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.”
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.”
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