Great Britain

University of Sunderland graduate delivers sweet success for bakery

A UNIVERSITY graduate is helping a family bakery promote its unique printed cakes to big brands across the UK.

Struggling to find a suitable role in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, Gemma Hirst, a journalism graduate who studied at The University of Sunderland, managed to land a three-month internship with Print Cakes, supporting the business with her skills in digital marketing.

The internship was organised through Creative Fuse North East, a project unlocking the potential of the creative, digital and tech sectors to drive innovation and growth of the region’s economy.

Miss Hirst, 26, said: “I felt as though my job search was not going to plan, so it was great to know that after university there was still support out there for me as a graduate.”

Print Cakes is a Sunderland-based family bakery delivering treats to brands across the country. Their focus is on quality ingredients and a finish which reflects the brands that they work with.

During the pandemic, Gemma had to adapt to the restrictions and take on the responsibility of representing and creating digital content of another brand on their business social media accounts from her Northumberland home. She communicated regularly with Print Cakes Director, Helena Harford, and Creative Fuse, to make sure the content that she was creating was on brand.

Being a Journalism Graduate, she was also able to create and edit content for the Print Cakes product pages and blogs from the website.

The festive period was an especially busy time for the business and the graduate was able to use social media to promote their product.

Using Instagram, she turned their grid into an advent calendar and each day would showcase a festive product that customers could buy.

She added: “I really didn’t think that a social media advent calendar could work, as I didn’t know how I was going to do it, but I still managed to achieve and complete my idea.”

Helena Harford said: “Gemma has been an amazing addition to our business through the Creative Fuse programme. She brought fresh ideas to our social media accounts, as well as around our product offering and general marketing. Gemma was enthusiastic, hard-working and proactive, which meant we knew our social media channels were in safe hands. She has grown our following, increased engagement and ensured that we are posting regular, updates. This was especially important to us over the Christmas period when we were very busy with orders and would have otherwise struggled to maintain a presence."

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