A Swindon bakery has made it to the regional finals for a business award.

Sugar Shack Bakery, in the Orbital Shopping Park, is the only Swindon shop in Muddy Stiletto’s Wiltshire Muddy Awards Regional Finals’ cafe category.

The businesses in the awards are nominated and voted on by members of the public, with only five making it to the regional finals.

Elly Vitale-Ireland began her business as a postal service from home during lockdown.

She said: “I'm obsessed with food and chocolate. When I go out as a customer and I purchase products, I'm always looking for something really indulgent, almost wanting it to make me feel sick.

“It's a really fine line between being satisfied and feeling sick.”

She described her excitement when she heard she was in the finals.

“I just screamed in the middle of the shop," she said.

“It was just unexpected. You know when you build yourself up for disappointment, so it came as a surprise.”

The bakery has been entered into the competition for the last four years, and been nominated for the last two, but this is the first year they have come to the finals.

Following the pandemic, Elly then moved into permanent premises in the Orbital centre in 2022 and hired a new team.

“It’s really been very natural. We had such a great opening team and we have still got the majority of our staff from the beginning.

“It was smooth sailing and it just flourished.”

Swindon Advertiser: Elly Vitale-Ireland (right) thanked her team: front of house manager (middle) and kitchen manager

She now offers more than just baked goods, offering afternoon tea, lunches, smoothies as well as catering for wholesale customers and events.

However, she says her baked goods are still the shop’s speciality, especially recommending the cookie pie.

She feels that she offers something unique at her bakery not available anywhere else in Swindon.

“You've got your normal greasy spoons. You've got your normal coffee shop that is focused on coffee. But you haven't got an all-rounder. 

“We just took it and we rode the wave.”

They also attend the Orbital Shopping Market, which Elly believes has boosted the shop’s visibility.

She said: “Where we are at the Orbital, a lot of people miss us because we are tucked away. The markets have helped us massively expand our social awareness.”

Elly thinks that the shop’s ‘Instagramable aesthetic’ has also helped to set the store apart, with food that looks as good as it tastes.

You can keep up to date with updates from the shop on their Instagram page.