Charlotte Letlape left investment banking to follow her dream.
Charlotte’s earliest memories are of baking with her grandfather. ‘When I visited, he’d wake early and prepare everything, then get me up to help him fry the vetkoek and wake the family for breakfast. It was wonderful witnessing their pleasure, and I never forgot that feeling.’
Although baking remained her go-to passion, she dutifully followed her father into medicine (‘he was South Africa’s first black ophthalmologist’). She soon discovered it wasn’t for her, and followed her business consultant mom, switching to a BCom in economics and finance, and becoming an investment banker. But that wasn’t a good fit either.
‘I was depressed and stressed, and took comfort in cooking for family and friends.’ When Charlotte was retrenched in 2014, she was relieved: ‘I took it as a sign to follow my heart into a baking career, using my retrenchment package.’
Today, as the Pastry Princess, she has catered for clients from former first lady Zanele Mbeki to Olympic sprinter Wayde van Niekerk, and has featured on Top Billing.
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