We invited cake-maker extraordinaire Andre from the unstoppable Desserts by Dre to chat, following our exclusive ‘Oh Crumbs!’ collaboration. We talk baking, inspiration and the future of food & drink in the city. Check out the interview below…
Hey Andre, how are you doing today? How is the rest of your day looking?
Hi Guys, I’m doing fantastic today, as always. I’ll be working on this week’s recipes for the treat boxes.
You’ve recently taken the city by storm with your tasty goods... How did Desserts by Dre come about? Have you always baked?
Well, it started as an idea I had when I lived in Barbados. Helping my grandmother and Father baking from a young age, it was something that I always wanted to do. A couple years ago after finding my confidence I decided to start at the Makers market at the Bombed-out Church. I had some success and decided to pursue Desserts by Dre. I’ve always had a passion for baking and experimenting. I remember the first thing I ever baked was bread soaked in honey and margarine and sprinkled with brown sugar. Needless to say, it hasn’t made it to my menu as yet.
What are your favourite flavours, ideas or ingredients to work with at the moment? Where do you find inspiration and creativity?
I love working with fruits and nuts. Most, if not all of my cakes and desserts incorporate some type of fruit, usually seasonal and/or nuts. My inspiration comes from things I grew up eating and classic flavours people are familiar with. I have some very old cook books (40+ years), collected from my parents that I sometimes reference for my inspiration.
It seems you’ve really thrived through lockdown, which is a great feat in the current climate… What’s been the secret to success for you?
Thank you. It was a matter of necessity at first. Being furloughed, as I work full time, I needed to earn. I did what I knew how to do which was bake! The treat boxes took off and it allowed me to reach numerous new customers while everyone was locked down. I am very appreciative that during a time when a lot of business have folded, I was one that grew. I celebrate that quietly.
"I am very appreciative that during a time when a lot of business have folded, I was one that grew. I celebrate that quietly."
What do you think the future of the food & drink scene looks like in the city?
Liverpool is an amazing city filled with an eclectic mix of people and food offerings. This is the time for independent business to thrive. The support that I see between them is like no other. With COVID-19 affecting so many businesses and people, its caused for innovation and a complete restricting of the typical drink and food business structure. There’s a need to find new ways to maximise profit and to keep the patrons safe. One thing I know about Liverpudlians is that they are quite resilient, so I can see success in the future.
Do you have anything new or exciting in the pipeline?
Im always working on new ideas, The current one I have is a 24hour Gateau Service. It basically gives you the option to have one of my cakes with 24hours notice, for a premium charge. It seems to be working quite well for those last minute larrys and surprise functions. You can find more information about it on my website www.dessertsbydre.co.uk
Thank You Guys!