Priyanka and Sonal are cake artists from Bangalore. They worked in different corporate companies before they ventured into baking.
- Hi Priyanka and Sonal, Welcome to the interview session of Anamitra’s Blog. To start with, we would request you to tell us a few lines about yourself. Ever since I was a little girl I have had a strong affinity towards craft work. During our summer holidays My sister and I would sit together at the dining table with our respective craft supplies and demonstrate how to create various items such as pen stands, photo frames etc. to my parents. We would pretend like we were the hosts of a TV show that teaches how to make various DIY craft items my parents being the audience. I am also extremely fascinated with miniature craft and I used to make several miniature cards, books, photo albums etc. and present them to friends and family. Before I started my cake business I have worked in the corporate environment for a while in companies such as Data Quest Entertainment, Hewlett Packard, Cisco etc. I have also studied animation and worked as a 3D and 2D animator for few years. During my job tenure I have pursued salsa dancing semi professionally, and in 2009 I was placed 2nd runners up at the Asian Salsa Championship, held at Hong Kong.
- How did you get started with baking? At what age did you bake your first cake?
My mom used to always make our birthday cakes, so I guess the whole process of watching her bake and decorate is what sparked the interest in me subconsciously, although I never really thought or imagined that I would take up baking as a full time profession someday. I was generally more interested in eating my mom’s tasty cake than baking it. I baked my first cake when I was 20 with my mothers help.
3. How was your first baking experience?
The first cake that I ever baked completely by myself was a rainbow cake because I was very excited to make a colorful cake. Although it was a fun experience, by the time I actually finished baking the cake, preparing the icing, layering the cake, crumb coating and frosting etc. I had 2 thoughts running in my head:
- Baking a cake from scratch is no cake walk! It is a tiring and time consuming process although when you see your finished creation, it does make you feel it was worth the effort.
- If baking a cake itself is so taxing, how am I ever going to create 3D decorated cakes, and convert this into a business!!
4. How did you learn baking?
Even though I liked baking it was the decoration aspect of this profession that I was more attracted to initially. However I knew that no matter how good my cake looks it is more important for it to taste amazing so I decided to first learn how to bake! I have learnt mostly from my mom, endless hours of research on the internet and with my own trials and errors.
5. When did you decide to become a professional baker and start your baking business? What was the inspiration behind the decision?
In 2012 I accidentally came across this show on TV called Fabulous Cakes while flipping channels! That was the first time I had seen something like it and realized that there are people creating these super awesome designs with cake!! And I was in awe of it! I realized that it was similar to the kind of craft work I used to do except that this was edible (and a lot more challenging I feel!). That’s when the idea first popped into my head. In mid 2013 I finally decided to quit my job at Cisco and start my own cake business.
6. Please tell us about your baking company – INTRIICAKE. INTRIICAKE is a home based bakery that specializes in creating unique theme based designer cakes and cupcakes. We customize our cake creations as per our client’s requirements and often create our own designs as well on the basis of the theme provided by the client. We bake all our cakes from scratch using the best possible ingredients with taste being our 1st priority. Every single model/figurine and every single decoration is painstakingly hand crafted by us with a lot of love and patience. It is our constant endeavor to make our clients fall in love with not just the taste of the cake but also the taste of the decorations!! One of our USP is that we make almost all our models/decorations with chocolate so our decorations not only look good but taste good too! Apart from our designer cakes we also take orders for regular cakes, cupcakes, cookies and cake pops.
7. What are some of the challenging cake ideas that you performed till date?
Translating a specific idea of a client and depicting the client’s imagination in the form of a cake is always challenging. One of my clients who was throwing a baby shower for his wife told us he wanted the cake to portray a strong and beautiful woman, who handles herself, her husband, their home, and her job wonderfully, and would also make a wonderful mother in the future! Depicting this in the form of a 3D cake was challenging and exciting at the same time. We have also had a couple of requests to make figurines resembling the actual birthday boy/girl so sculpting portraits is always challenging.
8. What are some of the signature products of your company? Which one is your personal favorite?
Our Nirvana cake, Devil’s Food Chocolate cake and Red Velvet are few of our signature products. My personal favorite is Red Velvet.
9. Being a baker, you must have had to overcome challenges. Please tell us about them.
As a home baker there are several challenges that we have faced:
- Power cuts are a huge challenge! Most of the times it is unpredictable. Installing a generator that supports the oven requires a big investment. We observe the time during which the power cuts in our area are the least and plan our baking accordingly.
- Transporting custom decorated cakes, especially during summer is very intimidating. The thought of several days of hard work being ruined due to heat, long distance travel and bumpy roads is nerve racking! Initially my dad used to drive me and my sister all the way to the venue to personally deliver the cake ourselves. After experiencing this for a few months, and understanding the dos and dont’s, we started using cab service and have not had any damaged cakes till date.
- It was also difficult to find big boxes and cake boards for tall and odd shaped cakes initially, so my dad would come up with innovative ideas for packaging based upon the size and shape of every cake! We have custom made not just the cakes, but also the cake boards and boxes for several cakes.
Custom made cakes are expensive due to the sheer amount of work, time, ingredients and labor that goes into creating them. Educating clients as to why these cakes are expensive, is not only challenging but also important. Many customers are totally unaware of custom cakes so it is not wrong for them to wonder why they are expensive hence we do our best to explain details to every client and give them a better understanding of the prices.
10. Narrate some of your success stories.
We had made a Dora theme cake for one of our clients. After the party the client told us how her daughter started clapping her hands with joy as soon as she saw and recognized her favorite cartoon character on the cake! She was very impressed with how we had managed to make an exact replica of her daughter’s favorite cartoon character!
Another client who had ordered a swimming pool theme cake for their son’s 1st birthday party personally called us and explained the reactions of their friends and family on seeing the cake, and how the children enjoyed eating the cute little characters!
There was this client who had ordered a cake for her sister’s baby shower. She told us how the cake was the show stopper and talk of the party and that her guests couldn’t stop ranting about the looks and taste of the cake.
Hearing such comments from clients and seeing the happiness and excitement in their faces is what makes us feel it was worth the effort and the sleepless nights.
11. What plans do you have to scale your business operations?
We are considering the possibility of opening up a shop hopefully in the near future.
12. Your advice to those who wish to take up baking as a profession.
Baking and cake decorating as a hobby is very different from baking as a profession. It requires an immense amount of time, hard work, patience, and passion. It can also be very taxing physically, and I feel that the only thing that can help you through it all is the passion for it, so make sure you are extremely passionate about it before getting into it.
13. If you have had one wish.
To have my own big bakery someday, with state of the art equipment, and a super awesome team to work with.
Priyanka and Sonal Jayaswal: The founders of Intriicake.
Facebook Link: https://www.facebook.com/Intriicake-683563975006919/