Ayr’s pastry queens set to open downtown store after business booms during lockdown


A duo of bakers whose activity exploded during confinement is opening their own shop in the city center.

The owners and friends of They Bake for 11 years – Zoe Hunter, 29, and Amanda Rodgers, 30 – will be bringing their brownies, blondies, tiffins and millionaires to the former West Coast Fisheries premises on Newmarket Street, Ayr.

The pastry queens, who have amassed more than 8,000 online followers between their Facebook and Instagram pages, officially launched their business in February last year, just before the pandemic hit the UK.

And a year later, Moms-of-One saw their candy business take off as customers grab their takeout boxes.

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Zoe said, “It seems to have gone really well so we’re very happy with it.

“It was just an idea we had because we didn’t really see anyone else doing it here, it was further south.

“I think when we first looked at it we thought it would be companies buying our cakes and delivering them, and then it all developed from there.

“Obviously the pandemic has started and we have started doing money orders, people picking up at home and delivering us to Ayr and Prestwick.

“I really think the pandemic has helped us grow. We just couldn’t believe how far it had taken off.

Amanda with her son Caleb (3) and Zoe with her son Nixon (22 months)

Zoe and Amanda will use their Newmarket Street hub as a baking base during the week before opening it up as a bakery and cafe on the weekends.

The new premises, which are slated to open in April, will also support other local businesses as they plan to stock Ayr-based Rocket Monkey Roastery coffee and seek a dairy farmer to supply eggs.

Before working full-time with They Bake, the couple balanced starting a new business with work and family life as moms to three-year-old Caleb and Nixon, who will turn two in April.

Zoe quit her job at Ayrshire Cancer Support where she had worked for six years, arranging transport for patients to the Beatson for chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

She said: “At first when we started the business, we thought it would just be something we would do as a back-up.

“But it became a full time for both of us.

“I really enjoyed my job and was upset to leave, but that was just one of those things.

“In the beginning [of the pandemic] we weren’t allowed to see anyone. We looked after the boys a lot during the day, our husbands would come home and then we were in the kitchen at night.

“There was one night we didn’t go to bed!

“We just want it to be so good for others that we just want to go above and beyond.”


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