Cynthia Stroud

Hello, I’m Cynthia.

I was raised in Nigeria by my grandparents for the first 10 years and only spent a couple of weeks of each school holidays with my mum. Because my mum, a single parent, didn’t have much money, baking together was something we did to relax and bond. Baking was a treat because ingredients were pretty expensive in Nigeria back then. I was allowed to bake my first cake on my own aged 8. And till this day, the smell of being evokes a feeling of happiness and safety.

I fell in love with England after I came here on holiday in 1999 on my first ever trip out of Nigeria when I was 17. I knew within 24hours of being in London that I wanted to live here 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”.. haha!

I started baking full time after I went on maternity leave in 2009 because I was reluctant to leave my newborn son. So I set up the business when my son was 4 months old. The target at the time was to make one wedding cake a month. I was trying to achieve a profit of £500 a month because I calculated that would be the equivalent of my take home pay after childcare costs if I went back to work. The business soon took on a life of its own, and I ended up employing staff and having a shop. In one of our craziest summer months, we made over 80 wedding cakes a month. It made me realise that with some hard work and faith in God, everything is possible.

My biggest influence remains my grandfather Thomas who raised me till I was 10years old. He was a barrister who would sometimes represent people who couldn’t afford the going rate. And my granddad nearly always won. 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 other random farm produce people had. It wasn’t till my divorce that I learnt just what lawyers earn! 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.

 

Everything is Possible...

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© 2020 Cynthia Stroud, BEM