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Kupkase: You’ve Never Eaten Cakes Like These Before

Kupkase logo If you love quirky party food, or are looking for inventive ideas to brighten up your next event, you’re in for a real treat, with UK company Kupkase.

Based in Streatham, south London, and in business since 2013, Kasey Klarke, founder of Kupkase, has been passionate about cake all her life. She lives, breathes and bakes cakes, from cupcakes to layer cakes and more. She even studied cake-making at a unique art school in Canada – how’s that for total commitment!

And her cakes are turning heads in major ways. Just in the last couple of years, Kupkase has been honored with the following awards:

**KUPKASE: SHORTLISTED – THE BAKING INDUSTRY AWARDS ‘RISING STAR’ 2014’**

**KUPKASE: HIGHLY COMMENDED BEST SMALL ENTREPRENEUR, STREATHAM BUSINESS AWARDS 2014**

**KUPKASE: PROUD FINALIST, 2013 NATIONAL CUPCAKE AWARDS **

Taking time out from her schedule, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kasey for Partycurrent.com. Below you’ll discover the roots of her passion, how she goes about creating her extraordinary products, the types of cakes she makes, and why even your workplace can’t live without her.

Hi Kasey, thanks so much for doing this interview. So what’s your first memory or personal experience with cupcakes?

Kupkase - cupcakes featuring different fruity and creamy toppings Well, cake has been such a big part of my life it’s hard to filter it down to that very first moment. I think it has to be making fairy cakes with my mom as a holiday pastime when I was small. I would make the cakes and my sister would make the pastries (mince pies were her forte).

My mom was always pottering in the kitchen, whipping up something or other, and actually used to teach baking in one of my classes at school. She has given up the kitchen now though, and leaves the baking to me.

You studied at the Bonnie Gordon College of Confectionary Arts in Canada. What was the turning point in you where you decided to make cupcakes your career?

Kupkase - tiny cupcake in a heart-shaped box I had always wanted to run my own business, I just didn’t know what in.

Then one day at an office Christmas party, I was eating cupcakes a friend’s wife had brought in. They looked and tasted awesome. Always on the lookout for a great cake shop, I asked her for the address. She said she’d made them and had got all the stuff online to make them look shop-brought. “What!" I thought, “That’s it. I’m going online and getting my cakes out there."

After making cakes for friends, family and workmates, I felt I had hit on something I was willing to work my ass off for, change my life for and go without sleep for.

It wasn’t a major plan. One day I just said “this is what I want to do. Now, how do I do it?" and went for it. I’m not restricted to cupcakes by the way; I also make layer cakes, occasion cakes and made my Mothers wedding cake when she re-married. I learned loads from the University of YouTube and was desperate to get better and really do this cake thing. That’s when I signed up to train at Bonnie Gordon’s College.

Can you briefly describe your process? What are the most delicate or difficult parts?

Kupkake - 3 cupcakes, each on its own pedestal On my website I offer a collection of popular design layer cakes which take on average half a day to complete from scratch, but nothing about cake is brief! Just recently I made a wedding cake covered in very delicate, handmade sugar roses. I crafted each petal individually – it took all day to make only 20 roses…… then I had to color them!

Actually baking the cake is my joy. I love working with ingredients and nailing the flavor I’m looking for; it’s also the swiftest part of the process. It’s the decorations which take the time and these are the most important aspect as they show your personality, creativity and skill and set you apart. They’re also the client’s favourite bit as it’s the details which make the cake unique and personal.

Custom design cakes can take anything from 3 days to a week and beyond to complete so being prepared and organised is imperative. I’m always flicking through fashion and design magazines for inspiration, even furniture magazines and sites online, and wondering “how can I turn that into cake?" There is so much to digest and make use of creatively.

Running a business in cake design does not come easy to me. It is stressful, but I love the challenge and more than that I love adding to other people’s lives.

I love seeing a customer’s face light up when they see the cake and light up again when they eat it.

It’s very satisfying and totally worth the effort it takes to deliver great cake. Good cake takes time and a lot of energy; it really is art you can eat.

What’s the most unusual or weirdest design you’ve been commissioned to make?

Without doubt that award goes to the ‘Hens’ who love a penis cake. I pride myself on making classy cakes even if it’s an intimate body part, so if you want a gold coloured penis or bejeweled vagina that you can eat… Kupkase is your gal!

Which is the most popular of your cakes? And why?

That has to be the signature ‘BOB’ Kake. It’s completely gold with the look of dripping chocolate ganache which features big, gold glitter letters on the top. I first made it for an ex-rugby star whose girlfriend wanted to gift him something special without hitting the jewelers, and I came up with this idea and named the cake after him.

He came to visit me a few weeks later to say thank you because he loved it so much. I felt like I was meeting a celebrity, “OMG. It’s Bob!" I screamed before posing for pictures. He must have thought I was nuts.

You also do cakes for work. Can you tell us more about this?

Kupkase - the Office Pop Up Luxe on display (these are cupcakes for the workplace) Yes. I offer Office Pop-Up Luxe (pictured right), a cupcake pop-up station which can be ordered for the office as a fun treat. It’s great for Christmas parties or celebrating special projects or just ‘cause it’s Friday.

It’s not an ordinary cupcake station though – each person gets to create their cake on demand. They choose how they want their cake to be and it is put together and decorated for them on the spot. I think of it as an interactive, cupcake event.

I also offer a bespoke cupcake subscription service for the office called Be The Worlds Best Boss which is designed to boost morale and productivity and demonstrate appreciation in the workplace.

I started Kupkase as a hobby whilst working in an office and whenever I brought cakes in, and it totally changed the vibe and energy for the day. This experience encouraged me to create products especially for the workplace. When people are happy they deliver their best work and great cake makes people beam with happiness.

You offer many types of cupcakes – from the KK Specials to the Layer Kake to the Kakepots. Can you briefly explain the differences between them?

Kupkase - creamy cupcake in pink cake wrapping, sat on a pink china stand Sure. Kupkase is known for its Kupkakes and bite-size Mini Kupkakes which people love, because the frosting is rich and creamy and not too sweet so the cake is enjoyed to the last bite.

The Layer Kakes are great for birthday cakes or other celebrations; triple layers of various flavoured sponges and creams when you need great cake to go a long way.

If it’s sweet I love it, so I created KK Specials which is home to other treats like brownie platters, alcohol-filled chocolate covered strawberries, cookies, etc.

We do novelty cakes and wedding cakes also and my favourite pet project the Kake Pots – indulgent, individual cake desserts; layers of cake, cream cheese, fruit compotes and crunchy biscuit arranged beautifully in a re-useable WECK jar.

These can be popped in the post and mailed to far away friends or clients or kept as a special treat for yourself. They are cake luxury personified all in a little pot; I just love the Kake Pots. My goal is to get them on the shelves of the big foodhalls and supermarkets one day, mark my words.

What would you need from a customer if they came to you tomorrow wanting to order your cakes?

You can come to Kupkase with as little as “I need a cake for 6-8 people" and we go from there.

It’s always good to have an idea of your budget so we can keep the ideas on track to suit you, other than that the world is your oyster. But, don’t come the day before saying you want a cake in the shape of a boat ‘cause that will just lead to tears – yours not mine.

How early would they need to make that order?

For Kupkakes, Kake Pots and Layer Kakes at least 2 days before to be sure of getting your order filled. For novelty or celebration cakes a week to 2 weeks notice and for big cakes and wedding cakes at least a month to get your order filled.

Finally, for any cake lovers out there who are not yet cupcake lovers, do you have any parting words?

You need to try a Kupkase Kupkake.

# # #

Thanks again, Kasey, for giving us an amazing glimpse into your world of cakes.

If you’d like to know more about how Kasey and Kupkase can help you with your next event, be sure to check out her website www.kupkase.com. Please note, Kasey can only accept orders within the UK at present.

You can contact Kasey at kakes[at]kupkase[dot]com, and 020 8769 0184. You can also follow her on Twitter @kupkase.

Top 15 Office Party Games
 to Shake Up Any Office Party

Thanks to these office party games, office parties can now be enjoyable events.

Office games are like regular games, only toned down for work. This means they’re perfect for bringing your team together and breaking a little ice.

Important tips when choosing office party games

  • Make sure they appeal to everyone. i.e, don’t choose team games only for team players and exclude introverts.
  • Always start with an icebreaker, so even the most reluctant will play. Also make sure the game that follows flows naturally from it. That way, people will still join in.
  • Avoid gift exchange game or white elephants, which both take too long to complete. They’re not very engaging either.
Belly Balloon Break

This office party game’s played against the clock.

Balloons can only be popped, by being squeezed together between the players’ chests. No touching is allowed. Pair everyone up.

The pair with the most balloons wins.

Desk Thief

Steal one item from each person’s desk, then display them at your party.

Now everyone must work out which item belongs to who. Great way to brighten people’s spirits.

Couples Who Am I

Write out the names of each half of famous couples or pairings, on its own Post-It note.

  • Stick a Post-it to each person’s back. Now circulating the room, they search for their other half, asking only ‘Yes/no’ questions about who they are.
Famous Lines

Write out a list of quotes from well-known movies, e.g. “To infinity and beyond" (Toy Story).

Cut up the list and shuffle in a bowl. A player then pulls out a slip, reads it out and everyone guesses. Whoever guesses the most wins.

  • To up the stakes, award extra points to those who can name the character and actor/actress who said the line.
Hamburger

Write down a different ingredient for a burger onto its own Post-It note (or piece of paper). Then tape each note to the back of each player.

Players must now assemble themselves in the order the burger was made.

  • Add a competitive vibe, by having two teams play against each other. The first one to finish wins. Make sure you have plenty of space.
Death by Winking

Every player gets a piece of paper — but one gets the paper with ‘M’ on it (for murderer), another for ‘D’ (detective). The rest are marked with ‘V’ (victim).

The detective must find the murderer, who starts “killing" by giving their target a subtle wink. Victims should die, as soon as you’re winked at.

The game ends, when the murderer is found. The fastest detective wins the entire game.

Need a few games for your next office Christmas party?

Check out these 6 cool games to play with your boss (and this Santa drinking game).

Guess Whose Job

Got a work story you’re dying to share? This office party game’s for you. It’s also a fun way for people to learn about your job.

Each person writes out two job-related facts on to slips of paper.

Shuffle the papers, with everyone taking two. Players take it in turn to read theirs, leaving everyone to guess their owners. The funnier the stories, the better.

Laughing Game

Have everyone stand in a circle. Each player takes it in turns to say “Ha ha", “Ho ho" or “Hee hee".

Anyone who starts laughing is knocked out. Keep the game going, until one person’s left.

What Lie?

Give everyone a minute to write down two true personal facts – and one that isn’t (the lie).

Each person takes it in turn to read out their statement. As they do so, the rest of the team votes on which one they think is the lie. The person with the least number of votes for their lie wins.

If your team is large, break into smaller groups. Have the winners of each compete in a winner’s final.

Name that Song

Plan in advance, by deciding which type of music to use, e.g. by decade or genre. Supply the music and music player to play.

Play the first five seconds of your song. Anyone who knows what it is shouts out the name. The FIRST right answer is the winner.

  • Award extra points if the person can sing the next line, and knows who the singer is and year of release.

The player with the most correct answers wins.

Guess Which Movie

Cut up a list of several well-known movie titles. Shuffle the pieces in a bowl.

Pair everyone, then choose the first pair to start.

This pair pulls a paper from the bowl and acts out a scene of the movie written on it.

  • Make sure they do so silently; no words or sounds allowed. Everyone else has to guess the movie.

The winner then takes their turn, with their partner. And so on. The game ends when all the pairs are done.

The Statue Game

Make sure to explain the rules, before people begin.

  • One person is chosen to be the statue
  • At a certain point during the party, this person turns into a statue, in the middle of whatever they were doing
  • As people start noticing, they too become statues
  • The last person to notice becomes the next statue.

Great fun, especially when people turn into statues in the middle of talking.

Work Bingo

Create a bingo card of 25 squares, the center of each containing a statement. Each player gets a card and works the room, asking others for info.

The first player to complete an entire row of squares – either across, diagonal or down – wins.

  • Statements could include: has lived in another country, has done karaoke, speaks a second language.
Office Photo Hunt Game

A team building game, everyone will work in pairs to hunt down items provided on a list. Make sure each pair has a digital camera.

Decide in advance which items they’ll look for – and whether your pairs will be hunting inside your workplace or off-site.

  • Set a distance limit too. If outside, how far away? If inside, how many floors up or down?

Then set a time limit and send everyone off. The fastest team to complete the whole list is the winner.

Opposites

The goal of this office party game’s for players to do the opposite of what you ask them.

  • For example, you say “walk", then they should stand still
  • Or, you say “crouch", and everyone should stand up

Anyone doing what you do ask them to do (i.e. not the opposite action) is out. Last player wins.

How to Create Office Party Ideas 
Everyone Will Look Forward to

Office party ideas - 3 people toasting Are you in need of new office party ideas, to replace the usual stuff your work offers?

Hungry for fun social events to do with your teammates?

Thanks to the way parties are usually run, many people tend to dread the office party.

Even though we spend a lot of time at work – that it feels like a second home, sometimes! – the thought of socializing beyond work gossip can send us the shivers.

With these office party ideas, you’ll be able to create an event everyone will want to be at.

3 reasons why office parties usually suck

Most times, we attend only as work people. That means talking about work stuff – which can be boring.

There’s also an assumption we know each other, just because they sit in the same office.

Finally, the sense of obligation – of needing to throw a party to bond people – reeks in traditional parties.

  • If you’re organizing a party because you have to – it’s better not to
  • Otherwise it sucks all the joy out of the room.

If you’ve not got people toasting each other at your do – at least once – that’s a warning sign of how rigid your party might be.

3 things you can do to brighten yours

Fortunately, with a slight adjustment, you can create events that are memorable and fun for everyone involved.

By doing this, you give your team the chance to unwind – to forget they’re at work (for a while), to bond as people.

And with so much choice when it comes to work events, there’s no time to waste.

Use any of the office party ideas below for your next do.

1, Add in a few fun office games

You got an upcoming party, but no time to plan it, theme it, do anything wild? Have no fear – party games to the rescue.

  • Got a new teammate to break in? Having a slow week? People up for a bit of fun? Then try these little fun activities.
2, Tweak up your office party ideas

Got an office Christmas party coming up?

Most people dread the annual party. Watching your managers do embarrassing things is cringeworthy stuff.

But a Christmas party can be SO much more than that

The venue, time of day, who you invite, size of team can offer you lots of creative possibilities

Read this to plan your next Christmas party.

Here are 6 hot Christmas office party games too.

Know someone’s about to be promoted? Or is about to retire?

And is it a secret that even they don’t know about it?

Then consider throwing them a surprise party. You can host this at work or a venue near to work.

  • Take your teammate on a pretend staff lunch and <bam> it’s actually a surprise party. Organize a meeting outside of the office and <bam> it’s a surprise party

Snowed in by deadlines? Long hours in the office?

Then why not treat everyone to a movie marathon. All you need is a projector, a screen and a laptop.

  • Make an event out of it, by supplying snacks, food and beer. Email your team with a list of movies, and ask them to vote for their top two

Someone leaving the company?

Leaving parties can be bittersweet affairs. You’re excited to hear they’re moving on, doing something new.

But at the same time, you’re sad to see them go.

  • Organizing a leaving do at work can also be tricky. It won’t be much of a secret – which can spoil things
3, Theme up your office party ideas

Want to have a few FUN office drinks?

I hear ya. Shaking everyone out of the work mode is so important here.

Time to stop talking shop, and start talking about our lives.

  • A Hawaiian luau is a lovely way of doing this. Get everyone in flip flops and a lei, throw in a few cocktails, even teach everyone the Hula Dance.
  • Or take everyone away from the office (without leaving it) – by taking them to Italy, with this fun Italian theme.

Got a Dress Down Friday?

Unless you work some place where casual clothing is allowed, most companies offer a Dress Down Friday or Where What You Like Day.

  • To jazz this up, ask everyone to dress in their Saturday look. That means their weekend clothes, especially the slopping kind
  • Keep the weekend feel going, with takeouts and pizza for team lunch and newspapers lying all over the place
  • Or, instead of casual clothes, ask people to wear clothes according to a black and white color scheme
  • Decorate your office in their colors too – from stripey coffee mugs, to polka dot tablecloths. Add a stripey rug to the floor.

Throwing a team lunch? Welcoming a new teammate?

  • Why not organize a Team Potluck. Ask everyone to bring their favorite dish to cook.
  • Or host an ethnic potluck, with food from everyone’s cultures. If they’re from the same culture, as them to bring in regional dishes.

One last thing…

Take plenty of photos at these events.

Bonding at work can increase morale – and get use through those stressful times or are a bit grumpy.

Those photos will also remind everyone of the “family" you all are – and the good times you can have together.

Image: jaspervangilis

Office Farewell Party Ideas: How to 
Plan the Best Leaving Party Ever

Farewell office parties - Goodbye James bannerOffice farewell party ideas needn’t be sentimental or sad.

They can be a fantastic opportunity to celebrate your departing teammate’s efforts, both work-wise and personally.

Thanks to these tips and ideas, you’ll have everything you need to give your teammate a cool send-off.

Before you plan your farewell party ideas…

To make sure your friend gets the best send-off, you’ll need to organize some things in advance.

  • First, make sure there’s a handover of their work, to you or another team member. Block out an hour or two in the week for this.
  • Grill them for as much detail of their work as possible – so you have all you need to continue their job. Until their replacement (if there is one) arrives.
  • Key details? Work outstanding, phone calls needing replies, contact details of clients, and invoices unpaid (if their job involves invoices or money).
  • Do get your teammate’s personal phone number, in case you need to contact them.

Your farewell party idea’s also best organized in secret, too. Email is the best tool for doing this.

Try and keep the planning as low key as you can. Someone leaving your team can be an emotional time for everyone.

Instead of making a big deal out of their impending departure, save all the excitement (and sadness) for the teammate’s last day.

5 quirky office farewell party ideas

This Has Been Your Life

For teammates that have worked a long time, host a ‘the life of our team’ farewell party.

  • Ask everyone in your team to email you a statement, about the one thing they remember most about their teammate.
  • Invite other people outside your team to contribute. These statements don’t have to be long – two to three sentences can be enough.
  • Collect all the statements and read them out at the party. Your teammate must now guess who wrote what. Present these statements in a book as a goodbye present.

It’s a fun way to relive work memories – and the book’s a great work reference.

Awards Ceremony For One

Why not create an awards ceremony, where your teammate is thanked for their best contribution to your team/company?

  • Write down a list of five amazing things your teammate did for your team.
  • Then ask everyone in the team to vote in a secret ballot.
  • Engrave the most popularly voted item on an award, like a silver bowl or actual award.
  • Present your award at the party – by first counting down all five contributions in order of popularity.

This is one of those dress-up farewell party ideas, so teammates should dress as if they’re going to a real awards show. All tuxedos and evening gowns, please.

Decorate and create catering to reflect the awards theme.

A Very Special Surprise Party

A farewell party is by itself a surprise party. But if you know your teammate is leaving ahead of time, you can try planning a surprise party for them.

This party doesn’t have to be held in the workplace, and can also involve the guest of honor’s friends and family.

You can surprise your teammate by pretending you’re all going to a meeting or team lunch (even an exit interview) – and <bang> it’s really a surprise party.

A surprise party like this is also perfect for a teammate whose retiring from the company, or is being moved overseas to another office. A maternity leave is another reason to plan these surprise party ideas.

Mystery Photo Shoot

Create a team portrait as the perfect going away gift. To keep it mysterious from your friend, hire a professional photographer.

  • Have them shoot a team photo first that DOESN’T include your friend. Have everyone dressed smartly and sitting.
  • Then have the photographer shoot your teammate separately – and digitally combine both photos into one.
  • If your teammate is suspicious as to why they’re being photographed (and on their own), make up a story, by telling them it’s an official company thing.
  • Since your teammate will still be working for the company at the time of the shoot, you can tell them they will be obliged to take part.

Present your teammate with a large-sized team portrait at their leaving do.

How Well Did You Know Your Friend?

Intimate farewell party ideas work too, if your team insists on a private party.

Why not create a quiz party with your guest of honor as the quiz topic? Find out how well your team knows your departing friend.

Here are some questions you could use:

  1. What time does James prefer to take his lunch?
  2. What is James’ favorite TV series?
  3. Which train line does James use for work?
  4. Name two ways James uses to handle stress at work.
  5. What photo’s on James’ desktop?
  6. Where did Matt take his last vacation?
  7. When is James’ birthday?
  8. Who are James’ two favorite people in the world?
  9. Where does James like to shop for Christmas?
  10. Name three of James’ hobbies.

Take a photo of the winner with your teammate.

Make sure to create a lunch or dinner in your teammate’s honor.

Image: Swiss James

Christmas Office Party Ideas: Say
 Goodbye to Annual Xmas Party Dread

Christmas office party ideas - 3 office guys in costume The goal of these Christmas office party ideas is to help you create a memorable event your teammates will look forward to.

This can be quite a feat, since most people will be looking forward to the time off that comes with the holidays – not partying with their co-workers.

Also, unlike regular office parties, a Christmas party requires everyone to be jolly together – for several hours at a time. This might be a nerve-wracking experience for some.

So how to overcome these dilemmas?

By creating Christmas office party ideas that people can’t wait to attend.

Check out these ideas and tips below.

Forcing people to take part will be your death

A Christmas party maybe a company tradition. But it doesn’t have to be traditional.

If you follow these next 5 tips, your party will already be on its way to success.

  • Avoid the usual sit-down-and-eat office party. Get people moving about
  • Don’t party in the same building you work in. Splash out on an off-site location
  • Don’t force people to take part in games or wear Santa/paper hats. Let them choose when they’re ready
  • Seat people according to their teams/department? A Big No. Better for people to sit with friends they know or have some bond with
  • Ban all office politics or gossip. That’s why you need to party outside the office. You need that separation. You also need to make sure everyone knows.
Instead, create an EVENT out of your Christmas party

Most people will expect the sit-down office party – and so will automatically assume yours will be just as boring.

That’s why you need to make your party an EVENT. Break the budget if you have to.

Your teammates deserve cool Christmas office party ideas, having worked so hard the rest of the year.

Here’s how:

1, Center your party around an activity
  • Like? Bowling or going to a comedy club. A theatre trip. Paintballing
  • Or hire an actual movie theater for a Christmas movie marathon (movies don’t have to be Christmas-themed).
2, Theme your office Christmas party ideas

…and so giving everyone the chance to dress up and show off their outfits

To encourage everyone to take dress up, add prizes or some kind of incentive. That way, you take the pressure off people.

Try the 60s, 70s, or 80s. Finding second-hand clothes will be easier too. Great for music and dancing.

How about a Hawaiian Luau? Help everyone forget they’re in the winter! Or Christmas, Australian style!

3, Add silly activities to the mix

Add as much playfulness to your Christmas office party ideas as much as you can.

We’re talking games and leaving disposable cameras lying around.

Check out these Christmas office games.

Are you ready for a memorable experience this year?

Even if your company budget won’t stretch to a lavish event, you can still change up your Christmas office party ideas by playing against convention.

For example:

  • Time of day — Most people expect an evening after-work party. So why not try an earlier time, e.g. lunch or a long breakfast.
  • Changing the time can reduce resistance from your team about having a party
  • Time of week to party — If you prefer an evening party, why not host it later in the week. That way, it’s a nice lead up to the weekend.
  • The venue — Venues fill up quickly this time of year, so book fast. Mix in a few alt venues too, e.g. the local farm canteen; a cinema night; a bowling alley with a restaurant.
  • The size — Size of the event is up to you. Larger parties equal more planning and supervision. Smaller affairs? These are less stressful and more intimate.
  • Dress code — Unless your boss says otherwise – smart casual is the way to dress. Unless you’re all in fancy dress, that is.

Image: masochismtango

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