Jul 01 2021. views 327
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 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!
Sashini Azmeera Perera was always interested in baking as a child. After completing her A-Levels, she studied a course on the fundamentals of baking and continued further by studying industrial baking. “I owned many recipe books for various baked goods and I used every charity bake sale held at school as an opportunity to bake something myself. I started Cake A Lot to showcase some of the cakes I did for family and friends and the business just grew from there!”.
What do you offer?
We mainly focus on buttercream cakes and desserts, however, we do offer items such as burger buns, a variety of cookies and chewy peanut butter Granola Bars which are a guilt-free option for our customers. Our best seller is the Signature Chocolate Ganache Cake, Triple Chocolate Chunk Cookies and Numeral Cakes.
When did you start operations?
It started off as a part-time hobby and grew into a full-time business during the course of the pandemic as I couldn’t leave the country in order to complete my studies. Having the opportunity to bake goods for customers who are confined to their homes due to the pandemic brought me great satisfaction knowing that I am able to make their stay at home a little easier.
What is it like running your operations in times like these?
Operating during the lockdown has been challenging to me due to the shortage of materials, ingredients and inability to conveniently source items due to travel restrictions as well as the price hikes in delivery services. Nevertheless, I noticed a huge demand for baked goods during this time.
How are you ensuring the proper hygiene measures are taken in preparation and delivery?
Prior to starting Cake A Lot, I attended a lot of food safety and hygiene courses. Food safety and hygiene were compulsory in completing my studies at the Prima Baking Training Centre, Rajagiriya as well as a mandatory training offered when working at Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo. Hygiene has always been a top priority for me. In addition, I have also been following the guidelines issued by WHO. Customers are also encouraged to make payments through bank transfers.
What do you enjoy about baking and operating your own home baking business?
What brings me the most joy is seeing someone enjoy my baked goods and getting both positive and constructive feedback. The ability to grow, learn, be creative and be experimental with my products and also having a flexible schedule are some of the best things about owning my own business!
How do you see home bakers going forward post-Covid?
Because of the current situation, I have had the chance to reach out to many businesses that produce ingredients and materials locally and they’ve been my go-to since then. The biggest changes are seen through businesses moving to online platforms giving easier accessibility and convenience, thus giving more opportunities to a lot more home bakers like myself to showcase their talent.
Future plans for your brand?
I want to expand my brand by introducing new items and come up with unique ideas, work harder and do the best of my abilities to satisfy my customers.
Any advice to anyone who wants to start their own business?
Your passion and love for what you do will consistently drive you to improve your progress. Work hard and don’t give up. I believe practice makes perfect and every day is a chance for us to learn and grow.