Carina Lepore won the fifteenth series of The Apprentice in 2019, with Lord Alan Sugar investing £250,000 into the businesswoman’s bakery. She opened her first Dough bakery in Herne Hill in 2018, before opening a second store in Beckenham in 2020 after winning the show.
Carina Lepore is a British businesswoman and baker who was born in 1990. She grew up in a family of bakers and developed a passion for baking from a young age. In 2019, Carina won the ninth season of The Apprentice, a reality television show in which contestants compete for a business investment from Lord Sugar.
After winning The Apprentice, Carina used her prize money to open Dough Bakehouse, a bakery and café in Herne Hill, South London. The bakery offers a range of handmade bread, cakes, and pastries made with organic, locally sourced ingredients. Dough Bakehouse has since become a popular spot for locals and visitors alike.
In addition to her bakery, Carina has also launched a range of baking kits that allow customers to recreate some of her signature treats at home. She has also appeared on various television shows, including This Morning and Good Morning Britain, where she has shared her baking expertise and promoted her business.
Carina is committed to sustainability and reducing waste in her business, and she has implemented various eco-friendly practices, such as using recyclable packaging and donating surplus food to local charities.
Overall, Carina Lepore is a successful businesswoman and baker who has built a thriving business based on her passion for baking and commitment to quality and sustainability.
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We like to know an entrepreneur’s back story to get a feel of them on a personal level.
Can you tell us about your upbringing and what do you think played a major part in you becoming a successful woman in business?
I had a fantastic upbringing and a great childhood. My parents were both hard-working and taught me that without hard work you don’t get results. My Dads mentoring growing up would be that of keep pushing nothing was enough! Or so it felt? However, I’ve learned in my adult life that this was exactly what I needed to push and be so determined to succeed and get exactly what I want/ wanted from life.
You consider yourself a natural leader as one of your strong points, but what would you say is your weakness?
A weakness of mine would not always be able to switch off and take time out. I’m always on the go!
You won The Apprentice and are enjoying the success, but what is next for Carina Lepore & how will you achieve it?
Continuing to grow and expand my business @Doughbakehouse is my main priority business related. We’ve all had a strange year which has slowed us down, I am grateful currently for my team’s health and continued handwork throughout a tough trading time for our hospitality sector.
Let’s talk about “The Apprentice”
Why did you enter, what did you learn and what would say to anyone about to appear on the show?
I actually entered on a whim, just one evening I thought oh why not let’s apply! Once I started to get through the audition processes and then the phone call to say they wanted me on the show that’s when my mindset switched into “let’s do this” mode! I learned loads! It was genuinely one of the best experiences of my life. So challenging, and so tough but I just thrived! I learned to be brave and bold and mainly to believe in myself which has given me the mindset to become |a successful woman in business. This is what I would also tell others who were about to appear on the show.
You and Lord Alan Sugar seem pretty close now, what have you learned from Alan since winning the show?
Yeah we have a good working relationship. I mean we started our business journey together and then hit a worldwide pandemic. I think during this especially he’s taught me to slow down when it’s needed. Alan is extremely knowledgeable when it comes to business, so to be able to send an email or text to him when I want is fabulous.
You are the owner of the Dough Artisan Bakehouse do you have any plans to expand the brand or do you have a new business venture in the pipeline?
Plans still stand to continue to expand and grow Dough Bakehouse. We’ve naturally had to slow down and access the overall situation currently but definitely have plans to expand in the future.
Your now a successful woman in business but who has been the most influential person in your career?
I don’t just have one person who has influenced me greatly during my journey as I’ve always been a big believer in learning and gaining insights from many different people who I’ve met and who influenced me. I have had some great leaders in my retail career before becoming a business owner. I have many friends now who also are business owners and I love to discuss all things life, and business with them!
What advice can you give to young entrepreneurs who are starting out on their business journey?
For me, it was not just all about becoming a successful woman in business!
My advice would be to be prepared for a lot and I mean a lot of hard work! Day in and day out you must maintain focus, a lot of drive, and determination. Make sure your business is your passion and you will enjoy the journey even with the hurdles and challenges you face daily as an entrepreneur.
How can business owners get exposure for their business in the best way?
The key things would be to have strong branding and marketing. A strong ethos and key values. Networking is also key.
If you could eat dinner with 3 people living or deceased who would it be and why?
OHH this is tricky!? The First 3 that popped into my initial thoughts were my uncle Tony, he passed away when I was a lot younger in my teens and he was just so great to be around, with amazing energy and I would love to have the chance to discuss my journey with him and learn his thoughts and to hear him taking the Micky out of my dad again!
Robin Williams – He’s played such a part in my enjoyment as a child and in adult life actually watching his movies have always been a great escape and pure joy so I would just love to get the chance to speak to him.
Beyonce – is just one of the most inspirational women! Always have looked up to her in every way so to even get a moment to discuss anything with her would be insane!
Which entrepreneur do you look up to most in business and why?
Giuseppe Mascoli is the owner/ founder of Franco Manca. I hold his story close to my heart as I can relate to his journey and business story. He started small in Brixton, is of Italian heritage, and has great family values.
Will you be taking part in any media or publicity events in the future & what’s the best way to get in touch with you, should people contact you?
I’m always up for opportunities! I can be reached by email firstname.lastname@example.org
Or my Instagram carinalepore_
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