Leeds entrepreneur The Savvy Baker shares her recipe to success as she opens first cafe in Roundhay

She's a social media sensation who has amassed more than 50,000 followers on Instagram and a celebrity clientele including Kalvin Phillips.

By Abbey Maclure
Sunday, 3rd April 2022, 4:30 pm

But Savannah Roqaa admits she fell into the baking industry "completely by accident", when her lockdown hobby spiralled beyond her wildest dreams.

Her brand The Savvy Baker now supplies sweet treats to customers all over the country and the 26-year-old is celebrating the launch of her first cafe in Roundhay this week.

The latest addition sits alongside her online shop and commercial bakery and she's excited to connect with her customers in person.

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Savannah Roqaa and Jordan Simms outside their first The Savvy Baker cafe in Lidgett Lane, Roundhay (Photo: James Hardisty)

Many of them have followed her journey from novice baker to entrepreneur and she openly shares the challenges that have come along the way.

"I never thought it would grow to where it is now," Savannah told the Yorkshire Evening Post.

"We just keep going and don’t stop. We’re still thinking about the next step - where the next cafe will be and how big we can get.

“I think people connect with it because I’m the face of the brand.

The cafe will stock the familiar Savvy Baker brownies, brookies, cookies, flapjacks, cakes, tarts and sticky stuff, as well as North Star coffee (Photo: James Hardisty)

"They see the journey, they see me. I put my mistakes on there and I’m so raw with everything.

"I have customers who have been ordering from me since March 2020, picking their order up from my house when I was covered in flour."

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Savannah said she gets her drive from her family - her parents and sister have all launched businesses and she dreamed of following in their footsteps.

Savannah has shared her recipe for success after growing her business from a lockdown hobby (Photo: James Hardisty)

"I always knew that I wanted to have my own business," she said. "I just thought it would be makeup or fashion.

“I love the fact that every day is completely different. If I’m having an off day, then it’s on me. I don’t have to report to anyone.

"If something flops, it’s also my fault. It’s nice being in charge of everything.”

The power of Instagram has been instrumental in growing the brand; Savannah regularly shares her latest creations on the platform, as well as the journey of refurbishing the cafe.

The cafe will stock the familiar Savvy Baker brownies, brookies, cookies, flapjacks, cakes, tarts and sticky stuff, as well as North Star coffee.

She has opened the new venture with her partner Jordan Simms, who will manage the day-to-day operations to allow Savannah more time to oversee the growing business.

“He’s so supportive," Savannah added.

"Anything I need doing that I can pass onto him, it takes a massive weight off my shoulders."

The Savvy Baker is showing no signs of slowing down - as well as the cafe, Savannah has recently launched new brownie tubs which have been flying off the shelves.

For others looking to start their own business, Savannah shared her recipe for success.

“Always be prepared to take risks," she said.

"You can never start a business without taking risks and if you’re not willing to do that, it just won’t happen.

"It can be scary, but you don’t need loads of money to start a business - I had nothing when I started mine.

"It’s because I took so many risks that I’m in the position where I’ve got the bakery, the cafe and a successful business.”

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