When mother and son Winifred and David Fielding first opened The Apple Pie in 1975 they turned a former petrol station and mechanic’s workshop into a café and bakery.
It’s still on the map as a popular pit stop more than 40 years later, but it’s the third generation of Fieldings who run the business now.
Richard Fielding, 28, took over as general manager from his older brother Simon last year, having rejoined the team in 2016. The move came after two years at Blackbird Bakery in south London.
It was there he developed an interest in artisan baking, which later prompted him to work with Apple Pie’s head baker Dave Smith to develop their own sourdough recipe.
Richard is very aware that nostalgia (and the lure of those best-selling, traditional bath buns) plays an important part in The Apple Pie’s appeal.
“The Lakes is one of those places you come to as a kid and remember those moments. For a lot of people The Apple Pie is one of those memories – after a long walk all you want is to have a hot chocolate. There’s a lot of nostalgia for people.”
Richard’s parents David and Ann are retired from the café, but run holiday lets in Grasmere.
Richard’s brother Simon has moved to London where he works for a specialist cured meats company, and their sister Katie is based in Newcastle.
Gone are the days when staff from the bakery, in the converted garage workshop, had to run across the yard in the rain with produce for the café.
The café, managed by Paul Anderson, has been extended into the entire ground floor with the bakery upstairs.
The café’s founder, Winifred passed away 10 years ago in her nineties.
The full version of this feature appeared in the May 2018 edition of Cumbria Life.