After studying graphic design at college, Fiona Cairns trained as a pastry chef at the Michelin-starred Hambleton Hall, Rutland, UK.
It wasn’t long after Fiona left Hambleton Hall in 1986 that the makings of Fiona Cairns Ltd began. Starting at the kitchen table, the business was formed following a batch of miniature fruit cakes (her greatest innovation and since widely copied) she made for friends one Christmas. Fiona’s training as both a graphic designer and pastry chef meant the cakes were both beautiful and delicious – there was nothing like them on the market at the time.
Fiona’s husband Kishore Patel, saw the potential of her beautifully crafted creations and together they founded Fiona Cairns Ltd. Their first order came from the Conran Shop, London, who has remained a loyal customer since. A barn in Fiona and Kishore’s garden was converted into a bakery, where a small team of bakers and decorators began to meet orders from an ever increasing client list including Harrods, Selfridges and Fortnum & Mason.
In 2001, with the business flourishing the bakery moved out of the garden and into a purpose-built bakery in Leicestershire. In 2010 the bakery doubled in size and is today producing over 750,000 cakes a year.
In 2011 the company was given the awe-inspiring task of being asked to create the Royal wedding cake for TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge - the ultimate project for any cake maker and designer.