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From paperwork to patisserie at 55

Carrieanne Bishop's career went from army corps to office until she decided to follow her dreams and start her own custom cake company. At age 55 she is a decorated cake artist and her business is going from strength to strength.

Carrieanne may have only opened her shop just over a year ago but her passion for cakes has always been there. “I used to bake with my mum when I was a child,” she remembers fondly.

Carrieanne’s career began with a Saturday job in a local café, washing up and peeling potatoes. After working in restaurants for a few years, Carrieanne took a change of direction and eventually moved to London, leaving cooking and cakes behind.

Luckily, it wasn’t long before Carrieanne was able to explore her passions again. “I joined the army catering corps, feeding soldiers,” she tells us.

It was there that Carrieanne was able to fall back in love with cooking. “I was in the army for 14 years in total and I enjoyed every minute of it,” she beams.

Though the work was varied and exciting, “the baking was the bit I enjoyed the most,” she adds.

Carrieanne didn’t get the nudge she needed to follow her dreams and open a cake shop until recently: “Last year whilst coming back from a week in the car, I was sat in traffic on the M1 and I thought, ‘I don’t want to do this anymore’.”

Inspired to return to her passions, Carrieanne entered Cake International, a renowned cake baking competition, and won the gold award. It was from this that her new career was born. “It inspired me to think actually I could do this full time!” she explains.

The best thing about getting older is that you realise it doesn’t matter what other people think of you.

Before opening up her business, Carrieanne had a few hurdles to jump. “My friends said you’re insane!” she tells us, adding that she even had her own doubts. “It was late in life to change my world and do something different,” she says.

Without a shop or business partner, Carrieanne had a lot to do to make her dream a reality. But her childhood inspiration of baking with her mother in the kitchen helped push her forward. “My mum has always been an inspiration to me. She used to say - if it’s on your mind there’s a reason,” she adds.

When Carrieanne’s mum passed away, she left Carrieanne a bit of money which allowed her to get her business off the ground and finally open a shop. “To use it for this - she would’ve loved that,” Carrieanne tells us.

From then she was able to open her shop, which was a success from the start. “Before I opened, I put a few cakes in the window for display and people were knocking on the door whilst it was a building site.”

Carrieanne’s combination of talent and determination means that business has been a glowing success. “It’s gone well from day one,” she says, “far better than I ever expected.”

Carrieanne finishing a cake

What does the future have in store for Carrieanne and her cakes? “People expect so much more, they want the wow factor - they want the extreme cake,” she explains.

We ask what Carrieanne does to relax when she’s not working. “I sew for relaxation,” she tells us. “But I’m totally obsessed with cake. I follow every cake Facebook page and blog in the world!”

If Carrieanne has any advice for people thinking of making a change later in life, it’s this: “Do whatever their heart desires. For me it’s the best thing I ever did.”

SunLife offers a range of straightforward and affordable products including over 50s life insurance, funeral plans, equity release, pet insurance, home insurance, car insurance, ISAs and Will writing services.

Here's the information that you need to know about who we are and the other companies that we work with in order to provide our products and services.

Who are SunLife?

Phoenix Life Limited trades as SunLife and is the provider of the Guaranteed Over 50 Plan, SunLife Insurance and the life insurance policy payment option for Funeral Plans. Phoenix Life Limited’s registered office is at 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 1016269). Dignity Funerals is not authorised or regulated for this activity by either the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority. Dignity Funerals Ltd is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

SunLife Limited distributes financial products and services and is a company limited by shares, registered office: 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 05460862). SunLife Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is entered on the Financial Services Register (registration no. 769427).

You can contact us by post at SunLife, PO Box 1395, Peterborough, PE2 2TR or by phone on 0800 008 6060.

If you choose to add Funeral Benefit Option to your Guaranteed Over 50 Plan the funeral services are arranged and provided by Dignity Funerals Limited. Dignity Funerals Limited is a company registered in England and Wales No. 00041598. VAT registered No. 486 6081 14. 4 King Edwards Court, King Edwards Square, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B73 6AP. Telephone No. 0121 354 1557. Fax No. 0121 355 808. Part of Dignity plc. A British Company. Dignity is not authorised or regulated for this activity by the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority but is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

Who provides the Funeral Plans?

Dignity Funerals Ltd arranges and provides the funeral services. Dignity Funerals is not authorised or regulated for this activity by either the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority. Dignity Funerals Ltd is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

The life insurance policy that pays for your funeral will be provided by Phoenix Life Limited, trading as SunLife.

Who provides My Smarter (ISA)?

My Smarter (ISA) is provided by Scottish Friendly Asset Managers Limited. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Details can be found on the Financial Services register, registration No. 188832. Member of The Investment Association. Registered Office: Scottish Friendly House, 16 Blythswood Square, Glasgow G2 4HJ.

Who provides the Will writing services?

Hugh James is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA Number:303202).

The information contained on this website is based on Hugh James' understanding of the law of intestacy in England and Wales only as at April 2014. The law in Scotland and Northern Ireland is significantly different. This is for information purposes and is not intended to be legal advice.

Who provides Family Life Insurance?

SunLife Family Life Insurance is provided by Scottish Friendly Assurance Society Limited which is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Details can be found on the Financial Services register (registration number 110002). Registered Office: Scottish Friendly House, 16 Blythswood Square, Glasgow G2 4HJ. 

Who provides SunLife Pet Insurance

SunLife Pet Insurance is arranged and administered by BDML Connect Limited. BDML Connect Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (No. 309140). Registered in England and Wales Number 02785540. Registered Office: 45 Westerham Road, Bessels Green, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 2QB.

Who provides SunLife Home Insurance

SunLife Home Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.

Who provides SunLife Car Insurance

SunLife Car Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.