She won The Apprentice and is now quickly building up a cake empire – but entrepreneur Alana Spencer says she still gets nervous before speaking to Alan Sugar.
The 25-year-old golden-haired Welsh businesswoman, who won the 2016 series, admits the business magnate, 70, is ‘friendlier’ now than when she had to face him in the boardroom every week on the hit BBC show.
But Alana, who relaunched her cake business Ridiculously Rich by Alana earlier this year, says she still gets anxious before every monthly board meeting she has with the Government’s Entreprise Advisor.
Alana, who lives in Aberystwyth with her boyfriend, made the admission while speaking to FEMAIL about what it’s like to work with the business mogul – as well as on how she manages to stay slim while surrounded by her Ridiculously Rich cakes, some of which contain more than 500 calories.
Alana Spencer (pictured) launched her Ridiculously Rich by Alana cake business earlier this year
Alana won The Apprentice last year, winning a £250,000 investment and 50/50 business partnership with Lord Sugar (right)
Alana says she speaks to Lord Sugar at least once a week – and it used to be everyday when she first won the show.
She said: ‘He is friendlier… because we’re sort on a level now working towards the same goals.
‘But I still feel nervous that he’s not going to be happy with how I’m done. Luckily I’ve never had a month where he’s been disappointed.’
Alana says she still has to call him Lord Sugar, even though he is now her business partner.
Alana says she enjoys tucking into a slice of one of her cakes as an afternoon snack
Some of Alana’s cakes contain between 400 and 500 calories, such as her Rocky Road, which contains 462 calories a slice. But she says they contain all natural ingredients and no preservatives
She revealed: ‘I think the general rule is if you knew him as Lord sugar, you call him lord sugar, if you knew him before you can call him Alan.’
She added: ‘I speak to him probably once a week now.
‘It was everyday when I fist won, and because I’d gone from having the mindset of a small business to suddenly trying to think bigger, it was really helpful to have his vision as well and his guidance.
‘I could talk to him when I was struggling to think of how to take it to that next step.
‘Over the months he’s gained trust in me and I’ve learned what’s good to ask him and what I don’t need to ask him.’
How Alana stays slim when surrounded by cake
Alana used to sell her cakes exclusively in delis and at food festivals herself and now she employs ambassadors to sell them for her at these foodie events
Alana is surprised when FEMAIL asks her how she stays slim when she is surrounded by cake all day.
Some of her Ridiculously Rich slices come in at more than 500 calories, such as her Peanut Butter Fudge Cake which contains 522 calories a slice.
‘I would never class myself as staying slim,’ she says.
‘It’s definitely a challenge… I’m completely happy with myself though, and I’ve always just been of the opinion that there’s no point comparing yourself to other people and be happy with how you are.’
She added: ‘I live in the countryside so I go for a lot of walks and I do the odd home workout video, but I’m so busy and that helps as I’m on the go constantly.
‘I eat my fair share of cake. It’s all about treating yourself rather than depriving yourself.
Alana has had a cake business for several years now but it used to be called Nana’s – her childhood nickname
‘If you think “I can’t have this and I can’t have this,” then you’re going to be wanting it without realising and telling yourself you’re not eating it.
‘I do a lot of baking at home as well and I love to make nice food but I don’t overindulge.
‘Like every woman, I definitely still have my hang-ups. But treating yourself to a little bit of cake now and then is not a bad thing.’
Alana also revealed what she tends to eat in a day – and remarkably she manages not to eat cake every single day.
She said: ‘I’m a vegetarian so I eat a lot of salad-y stuff, I’ll always have a nice salad with lots of different bits and bobs on it for lunch.
‘For breakfast, I’ll usually have I love yoghurt and peanut butter and banana for breakfast, and then an afternoon snack, a bit of cake or something, though I don’t do that everyday.’
Alana (centre) still keeps in touch with her fellow contestants from The Apprentice such as Grainne McCoy (left) and Frances Bishop (right)
Alana beat Courtney Wood in the final of the 2016 series of The Apprentice to become Lord Sugar’s business partner
As well as Lord Sugar, Alana keeps in touch with a few of her former contestants, particularly Grainne McCoy, Frances Bishop and Courtney Wood.
She met up with them last two weeks ago, as they are helping her launch a Youtube baking channel where she will talk about baking.
She has no ambitions to have her own baking show on TV though like Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain – yet.
‘I do have ambitions in the baking world,’ she says before trailing off momentarily.
‘I really admire Nadiya and other people that have come from the show [Bake Off} that have done so well.
‘But for me, I was on a business show and won a prize to grow my business. That’s what I’m focusing on at the moment.’