A STAVELEY woman is bringing cake to the masses with the help of her vintage inspired caravan.

Thelma the Tiny Tea Room is the brain child of Sarah Abbott, a self-taught baker who has turned her hobby into a business.

Specialising in gluten and dairy-free bakes, Sarah, travels up and down Cumbria with her van, vintage china, and selection of sweet treats.

"I started experimenting with gluten-free 10 years ago from a friend's need, for health reasons," she said. "Gluten free cake was awful and very hard to come by and I thought 'I know I can make better than that!'"

The van made its debut appearance at Holker Garden Festival last week and Sarah said that the name had been chosen in memory of a good friend.

"Thelma was a lovely lady who I met three years ago because we both had breast cancer and sadly she died last year," she said "She kicked me up the bum and said 'you have got to do something with your cakes'. I used to bake for the little group of us that used to meet. When she died it kind of gave me a reason to do something.

For Sarah, it is the convenience of the caravan along with its aesthetic that initially appealed to her, as it allows her to travel to markets.

"I think the caravan makes it more special," she said. "When we brought her into the tent on Thursday it was quite emotional for me and my husband."

However, now that the business is starting to gather traction, Sarah and her husband, Ken, are also hoping to move into a physical shop in Kendal.

"We know that we're going to have get premises," Sarah said. "People are starting to ask 'where can we buy your cake?'"

With the shop will come new jobs and as business continues to grow, Sarah is thrilled that so many have taken an interest in her tiny tea room.

"Partly because of me being ill a while back," she said, talking about the decision to start trading. "Life's too short, you have to do what you love. It means we can travel around Cumbria, maybe a bit further afield, meet lots of nice people and give them lovely cake."