Ella Rauen-Prestes talks about her new business Fitbakes and the help she received from Virgin StartUp.

Photo of Ellen Rauen-Prestes

Explain your business in thirty seconds or less

We make indulgent, low sugar, high protein cake snacks.

How did you come up with the idea?

I’ve always cooked and baked with healthy ingredients - and I am a self-confessed cakeholic. When I saw that the UK had the largest cake market in the world (standing at £2 billion), and there was no healthy cake, I decided to begin Fitbakes.

What stage was your business at when you applied for the Start Up Loan?

We were already trading and needed to grow.

How have you used it to grow your business?

We used most of it on social media, Facebook ads, and to make samples to send to influencers.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

Scaling up is a lot harder than we thought. That moment when you leave a small kitchen to get into a factory is the scariest one!

Biggest achievement so far?

Receiving the Sugarwise certification as the only Low Sugar Bakery in the UK, which was announced in the Houses of Parliament.

What’s next for your business?

We’re launching in 52 Co-op Midcounties stores in a few weeks!

Who was your Business Advisor and how did they help you get a Virgin StartUp Loan?

Ollie was very patient - he worked with us on every step!

Is there anything you would have done differently when setting up Fitbakes?

To be honest, I think even the mistakes were useful. We learned from them.