Legends of the Nepean: Lea Webster

Lea with shop manager Danielle.

One Stop Cake Decorations in Shop 12, the NK Centre, 450 High Street, Penrith celebrated its 25th Anniversary on 29th September, having first opened its doors to the public in 1997.

The shop was the realisation of a dream for owner Lea Webster, a qualified Pastry Cook, who saw the need for a cake decorating outlet in Penrith.

Born in St Marys, Lea attended St Marys South PS, then Colyton HS, before training and qualifying as a pastry cook.

Having experienced her own difficulties in shopping for high quality cake-making ingredients locally, and needing to travel into the City for supplies, Lea took the plunge, starting with nothing and building a highly successful business in the heart of Penrith.

Originally in a smaller shop in the NK Centre, Lea moved into her current location 10 years ago and has built her shop into a one-stop location for cake makers.

 Lea with son Joshua and mother Marilyn.

“I had to travel into the City for supplies and I thought there should be somewhere local where people could buy everything required for cake baking,” said Lea.

“My parents Jim and Marilyn gave me great support when I opened and Jim made a lot of the shelving and display cases.

“One of my grandmothers was a cook and the other grandmother used to cut all of the recipes out of the Women’s Weekly, so my interest probably stemmed from there.”

Son Joshua also got involved in his younger years, becoming proficient particularly with novelty cakes.

Lea currently conducts Kids Holiday classes, 4 week courses and Adult Short Courses in cake making.

Weekends are always busy, with Lea hand-making cake decorations (including hand-made fondant figurines) in her own commercial kitchen, which is in the backyard of her home.

Whilst business is gradually picking up as the economy and people recover from the Covid dramas of recent years, it was grim tidings through the years of the pandemic, with the business dropping 90% of turnover at the lowest ebb.

“We were so lucky to get through those times,” said Lea. “My staff have been wonderful, particularly Danielle (who has been working in the store since 2017) and I wouldn’t have made it through those two years without them.”

“We have opposition in Penrith but we are the only supplier working at the high-end ingredient segment of the market, where people come to buy ingredients for special occasions, including births, weddings, anniversaries, retirements – any occasion which requires a top quality cake.

“Our biggest customers are home businesses, supplying them with ingredients, cake tins, piping bags, fondant or chocolate moulds and tools.

“We do some business on the internet but the majority of customers come into the store, where they can readily see everything that’s available.”

The One Stop Cake Decorations Shop is simply an amazing Aladdin’s Cave for cake makers, with something for everyone almost guaranteed.

To celebrate the shop’s 25th Anniversary, Lea will be featuring specials and prizes to be won for her valued customers.

Lea Webster was nominated as a Legend of the Nepean by Gai Hawthorn.

If you know a local legend, send us a nomination at nepeannews@aol.com