An innovative Sunderland-based cake company which delivers personalised messages on its products is planning to extend its market nationwide.

Printcakes, which makes cupcakes with edible printed logos, photos and messages has been a big hit with both businesses and the public in the North East of England.

But a move to new premises at the Stanfield Centre in Sunderland means the company can now target a UK-wide customer base.

Helena Harford, director of Printcakes, says she is delighted to have the opportunity to expand and says that the company feels confident enough now not only to experiment with new products but also to contemplate exporting abroad eventually.

“On the back of the support and sales we’ve had over the past few years we’ve taken a big step in investing in large ovens and mixers and new premises which allows us to reach and cater for a national audience and increased orders,” she said.

Cllr Michael Mordey, deputy leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “We have been proud to offer support and help to Helena and her business.

“Small and inventive companies like Printcakes are vitally important to the local economy and are part of a long tradition of local people using their natural flair and resourcefulness to create their own success.”

Baking has been in the blood of former Southmoor schoolgirl Helena since she was a child, cooking up recipes with her two sisters.

Having trained as a graphic designer, Helena made the big decision to swap graphics designing for cake designing seven years ago, when she was 25.

She said: “It was a big step but baking is my passion and I decided to see if my hobby could become my livelihood.

“It started off small – as a business built in my own kitchen – but has just continued to grow to the point where the expansion into the Stanfield Centre marks a very important point for us as a company.”

Printcakes has already tasted notable successes – having worked with companies the size of Transpennine Express and Virgin Money – and is looking to grow its core business of corporate events and marketing, as well as developing its profile for personal occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries.

You can find Printcakes’ colourful website at Find out more about starting a business in Sunderland at

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