In what was formerly a garage and repairs shop tucked beside the old bridge house, David and his mother opened the Apple Pie in 1975. David trained at Bakery College in Blackpool and worked for 4 years in the test bakery at Warburton’s before deciding to venture out on his own.
In the early days it was a two man band, mother and son with only five tables and a kettle. Although a trained baker, David never intended to open a bakery (he didn’t like the early starts!) but as people started requesting the cakes they ate in the café to take home with them, he had no option but to expand the bakery and open the takeaway shop.
As demand increased so did the premises, extending backwards and upwards with much of the work carried out by David himself. The premises now comprises the take away counter, five seating areas and a wonderful two storey bakery with a team of skilled bakers who not only supply the Apple Pie café and takeaway but many businesses around the heart of the Lake District, with top quality freshly baked products.
The Apple Pie could not have kept up with demand without its team of core staff and we are pleased to be able to say that some members of our team have been with over 30 years. Simon Carter started in 1980 as a seasonal employee working behind the counter and now has the task of managing the day to day running of the shop and café, with all the challenges that brings.
David Smith joined the bakery team in 1986 and has developed many of our best sellers and won several awards for his cake decorating and breads at national competitions.
In the kitchen Clare has been creating new recipes over the last 17 years, developing sandwich fillings, soups and more recently a range of condiments such as apple chutney, fruit jams, a mustard vinaigrette and harrissa paste.
Ann joined the team in 1979 and after marrying the boss became Mrs. Fielding in 1982. She has worked closely alongside David, helping to develop award winning products like the Cumberland sausage pie. More recently Ann has set up the Rooms at The Apple Pie, boutique style accommodation, in a tastefully converted building adjacent to the Apple pie Café. Right from the off, the rooms were a huge success with guests returning again and again.
The Apple Pie has a strong customer base with a high proportion of returning customers. We hear stories of people, who remember coming to the Apple Pie as a child and who are now bringing in the next generation of customers.
David started the business at 25 and at 65 he has taken his well-deserved retirement, (although he’s often still spotted around the business). It’s now the turn of the next generation – although initially they were dragged in to help out over busy periods, the young Fieldings are now getting involved and showing a keen interest in the future of the café and bakery. While eldest son, Simon is already heavily involved, making many changes and creating new products, youngest son, Richard is working in a London Bakery gaining skills and learning new techniques and recipes. Katie is still unsure of which direction her career will take her but is interested in the interior design side of the business and improving the customer’s experience. She is also keen to add to our list of ingredients which are sourced locally and from environmentally minded businesses.
The Apple Pie rarely stands still with projects continuously in the pipeline. As trends have come and gone, the Apple Pie has evolved and adapted to continuously keep up to date with customer demands.