Lora Margerison, the Blackburn girl using old family recipes to start her own baking business
PUBLISHED: 01:16 17 October 2011 | UPDATED: 20:08 20 February 2013
As part of National Baking Week, Emma Mayoh meets a graduate from Blackburn who used old family recipes to start her own business
Our county is lucky to have a bounty of local producers growing, rearing and making fantastic food. But there will be few 21-year-olds as dedicated to flying the flag for Lancashire produce as Lora Margerison.
When she was buckling down to the final months of her course in occupational therapy at the University of Cumbria, Lora was also busy hatching plans to start her own baking business.
Shed discovered employment opportunities were limited and decided to turn her passion and hobby into a profession. In June, just a few weeks after she finished her final exams, she launched Cunliffe Cakes.
She said: I got married in March last year and I discovered how great it was to have the freedom of my own kitchen. There were limited jobs in the health service so I started to think about what other things I could do.
I could think of nothing better than spending time baking. Its something I get a lot of enjoyment from. My husband Brian jokes that hed never let me sit at home doing nothing, but I cant bear to just sit doing nothing anyway. Im really pleased I decided to do it.
Loras love of baking began when she was a girl. She spent hours with mum Barbara making cakes, fruit loaves and scones. She was also taught recipes which had been passed down from her grandma, also called Barbara.
Lora has raided the family recipe books for Cunliffe Cakes including a Queens Favourite Cake, a type of lemon cake, as well as fruit loaves, both of which her grandma used to make.
Lora also spends time devising and testing her own recipes to sell at Great Eccleston Market every Wednesday as well as through wholesalers, at Brockholes Nature Reserve and Applejacks in Preston.
Everything is made in the kitchen at her Blackburn home. She sources many ingredients locally, including Bowlands Free Range Eggs and Bowland Milk. The elderflower cordial she uses in one of her cakes is also made from flowers she collects on the family farm.
Lora now plans to put her efforts into making the business grow, as well as trying to encourage more people back into their kitchens to bake. She is also hoping to celebrate National Baking Week, which takes place from October 17th-23rd.
She said: I get a lot of enjoyment out of baking and there has been a real rise in its popularity over the past few years. And I think this can only be good news. The more people who get back in their kitchens and try some recipes, the better.
I just want the business to really take off now. Im really pleased that things have gone so well already. Its fantastic.