Founder Katie Cross was fascinated by the goings-on in the kitchen at her step-grandmother’s B&B and was delighted when she taught Cross how to bake. She honed her skills and, by the age of 13, she was selling Irish tea loaf at the village market every Saturday.
The best piece of advice she was ever given? “Make sure your business is vegan, it’s the future,” she was told this in 2019, just before quitting her job. She tells Big Hospitality that it was her best business decision.
The entrepreneur had a career in fundraising and development for a range of charities before quitting in January 2019 to open Cake or Death. It started as a wholesale vegan cake company in early 2019. After the popularity of Cake or Death’s brownies at a vegan market in London, Cross focused her energy on the secret recipe and developed several new flavours.
As with so many small businesses, the pandemic changed everything. Cross pivoted the business from wholesale to letterbox brownie boxes. The bakery moved from Dalston in East London to Exeter in summer 2021 where it now houses a shop front and continues to send bakes all across the country.
The letterbox brownies come in a variety of flavours including coffee bourbon, almond cherry bakewell, brookies (a cookie and brownie hybrid) and Nutella gluten-free brownies. The Cake or Death brownie club subscription service allows you to order six or ten brownies every two, four, six or 12 weeks.