Play Hard

I prayed for answers and they came one Sunday morning during a church service – just the word ‘puff’ came to my mind

We catch up with Vanessa for the inside (ice cream) scoop on what makes this saccharine sanctuary tick, and how her business venture was inspired by divine intervention...

Written by High Life North
Published 04.12.2020

In Partnership with Sweet Puffs

Just flicking through SweetPuffs Instagram (@sweetpuffsleeds) gives us sugar cravings. If HLN wasn’t so much fun, we’d want Vanessa’s job – creator of all things sweet and delicious, she’s the brains behind Leeds-based pudding parlour, Sweet Puffs. Freshly baked cakes and treats delivered to our door? Sign us up NOW. 

Tell us a bit about Sweet Puffs.

Sweet Puffs is a combination of simple and beautiful desserts with a touch of ethnic inspiration. We specialise in creating fun, unique and original sweet treats for anyone looking for a different take on a classic. We’re all about spreading happiness with our creations. Some of our specialities are celebration cakes, cupcakes, doughnuts puffs and luxury biscuits. Our treats are made fresh to order and delivered straight to your door.

Why baking?

My passion for baking stems from the joy it puts on people’s faces. Some of the best times of my life were spent discovering new recipes and trying them out with friends and family. My siblings were my greatest food critics and boy, do they know how to criticise! But I can always remember owning enough cake equipment to start two bakeries, never mind just the one, and have always had scrapbooks stuffed full with recipe clips and magazine pages.

We hear Sweet Puffs was inspired by divine intervention?! 

After university, I worked in a mining company for a few years and baked on occasions. But when I got married and moved back to the UK, I really struggled with getting a job. I ended up working in IT,  but I knew a part of me was missing because I always found myself using my lunch breaks to research new recipes and was living for the weekend so I could get back to my kitchen. I prayed for answers and they came one Sunday morning during a church service – just the word ‘puff’ came to my mind and the saying: ‘I will bless the works of your hands’. That was the turning point for me. I decided then and there to start a business making sweet treats and just to see how it went from there. It’s been the best decision I ever made.

What inspires your recipes? 

Behind each layer cake and every cookie is the desire to transform basic ingredients into something deliciously extraordinary. Every treat has been made to showcase the things that make me happy: what I’ve enjoyed growing up and the things that I’ve learned. I always try to combine different flavours from the different cultures and places I have visited in my recipes too, and have added some of Sweet Puffs’ own sass in some of my favourite concoctions. Hopefully, this means we can introduce something really new and unique into the market. 

What’s your favourite sweet treat?

I have so many! I love our doughnut puffs, they’re so light and fluffy – similar to doughnut holes but bigger and you can eat them with a variety of sauces. They’re vegan, too!

How was lockdown for Sweet Puffs?

One thing I’ve learnt from this business is that you have to believe in yourself, your ideas and your visions. During lockdown, we became a bit nervous because it looked as if we weren’t going to meet the goals we set for ourselves – like getting a physical location or mobile stand for customers to pick up their treats. But COVID happened and it’s just been about making sure we still have customers who are willing to order from us. It did slow down for a bit initially, but then orders picked up again during summer. It’s not been easy keeping the business afloat, but we have faith in God that things will improve. Until then, we’ll just take each day as it comes.

How do you make sure your products stay fresh when posting them out? 

Our treats are shipped on the same day that they’re baked and decorated and are packaged in biodegradable bags to keep them extra-fresh. We fill each shipping box with enough packing material to prevent the treats from moving, so when they arrive they still look and feel just as fresh as the day they were baked.

What does the future look like for Sweet Puffs? 

Our business is guided by a desire to make people happy and to make people feel special. Whatever the occasion – be it a birthday party, graduation or Christmas gathering – Sweet Puffs will always be there to be part of the joyous event. We hope to expand to a storefront, somewhere people can walk in and get their treats in person. We also plan to increase the sales of our postal order treats right across the UK. Hopefully, in two years’ time, we’ll be many people’s first choice for delicious sweet treats!

Visit Sweet Puffs

With national delivery, get freshly-baked sweet deliciousness delivered to your door today.


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