As the markets fill up with Valentine’s Day décor, and hotels, restaurants, café owners and patisseries start offering specials to mark the big day; there are many home bakers who are gearing up for customized orders just for this special occasion.
image credit-Shutter StockWe recently spoke with a number of home bakers to understand how they operate, what goes into running a business from home, the challenges they face etc. Three popular bakers whose names popped up as most inspirational were of Rumana Jaseel, Poonam Maria Prema and Joonie Tan. Thanks to social media, home bakers are able to connect with each other and manage to inspire each other.
We bring you a list of 15 women bakers who are creating art with each cake they bake.
Rumana Jaseel- IncrEDIBLE Art
A registered dietician by profession, Rumana has been passionate about baking since the age of 13 when she was in school. She started a home-based business way back in 2008, in the days of ORKUT. In 2011, she moved to an official business page on Facebook and there was no looking back. She is based out of Cochin, Kerala. She started small with Cake Bake which then grew into IncrEDIBLE Art.
For this mother of three, it all started from home with baking for loved ones. She also teaches at her new academy, IncrEDIBLE Art, Atisan Cake boutique.
Poonam Maria Prem-Zoey’s Bakehouse
Poonam is a much loved and admired home baker. She is based out of Hyderabad.
“After I quit my job, I wanted to do something fulltime, but from home so that I could find an equilibrium. Work-life balance is something that a mom usually struggles with, and working from home is something that was feasible for me, keeping my 5-year-old daughter in mind,” she shares. Poonam’s creations are in demand and her husband helps her with her website.
Aditi Kohli’s Papillon Cupcakes and More
Based out of Delhi, Aditi started in August 2012, with an order for a friend’s birthday cake.
She started working from home because of the convenience and comfort it provides. “Working from home has its own set of advantages. I can start as early as I want and work till as late as I want,” she says.
She started baking when her cousins introduced her to it. Because of her love for food and her travels to America, she began taking this hobby very seriously and ended up at the Le Cordon Bleu for a patisserie diploma.
Monika Manchanda’s Sin-a-mon
Monika Manchanda started in 2011. She also specialises in spiked desserts and fusion desserts during Diwali. She is based out of Bangalore. “It gives me a flexibility of work on my time, use the best
ingredients and yet keep the cost a little under control since there are no overheads like rents etc. As she is an ex-IT person she maintains her own website.
Karthika Shravanthi’s Bakeman Begins
Bakeman Begins started in September 2012 and is based out of Chennai. Her specialty is French desserts
and celebration cakes especially wedding cakes. Karthika went to Cordon Bleu London and plans to teach classes soon.
Priya Vijan Gupta’s Melt it down
Priya is based out of Bangalore and started baking in April 2012. For her, it was a
Hobby-turned-into-a-career only because of the appreciation and motivation received from friends and folks. She has recently started a blog, ‘Sugar side up!’ dedicated to dessert lovers so she can spread her knowledge through this blog. “From procurement of raw materials, baking, decoration and final finishing I do it all alone,” she says.
Heena Awasthi’s Do it Sweet
Heena says, “From the sweeper to the CEO, I am one contact point.” She started six years ago and never realized how it got bigger with repeated orders. Based out of Bangalore, gooey chocolate cake, fresh fruitgateaux are quite a big hits with her clients. She makes her own fondant. According to her, one has to be very methodical especially with regard to calls, mails and orders. Working from home gives her flexibility and allows her to exercise quality control and personal touch to each creation of hers.
Nazia Ali’s Baking Express
“After two kids, a full time job became a distant dream for me. Motherhood was taking most of my time. But I still wanted to do something for myself too. So a small, new found passion for baking led
to starting up of my venture Baking Express,” says Nazia. Practice and experimentation has helped to get better.
According to her, everyday is a new learning and therefore, one needs to upgrade ones skills and knowledge from time to time.
Nazia is based out of Bangalore.
Purbasha Saha’s Sweet Nothings Couture Cupcakes
According to her, other than the basics — an electric hand mixer, a convection oven, measuring cups and spoons, you need determination to be a home baker. Along with it a general knowledge of tips and tricks of the trade help. Purbasha is a self-taught baker who believes it is important to know your strengths and go with tried and tested recipes. Purbasha says her degree in Architecture comes in handy when designing cakes. There is one thing she wishes for, “A startup that would handle delivery with intense care.”
Ranjini Shashidhar Gampa’s Jinis Goodies
Ranjini started in February 2011. As she was always interested in art work, baking became an avenue for her to showcase this talent. She started baking out of passion and not for business. “Our house has a small secondary kitchen where I could kickstart my baking work. At present, theme based cakes are in vogue. Hence, equal importance is given to cake’s design as it will be a show stopper. The few flavours trending at present include Red Velvet, Ferrero Rocher and chocolate with Rasgulla.”
Poonam Ann Varma’s Big Cake Lil Cake
Poonam chose not to go out and work leaving her little one home with a maid. So she continued to remain at home and bake. Once the demand for her cakes and sweet treats grew, she decided to continue and bake from home. According to her, “Passion is the first ingredient for baking.”
Anagha Gunjal Reddy’s Synful Bakes
Synful Bakes is labour of love for Anagha Gunjal Reddy, who is based out of Bangalore. She is a self-taught baker and has learnt from watching videos and reading food and baking blogs and absolutely
loves Pinterest. She says, “There is so much out there today than when my grandmother baked a simple egg less chocolate cake in a pressure cooker many years ago.”
Lathakiran’s Itz Yumm
Though Latha was interested in cooking since her school days, she started baking professionally only two years ago. Theme cakes with figurines are her specialty. Based out of Bangalore, she has done a course on baking without egg. She has also put up a few stalls. She says, “The right set of tools, be it the basic ones like a spatula or a bread knife each of them serve a special purpose in the end product.”
Radhika Nagraj’s The Warm Oven
Radhika started baking commercially four years ago. She bakes mostly birthday cakes and bakes whole wheat bread too on order. When she started her son was in pre-school, and as a full-time mom it fitted in well with her other responsibilities. She conducts baking and cake decoration classes at home. She shares, “With increasing nutritional awareness and food intolerances, a baker has to be able to churn out vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free stuff as well.”
Thripti Ahuja and Shisham’s Happy Belly Bakes
Thripti Ahuja and Shisham Hinduja’s, Happy Belly Bakes has been operational in Bangalore since 2008. Tripthi is a professional pastry chef and Shisham used to sell chocolates at home. They got together to start Happy Belly Bakes, a store-cum-café. Their specialty is custom designed cakes for all occasions.