Many of us spend our days sitting in the office dreaming of cake, but for one Edinburgh family this love of cake become all-encompassing and five years ago they bit the bullet and made cake more than just a day dream.
We are talking, of course, about Mimi’s. Virtually anyone who has taste buds for cakes in this city will know Mimi’s, and anyone who doesn’t really should. Their love of cake has taken them from desk jockeys to the kitchen, making them the perfect place to begin our Businesses Make Edinburgh series. Edinburgh Editor caught up with Tilly, the manager of Mimi’s Picnic Parlour to discover what makes this brilliant business tick, aside from cake, obviously.
Mimi’s Bakehouse – 63 Shore
Mimi’s Picnic Parlour – 250 Canongate
“Our motto is ‘It’s all about the cake’, says Tilly, we’re got such a range of sweet treats, we like to think there’s something for everyone!”
It very much seems that there is. Scones and the like will give fans of the classics something to salivate over, whilst the more adventurous will find an ever-changing selection of other goodies on offer. “Red Velvet is a very popular flavour, we make Red Velvet cakes, cupcakes, cookies and brownies which are all enjoyed by staff and customers alike! Our most popular flavour of late is Raspberry Nutella – fresh rasps and decadent Nutella are a winning combination!”
Hungry yet? We are. And now they tell us that we can have the new ‘Beforenoon Tea’ menu at the weekends, or French Toast with bacon and maple syrup.
Mimi’s is a bit of an Edinburgh institution these days, it’s hard to think that it’s only five years old. Mimi’s Bakehouse, down at the shore in Leith, opened in 2010 and it’s started something quite extraordinary. Branching out to open the wonderfully named Mimi’s Picnic Parlour on the Canongate in 2013, there’s now more opportunity than ever to get your cake fix. Seemingly never the types to sit back and take it easy the Mimi’s crew also set up their ‘Cake Cabin’ in St Andrew Square during Edinburgh’s Christmas and make regular appearances at markets and offices across the city with their pop-up cake shops.
“Opening a Mimi’s closer to town seemed the obvious next step – so now locals AND tourists can get their Mimi’s Cake fix! We loved brining the people of Edinburgh their cake fix from our ‘Cake Cabin’ so would love to return this year for round two!”
And what about a third permanent Mimi’s? Apparently we have to watch this space…
One of the most endearing aspects of this business though is that it truly is a family organisation. With 8 in the family (Mum – yup, Mimi – Dad, three daughters and now three husbands) and six working for Mimi’s, there’s a warm and friendly atmosphere that is more than just your traditional cake shop. But do they end up bickering about the consistency or the cake batter or what coffees to serve? Apparently not.
“Every family member has their own ‘department’ as such, and Gemma (Mimi’s daughter) is our Head Baker so her and her team of bakers look after all things cake related. However every member of the family and the business are all involved in the taste testing of course! Mike looks after the coffee and all things Barista related, Natalie is our finance whizz, Scott looks after all things brand and operations related and Ashley special events. You will also find at least one of us on the floor at either the Shore or Canongate most days.
It’s a brilliant family business, and offers some of the most delicious cakes in town – a firm favourite here at EE. But it’s also a great group of Edinburgh lovers. An interview about cake could go on for ever, but it needs to be wrapped up, so to bring things to a close we asked about their favourite place in Edinburgh, and like most of us they struggled to narrow it down to just one.
“Ah there is so many! We all love the Water of Leith walkway from The Shore to Stockbridge, such a pretty route and lots to take in along the way. A pit stop at Scran and Scallie or The Raeburn before the walk back. We also have a soft spot for fine dining and love our neighbours Martin Wishart and Tom Kitchen at The Shore, we seem to be constantly exchanging vouchers for birthday and Christmase gifts! Our fave newish spot has to be Ting Thai Caravan for authentic tasty Thai food, quirky setting and the amazing Rotis! Although back to The Shore we also love Flux for shopping for quirky gifts, Beets for a bottle of something different, Roseleaf for a pint or three and teuchters for fish and chips!”
We’re now very hungry and are going to have to head off for one of those Red Velvet brownies, but would like to thank Tilly for taking the time to talk to us. If you want to find out more about Mimi’s, their events and menus you will get it all on their website: mimisbakehouse.com you’re also find them on Twitter on @mimisbakehouse.