Published: 13:14, 21 February 2021
| Updated: 07:25, 22 February 2021
A mum who started her own "artisan" scones business after being placed on furlough has landed some lofty deals delivering to TV crews and the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Alex Whitmore, of Joyden's Wood, near Dartford, was furloughed like many others working in the hospitality industry when the pandemic hit last year.
The mum-of-two is used to running around securing big deals for large hotel clients based in Ashford and around Kent.
But when the sales director was faced with the prospect of up to a year's down time she knew she couldn't wait around for her next venture.
"There was no rush for me to be brought back," the 34-year-old said. "But I didn't want to sit around and do nothing."
That's when Alex teamed up with a friend and started delivering scones to neighbours and isolating friends and family during lockdown.
The word got out and before long she was making up large batches and catering for around 250 plain scones on VE day Bank Holiday in May.
The run up to Fathers Day also saw lots of enquiries.
Alex, originally from Liverpool, soon began eyeing up a larger business opportunity catering to other events such as baby showers, birthdays and hand delivering them around Kent and south east London.
In August she was laid off from her hospitality job and decided to take the plunge and focus on "House of Scones" full time.
She said: "I thought I better take it more seriously... and so I got my food hygiene certificate and set up with the local authority as a business.
"Over time I started to do bespoke hampers – I just went with it."
Alex added: "I've got some lovely feedback: 'best scones ever' and things like that.
"People that have never eaten a scone before have been converted."
The Dartford mum has drawn on her hospitality industry contacts to roll out her quirky scones to a wider audience.
It has seen her land some big jobs catering for Channel 4 TV production crews on the set of hit shows such as Celebs Go Dating and Married at First Sight.
The self-proclaimed "Queen of Scones" posts photos of her culinary creations online and has built up a a sizeable following on social media.
But the mum-of-two's biggest client to date is a man with his own sizeable flock, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Reverend Justin Welby.
On landing a deal with the Archbishop she said: "They asked if I could do something bespoke for a large number of businesses sent to locations across London for the guests of Lambeth Palace.
"The Archbishop was doing a zoom call to talk about his plans for the year.
"This year they were not able to do it as an event and I produced the graze boxes and one was delivered to him in person.
Asked what the key to her success is, Alex put it down largely to her relentless work ethic.
"These people know what I'm like, they know I work hard," she said, adding they knew she would deliver on time.
"I'm baking until 11pm at night and I'm up and going again at 6am in the morning."
The star baker is currently taking a short break but is not resting on her laurels and says she has "big plans" including a new menu ahead.
To find out more about "House of Scones" visit their Instagram page here.