Brooklyn baker urges mums to follow dreams after big award win…

    A LOCAL American woman has urged other mothers to pursue their dreams after her bakery won a prestigious award.
    Nichola Ferron, 43, has lived in Tonbridge for the last three years, running The Black Rose Bakery from her home. Last week, her signature Black Forest Layer Cake won a coveted national Great Taste Star Award.
    The New Yorker, from Brooklyn, originally spent years working as a paralegal, but felt it was ‘wasting’ her life. So she trained as a classical chef at The Art Institute of Seattle for Culinary Skills. After graduating, she moved to London in 2002, fulfilling a ‘lifelong ambition’ of moving to the UK. But after failing to also realise her dream of opening a restaurant,she found herself working as a secretary.
    Again, she didn’t let this stifle her drive, and seven years ago she established The Black Rose Bakery at the home she shares with husband Andi and three-year-old Ocean Lilly. Her five-layered cakes – which take three days to make – have gained a great reputation in the local community, with other parents regularly acting as ‘taste testers’.
    “People ask me: ‘As a mum, how do you have time?’ And I say: ‘When she’s asleep I’m in the kitchen working at 1am. When she’s having breakfast, I’m there preparing’. You have to put in the time, nothing comes easy. “A lot of newcomers are put off by social media. They see photos of these incredible cakes and think that is what people achieved first time round. It’s not.
    “But you have to go to the classes. Read the books – try to change your mind-set.” She is fully booked until December, and is hoping to expand, find her own premises and at last open a café and pastry school. “I want to encourage mums, girls, boys, everyone – if you have that dream, go for it!”