Who is Penny the Bee?
Penny the Bee is run by Cristina, sugar artist & cake creative based in London.
Born in Milan (Italy) I graduated at the Faculty of Law at the University of Milan. After having worked in the legal and compliance area in the banking industry, I decided to move to London to continue with my studies at SOAS, University of London, obtaining a Master of Laws (LLM) and consequently the GDL (Graduate Diploma in Law) from BPP University.
Illustrator and amateur cook, I always dedicated my time to explore new ways of cooking with particular attention to table arrangement and decorations. I truly love to add a touch of style and beauty to everything that is around me, giving originality and uniqueness to every creation, adding that simple touch of extravaganza with a hint of fantasy.
Here in London I developed a passion for the art of cake decorating. Impressed by some amazing cakes seen in magazines and in shops, I decided to attend my first cake decorating course. It was love at first sight ♥
Willing to improve my skills and wishing to combine the Italian style with the English decorating techniques, I then started to attend different cake decorating courses, from sugar paste to modelling, sugar flowers, royal icing, wonky cakes, baking, cupcakes and many more.
While studying for my LLM Master’s degree, I decided to study also for the PME Professional Diploma at Cakes 4 Fun in Putney, obtaining the PME Masters Certificate from the prestigious Knightsbridge PME School of Cake Decorating & Confectionery Arts. After all the courses and the PME, I begun this new cake adventure by creating Penny the Bee.
I constantly improve my skills in the pastry and decorating field by attending various professional courses, such as the Professional Training Course in Fine Patisserie at Pica Pastry School in Milan, a professional airbrush course at Squires Kitchen School, sugar modelling courses with the world famous sugar artists Carlos Lischetti and Emanuela Coppini, and many other. I also attended events related courses, such as Interior Styling for Photography and Advertising at The University of the Arts - Central Saint Martins and Table Arrangements for Entertaining at The Covent Garden Academy of Flowers.
I obtained the Level 2 Award in Food Safety in Catering . I have been awarded 5 star Food Hygiene rating.
Cristina's debut in the industry
I had my debut in the industry at The National Wedding Show, where I won 'The Most Outstanding Exhibitor' award amongst more than 250 exhibitors. I have also had the pleasure to attend other famous wedding fairs like Diva Luxury Wedding Fayre at Pall Mall and Elite London Events Wedding Fair at Chelsea Town Hall in London.
I very much like to take part to cake competitions across London. I participated to Cake International and been shortlisted twice at The Cake & Bake Show, Cupcake Decorating Heaven and Ideal Home Show Royal Wedding competitions.
I have been featured in many publications, such as Bride Icon, Creme de la Bride, Friends of the Earth, The National Wedding Show, Cake Decorating Heaven, as well as TV. My creations also appeared on websites and social media platforms, such as Rock 'n Roll Bride, You & Your Wedding, Younique Events, Bride Icon, Kidspot, Cake Decorating Heaven, Dolcemente and more.
I have a particular affinity with both the event and children's parties industries and have been lucky enough to create cakes for famous brands such as Toadstool Parties, Les Enfants, My Kid Atelier, Crate a Party, Amanda's Action Club, Notorious Kids, Alexson Entertainment, Love Makes Events, AllMumsTalk and more. I also collaborated with Kensington Mums for their Christmas goodie bags, and with shoe retailer Pink Paradox London for an inspired Beauty & the Beast photo shoot. Moreover, I not only make cakes, but I also teach magical decorating classes for children.
You can find me on prestigious online platforms in the wedding industry such as Bridebook, and children's parties/activities industry such as Kidsorted and Hoop.
The story behind the name
I wanted to concentrate my passions in just one name, which also would be able to evoke an old family tradition: bee-keeping.
My grandfather, expert bee-keeper, was truly in love with his bees and took care of them with dedication and affection. He believed that the bees are an essential and vital part of this world, of our eco system, and that without them life would be impossible.
Why Penny? Penny is my nickname, now becoming a sweet tiny bee who loves to fly around a cupcake :)
I have always been keen on bees, as my mum used to put colourful bees above my cradle that enchanted me with their movements.
WHAT YOU SAY ABOUT US
— Natasha, Gloucestershire