“When we opened Patisserie Mark Bennett, I had no idea what the future would hold. I could never have imagined that what started as a dream would turn into six shops and 78 employees. It was never easy, but I am so glad that we never gave up. Patisserie Mark Bennett will always be dedicated to our adored son, Toby.” – Mark Bennett
Mark Bennett is the third generation in a family line of master-bakers. With baking excellence in his DNA, a true passion for the industry and a dedication to perfecting his craft, Mark is one of the most respected and acclaimed bakers in Britain.
The Dorset-born baker developed a taste for baking at 15 years old, when he left school without any qualifications and began working at his family’s bakery business, Bennett’s Family Bakers in Poole. Some might say that a future in baking was inevitable for Mark, but no one could have foreseen that he would go on to lead such an illustrious baking career.
It was the precision and scientific nature of baking that appealed to Mark immediately. He swiftly picked up the basics at Southampton Bakery College, before taking a keen interest in cake decoration at the age of 16. Mark began to excel very quickly, and his natural talents caught the eye of renowned Royal British cake decorator, Eddie Spence, who took Mark under his wing and fine-tuned his talents.
Less than two years later, for his already abundant achievements in cake decoration, Mark was chosen to design and decorate the Royal Wedding Cake for the Duke and Duchess of York. At the tender age of 18, this made him the youngest baker in Britain to be invited to produce a cake fit for Royalty. Later that year in 1986, Mark was awarded the Piero Scacco Award for his Outstanding Contribution to the Baking Industry.
Mark went on to train at the acclaimed Richemont Bakery School in Switzerland, where he continued to develop his expertise as a young baker. In due course, Mark retired from competing to allow him to focus more heavily on enhancing the family business. By this time, Mark had over 100 International Gold Medals for cake decoration alone. This earned him recognition as one of the best cake decorators in the world, drawing comparisons with the likes of legendary wedding cake decorator, Ronny Rock.
In 2012, Mark and his wife, Emma, made the life-changing decision to start a lifelong dream of opening their very own patisserie – Patisserie Mark Bennett in Penn Hill was born! The patisserie was an instant success and quickly became a neighbourhood destination. It gave Mark the opportunity to innovate and bring his creative ideas to life. Shortly after opening, Mark went on to win the prestigious BIA Baker of the Year Award in 2014, one of his finest personal achievements and highlight of his career.
In 2015, Patisserie Mark Bennett won the esteemed BIA Craft Bakery of the Year Award, going on to win the BIA Speciality Bread of the Year Award the following year. With the business going from strength to strength, it didn’t take long for Mark and Emma to open further shops in Lilliput, Ashley Cross, Broadstone, the Bakehouse on Waterloo Road in Fleetsbridge and Christchurch.
Mark has starred in a number of TV shows, including ITV’s Britain’s Best Bakery and BBC2’s Bake Off Crème de la Crème. Since opening the doors to Patisserie Mark Bennett in 2012, Mark has won 58 World Bread Awards. His award-winning creations include his signature Pain au Levain, Five Seed Sourdough, Jurassic Coast Sourdough and many, many more. These accolades all speak (and taste) for themselves.
Finally, to seal his place as an acclaimed baker in Britain, in 2022 Mark was awarded the honour of creating the Royal Cake to mark the celebration of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee. Mark, Emma and their son, Jamie, delivered the cake to Buckingham Palace on Monday 30 May. As a keen Royalist, Mark is extremely proud to have had the opportunity to contribute to such an unprecedented event in Royal British history.
- =100 International Gold Medals in Cake Decoration
- =BIA Baker of the Year 2014
- =BIA Craft Bakery of the Year 2015
- =BIA Speciality Bread of the Year 2016
- =2022 Royal Cake for Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee
- =Qualified Bakery Judge
- =As seen on Netflix, ITV & BBC2
- =58 World Bread Awards
- =Board Member of the British Confectioners' Association
- =1986 Royal Wedding Cake for the Duke & Duchess of York