How long does it take to make? / What’s your lead time?
This really depends on the time of year as well as the size of the project. I tend to get fully booked with big Christmas orders by around late October so get in touch sooner rather than later if you’re interested in a Christmas gingerbread build! But during the rest of the year I can often take on last minute orders (just send me a message to see if I have availability) and my normal lead time is around 2 weeks. Projects can take anything from a few days to a couple of months, depending on the size and complexity of the building. Get in touch to discuss your ideas and I can let you know.
Do you deliver? If so, how far?
For small-medium builds, collection is free from my studio (in Hackney, East London) or I use Addison Lee to deliver nationally (delivery quote available on request when you place an order). For larger orders or installations that require work on site I deliver in person and we can discuss this in detail as part of my quote/design proposal.
What’s the process for ordering/commissioning something out of gingerbread?
Good question! The first step is to send me an email with the details of your event or project, then I usually follow that up with a quick phone call to discuss things in more detail, get a better feel for what you’re after, and talk through how it will work. Once we’ve chatted I go away and create an initial design proposal and quote. When you’ve had a chance to look through it, we’ll reconnect to discuss it further before deciding on a final design and booking in the order. There is a 50% deposit to reserve a date/confirm an order, then the remaining balance is due two weeks before completion.
How much does a gingerbread commission cost?
As you can imagine, pricing varies dramatically. As I make everything to order, it totally depends on the size and complexity of the build. One of the main things to impact price is design time though, so if you’re looking for a replica of a real life building and you can provide the architect’s plans then that really helps. To give you a rough idea, my smaller builds tend to start from around £500 and larger installations can be anything up to £5,000-£8,000. As it’s always bespoke, if you let me know your target budget I can work out a few different options to fit with that, so do get in touch to discuss any ideas you have.
Do you do vegan / gluten free?
I’m actually REALLY excited to announce I’m about to launch 3D vegan gingerbread buildings very soon! (Watch this space, full details will be up on my Instagram and blog next month). Unfortunately, although there are some tasty gluten free biscuit recipes out there these days (hooray!), they’re just not possible to build with in 3D (booooo!) because most of the strength is down to the gluten bonds so GF biscuits are just too darn crumbly. That said, I will always keep trying new recipes and let you know if I do ever find a good enough solution. (If you know a recipe you think will work please do hit me up!)
Do you do other flavours or just gingerbread?
Absolutely. Although gingerbread is my first love, and it’s the most versatile biscuit to build with (in my opinion), I enjoy building out of all flavours of biscuit. For example, my Palace of Versailles wasn’t gingerbread at all - I built the main building using delicious vanilla biscuit and created the gardens from matcha green tea biscuit (which gave them a beautiful natural flavour and green colour). So, if you have a summer event and want something totally non-gingerbread but still beautiful, biscuity and impactful then please do get in touch. Strawberries and shortbread centrepiece, anyone…? :)
Is it always edible?
It used to be that all my creations were eaten, and I still pride myself on my totally delicious recipe (which has even been known to win round people who claim not to like gingerbread!). Nowadays, around half my work is for events and so gets eaten, and the other half is for display only. I still make the display pieces using the exact same recipe and high quality ingredients though because that distinctive gingerbread aroma is absolutely exquisite and a big part of the experience when it comes to an installation. (If you do need something to be on public display for a long time I can often incorporate hidden inedible structures to ensure it holds up and can advise on how best to keep it safe during the event; I have accidentally become an expert in the structural integrity and load-bearing properties of biscuits and icing!)
How long does your gingerbread keep for?
If it’s going to be eaten I recommend serving it within a couple of weeks of delivery, but it actually remains delicious for at least a month (gingerbread is the perfect thing to build with because it contains so many natural preservatives!) For display pieces that aren’t going to be eaten, my construction recipe lasts a really, really long time (it doesn’t go bad, just gradually dries out so retains the original look perfectly). A couple of my buildings have actually been displayed for years!
Do you do workshops?
Yes! I love running gingerbread construction and decorating workshops and I can totally tailor them to your requirements and theme them around your event/brand. For example, some of my recent workshops were:
a leadership challenge for engineers as part of their team-building Away Day.
at an exclusive product launch event for bloggers and influencers, themed around the new jewellery product.
the fun afternoon networking session as part of an annual conference for a well-known brand; teams competed to create the best building.
I bring all the pre-baked gingerbread pieces, piping bags, decorations, aprons and equipment (and all my construction top tips!), plus boards and boxes for everyone to take their buildings safely home.
Alternatively, if you’d like to run a gingerbread decorating station or building workshop yourself, I can still provide all the hand-baked pieces, icing, decorations and instructions for you. So please do get in touch if you’re interested in having some gingerbread as part of an event.
What’s the biggest thing you’ve made?
Last Christmas I made a 2 metre tall gingerbread London townhouse for The Ideal Home Show at Christmas (!). It was totally epic and I loved every second of it. It’d be great to go even bigger in future though, so do let me know if you want to create something mind-blowingly big!
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve made?
I get asked this a lot, but it’s tricky because I think weirdness is always in the eye of the beholder. I’ve made some fairly obscure musical instruments out of gingerbread (I was a musician in a previous life and specialised in Balinese percussion), and I did a series of cakes and gingerbread designs which were all inspired by the beautifully symmetrical designs of coal covers in central London, which I guess seems pretty weird (check out how amazing the patterns are though…). I do just love creating totally one-off designs, so the weirder the better I say!