Vanilla Pod Case Study

Pia Cato has been making cakes since she was a child, and now she makes her living creating amazing delectable baked creations with a dedicated team in her bakery in Cheltenham. 

During her time at University in Cheltenham, Pia won a business planning competition with a proposal for her own food business, and took the step to set one up upon leaving. 

Her early days were hard, but enjoyable:

“I used to bake cakes and take them to all the local markets,” she said. “I’ve moved premises a few times, but the business has now been going for 11 years.”

Pia has specialised in cakes for extra special occasions, with weddings being her major income until the disruption of the pandemic: “I’m now making all types of cake for any special occasion and the business is doing really well. I enjoy the fact that people ask me to create something so special for the moments in their life they want to remember. I love making things from scratch and getting to be creative in my work.”

Pia is using equipment supplied by U-Select to run her business, and said she was  delighted to find the service online. Pia has used a fridge, a mixer, one table and an oven on a two year Try It Buy It contract, and added a new dishwasher, a freezer and additional table when she moved into larger premises earlier this year. 

“I didn’t know what equipment I needed and when I found U-Select they were really helpful – everyone I’ve dealt with has been lovely and knows a lot about the equipment. They have made it really easy.

“What I love about U-Select and Try It Buy It is that I wasn’t sure about the equipment and didn’t have the knowledge to get it fixed if it went wrong. With U-Select I didn’t have to buy outright and take that risk on equipment I didn’t know. I could try it for two years and see. If things go wrong, I call U-Select and they get fixed. I’ve just added items to my hire when I moved to a larger premises, and that was really easy too. 

“U-Select feels less of a commitment and is just so easy.”

Project Info

Purchase Option: Try It Buy It, 24-month rental contract

Equipment Supplied:




Turbofan Oven