The Escapist: Sweet Elements founder Faye Palmqvist
Sweet Elements' Faye Palmqvist tells us how she made the move from working in marketing to the Savoy hotel, before starting up her own bakery business
Growing up with mixed-nationality parents and living in several countries, I was exposed to lots of sweets and desserts from a young age. Both sides of my family are fantastic cooks and bakers, so I took an interest and learned how to do both. That's where my passion for baking began.
I worked in marketing for ten years, first in the film and television industry and then in the property sector. For years I baked cakes just for friends and family, but it gets to a point in life when you ask yourself what is important, and for me it was doing something that I'm passionate about. In 2010 I attended a sugar craft course – that was when I started to think about baking as a career.
It took another four years until I was actually able to quit my job in 2014 and leave the nine-to-five. I applied to Le Cordon Bleu culinary school, which polished my baking skills and give me a real chance at becoming a professional pastry chef.
My first job was at the world-renowned Savoy hotel. Coming from a corporate background, being thrown into a kitchen and working for 12 hours straight was a shock to my system. I realised I should have maybe started this baking career at 20, not at 30, so I decided I wanted to start a cake and dessert catering business of my own.
No day is ever the same: I'm always creating new cake designs, testing new flavours, researching new ideas – the list is endless. Nothing is impossible to recreate on a cake, in fact, that's a key part of my culinary and artistic motivation. The most rewarding part of my job is when I see the expression on my clients' faces, and the wonderful comments I receive from them.