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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Padhma Priya: Founder of The Mad Baker
Website Link: http://www.themadbakerdiaries.com