By Laura Kingston
Tell us how Creme de la Creme came about?
I came to the North East 7 years ago to work in a school in Newton Aycliffe that was twinned with my school in France. I’m a Chemistry and Physics teacher and came across to teach as well as to develop a Skype exchange programme between the French and English pupils. I was only supposed to be here for one year but I met my husband in 2014 and we married in 2015. We moved up to Newcastle and have been here since.
About four years ago I was really starting to miss the French patisserie from home. I was an absolutely terrible baker and I couldn’t just wait for trips back to France so I decided to do something about it. I decided to use my knowledge of chemistry to apply science to baking recipes so I could understand it properly. I then spent hours and hours on YouTube teaching myself.
I enjoy teaching but I wanted to do something else that let me bake which I really loved. I thought to myself, ‘I can teach, I love to bake and I like science, so I will teach people how to bake and the science behind it’.
It was an idea that was really low-cost to set up as I didn’t need premises, I do it all from my home. I opened up my kitchen to small groups who could come along and learn how to bake something delicious whilst being entertained and having a good time. I have had everything from individuals and small groups of two, to stag parties! It’s been very varied and I have met some lovely people who have become my friends.
Have you had any challenges?
Not being able to say no! Creme de la Creme has been incredibly popular which is fantastic, and I also bake patisserie for other people, such as macaron towers. I found it really hard to say no but I started to feel burnout and stress which is not what I wanted. I really wanted to continue to enjoy what I was doing, so I had to learn to start saying no.