6 ISSUES FOR JUST £6 Subscribe to Lancashire Life today CLICK HERE

Elizabeth May - sweet treats at a quirky cake shop in Chorley

14:38 13 February 2012

Mum and daughter team Susan Elizabeth Millar and Margaret May Lees in their new cake and chocolate parlour

Mum and daughter team Susan Elizabeth Millar and Margaret May Lees in their new cake and chocolate parlour

Expect quirky, out of the ordinary delights from a cake shop in Chorley on Valentine's Day. Emma Mayoh reports PHOTOGRAPHY BY KIRSTY THOMPSON

William and Finley Millar dont need to watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The five and three-year-old only need to visit their mums cake and chocolate parlour in Chorley. Over the next few weeks Susan Elizabeth Millar and her mum, Margaret May Lees, who run Elizabeth May Cakes, will be working on a window display that will look like it has been lifted straight from the film set.


Huge, intricate cakes will be surrounded by chocolate snowdrops and daffodils sprouting from the ground alongside a chocolate waterfall and river teeming with chocolate frogs. As the seasons change, so will the cake and chocolate goodies.

I want it to be a real talking point, said Susan Elizabeth. Were a bit quirky and perhaps a bit strange in our approach to our cakes and we want people to see that. We already have a traffic jam outside here in the mornings. We want it to be fun, not only for people to look at, but for us to create too.

I was watching the film with the boys not long ago and they said you can make that mummy, so I guess the challenge is on.

Susan Elizabeth, who lives in Coppull, has always baked and learned her skills from her nanna, Betty Lawrenson. As a child she also loved creating and making things. But she chose to study business, finance and tourism and worked for holiday company Haven in Blackpool and North Wales. It was only after the birth of her sons she started to think about her next move. In 2009, she set up Little Lancashire Cupcakes in 2009 selling at farmers markets and wedding fairs.

Susan said: Being a mum was the most important thing, it still is, but I also wanted something to do for me. I did baking with the boys and people started telling me to give it a go professionally. It was like Id finally found what I was meant to be doing.

As more request for cakes came in Susan Elizabeth trained to be a chocolatier at Slatterys in Prestwich. Last year she joined forces with her mum, former Chorley councillor Margaret May, to set up the cake and chocolate parlour in Lyons Lane. Dad Richard also helps out with delivering the cakes and despite only being open for a few weeks, the orders are coming in thick and fast.

Between them the mother and daughter make dozens of different cakes including Mars delight, red velvet, marble and white chocolate and strawberry cupcakes as well as rocky road and cake pops. The large cakes are also as varied with everything from pretty wedding cakes covered in hundreds of tiny sugar paste flowers to a birthday cake made to look like a roast chicken dinner. They also made a cake for Gordon Burns when he retired from North West Tonight and they make lots of chocolates, from a solid one kilo block in the shape of a meerkat to chocolate shoes.

Many of the recipes have been concocted by Susan Elizabeth who has taught them to her mum. But there are a few treasured family ones that they are also using including a mincemeat recipe from Susan Elizabeths great grandma and a sponge cake from her nanna.

As well as baking delicious cakes Susan and Margaret also want to try and combat stereotypes they believe Chorley is sometimes victim to.

Margaret, also from Coppull, said: There seems to be this criticism that the town is full of banks, building societies and charity shops. But this is not the case. There are a lot of long-standing businesses here that are proud of being in the town and make it a place to be proud of.

Were very pleased to be able to join those businesses but we also hope that we might attract more into the town too. Chorley is a fantastic place and we want more people to see how good it is.


William and Finley Millar dont need to watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The five and three-year-old only need to visit their mums cake and chocolate parlour in Chorley. Over the next few weeks Susan Elizabeth Millar and her mum, Margaret May Lees, who run Elizabeth May Cakes, will be working on a window display that will look like it has been lifted straight from the film set.

Huge, intricate cakes will be surrounded by chocolate snowdrops and daffodils sprouting from the ground alongside a chocolate waterfall and river teeming with chocolate frogs. As the seasons change, so will the cake and chocolate goodies.

I want it to be a real talking point, said Susan Elizabeth. Were a bit quirky and perhaps a bit strange in our approach to our cakes and we want people to see that. We already have a traffic jam outside here in the mornings. We want it to be fun, not only for people to look at, but for us to create too.

I was watching the film with the boys not long ago and they said you can make that mummy, so I guess the challenge is on.

Susan Elizabeth, who lives in Coppull, has always baked and learned her skills from her nanna, Betty Lawrenson. As a child she also loved creating and making things. But she chose to study business, finance and tourism and worked for holiday company Haven in Blackpool and North Wales. It was only after the birth of her sons she started to think about her next move. In 2009, she set up Little Lancashire Cupcakes in 2009 selling at farmers markets and wedding fairs.

Susan said: Being a mum was the most important thing, it still is, but I also wanted something to do for me. I did baking with the boys and people started telling me to give it a go professionally. It was like Id finally found what I was meant to be doing.

As more request for cakes came in Susan Elizabeth trained to be a chocolatier at Slatterys in Prestwich. Last year she joined forces with her mum, former Chorley councillor Margaret May, to set up the cake and chocolate parlour in Lyons Lane. Dad Richard also helps out with delivering the cakes and despite only being open for a few weeks, the orders are coming in thick and fast.

Between them the mother and daughter make dozens of different cakes including Mars delight, red velvet, marble and white chocolate and strawberry cupcakes as well as rocky road and cake pops.

The large cakes are also as varied with everything from pretty wedding cakes covered in hundreds of tiny sugar paste flowers to a birthday cake made to look like a roast chicken dinner. They also made a cake for Gordon Burns when he retired from North West Tonight and they make lots of chocolates, from a solid one kilo block in the shape of a meerkat to chocolate shoes.

Many of the recipes have been concocted by Susan Elizabeth who has taught them to her mum. But there are a few treasured family ones that they are also using including a mincemeat recipe from Susan Elizabeths great grandma and a sponge cake from her nanna.

As well as baking delicious cakes Susan and Margaret also want to try and combat stereotypes they believe Chorley is sometimes victim to.

Margaret, also from Coppull, said: There seems to be this criticism that the town is full of banks, building societies and charity shops. But this is not the case. There are a lot of long-standing businesses here that are proud of being in the town and make it a place to be proud of.

Were very pleased to be able to join those businesses but we also hope that we might attract more into the town too. Chorley is a fantastic place and we want more people to see how good it is.



The print version of this article appeared in the February 2012 issue of Lancashire Life

We can deliver a copy direct to your door order online here

0 comments

More from Food & Drink

Yesterday, 05:00
Could this Lancashire delicacy have hidden health benefits?

Scientists have discovered previously unknown benefits of tripe as a super-food that can combat tooth decay.

After talks between the British Dental Association and NICE, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, the government has agreed to offer tripe on prescription.

Read more
Friday, March 27, 2015
Enjoy money off a special lunch at Northcote this month

With up to £10 off you can enjoy a fabulous leisurely lunch at Northcote

Read more
Sunday, March 22, 2015
Hawkshead Brewery

The Lake District has the highest concentration of small breweries anywhere in Britain. Here's a selection you might like to try

Read more
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
A view over Ullswater from Sharrow Bay

It is no secret that the Lake District has some of the best places to eat, from Michelin-standard food to simple dishes that showcase the region's top local produce. Here is our insider's guide to just a few of Lakeland's finest

Read more
Monday, March 16, 2015
The Zen Restaurant, St Annes

Digest this mini-review in 60 seconds

Read more
Aidan Monks (centre) with some of the Lovingly Artisan team Sabina Tucker (left) and Alison Nelson (right)

With royalty and Hollywood actresses on his fan list, Aidan Monks is rising to the top of the bakery world faster than the sourdough breads he makes in Oxenholme. Emma Mayoh reports

Read more
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Lancashire pies have come a long way from the traditional meat and potato or cheese and onion as these Thai curry filled pies illustrate

Lancahire has always had a proud history of pie making and pie munching, here’s a selecion of some of the best in the county

Read more
Monday, March 2, 2015
East Lancashire Railway

Murder most glamorous! Take a decadent steam train ride into the roaring twenties with a full complement of swinging jazz, entrepreneurial cads, and bob haired beauty queens, after all, a little party never killed nobody ...

Read more


Food and Drink Directory

NEWSLETTER SIGNUP


Lancashire's trusted business finder