top of page

A moment with Fen Bolodeoku, founder of MonAnnie

I am so happy to share the wonderful words from an incredibly talented and lovely Fehintola “Fen” Bolodeoku who is the creative behind MonAnnie, an award-winning bespoke business that creates thoughtfully designed elegant cakes and patisserie. Born and raised in Nigeria, where she developed a love for art, science, and flavours. She moved to the UK at 15, trained and qualified as a medical doctor, where she achieved her dream of a career in paediatric medicine. She took a step back from the world of medicine and rekindled her passion for the culinary arts, leading to the creation of MonAnnie. Fen is simply wonderful, I hope this interview leaves you feeling as creatively fulfilled as I was.

Photograph credit Cristina Ilao

Tell us your story and what inspired you to set up your company?

I was born in Nigeria and moved to the UK for my A-levels and university. I have always been a creative person and loved baking, cooking and interior design. These had however taken a back seat to my busy career as a medical doctor. Life, however, doesn’t always go as planned- and the most beautiful things are sometimes birthed out of pain.

During a difficult time with my mental health, all I could bring myself to do was bake. I would sleep, wake up briefly to bake a tin of cupcakes, then go back upstairs to bed. The act of combining the flour, sugar, eggs…it brought me an immense sense of peace; it made everything in my mind quiet. I did this every day for quite a few months, then discovered decorating and that pulled me into a very passionate creative direction. MonAnnie was born from that rekindled love for baking.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

Winning the award for “Best cakes and desserts” at the Bridelux(now RSVP) 2022 Awards. It was a wonderful moment of validation.

What do you love most about running your own business?

The platform it gives me to really explore my creativity.

What is your company mission statement?

Creating bespoke, flavour first, elegant wedding cakes and patisserie for well-travelled foodies with a keen eye for the little details.

Photograph credit Cristina Ilao

What sets you and your business apart from competitors?

I’m unique because I am me. My passion for my craft, my mind, my thought process, my eye for detail, my drive to continue to learn and improve. There are so many talented creatives and cake designers in the world - if you gave each one of us the same inspiration, I bet you we would all interpret that inspiration in a different way. Our minds all work differently and that adds variety and beauty to the world.

If you were re-starting your business again, what three things would you do first?

For me, it would be one thing - I’d spend more time finding my business and creative identity.

Looking back what were the most important things you wish someone had told you before starting your business?

Learn to set boundaries and say no. I read a lovely quote from photographers - Lina and Tom- “If you never say no, what is your yes really worth?”

What is your vision for the future of your company?

Continue to create a tasteful selection of bespoke high-end wedding cakes. We currently offer a curated selection of items primarily marketed as gifts for wedding guests - we would love to develop this side of the business beyond the wedding industry.

What are the most rewarding aspects of what you do?

There is something incredibly special about family and friends coming together to celebrate love and the beginning of a new family. It is an absolute honour to play a part in celebrating that.

A very clever intensive care doctor one said to me- “what you do is life” Life can have many difficult and sad moments, the precious memories we have and the hope of making new ones keep us going. Creating designs and flavours that will become fond memories our couples can treasure forever; this for me is pure joy.

Photograph credit Victoria Amrose

What do you think it takes to build a successful business and brand?

Passion, hardwork and patience.

How would you describe your leadership style?

I like to lead by example, I think. I’m very hands on with my projects and like to “show” first, with other people following my lead.

Who would you love to collaborate with?

Mrs Alice, Fiona Leahy, Laura Ashley, Neptune home, Harrods.

Favourite part about your job?

It’s really hard to choose just one, I’ll say baking and making sugar flowers.

What is the best piece of career advice you have been given?

It would have to be that quote from Lina and Tom “If you ever say no, what is your “yes” really worth?”

What advice would you offer budding entrepreneurs?

It’s not about being “the best”, it’s about being “your best”.

This is an evolving process of finding your voice, developing it and continuing to nurture it. Your efforts may take some time to blossom; it’s okay to be patient and kind to yourself.

Describe yourself in 3 words

Introverted, Smiley, creative.

What is your life motto?

Feel the fear and do it anyway.

Photograph credit Cristina Ilao

Who inspires you and why?

My sister in law, Mrs Tayo Bolodeoku. She runs Hans and Renee- a successful gelateria and patisserie

business in Lagos, Nigeria. She’s very creative and innovative.

What book should we all read?

I’m going to go with a short story called “Ramadan” by Neil Gaiman. It’s actually part of a graphic novel series called “The Sandman” (you may have seen the Netflix Show). It’s a really beautiful short story with amazing illustrations.

Do you have any daily routines?

I like to start my day off with a jump rope session and some breathing exercises; these help calm my anxieties and set me up for a more productive day.

What have you learnt over the last two years?

The importance of setting boundaries.

What is your favourite possession and why?

A pink teddy I’ve had since I was about 2. My nieces and nephews had him for a while; now that they are grown, he has made his way back to me.

Photograph credit Julia Rapp

What is your greatest personal achievement?

Marrying my best friend.

What is the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?

Check my phone for missed calls - particularly from family.

How do you unwind?

Scented candles and a good murder mystery TV show.

How would you spend your perfect day?

Snuggling under a comfy blanket on the sofa.

What makes you smile?

Music - Afrobeat, Gospel, and Country are my favourite genres.

Photograph credit Cristina Ilao

Tell us about your personal style

I would describe my personal style as classic with some trendy elements peppered through.

What are your wardrobe staples?

I love a nice blazer paired with skinny jeans, a suit with wide leg trousers, a summer dress with voluminous sleeves.

Where is your favourite place to travel to?

Lake Como - it’s so picturesque and tranquil.

Where do you find inspiration?

The world is full of so much beauty and inspiration can come from unexpected places or things. I do my best to be present and notice the overt and nuanced details. I particularly love flowers, textures, fabric, movement and old buildings with beautiful architecture.

Who are your style icons?

Michelle Obama, Princess Diana, Tracee Ellis Ross

Do you collect anything?

Cake stands and vintage crockery.

What are your favourite Instagram accounts?

Florist accounts. I can spend hours scrolling through their feeds.

What are your Top Tips for entertaining?

Be willing to be present with your guests. Prepare things in advance - ingredients, your table scape.

What are the beauty and wellness essentials you can’t live without

Estee Lauder Advance Night Repair. I love the feel of it on my face and the glow it brings.

What does living well mean to you?

Living a life with people and things that truly bring you joy. Not striving for perfection, in the hope that people will like, accept or respect you. The latter breeds anxiety and burnout.


bottom of page