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- 15 Jul 2019
When you think luxury, ‘doughnuts’ don’t tend to be the first thing that comes to mind. But now, David Ferguson is setting out to change that with his business Be Right Bake.
Oreo doughnuts, delicate fresh summer fruit doughnuts, brioche doughnuts, Jammie Dodger doughnuts — if you can imagine it, he has doughnutted it. (And even in the case of the ‘hyper Galactica glaze vegan doughnut’, things you can’t imagine).
Marc Anthony once said, “if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life,” and this is true for David. I sat down with him to find out how he turned his hobby into a successful career.
David trained and worked as an electrician but in 2012, he discovered a passion for baking. Alongside working full-time, David would not only save what he could into his Be Right Bake fund, he began retraining as a chef. And during that time, he started experimenting on the side, baking for his friends and family before catching his big break. He officially launched Be Right Bake as a business in 2017 and it wasn’t long before he was discovered by Culture Trip. His mouth-watering doughnuts were filmed and within 24 hours, the video went viral, getting more than 1.5 million views.
It was at that moment David tells me that he realised Be Right Bake was more than just a hobby. So, he pushed his toolkit aside and got his whisk ready, as hundreds of people flooded his social media page asking for collaboration opportunities, including big-name brands such as Topshop.
The South Croydon-based baker says: “When my video blew up on Culture Trip, collaborations were coming left, right and centre, which allowed me to be blessed with the choice and it would be silly to say no.
“The greatest success so far for Be Right Bake was probably when we were given the chance to have a pop-up in Topshop’s flagship store in Oxford Street. This is really what made the business grow and gave me the reassurance that Be Right Bake could be a huge success.”
David’s innovative thinking allowed him to stay competitive with the big brands, because as you’ve probably guessed by now, these doughnuts have a slight twist.
He explains: “I added syringes to allow people to tailor their doughnuts to their taste buds”. These were immediately picked up by the Instagram community and so tag after tag, he realised their popularity.”
That’s right – these doughnuts come with syringes filled with a number of yummy flavours, allowing you to inject the filling of your choice.
With the video drawing so many people to his social page, the problem wasn’t finding collaborations for David, it was finding the ones that would work best for the brand. And this is how he discovered one particular gap in the market.
Many gyms were reaching out to him for cheat day treats and this sparked a thought – gym disks, a protein based doughnut – a specially formulated treat created by David. You read that right – David came up with yummy cheat day treats for fitness fanatics to delve into. It is “the perfect combination of naughty and nice”, he says.
When it comes to collaborations, David tells me:
“In all honesty, I never know if they are the wrong or right person to work with. I think I have been rather lucky, as the people I have worked with have always come to the table with the right energy and always seem to love what I do. So, I guess that’s a good thing to look for – someone who is just as passionate about what they do as you are.”
Understanding his audience has always been a huge factor for David as this was how he was able to tailor his treats for a variety of consumers and as a result, his business boomed.
His delicious treats don’t stop there – he is constantly thinking outside the box and introducing new and fun things to his menu.
Be Right Bake is taking South London by storm and he is now preparing for doughnut domination. So, how does he benchmark his success?
“I benchmark how well I am doing by my delivery zones, which can be tricky because there is such a high demand and only myself. But I know my limits so I am simply tackling one area at a time.
“I personally measure my own success by being able to create jobs and give back. People being able to see where they started and where they are now. I hope that it gives them a push to go out and start a business of their own.”
David admits he had his doubts about setting up a business, particularly because he is dyslexic. He explains:
“I didn’t even think it was possible at the start but working hard and asking for help in the areas that I found difficult was key to being successful.
“The other most important thing is to believe in yourself.”
So, what’s next for Be Right Back? David does hint to me that he has some very exciting collaborations coming up, including one with burger chain, Black Burgers.
Watch this space.
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