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Start-up Success: How Joe Moruzzi’s Dream Business Idea Came To Life On His Phone

After designing his logo in Canva, Pleesecakes was official – and it went viral, quickly. Discover how Joe Moruzzi turned his baking side hustle into a large team, booming business, and even earned some VIP fans.

Joe Moruzzi, from Surrey, England, hadn’t planned on becoming the founder of a global dessert empire. The painter-turned-entrepreneur started creating cheesecakes as a mini side hustle from his parents' kitchen, baking cake creations for his building buddies.

“My intentions were just to sell a few cakes a month, maybe as some side cash coming in from my painting company. I never thought I’d be sitting here five years later,” he tells Canva.

Turning A Side Hustle Into A Business

In 2017, Joe sketched out a rough business plan on a piece of paper. “I wrote down the word ‘pleesecakes’ in this notepad. And it had a ring to it, pleesecakes, cheesecakes,” he said.

Using his phone, Joe downloaded the Canva app and designed what would become his company’s first logo.

“I used the logo across my social media, then my packaging, and our company vans. I’m not super tech savvy but Canva was simple to use. That logo brought the entire brand to life and I went from there.”

Joe’s business went “viral overnight” through social media. “We got 50 orders for cakes on the first day and had 15,000 followers in the first week. I didn’t know what was going on!” he said.

Within the first six months, Joe received an order for his first VIP customer: the Queen.

His sweet success has continued to soar. “The business started in my mom and dad’s kitchen making cheesecakes. And it's grown to a social media following of over two million and a team of 25 people.”

Building A Community Through Social Media

Social media has been a huge part of Pleesecakes' success story, and Canva has allowed Joe and his team to engage a vast audience and build followers through branded social media templates and videos.

“We're all about building community and through our channels, we're always offering tips and tricks [on TikTok and Instagram]. Social media has been incredible for growing the business,” he said.

Using Canva’s Brand Kit controls, Joe could quickly apply Pleesecakes’ modern branding to social media templates and documents for his team to access, enabling brand consistency from the very beginning.

“Canva has inspired me to push new ideas to the team. It’s helped us to be much more creative and efficient. And communicate with our audiences across social media, in turn, growing the brand,” he said.

Collaborating As A Team In Canva

All social media content is filmed and edited within the company’s commercial kitchen space, which allows the Pleesecakes team to move quickly on their creative video ideas to engage their community.

“We can get stuff done quickly, even if we’re working remotely. It works really well within the team. The ideas flow really well. The whole team can collaborate over Canva and work together to bring ideas to life,” he said

Pleesecakes’ Head of Creative, Laura Tooth, adds the team use features within Canva such as text overlays, music, video, and animation to allow their colorful social media content to stand out.

“The Brand Kit also allows our team members to easily access [the Pleesecakes] colors, typefaces and important elements such as our logo,” she said.

Looking Ahead And Excited For The Future

What began as a side hustle idea in his family home has developed into a booming dessert business, including a book deal, TV appearances and launching in department stores such as Selfridges and Amazon Fresh.

Five years on, and Joe says the Pleesecakes story is just getting underway, and he’s excited about what lays ahead.

“It started in my mom and dad's kitchen, making cheesecakes with no intention of growing a business. And it's just growing. The team's grown through social media. It's been a complete blur. It’s been a lot of hard work, but it's something I'm very passionate about, and that's what I'm led by.”

“I get up on a Monday to go to work. And I love what I do. I think that's really important. I think that keeps me going and keeps [the team] motivated.”

Joe Moruzzi features in Canva's 'What will you design today?' campaign.