Bald Baker opens a new Edinburgh shop, selling his Old School Cake and Retro Caramel Tart

This lockdown business is growing fast

“Oi Baldi”, it reads, on the side of Bald Baker’s black van.

The paintwork also features a caricature of the vehicle’s owner, Scott Parker, 30, with his signature follicularly-challenged style, stirring a big bowl of cake mix.

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“It's a 22-year-old Daihatsu Hijet that is a bit of a head turner when driving about, “ he says.

Scott Parker, aka Bald Baker

As part of this baker’s career transition from self-taught amateur baker to professional, this entrepreneur will soon also have a new headquarters for his business - a takeaway shop, which will be opening at 13 Oxgangs Broadway. It will also feature his likeness, but this time you can spot him above the door.

This is due to launch any day soon, after a few logistical setbacks.

It’ll be serving his signature bakes, which are cheerful, colourful, extremely plentiful and have a retro theme.

For example, there’s a Jam and Coconut School Sponge, an Old School Cake topped with icing and rainbow sprinkles, cupcakes, brownies and much more.

Jammie Dodger cake jar

The School Caramel Tart features a pastry base and is topped with a pool of caramel and chocolate sprinkles.

His other unique creations include the Baldi Boxes, which are filled with various goodies including cupcakes that are custom made for birthdays, sweets, empire biscuits and slabs of sponge. The top of the range number is a Baldi Munchie Box that’s packed with everything, from cookies to sponges and traybakes.

His first of these boxes was made during lockdown. “Originally called the Isolation Box, but we move on,” says Parker.

Each contains a lot of cake, wedged in like Tetris blocks, and we’re surprised he can even get the lid on.

Bald Baker's Munchi Box

For those who can’t get to the new shop, Bald Baker will continue to send his treats by post, and that eye-catching van will be dropping off within Edinburgh and East Lothian, with newly extended delivery into West Lothian.

Tell us about the Bald Baker’s background

So, like most people in lockdown I dabbled a bit in baking. I had done some back in high school but never continued. I started to make pizza during lockdown and when I got sick of that, I looked to see what else I could use pizza dough for. Up popped a recipe for cinnamon buns (now one of my best bakes), so I gave that a try.

I offered to make traybakes for a local cafe in Nov 2020, thinking ‘how hard could it be?’ Here we are, just over a year later and I've got my own bake shop. Outside of baking I’m a full time single dad and a professional photographer. However, with lockdown and the Bald Baker, that's taken a bit of a back seat. The photography, not the dad bit.

Birthday cake

Is it a family business?

It is in the sense that my mum and three-year-old daughter help out, but it's me that does the baking. My mum helps with the cleaning and my daughter is chief taste-tester and sprinkle putter-oner.

Why the retro cakes?

Everyone loves a classic and my sponge is class, even if I do say so myself. I was in two minds about launching the caramel tart when I started but was convinced by my auntie to add it to the menu. After four weeks it became my second most popular item and it still moves about in the top three.

Why did you choose your new premises and its location?

I had been looking everywhere for a shop and almost gave up, then this popped up online when I wasn't looking. Earlier this year, I visited a clairvoyant and he said the shop for me would just pop up and be west of where I stay. Oxgangs is west of Prestonfield, so he did get that right.

What did you have to do to the interior?

I don't even know where to start, but getting rid of the bright pink walls was the first thing. Then the grease - honestly, the smell. Now it’s all fresh and clean and has had a big transformation. I went for quite a minimalist look for the interior as I am pretty obsessive when it comes to cleanliness, so I’ve kept the colours to black, white and gold. Unfortunately, the shop isn’t big enough to offer space to sit in but you never know what the future may hold.

What are your best-sellers online and what do you anticipate will do well in the shop?

They would be my Old School Cake, Mars Cake, Caramel Tart, Baldi Boxes and most recently my new cake jars. They have proved to be a big hit, and if you can manage to resist eating a whole tub they can last up to 10 days. I'm going to start up a cake subscription once I settle into the shop too so you can get your fix of Baldi every month.

How do you feel about the new business launch?

To take the next step is both exciting and nerve-wracking. I can increase my production and try out new products and ideas, but it’s a big jump from a small kitchen in a two bedroom flat. I’m employing local staff and buying big commercial equipment and I don’t even want to tell you the story about getting my new oven through the front door. It’s been hard work but I’m excited to watch my hard work come together and grow the Bald Baker brand.

For updates on deliveries and opening, see Instagram @baldbakeredin

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