Siblings and business partners Annabel and Emily Lui burst onto the baking scene just one year ago; they had disrupted the industry with their innovative ‘Biskie’ – a cookie, cake and biscuit hybrid that followed on from the success of Dominique Ansel’s much hyped ‘Cronut.’ The Biskie has captured the imagination of pastry enthusiasts and firmly placed Cutter & Squidge on the map.
Due to time restraints I was unable to take Annabel and Emily up on their kind offer of meeting for coffee and cake, until I get to sample their baked delights I can satisfy myself by salivating over high res images of their gorgeous baked goods – this is the true definition of ‘food porn!’ Fortunately, the siblings graciously made time to answer my probing questions.
1. Is your brand name a reference to baking?
Cutter & Squidge: It is! Cutting and Squidging things, it is also our nicknames. It is always interesting to see who people think is Cutter and who is Squidge….
2. Which leads me neatly to my next question…who is Cutter and who is Squidge?
Cutter & Squidge: Annabel is Cutter and Emily is Squidge!
3. What did you both do prior to launching Cutter & Squidge?
Cutter & Squidge: Annabel was in corporate finance in the city and Emily is still a Lawyer/Solicitor.
4. What are the pros and cons of working together as siblings?
Cutter & Squidge: Pros are easy, we have a similar way of thinking and understand each other completely, we can read each others moods. In some ways that is also the cons! in addition, we are both totally immersed in the business at all times, so there is no ‘down time.’
5. If you could go back in time, is there anything that you would have done differently when setting up Cutter & Squidge?
Cutter & Squidge: We don’t think there is, we really value the lessons we have learnt on our journey so wouldn’t want to miss out on any of those!
6. You are known as ‘kitchen chemists’ due to your innovative approach to baking. Are there any future plans to create more hybrids – like the ‘Biskie?’
Cutter & Squidge: We are always inventing so the answer is YES!
7. Your recent Soho pop –up was a resounding success. Are we likely to see a Cutter & Squidge in a more permanent space?
Cutter & Squidge: Fingers and toes crossed… Soho has been amazing so we are trying very hard to make it our permanent home!
8. You are renowned for your use of wholesome ingredients, along with the innovative way you are able to extract vibrant natural colours from fruits/vegetables. What else sets you apart from other patisseries?
Cutter & Squidge: We like to minimise the amount of fat and sugar in our products so that the natural flavours come through. We also like to experiment with our flavourings and to draw on our oriental taste buds and to mix this with our English upbringing. We have been told that we make modern versions of traditional products, so that they are familiar but completely different all at the same time. Examples are our Apple Crumble Biskie and Dream Cake.
9. What would be your advice to anyone looking to set up their own baking business?
Cutter & Squidge: Be prepared to have very very little sleep and invest in good air conditioning!
10. Where do you see Cutter & Squidge in three to five years time?
Cutter & Squidge: We would love to have a number of shops across the country. We are able to ship our Biskies nationwide and have a wide customer base across the country so it would be great to have shops nationwide.
11. If you did not have your business what would be the alternative plan?
Cutter & Squidge: We would both still be in the professional world!
For further information please visit: www.cutterandsquidge.com