Good day to you my wonderful bakers and cake lovers, I want to use this medium to wish you once again a happy new month. This month of August is for all of us to overtake and recover all that we have lost in the past month.
In this new month, I found a new sensation in the Naija baking industry. I have made it a point of duty to be searching…my work here is to bring to the forefront, every Naija talent that has been hidden in any part of the world, whether the hiding is an error of omission of commission without consideration, be it witchcraft or wizardry, be it from your place of birth or place of residence,….my work is to break the curse and bring you out to the limelight ( can I get an Amen to that??) Ahhh! I am in the spirit now!
In my search over the weekend I had a chat with an outstanding Naija baker….when I saw her works, I was like “wao” It was simply amazing to find such a raw talent! I quickly had to turn the chat into an interview so I can present to you my wonderful readers..
May we know your name and Business name and where you are based?
My names are Mrs Sandra Adaoha Eze. CEO Crinkles N Cream bakery and confectionery Ltd. We are based in port harcourt , Rivers state.
When (the year) did you start this Cake Biz?
I started cake decorating as a business in 2012 from my kitchen. I worked from home before opening my bakery shop in Dec 2014
What are the things that prompted you to start up your Cake Biz as in How your love for cake decorating started?
My passion for baking started when I had visited a patisserie shop in the DRC then Zaire ( my maternal home) as a kid and fell in love with cakes and pastry. I remember dreaming of having my own bakery when I grew up anytime I visited the shop. I then learnt how to bake when I was in secondary school from a family friend who felt I had the flare for baking. I baked at any opportunity especially for my family.
Fast forward to some years later while I was working in the banking sector, the urge to finally take my cake baking hobby to a professional level had me get trained in cake decorating and pastry in Dubai… and my childhood dream of having a bakery came to reality with a lot of support from my family and friends.
What was the first official job you remembered making as a Cake designer and how did you feel then?
My first official job as a cake designer was for a friend’s daughter. I was nervous and happy at the same time as it was for a bigger party unlike the small get-together I used to make uniced cakes for . I paid so much attention to all the details. I didn’t want to disappoint my friend and I needed the opportunity to advertise my work too. Was so so happy when I kept getting the “this is lovely ” comment.
Can you tell us your greatest challenges in the Cake Biz or the ups and downs you have faced as a Cake designer?
The biggest challenge I have had in the cake biz is inflation in prices of materials and overhead costs. The prices keep going up and yet we can’t keep increasing the prices of our cakes all the time. So striking a balance between this two forces has always been a big challenge at every point.
What’s your greatest cake decorating triumph?
I don’t think I have any greatest cake decorating triumph at the moment. I always feel I can do better than I have. Like get the fondant on the cake much smoother, or the edges sharper or just something more than I have achieved. I get inspired by artist who are in the cake decorating biz as their works are always perfect beauty.
How would you describe your decorating style?
Hmmmmmmm, my cake decorating style depends on the clients choices. I love contemporary cake designs. Simple and elegant.
What favourite Cakes do you enjoy baking and decorating and also the favourite colours you love working with?
I enjoy baking dessert cakes. They require carefulness and calm. More like therapy for me. My favourite colours on cake are black, white and gold colours. They are a lovely combination on cakes.
What are the benefits (gains) you have reaped as a Cake designer or your greatest achievements?
In the cake business you get to meet a lot of people from different works of life and background. Growing the biz to expand into commercial bread production has been one of my achievements so far. I am still aspiring to get to the greatest achievement level.
A lot of people shy off cakes for health reasons and avoiding sugar. Are there options for these classes of people?
Yes there are options for weight watchers and low carb clients. We use almond flour, coconut flour, sugar alternatives and oil in baking for these clients. But still I always say, even with the diet options, eating them in excess counters the dieting effort.
What would you say is one of the biggest lessons you have learnt in your career as a cake designer?
Managing clients’ wants and needs are always constant lessons as each individual has their own likes and preferences
What’s your most treasured piece of cake decorating tool or kit?
The carving knife is my most treasured tool. I need to always have different sizes of them at my decorating table.
What’s your advice to upcoming cake designers in the Nigerian Cake Industry?
My advice to my fellow cake designers aspiring to go beyond where we are at each point in time is to find that one thing that makes your work unique and get good at it. Don’t ever think you’re the best in what you’re doing but keep aspiring to do better than you already have.