By Maddie Watson
Located in Haghill, Full Circle Bakes is a small female-owned business founded by Jacky Stabler, which specialises in cookies that change flavours weekly. Having won Bakery of the Year twice in the Scottish Prestige Awards, Jacky says that she feels ‘amazing’ and that it was “nice enough winning it the first year.”
When I asked if she hopes to win for a third year running, Jacky said that she has “lots of big plans over the next few months.” Jacky added: “if that all works how I’m hoping it’s going to work, then hopefully a third year could be possible.”
Jacky’s big plans include adding a “new unit on the 1st of December,” which she says will allow them to start doing “custom and postal orders and all sorts of exciting things.”
The East-End bakery owner believes the award helps people see that her baking is “not just for social media” and that there is ‘substance’ behind the bakery.
Winning the award again means a lot to the business, as Jacky says it helps them stand out in the ‘crowded’ bakery industry. The baker admits, however, that it does add a bit of “pressure to keep doing cool stuff”.
Full Circle Bakes is located away from the heart of Glasgow city as it sits on Cumbernauld Road in the East End. Situated away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre, Jacky emphasises the importance of the local community to her business and how she appreciates the support of her local customers: “Because we’re in Haghill, I think the community just appreciates having something cool in their area.”
Jacky says that because the business isn’t in a prime location, they “rely on customers coming down week in and week out,” which she enjoys as it allows her to “get to know the people.”
As a professionally trained pastry chef, to come up with new flavours, Jacky tries to envision her cookies “as a fully formed desert, to balance the flavours, textures and colours, so it’s not just throwing random stuff in. Everything that goes into a flavour has a purpose being there.”
With a 4.9-star rating on Google, her technique is clearly working.
Creating interesting flavours for customers to go ‘wild’ for is vital to the business as Jacky says Full Circle Bakes is “always busier when there are new flavours.” Their constant drive to mix things up keeps the locals coming back again and again. Although this is challenging for the bakery to always be creating something new, Jacky says that this has become one of the ‘main selling points’ for Full Circle Bakes.
Social media also plays a significant role in small businesses. Full Circle Bakes’ TikTok account has gained over fifty thousand followers thanks to one of its videos getting a hundred and twenty thousand likes.
Jacky uses the globally recognised platform to show off the speciality cookies and other bakes to a wider audience. The bakery’s social media presence aided its survival during the recent pandemic when many businesses were forced to close. Platforms like TikTok helped maintain public interest in the bakery even though everyone was stuck at home and unable to visit the business.
Jacky also uses social media platforms to “raise awareness for mental health and neurodivergent people.” She said that owning a small business and dealing with mental health issues at the same time, has led to “character development.”
“My mental health has been a lot better since starting the business as I have more control over my life,” Jacky shared. Working for herself and doing something she is passionate about has significantly aided her mental wellbeing due to the ‘control’ and flexibility in business.
Jacky says that owning a bakery has been the most “rewarding and accomplishing” challenge.
Pitch given by Leah Buist
Edited by Theerada Moonsiri