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 to pursue an MBA at the University of Buckingham. I stayed afterwards, supposedly 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 dedicated 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 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.
In Feb 2022, I married my amazing husband Prof James Tooley, Vice Chancellor of University of Buckingham- the same university I studied my MBA and moved back to Buckingham- the first town I lived in England and where my love of UK began. You couldn't make it up.