I discovered Lily Vanilli bakery while visiting Columbia Road Flower Markets, one of my favourite places in London. After checking out their shop online, I fell in love with their beautiful cakes and got in touch with bakery owner Lily about our wedding. She made us the most delicious lemon sponge cake with white chocolate buttercream frosting for our special day – I can’t wait to share pictures. Everyone was raving about it! Lily’s cakes are absolutely gorgeous, often decorated with edible flowers and berries from her garden. It’s no wonder she’s been hired by high end clients like Elton John and the V&A. But what I find most inspiring is that Lily embodies the “choose yourself” mentality. When the recession made it difficult to work in the field of graphic design, she forged her own path and created a successful business doing something she loves.
How would you sum up what you do?
I have a small bakery and make bespoke to order cakes for weddings, birthdays, any day. We always bake seasonally for the shop and decorate our cakes with things that taste as beautiful as they look. I grow a lot of the flowers we use & we source as much as we can locally. I write recipes, books and consult for other bakeries and businesses but above all I’m a baker.
What unconventional career path brought you from there to here?
I was working as a graphic designer in Australia for the Greens before returning to the UK in 2008 and finding the country in recession and work hard to find. I started selling my baking just to make ends meet and have been happily baking ever since.
Where does your inspiration come from?
From old books, films, nature, friends.
What advice would you give for someone with a monumental dream looking to make it a reality?
Keep focused on developing your skills and your craft, spend all the time and money that you would on advertising & pr working at becoming that best at what you do – the rest will take care of itself….and make sure you have Instagram…