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.
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.
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.
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)
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mansi Ashar: Founder of The Little Baker by Mansi
Facebook Link: https://www.facebook.com/TheLittleBakerbymansi
Instagram Link: https://www.instagram.com/thelittlebakerbymansi