10 November 1973

The sweet
smell of success

The first Pie In The Sky shop opened in Brighton on this day in 1973. Owner Francesca Katz had been reading Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to her son Leo, and decided to create a ‘magical factory for grown-up children’. Her brightly coloured store, decorated with rainbow murals, sold soaps and shampoos scented with chocolate, cinnamon, maple syrup and Marmite. It was an instant success, and a decade later there were more than four hundred Pie in the Sky stores in the UK. Its slogan – ‘I’m good enough to eat’ – became a national catchphrase. Katz used her fame and wealth to promote a variety of causes, and in the 1990s she and PR guru Vicky Ross became high-profile converts to the Omâéa sect, an offshoot of the Aréjiâ temple. The two women were old friends, and when Ross was asked by the Sunday Times Style magazine (below) to choose her favourite luxury, she had no hesitation in choosing a Pie in the Sky bestseller…

Inspirational: banoffee pie


Vicky Ross, founder of Vanilla PR

If I had to pick one item I couldn’t do without, it would be Banoffee Pie Face Fudge. I’m literally hooked on this stuff.

It all started one night with my best friend, Fran Katz, who runs the absolutely brilliant company Pie In The Sky.

We were having a real girlie evening with lots of white wine and a Dirty Dancing DVD, and decided to really pamper ourselves. Out came the banoffee pie, and before we tucked in we just inhaled it. Suddenly Fran said: ‘Wouldn’t it be great to have that feeling all day!’

That’s what makes her such a fantastic businesswoman.

Six months later Pie In The Sky had a full ‘Banoffee Pie’ range of gels, foams, pastes, scrapes and body crusts. They’re really funky, and all the ingredients are fair trade.

The face fudge is my favourite. I walk around all day surrounded by that lovely smell of banana and toffee. It reminds me of good times, and it seems to give off the most amazing positive vibes. Only the other day a guy in a pin-striped suit came up to me in the street and said he’d like to lick my face.

One day he’ll probably find himself sitting opposite me in a business meeting.  It’ll be a case of ‘wake up and smell the banoffee!’

Picture: Flickr

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