Aug 19 2021. views 128
In this series, we talk to people who turned their passion for food and baking into a business idea amidst lockdown and COVID-19 fears. Some have been in the market for years and others saw the new opportunity and took it! These home businesses are changing the game and have overcome the odds of running a business during quarantine. With increased restrictions once more, we talk to home bakers who are operating during these times to bring the sweet and savoury to your very own doorstep!
Nafla Niyas started her cake business with a passion for home baking. She started her business just a year ago, amidst the pandemic and she is currently managing her passion project alongside her studies. “I was always passionate about baking cakes and sharing with relatives and friends and for the longest time, I didn’t have any idea on how to run the business but with everyone’s positive response towards my baking and their encouragement, I started Fairy Cake!”.
What do you offer?
Fairy Cakes offers decorated Cakes in Vanilla, Chocolate and Strawberry flavours, Chocolate Moist cake, Coffeecake, Red Velvet cake, Black Forest cake, Cupcakes, Brownies, Cookies and customised Gift packs perfected to our customer requirements. Among these, our bestselling and signature products are our Butter Cream cake, Red Velvet cake and Fudgy customised brownies. I especially enjoy making pretty, detailed cakes for occasions such as birthdays and weddings.
When did you start operations?
I had started baking cakes to treat my family and friends in 2019 and the love towards baking eventually carried forward to me customising my first cake after the first wave of Covid-19 in July 2020. In the beginning, I found it very difficult to charge friends, family and even customers for my work but of course, it was impossible to provide cakes free of charge and I had to think deep about valuing my creations and charging my customers appropriately. It took me a while to digest the idea about charging the right prices. This was a key step in considering myself a professional baker.
What is it like running your operations in times like these?
I had a lot of battles with myself about how to approach customers because it was just the start-up of the business. Covid brought in significant changes in the social environment which we haven’t experienced before. It was a big challenge to run our operation during this period. After so many suggestions we started our own Instagram page in September 2020 to attract customers and promote our products. I do believe that 60% of my business being successful is about marketing and targeting the right people through social media. Social media is a big aspect of my work. That’s how I get more orders and social media helped me to reach more customers in the pandemic situation.
How are you ensuring the proper hygiene measures are taken in preparation and delivery?
An important part of our business is maintaining and identifying the steps to ensure proper hygiene. We buy our ingredients from reputed and reliable suppliers and we make sure our raw materials are fresh. We also use proper storage of our ingredients and finished cakes to protect from outside contamination. We make sure to regularly sanitise and clean up ourselves and our utensils. When transporting our baking products we ensure that it is properly covered to prevent it from becoming contaminated by dust or any other environmental harm. Customers can also pick up their orders from my residence or we do safe deliveries.
What do you enjoy about baking and operating your own home baking business?
Now baking has become one of my daily routines. I am really excited to experiment with new, unique and creative ideas and designs. The satisfaction I get from baking is beyond words and the most rewarding feeling is to see the positive feedback and to know that others are enjoying something I made. I absolutely love the look of my finished cakes and I would like to try and put some time to make and develop the cake further. I would also like to broaden my skill set by taking time to practice techniques.
What’s next for your brand?
We have been making an effort to connect our brand and branding through social media. We all want a connection, and we connect to our customers with honesty and realness. Consistency is key, it takes time, but we stick with a look that makes sense for my brand.
Any advice to anyone who wants to start their own business?
Practice, practice, practice before taking the plunge! I think a lot of people think that they can start up a business without taking the time to develop the skill and ability fully first. Before you take the first step, you need to measure and examine yourself. It’s harder than it looks! Also, make sure you look into what’s required of you before starting your own business such as the rules and regulations you will need to follow.