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Cathryn Dresser from Great British Bake Off on running her own Handcross shop

PUBLISHED: 16:53 16 February 2015 | UPDATED: 09:32 03 January 2018

Cathryn Dresser

Cathryn Dresser


Cathryn Dresser lives in Pease Pottage with her husband and “two little peanuts”, Maisie and Ambrose. But alongside school runs, trips to the park and the like, Cathryn runs her own shop, The Little Handcross Bakery in (yes, you guessed it) Handcross.

Why a bakery? Well you could say that Cathryn is something of a “star baker”, as she appeared on series three of the BBC baking phenomenon that is The Great British Bake Off in 2012, at the age of 27. She came in a respectable fifth place, leaving the show just two weeks before the final.

“Every week I fully expected to be given the boot,” she says modestly. “So I was delighted to stay in as long as I did, and it was just the driving force I needed to follow my dream of opening my own bakery.”

Not only that, but the momentum also saw Cathryn release her own book, which proved a big hit when it came out last year. Let’s Bake! is a cookery book aimed at getting children into the kitchen more. “I think it’s such a fun thing to be able to do with your little ones, and they learn a valuable life skill to boot!”

The new venture is going from strength to strength. The décor is all tea cakes and gingham and it goes without saying that the handiwork that comes out of the oven is suitably gorgeous…as well as a veritable plethora of breads, cakes and biscuits, Cathryn is a dab hand at creations for special occasions like a birthday or wedding, which she says that she’s more than happy to whip up, as long as she’s given “enough time to make it brilliant”. So why not make like Mary Berry and put her enviable skills to the test? “Absolutely!” She laughs. “Do come down to the shop and see me any time.”


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