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Cynthia  is a food judge on Great Chocolate Showdown Food Network (Canada), ITV (UK), The CW (USA) Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas Channel 4 in the UK, and an expert contributor on Sweetmakers BBC2’s 4 part series.
She has been invited on BBC Breakfast, BBC’s One Show, BBC4 Saturday Live and many other radio programs.

In her capacity as a business owner/director, Cynthia has been a preferred supplier to the BRIT Awards, Queen Charlotte’s Ball Kensington Palace, and London Clothes Show.
She has won several awards for her business and individually as an entrepreneur.
Her cake business became very valuable in its own right, and as well as hugely profitable, with 8 staff and 2 locations and attracting clients from all over the UK, and some as far as Spain, France and Ireland. Brides Magazine named her among the top 10 British wedding cake designers. See press coverage. She just completed the 12th year of supplying to the BRIT awards.
She has won regional entrepreneurial awards back to back and a National Lloyds Bank Business Award.

Cynthia is an experienced mentor - mentoring both at secondary school, tertiary level as well as business owners. She has mentored at-risk secondary school girls in 4 secondary schools with demonstrable results. She has been a registered business mentor at Oxford Brookes University, University of Hertfordshire and a regular speaker at institutions with an ability to reach and motivate women of all races. She currently coaches business owners across India, Canada & UK to upscale their businesses. She also informally coaches young ladies at University of Buckingham where her husband is Vice Chancellor. 

Cynthia is founder of Jedidiah, a food charity born during the pandemic which has continued post lockdown, and has provided over 2 million meals to 7000+ families in London, Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Bedfordshire & Liverpool through consistent support. Jedidiah now has branches in Hertford, Buckingham & Northampton.


Cynthia is a first generation immigrant originally from Nigeria. She arrived in the UK aged 21  to study her postgraduate degree and has 2 bi-racial children. Even though her work takes her all over the world, Cynthia is proud to call the UK home and has been honoured twice by the British Royal Family- once by the Late Queen Elizabeth II receiving a BEM, and recently by King Charles III as an MBE for services to Business, Mentoring & Charity.

Hello, I’m Cynthia.

I was born in Nigeria and raised by my grandparents till I was 10. I started baking when I went to visit my mum during school holidays.  Baking together was what we did to relax and bond. I baked my first cake on my own aged 8. And till this day, the smell of baking equals happiness

I fell in love with England when I visited on holiday in 1999 on my first ever trip out of Nigeria as a teenager. I knew within 24hours of being in London that I wanted to live there someday. So after my first degree in Microbiology, I moved to England in 2004 aged 21 to pursue an MBA at the University of Buckingham. Awarded a distinction, I stayed afterwards to “work for 1 year”!

I started baking full time after I went on maternity leave in 2009 because I was reluctant to leave my newborn son. The target at the time was to make one wedding cake a month. The business soon took on a life of its own, 2 shops and a team of bakers later, we were making over 80 wedding cakes a month.

One of my biggest influences remains my grandfather Thomas. He was a Lincoln's Inn trained barrister who chose to practice in Nigeria, dedicating a portion of his time to represent people who couldn’t afford to pay him. And he almost always won the case. His clients just paid him with whatever they could. So I grew up thinking it was normal for a lawyer to be sometimes paid with chickens, goats, yams, plantains or whatever  farm produce people had. I learnt from my grandad that people, not money should be valued and when you are doing what you are passionate about, everyday is an adventure.

I am honoured to receive an MBE and also to be a medalist of the Order of the British Empire.

All I am and have is due to God's grace and favour. I'm aware of the blessings I have been given and with blessings come responsibility -I am keen to give back through my charity and to motivate others who are struggling with finding their place or feel they don't have what it takes.

Chef Cynthia Tooley Cynthia Stroud Female British Baker Judge TV Canada US
Name change

With God all things are Possible...

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