At the end of McKinnon Road, beyond the train station and the budding collection of local cafes, Gina Tubb has opened a little cake shop called Miss Ladybird Cakes. She’d been working as a baker for many years, and after making what seemed like her millionth scone - while working in the kitchen at Edinburgh Castle in Scotland - Tubb decided to pack up her things and make her way back home.
On her return, she found a niche in making non-traditional wedding cakes for couples in Bayside. Instead of showing her clients a catalogue, Tubb asked people questions about their interests, then made cakes to match. The results are both beautiful and terrifying, and inside the window at Miss Ladybird Cakes is a collection that is anything but mundane.
In the window today, for instance, there’s a three-tiered chocolate mud cake with a friendly blue and green octopus on top, staring at you with large grey eyes and sprawling tentacles. The octopus has been covered with edible paint and looks as like it has just crawled out from the bay.
Inside, Tubb has decorated the large wall on one side with a set of miscellaneous cabinets that stretch all the way to the roof. Clunked together, the cabinets make an absorbing feature wall, displaying traditional looking wedding cakes that are smattered with edible blood, terrariums filled with chocolate dirt, sweet green flowers and marshmallow mushrooms, and homemade toffees.
Towards the back of the store, Tubb displays the rest of her candied creations in a large glass cabinet that are inspired by her childhood favourites from New Zealand and Australia. On a daily basis, she makes her own musk sticks, soft caramel lollies with a goats cheese twist, wagon wheels, apricot yums, mellow puffs and toffees. Along with the sweets, there’s coffee, tea, and a selection of homemade lemonades, all made on site from reduced apples, raspberries and mandarins.
Open from Tuesday to Sunday, Miss Ladybird is buzzing with sweet teeth from open till close, and when the store shuts, Tubb works on supplying her cakes and sweets to a growing number of cafes in the area.