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Le Cordon Bleu News, 09/17/2015
Lorna Fleming and her giant leap of faith for her love of baking
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Le Cordon Bleu London Patisserie Student Lorna Fleming Interview
Lorna Fleming and her giant leap of faith for her love of baking

Lorna Fleming is currently studying intensive pâtisserie at intermediate level and is approaching her exams in a week. We speak with her to find out what gave her the confidence to leave behind a 13 year career to bake for a living.

How have you gone from a 13 year career in banking to running your own business and studying at Le Cordon Bleu London?

Well I went from school, straight to banking for a Dutch and then a Japanese company, but in the background I always had an interest in baking. For 4-5 years I would bake in my spare time, and gradually friends and family would make requests for me to bake them celebration cakes. I soon realized that I could make some money from my favorite pastime and possibly a business!

So on a Friday night I would come home from work at 7pm, put the oven on and start baking. On a Saturday morning I would sell my cakes at local farmers markets and from my website Yumptious, until one day I took a sabbatical from work and came to Le Cordon Bleu to learn the traditional techniques.

How has the course helped you in business?

The course has helped me with my time management and organization which is key in business. You work in your own space and it’s your responsibility to tidy up and produce what you’ve been asked to make in an allotted time, so indirectly it has helped me be a better business owner.

Tell us about Yumptious

Well the word isn’t even in the dictionary! But it is the combination of two words that sum up my cakes - yummy and scrumptious, which has been open for business since 2012.

Once you have completed the course where will you sell your cakes?

I will still be present at my local farmers markets in Tunbridge Wells, but I will start supplying to local cafes and I will start running pop up afternoon teas from my house.

How did you start establishing Yumptious in such a tough and competitive market?

Well it is through texture, taste and techniques that I made Yumptious unique. I made all my cakes look and taste great! My cupcakes are not the traditional – with the gingham cake case and glitter they are natural and look very delicate, so I have captured the market slightly differently and I make sure I pay attention to detail with every single one.

What has been the most constructive piece of criticism you’ve had since being at Le Cordon Bleu London?

I’m quite the perfectionist and tend to take too long on tasks, so I have been advised to improve my time management and work quicker by Chef Olivier – he drums it into me, but that’s a good thing!

What has been your favorite lesson so far?

It would have to be the class I’ve just had. We made a white chocolate entremet. It was fantastic because it was a culmination of all the techniques in one dish and that’s what I’ve come here to learn.

What advice would you give someone who is looking for a career change, but doesn’t have the confidence?

It’s difficult, but if you’ve got the passion and the motivation to do something you’ll achieve great things. If it’s midnight and you still have the energy for your hobby then it’s time you turned your hobby into a career. Life is too short to procrastinate.

How did it feel to be a student again after years of work in the corporate world?

Easier than I thought! I’m just so eager to learn and gain more knowledge. I’ve been commuting into London for 13 years, but getting on the train to come to Le Cordon Bleu is not a chore at all!

So what does the future hold?

Well I will complete my Pâtisserie course before heading out to work in the industry to learn the whole process from baking to serving and selling firsthand, before turning my full attention to Yumptious.


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London WC1A 2LS

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