Cake dreams

Middlesbrough Herald & Post - - FRONT PAGE -

A TAL­ENTED young baker is open­ing a Nor­ton cake shop – de­spite be­ing warned by doc­tors not to work.

Lilly Kirschmann, from Hart­burn, has a painful spine con­di­tion but in­sists it’s years of work and stay­ing ac­tive – not “walk­ing on eggshells” – that has kept her healthy and fit.

At 32, she has al­ready built up the suc­cess­ful Tasty Tarts sand­wich bar and ca­ter­ing busi­ness with her sis­ter Jenny Kirschmann, 36, but was forced to quit as she was “in agony”.

She has re­fused to let the con­di­tion hold her back and on Satur­day, the pair opened their Nor­ton High Street cake and bak­ing sup­plies shop – also called Tasty Tarts.

Lilly said: “I’ve al­ways dreamed about open­ing a cake shop and nei­ther of us are get­ting any younger.

“We thought ‘if we don’t do it now, we never will’.”

Things got busy very quickly when the women opened their Yarm Lane sand­wich shop a few years ago in Stock­ton.

“It was all home­made cook­ing,” says Lilly, “I was on my feet all day every day and ca­ter­ing every week­end too – I was in agony so had to stop.

“We sold the sand­wich shop to two lovely girls but we’ve built up the Tasty Tarts name, so we kept it.

“We’ve al­ways done out­side ca­ter­ing. “I’ve al­ways been of the mind­set if you don’t work for it, you won’t get it. You have to put the hours in if you want to be suc­cess­ful.”

Lilly has se­vere (grade five) Spon- dy­lolis­the­sis – slip­page of the ver­te­brae away from the spine – from years of danc­ing as a child.

“Luck­ily, it was low enough that it didn’t af­fect my spinal cord,” she says. “I’m fine – but I can’t bend for­ward at all.

“The spe­cial­ists said be care­ful, walk on eggshells and don’t work; I ig­nored it.

“They could fuse to­gether the area where it’s swollen but it’s a re­ally danger­ous oper­a­tion and they don’t want to do it.

“There are a cou­ple of peo­ple in Amer­ica that have fol­lowed the sur­geon’s ad­vice and not moved around much, and they have de­te­ri­o­rated.

“The more ac­tive I am, the bet­ter I feel. I hon­estly think the years of work­ing have helped.”

She hopes run­ning the new ven­ture with Jenny – a for­mer RAF load­mas­ter, who worked on huge C17 cargo planes – will be less stren­u­ous.

Tasty Tarts, which has taken over the for­mer Peapods jew­ellery shop, will also in­clude a re­tail space for cake-mak­ing sup­plies, cut­ters and boards.

“The only big place that sells what we will sell is in Wash­ing­ton, we want to pro­vide sup­plies at good prices so peo­ple travel here,” Lilly added.

“I’ve al­ways baked with my mam, she taught me ev­ery­thing I know. Now I’m pass­ing it onto Jenny. She’s a su­perb dec­o­ra­tor, very skilled. We’re best friends, like a lit­tle tag team.”

Lilly and Jenny Kirschmann who have opened Tasty Tarts on Nor­ton High Street

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