The owner of a cake business has informed her disappointed customers that her shop in Chislehurst will shut this month.

Valerie Eames, 63, a self-taught cake specialist, has managed The Cake Gallery in Park Road since 2001.

However, running the shop is no longer a viable expense.

"The reaction has been very much 'oh no, you can’t go' and 'what am I going to do?'" laughed Valerie.

However, while a lack of sales in materials like cake boards, candles, cutters and decorations has resulted in Valerie having to make her tough decision, The Cake Gallery will continue through online orders after the shop closes on February 28.

Valerie said: "I am ready for a change. We are not disappearing altogether."

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She added: "For customers the worst bit is that they like to come in and look before buying, I like to do that too, so that will be a drawback for them."

Working in the shop for 18 years has been rewarding, according to Valerie, who spoke to News Shopper about her memories.

"After I started my family I felt like it was a good thing to do. I like the idea of having a shop. It just developed from there and it wasn't far from where I lived. It all sorted into place."

She added: "I love when customers come in and I like talking to them and giving them advice."

Valerie said the most enjoyable part of her craft was receiving a kind email or phone call from someone thanking her for their cake.

Reading a positive comment online recommending others to the shop is also something that has brought her joy.

Valerie added: "We have not advertised in many years, it has been word of mouth. We have people from Blackheath, Greenwich and even customers who moved away from Chislehurst will come back and visit."

The Cake Gallery is now having a big half-price sale on all its cake equipment.

Valeria will continue making cakes from her home and assured customers that the business is still alive.

Future business will be managed through The Cake Gallery Direct website, which is currently under development.