxury department store, Harvey Nichols.
What brought you to Dubai?
I was introduced to the team behind the iconic Atlantis Dubai, who was looking for a cake offering within their new ultra-luxury resort, Atlantis The Royal.
What inspired you to enter the f&b space and launch Little Venice Cake Company?
Little Venice Cake Company creates premium luxury cakes for all celebrations and events. We offer a couture bespoke service to clients, working with esteemed partners in the hospitality, retail and events sectors. For me, launching Little Venice Cake Company was a passion to create amazing cakes for amazing people, in amazing venues, for amazing celebrations – offering the very best in professionalism, client service, refined opulent designs, and totally indulgent cakes.
Talk us through the inspiration of your pieces.
There is a story behind every cake and every cake has to tell that story. Understanding the who, why, when, where and how provides the mainframe for each design. The skill and expertise then come in combining artistry with technical expertise and hand craftsmanship to design completely bespoke cakes – perfect for every occasion. A feast for the eyes and a memory for the palate.
What are the key elements of your role?
The key elements of my role are firstly communication as I meet and engage with people on an international stage. Being able to articulate, connect, direct , understand and empathise with people is key. Secondly, organisation – this is essential working in a critical time-dependent world. Forward planning, risk assessment, hazard analysis and problem-solving is an essential part of my role and thirdly Presentation is an important aspect, for inspiring those involved with Little Venice Cake Company to embrace our brand values.
Talk us through your daily routine.
My days rarely follow a routine. I try to pack as much into each day as I can and am fastidious with timekeeping to avoid time wasting. My time in Dubai is limited and usually built around a particular event – such as The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee events at The British Embassy or the grand reveal of Atlantis The Royal. I always wake up three hours before my first commitment to allow time for early morning correspondence, a visit to the gym, grooming, and breakfast. I will spend time with my team in pastry working on new collections, and seasonal offerings, reviewing recipes and designs. We often have tastings, bespoke orders, presentations and photo shoots to prepare for. I also plan time with the management team to review our business performance. I have meetings and consultations with clients for upcoming events which we host in our Royal Meeting Room with cake tastings. We are just starting to offer masterclasses for corporate and private clients in our show kitchen within our atelier at Atlantis The Royal. These are customised and hugely enjoyable, but require a lot of preparation. I juggle press requests and external presentations with invitations to attend official events. I am fortunate to dine within the resort and with so many incredible restaurants to choose from such as Milos, Ariana’s Persian Kitchen and Dinner By Heston Blumenthal it is a treat and certainly one of the best perks of the job.
What advice do you have for anyone looking to follow in the same footsteps?
Prepare to work hard and insist on the highest standards for yourself. There is no fast track to experience and you can’t fake passion. Be committed.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received?
Do what you do really well, and no one can touch you.
And what is the worst?
Genuinely can’t think of anything? I have an analytical thought process – so would always work through the whole journey and possible outcomes before committing. Any advice that I couldn’t see working I would have discounted in the ether!
What has been the biggest challenge you had to overcome?
I am a problem solver, always looking for a way through the maze. Every challenge can be managed with time, tenacity and self-belief.
What are the future plans for your brand and tell us how it feels to open at Atlantis The Royal?
I have been working with Atlantis Dubai on this project for the past six years to deliver a world-exclusive Little Venice Cake Company atelier with Everyday cakes, a Signature collection, Couture bespoke cakes, customised masterclasses and a curated collection of homewares synonymous with our ethos of authenticity, British premium craftsmanship and heritage. I have enjoyed the whole process and am enormously proud of the atelier and the teams at Little Venice Cake Company and Atlantis The Royal.