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Leanne Jones

Moolboolaman, Wide Bay-Burnett

By her own admission, Leanne Jones' early ability to make and decorate cakes was not good. A successful birthday cake she made years later ignited Leanne's passion for cake-making and led to the creation of her business, Sweet Lucy.

My name is Leanne Jones from Sweet Lucy Cakes and I live in Moolboolaman. We make custom cakes that taste as good as they look.

My background really is in the travel industry, retail, sales, so I've picked up a lot of skills from those areas but before I started, I couldn't even make buttercream. All my orders are different, with every cake there is something new and that's what I like about it too, there's no two cakes the same.

A few years ago, I was lucky enough to be a recipient of a small business grant for home-based business through the Queensland Government and that made such a difference to the business. It shot me ahead further than I could have ever thought I would be now.

I love being my own boss. It is flexible because the family comes first.

When Leanne made a cake for her triplets' birthday a decade ago, the results were less than impressive. In 2015, when she made a birthday cake that looked great and tasted divine, her friends gave her the push she needed to start a cake business. Armed with a small cake tool box, Leanne made another good-looking, delicious cake and realised she had found her true passion. Most importantly, she could now have a business that allowed her to be at home with her 6 children.

When Leanne started out, she found it difficult to earn a worthwhile income. She was afraid to charge appropriately for the hours of labour involved because of the perception that it was 'just cake'.

In 2016, Leanne received a Queensland Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow Home-Based Business grant. This gave her vital access to business and industry professionals, who provided valuable information on how to cope with the highs and lows of business. Armed with the knowledge and contacts she gained from the grant, Leanne focused on fixing her pricing issues. After ensuring tax and operating expenses were paid first, she found the right price point to sustain a profitable and healthy business, and provide a decent wage for herself.

Leanne knew that a niche product of custom-designed birthday and wedding cakes would set her business apart from the local competition. She developed a range of cupcake bouquets that provide high profit margins and are now her biggest sellers. Word-of-mouth endorsement has been all the marketing Sweet Lucy has needed to build Leanne's loyal and repeat customer base.

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