Greenwich market on a Saturday: buzzing with life and bursting with flavour, as myself and Vilda art director and photographer Emilee learned on our most recent visit. Ethnic influences and on-the-go healthy snacks fight for the attention of the masses of visitors flocking to the weekend spot that’s a favourite with Londoners. Yet, one stall stands out from the masses: the mouth-watering, eye-catching little corner of Ruby’s of London. Filled with countless colourful cupcakes, rich-looking cakes and tempting donuts, this cake-lover’s Mecca is one of London’s most well-known vegan bakeries, which also offers gluten-free baking. Some days you will find the entrepreneur-slash-baker herself, Ruby, at the stall – and since this is where she started in 2000, it’s safe to say Greenwich market is truly the home of Ruby’s of London.
A Passion for Edible Works of Art
“My love for baking began at a very early age with many of my childhood memories made in the kitchen,” says Ruby. “I remember baking many a mud pie, to my mother’s delight.” But it was allergies that fuelled her exploration into the world of vegan. “Due to a childhood dairy- and egg allergy I was often left with the uninspiring free-from option while looking longingly at the birthday girl’s glorious cakes. I believe that this is where my passion and flair for edible works of art began and I have been creating ever since.”
The route from amateur to all-star baker came via the aforementioned market stall. “I had been baking vegan products for many years when I decided to take a stall at Greenwich Market. This proved a great success for Ruby’s of London and business grew quickly,” she recalls. And with good reason. “I am dedicated to producing high-quality products using only the finest ingredients, making my bakes taste as delicious as they look.”
And look amazing they do.
“I truly believe in the importance of the handmade element of baking and this is central to my business ethos”, explains Ruby. “Therefore everything is freshly made to order, exclusively for the client. I believe this love and attention to detail can be tasted in every bite.”
A typical day in her life is no joke: “My days always start very early as all products are freshly made in the morning before being dispatched at 9am. After morning baking my weekdays are spent in the office and weekends is baking baking baking! My days are very long and full – but luckily for me I LOVE what I do and watching the business grow and develop is something that makes me very proud.”
When asked to share a favourite memory, she struggles. “I have had so many great moments since starting Ruby’s, even some of the disaster moments have become fond memories now. I would say my favourite moment would be looking back to my first days trading at Greenwich market. I was so inexperienced and had so much to learn but jumped in feet first and went from there!”
But an even more difficult question is the one about her favourite flavours. “That’s an impossible question to answer! I’m all about experimenting, creating and innovating using the seasons as my guide for flavour choices. Our new maple pecan and spiced pumpkin choc chip are back on the menu at the moment and definitely a favourite of mine!”
Sample Ruby’s delights at Greenwich market, or order an artisanal cake for the next big event in your life – you won’t be disappointed.
Photography by Emilee Seymour