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Home » Supporting SMEs » How a love of baking shared on social media became an ecommerce empire

Steph Giordano (pictured above)

Founder and Creative Director, Baked by Steph

Scaling up at pace, from a hobby on Instagram into a full-on bespoke baking business, Steph Giordano wanted to give her customers the best buying experience and have a payments platform ready for whatever the future brings.

“Baked by Steph started as a complete happy accident for me,” says Steph Giordano, founder and creative director of Baked by Steph

“I’ve always absolutely loved baking and started an Instagram account back in 2018. It really was just for my mum and friends to keep track of my hobby. But before I knew it, I had a few thousand followers in just a couple of weeks. Then I got a really big inquiry from a corporate client, and that’s the point at which I knew this could be a full-time career.” 

That leap of faith was in 2019. Demand grew exponentially during the pandemic and today, Belfast-born Steph has a team of 16 creating more than 1,000 personalised cookies, cakes and macarons every day.

Selling online and over the phone, business is thriving – whether it’s the cheeky messages to loved ones spelt out in biscuit form, which saw many of Steph’s early creations go viral on Instagram, or one-off designs for weddings, birthdays, press launches and corporate events for well-known household brands.

Ingredients for success 

“Our relationship with Elavon came about when we decided to scale up and build ourselves a new website,” says Steph. Elavon provides Baked by Steph with an ecommerce solution that brings all the business’ platforms together. It also fully integrates with the website to make secure payments easy for Steph’s team and their customers, whatever currency they’re paying in.

Customers can also pay over the phone or through a link shared securely by email or text message. Money goes into Baked by Steph’s account the very next day, helping with cash flow, while Elavon’s online reporting tools allow the business to keep track of every sale and transaction. 

We get next-day payments, which
really helps with our cash flow.

“Elavon was able to talk me through the entire process, show me forecasting and numbers … making it easy for me to make a decision which, as a business owner, is what I’m always looking for. I don’t have time to research everything in depth. Elavon kept us right, every step of the way. That was fantastic for me and my team in terms of learning how to use this new platform and making sure we understood everything.

“At the end of the day, when you’re talking about money, as a small business, it’s so important we get everything right,” adds Steph. 

“Not only have we found the reporting process of our website sales much easier, but we’ve also found the reconciliation side of things for our bookkeeper much easier as well. We get next-day payments, which really helps with our cash flow.” 

Sweet all around 

“Building this whole ecommerce website and finding the right partner, it was really important to find a solution that facilitated an easy checkout process. It ultimately makes our customers’ lives easier, so they can get the end product a lot faster,” says Steph. 

“It allows me much more time to focus on what I love, which is decorating the cookies and baking cakes.” 

Watch Steph Giordano, founder and creative director, talk about why working with Elavon was a no-brainer.

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