Elizabeth Lind was born in Auckland, completed a law degree, and joined the family textile business wholesaling fashion fabrics to garment makers and fabric shops. As business became more difficult in the 1990s, she and her husband Mike looked for new inspiration. After a month's holiday in France in 1997 they came up with the idea for La Cigale - bringing a little of France to NZ. They wrote a one-page plan and have spent the last 14 years gradually implementing it. La Cigale is a family business - Mike and Elizabeth's two daughters, Emma and Frances, have been part of it since the beginning and both have been involved in the book - Emma drew all the sketches and Frances wrote the market stallholder profiles. Mike helped Elizabeth with the food styling and photography.