Introducing Surena Stevens
As part of the Framing Marks Gate series we photographed and interviewed a series of local residents and key workers who have played an interesting role on Marks Gate. Meet Surena Stevens, Marks Gate resident and cake baker extraordinaire! Surena runs a small business outfit called ‘Surena’s Cupcakes’ and her cakes are by far the yummiest we have tasted! We loved them so much we invited Surena to run a series of cupcake decorating workshops as part of our project.
What’s your name and age?
Surena Stevens, 47
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I have been making cakes and cupcakes for about 3 years now, completely self-taught. My twin boys now aged 6, wanted something to do, so I initially just started to make cakes for family and friends, this has grown and as ‘Surena’s Cupcakes’ I now make cakes for about 70 members/families from the Marks Gate community. I also participate in local events to share my love of cakes!
Why are you on Marks Gate?
I live on Marks Gate, we moved to the area in 2004.
How long have you known Marks Gate?
Just over 10 years.
What are your experiences of Marks Gate?
Before I had my twin boys I was working full time, after they were born I started to go to groups run by the Children’s Centre, this enabled me to start meeting other people and making new friends. I now feel like I am part of this community.
Tell us a special memory that you have of Marks Gate.
In August 2014, artist Sadia Ur-Rehman as part of her project A Local Dialogue organised the ‘Marks Gate Arts Day’ in collaboration with a group of creative Marks Gate residents. As part of this event I ran a ‘cupcake decorating’ workshop. I was overwhelmed by the response, within an hour and a half all 150 cupcakes were decorated and we were only halfway through the event! I had an amazing time sharing my skills and love of cakes with the Marks Gate community and am hoping to develop my workshops into a cupcake decorating course.