Last time we caught up with Sarah Wilson-Gibbons, the founder of Hey Little Cupcake!, she had been working with our business advisor Ameena to create a three-year strategic business plan and gain support to help expand her team. Over a year on, and now with 21 staff members in tow and two premises, we caught up with Sarah to see how business is going.

Bursting onto Manchester’s confectionary scene back in 2010, Hey Little Cupcake! was one of the first bakeries specialising in cupcakes to open when the craze came to the UK. Selling everything from cupcakes and brownies, to trendy layer cakes and cakepops over the counter, the team also create a bespoke array of celebration cakes to order.
Eight years on and the business is going from strength to strength. 

From humble roots in Sarah’s kitchen as a one-woman operation, the business now spans across two locations, employs 21 people and is a key supplier to cafes in Greater Manchester. The business has a ‘cupcakery’ in Spinningfields as well as a contract in Selfridges’ food hall in the Trafford centre, which has been held for the last four years – a coop which owner Sarah counts as her biggest achievement yet.
So, what does Sarah think is at the root of the businesses’ success in such a competitive market place? She puts it down to “keeping up to date with trends and changing our themes regularly to keep customers interested. Our quirky brand is one of a kind in the North West.”
Advice not to be reckoned with from a woman nominated for a ‘Business in the Community’ award in the Be Proud Awards 2017 for her work in the community, not to mention scooping the ‘Excellence in Customer Service Awards’ in our Excelerate Labs awards earlier this year!
Perhaps her success also comes from her inherently creative nature, having worked as an Art Director previously. When asked about her personal interests, Sarah can’t help but pay homage to her creative roots: 
“My main passion in life is to be creative. This is in everything I do from baking, making gifts to playing with my 2-year-old son. Creativity is in everything I do as it what makes me tick.”
When asked what advice Sarah would give to anyone wanting to grow their business, she said: “To always stay positive. Owning and running a business is very challenging. It really tests you to your core but if you remain positive you really appreciate all you have achieved and it makes it worthwhile.
“Also, if growth opportunities present themselves take them, you never know when or if they will be available again.”
Having worked with Excelerate Labs to help grow her business in recent years, she says: “I had mentoring sessions which I have found so helpful and supportive over the past few years.”
If you would like to benefit from the support Sarah received under the Excelerate Labs programme then please contact:

Hey Little Cupcake! can be contacted on 0161 832 0260 or e-mailed via You can also visit or find the team on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using @HLCupake.