7marvels

I’m excited to launch and bring you my ‘Small Business Spotlight’ series… 🙌🏼

Each week, I’ll be introducing you to a new business! This is the first instalment, and what better way to start than with 7Marvels – an independent home/online bakery based in Richmond Upon Thames?!

I got the chance to ask the wonderful Cristina Popescu, founder, director and head baker of 7Marvels, some questions and you can read the full interview below…

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Cristina Popescu, founder of 7Marvels

Tell us a little bit about yourself & your small business: ‘7Marvels’

CP: I’m a homebaker based in Richmond Upon Thames. I started 7Marvels two years ago.

A fun little fact about my business is that I made the decision to start it at our annual street party in 2018!

Here is a link to my website for more information about me and my passion for baking

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Macaron Stack

Why did you decide to open your small business?

CP: Since a very young age I’ve always been passionate about cooking and baking in particular but I never really took my passion up until recently when I started my baking business.

It originally started as a macaron business but later went on to be a bakery with a myriad of different treats (birthday cakes, celebratory cakes and french pastries)!

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What are your hopes for the future?

CP: I am so grateful for the fact that I am able to do what I love for a living; and so with that said I hope that my business carries on to thrive and flourish in the coming years.

As we all know, Covid has hit most small businesses hard… So, this next part of the interview with Cristina at 7Marvels delves into how Covid restrictions and these past lockdowns have affected her home business.

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How has 7Marvels been affected by COVID?

CP: I am lucky enough to have been able to stay open amidst those uncertain and turbulent times.

Having an online-only shop has helped me in various ways to stay open and carry on making cakes; I was able to bring a smile to people’s faces with my cakes and pastries which matters a lot to me.

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Mille-Feuille

How has your business had to adapt since COVID?

CP: Having a business open during Covid has to a certain extent confirmed my initial decision of opening an online shop in spite of having a cake shop on the high street.

Have you noticed any changes in your business (sales etc.) since the COVID lockdowns?

CP: I have noticed changes in customer tendencies as they are more inclined to buy online.

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What advice would you give other small business owners – or those looking to start one?

CP: Get all the resources and equipment needed to start an online business alongside with the rest. I believe that e-commerce is becoming progressively more powerful and prosperous than it was before.

The most important thing is to do what you love and be passionate about it, and you need to have the resilience and determination to carry on with it even if it gets difficult. Your love and devotion will be apparent in what you do and the customers will become recurring ones.

There you have it… Luckily for Cristina, Covid hasn’t affected her business, as it was very much online-based to begin with.

A massive thanks again to Cristina for giving up her time to do this interview, and for giving some awesome advice for self-starters too. What a sweetheart! 🥰

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Paris Brest

7Marvels’ cakes/bakes look 😍😋 incrEDIBLE! (you’re welcome! 🎤⬇️)

Here’s an added bonus, Cristina’s business caters for most dietary requirements, offering treats that are vegan, low-sugar, eggless and gluten-free! What’s not to love about some delicious guilt-free goodies!?

I’m planning on ordering one for my birthday this year, and I cannot wait! Judging by how quickly last year went, I’ll be 30 at the blink of an eye!

Follow 7Marvels on Instagram

LIKE 7Marvels on Facebook

There’s lots to come in this series… So watch out for more interviews with small businesses in the coming weeks. I’ve got everything from crystals stockists, candle makers, hairdressers and beauty salons! ✨

apple crumble

Welcome to fall/autumn… 🍂🍁

I’ve recently discovered how to make a healthy vegan apple crumble, and it couldn’t be simpler!

This is the perfect autumn snack that will fulfil your sweet cravings, but in a healthy way.

Ingredients for making the apple crumble

Apple (halved)
*** I used a pink lady apple

2 slabs of butter (melted)

Muesli

Clear runny honey

Method for making the apple crumble

Cut your apple in half, removing the core.

Place it face down in a baking tray (lined with parchment paper) and score the apple (like a Hasselback potato).

Melt a slab of butter on a low heat, before basting the Hasselback apple.

Pop the now buttery apple into the oven to cook on a 150 degree (or 200) heat for 25 minutes (depending on the strength of your oven)

Once cooked, get your buttered apple out to cool for 10 minutes.

While your cooked buttered apple is cooling, heat up another slab of butter, this time adding the honey and muesli into the saucepan while it melts.

Stir the muesli into the honey & butter mixture until coated – you’ll start to see the muesli turn golden brown.

Once your buttered apple has cooled, drizzle the honey-roasted muesli over the top of the apple before popping back into the oven for 5-10 minutes (depending on the strength of your oven).

There you have it, a quick, healthy apple crumble with a difference.

Optional: serve with ice cream

Transforming the apple crumble into a ‘pumpkin spice’ version

4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

The above ingredients are all you need to make pumpkin spice mix from scratch. Theoretically, all pumpkin spice is, is pumpkin pulp (purée) left to ‘marinade’ in cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg.