From Business to Baking, The unique tale of Padhma Priya The founder of The Mad Baker!

Padhma Priya is a baker from Chennai and she finished her under-graduation in Management and Marketing.   She loved baking for passion and made this as her profession.

Today we have the talented cake artist Padhma Priya . In this interview session with Annie’s Blog the young founder of The Mad Baker tells us about her exciting journey.

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1. Hi Priya, welcome to the interview session of Annie’s Blog . To start with, we would request you to tell us a few lines about yourself.

My name is Padhmapriya and I moved to Chennai 4 months ago. Before which, I was baking in Coimbatore. I went to the University of Exeter, and did my under-graduation in Management and Marketing and was expected to help my father with his manufacturing business. That, however didn’t work out and here I am.

2. How did you get started with baking? At what age did you bake your first cake?

I first started baking when I was 12, and it was just with my mother. You know how
all mother’s make cupcakes and cookies and the basic stuff so you don’t go outside
and eat from the shops and become fat and unhealthy ? Then, I went to University and did some basic baking there. I seriously started baking when I was 21 and haven’t stopped yet.

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3. How was your first baking experience?

It was little scary. My friend and I were supposed to be helping my
mother make brownies and we tried to melt chocolate in the microwave. However,
we ended up burning the chocolate to an unsalvageable level and ended up making the whole house smell like burnt slob. Needless to say, mom melted chocolate in another bowl and made us happy kids.

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4. How did you learn baking?

It started with helping my mother  and then I learned from you tube videos, and trial and error. Once I decided to pursue my interest in this full on, I went for a 3 day course in baking.

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5. When did you decide to become a professional baker and start your baking business? What was the inspiration behind the decision?

I decided to pursue it professionally 11 months ago. Not everyone gets to get up
in the morning and think about work with a smile on their face. I realised that this
is my passion, that this is what makes me the most happy. This pushes me to be
better, and keeps me up at night, thinking about how to be better and how to
better improve my skills. There honestly was no inspiration in my life. I just ended
up loving to bake.

6. Please tell us about your baking company The Mad Baker.

I make custom cakes, from the ingredients, to the designs; I customise it all. I have
made cakes for doting moms who want no artificial flavours or colourings (with
whole wheat, cane sugar ) to give their young ones, For vegans who want to make
sure that there are no animal products whatsoever, For people who can’t take gluten etc. I want to make wedding cakes, and theme cakes. At the end of the day, I want to make sure I have a diverse range of cakes in my database.

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7. What are some of the challenging cake ideas that you performed till date?

I consider all my cakes challenging. The smallest details in some cakes can be the
most challenging. For example, there was a flower cake that had about 6 tiny
sweetheart roses in them. Each rose took me 30 minutes to make. The details in
each cake are the most difficult. And, 2 hours before delivery, my roses crumbled
and had left a bald spot on my cake. I had to cut basic crinkle shapes out of fondant, make simple patterns with it and place it instead of the roses. Almost all cream cakes in this Chennai heat are a challenge. transportation too is one of the challenges. A fresh cream cake that I had to deliver 40 minutes outside the city barely survived the car ride. I always take frozen cream with me on long journeys, so I can touch up the cake in case it runs.

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8. What are some of the signature products of your company? Which one is your personal favorite?

People always have given me great feedback about my chocolate and butterscotch cakes. I personally like my white chocolate and milk chocolate overload flavors.

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9. Being a baker, you must have had to overcome challenges. Please tell us about them.

First, the clients don’t trust our work, and sometimes, they always find fault in our
work. Sometimes, they just need to understand that the cake will not look 100%
like the picture. Also, pricing has always been a challenge for me, personally.
Clients want all the details, and tiers, and gold on their cake, but won’t be willing
to pay the price. That sometimes makes me underprice my products. Marketing
has also been a challenge. Other than Facebook, I don’t do any form of marketing. And as I mentioned earlier, the weather here is bad ass.

10. Narrate some of your success stories.

There was a lightning mcqueen car cake for a one year old’s birthday. The details
in the car alone took me two whole days to make. The shape of the car, the
details, and the colour turned out just the way the client wanted and she was very
happy. There was also a gym themed cake that I had to make in one day and had
no idea why I even took the order; but the finish and details were so clean that
my client ended up referring me to their friends.

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11. What plans do you have to scale your business operations?

I have plans to open a bigger, central kitchen that will allow me to make bigger
and more cakes in one go. My end goal here is to ultimately make wedding cakes
and corporate cakes, undertake huge party orders, and open up more chains
when the time comes.

12.Your advice to those who wish to take up baking as a profession.

If you love it do it. There is nothing more satisfying than recreating or designing a beautiful piece of cake that is too pretty to eat.

13.If you have had one wish.

I would open shops all over the world.

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Padhma Priya: Founder of The Mad Baker

Website Link: http://www.themadbakerdiaries.com

From a play school teacher to baking, The exciting tale of Mansi Ashar The founder of The Little Baker by Mansi!

Mansi Ashar was a play school teacher before she got into baking.  She has been motivated by her husband, kids and in laws to start off her baking venture and there was no looking back.

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1. Hi Mansi , welcome to the interview session of  Annie’s Blog. To start with, we would request you to tell us a few lines about yourself.

Hi I’m Mansi Ashar from The Little Baker by Mansi. A mother of 2 beautiful girls,  pursuing my passion for baking. My hobbies include singing, sketching & everything creative. I was a playschool teacher at Mount Litera World Preschool but destiny had different plans. I switched to pursuing my passion for baking.

2. How did you get started with baking? At what age did you bake your first cake?

My inspiration is my mother & my aunt. My mother  used to bake cakes for family gatherings & my aunt baked for all my birthdays. I always used to get fascinated with the way she would come up with different themes every year & made beautiful cream cakes. My first cake I baked was when I was 10 yrs old & then there was no looking back.

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3. How was your first baking experience?

 It was hilarious. I was all of 10 yrs old super excited to bake my first cake I whisked  and whisked the batter which made it chewy, hard & dry. But when  I gave the cake to the family they showed that  they relished it. Only when I had the last bite did I realize that it was horrible. There were a lot of trial & errors when finally I found my eureka moment.

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4. How did you learn baking?

My baking journey is an adventurous one. I did a lot of research over the internet , watched endless videos on YouTube & practiced a lot of various techniques on cakes & gifted to friends & family to get their feedback about my bakes. I’m a self taught home baker. I learn something new with every bake.

5. When did you decide to become a professional baker and start your baking business? What was the inspiration behind the decision?

My elder daughter is allergic to  artificial colorants so whenever she would return from a birthday party she would be down with a bad throat. That’s when I decided I would love to make my passion a profession & bake with fresh ingredients, preservative & additives free bakes. My family including my Husband , Mother-in-law ,father-in-law & both my daughter’s have been very motivating & supportive in starting my venture.

6. Please tell us about your baking company The Little Baker by Mansi.

The Little Baker by Mansi specializes in Fresh, Egg less & Preservative Free bakes. I am based in Tilak Nagar (Chembur) & deliver all across Mumbai.
I indulge in wide range of bakes:

Moist melt in the mouth Teacakes to accompany your Tea/coffee or just as a snack.

A variety of Fresh seasonal fruit Muffins ( no added artificial flavouring)

Cupcakes(Soft creamy mouthful of heaven for Sinister & Saints alike)

We specialise in only Fresh Cream & Ganache cakes ( no fondant at all)

Fusion Cakes

Healthy bakes ( Whole Wheat, Ragi, Oats , sugar free. Gluten free Granola Bars)

Decadent Fudgy sinful Brownies.

Healthy Chocolate Cookies  (whole-wheat, jowar, Pearl Millet, Ragi, Oats in various flavours Mint, Orange, Bubblegum, Strawberry etc)

Decadent Rich Brookies

Personalised Gift Hampers

For more plz feel free to have a look at my page

https://www.facebook.com/TheLittleBakerbymansi/

The Little Baker has come a long way from zero  knowledge in baking to having a celebrity clients like Prachi Desai, Shyam Maheshwari & Construction giants  to name a few.

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7. What are some of the challenging cake ideas that you performed till date?

Since I work with only fresh cream cakes it’s a big challenge to achieve the desired look like we get in fondant cakes. As Fondant is nothing but a sugar sheet which makes the cake look good but at the cost of health so I pledged to myself to give quality products at the same time tasty yet healthy options. In the Designing of each cake a lot of planning & thought process goes to give it that perfect look with cream. I thought of an easy way out initially when I started. To bake Jar cakes as no decoration is involved in it. But the  irony of the situation is such I’ve not made a single Jar cake till date in my 2 years  of baking professionally. I kept getting orders of cakes & I kept learning with every bake. To name a few were the Charandas Chor trunk cake which was fully hand-printed on cream. The Paris theme cake for a 18 year old girl who loves everything related to Paris. To get all her favorite things on the cake was a challenge.

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8. What are some of the signature products of your company? Which one is your personal favorite?

Our most loved signature bakes are Rich Red Velvet cake with light as a cloud white chocolate mousse,Gluten-free super healthy Granola Bars,Decadent Double chocolate cake, Fresh Orange Juice Cream-sickle Cake flavored with freshly squeezed Orange Juice with no added essence and Fusion bakes like the Royal Rasmalai Cake.

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9. Being a baker, you must have had to overcome challenges. Please tell us about them.

As I am a self taught baker I had to convince my family members that I had the potential in me to make it big. Since I had just delivered my younger daughter I couldn’t go out for professional training so I did my research & started baking small batches of cakes. Initial few months there were a lot of trial & errors but my husband & in-laws supported me throughout. The Little Baker by Mansi I owe it to them.

10. Narrate some of your success stories.
I consider every bake as my canvas which I convert into a masterpiece. To name a few the my Fresh Orange Juice Cream-sickle Cake stuffed with juicy oranges was loved by all and  with the reviews on my page about the same a mom was convinced to break the stereotype of a chocolate cake for her son’s first birthday & went ahead with this offbeat flavor which was loved by all at the party. Many of my clients are now my very good friends & we share an amazing connection. That’s what success means to me.

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11. What plans do you have to scale your business operations?

I see The Little Baker as Baking Studio in the near future as I feel Knowledge has no value if not shared & implemented.

12. Your advice to those who wish to take up baking as a profession

When you really pay attention. Everything & everyone is your teacher. Keep yourself motivated & always stay upgraded about the latest techniques. Do a lot of research. The most important golden rule is “Never give up”.

13. If you have had one wish.

I would really wish that people get more & more aware of the chemicals used in commercially produced cakes & switch to home bakers as we use fresh ingredients without preservatives.

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Mansi Ashar: Founder of The Little Baker by Mansi

Facebook Link: https://www.facebook.com/TheLittleBakerbymansi

Instagram Link: https://www.instagram.com/thelittlebakerbymansi