Jun 22 2022. views 87
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! With new challenges presenting themselves in light of the current economic crisis in the country, we talk to home bakers who are navigating through these difficult times and bringing the sweet and savoury to your very own doorstep!
Baking her favourite goodies for family and loved ones for years, Rimaza Niyas hardly gave any thought to making a business out of her skills. But with endless requests and constant motivation from her family and friends who loved her baked goods and wanted them out in the market, Rimaza launched her home-based baking venture ‘The Bake Lounge’ in June 2020.
What do you offer?
We offer a wide range of cake flavours to be chosen from vanilla, chocolate and coffee to red velvet cakes with different options of frostings to go along with them. Our Fudge Brownies can be customised with various toppings ranging from chocolate ganache, Nutella, biscoff with the addition of nuts, chocolate chips or fruits. Amongst our cakes, the best seller would be our coffee buttercream cake which tends to be my personal favourite too. We also customise cakes according to our customer’s given preferences, sometimes with different flavours incorporated together with various decorative elements to bring out the final structure.
What is it like running your operations in times like these?
During the initial days of the pandemic, when we started out, the greatest struggle was during lockdown when we had to deliver our products on time when there were limited modes of delivery. Every batch of brownies or cakes is baked fresh to order and we generally don’t stock up more than the needed quantity of ingredients for a long period of time since certain ingredients give a better result when it isn’t stored for long. Sometimes, we even had to go for alternative cake structures when decorative elements like fresh florals and fresh fruits were unavailable to be purchased on time!
How are you ensuring the proper hygiene measures are taken in preparation and delivery?
We make sure we use premium quality ingredients and store them the right way. Hygiene is something we give utmost importance to. From making sure well-cleaned utensils are being used in the procedure to making sure that the space is thoroughly cleaned and that no third-party interactions are allowed in the workspace – we do our best to ensure that our products are hygienically prepared. Additionally, we pack our products right making sure it is well secured for delivery and is delivered safely to our customers.
What do you enjoy about baking and operating your own home baking business?
Baking is very therapeutic when it’s done with drive and determination. Although I bake occasionally, I make sure every cake meets a very high standard. The most important thing I can give my customers is not just a good appearance as per their preference, although that is paramount when you’re a cake artist, I like to ensure good quality of the cakes that we deliver. I like to keep it simple in structure most of the time and experiment with new flavours and fillings giving priority to the taste, texture and right amount of sweetness. Moreover, it is the customer’s satisfaction and joy that matters most at the end of the day. The positive feedback received from my clients, making someone’s celebration memorable gives me utmost happiness and motivates me to go further. It’s been a good journey so far. Although there’s far more to reach, I’m glad about the progress since its launch.
How do you see home bakers going forward during these difficult times?
Operating during an economic crisis is really challenging. With price hikes almost every week, the unavailability of certain ingredients for longer periods of time makes it difficult for anyone in this industry. Yet, us bakers are always creating and using alternatives to make sure we meet the expectations of our customers while maintaining the quality of our products as always.
Any advice to anyone who wants to start their own business?
If you’re someone looking to start your own business, be confident and take the first step – that’s always the hardest part! Don’t wait until you become a pro because you’ll learn along the journey. Don’t fear failure - for it can be your biggest guide. Give life to your ideas, be brave enough to experiment and create your own pathway. Just believe in yourself and you are halfway there!