- By Akhileshwari Anand Raj
Sarah Zia is a home baker from Kochi, with her specialty goodies including cupcakes and cakesicles. Her business is Fluff in a Cup, and she spends her time in between Kochi and Ahmedabad. Her cakesicles have made it to the cover page of a Malayalam magazine called Vanitha, and she has conducted various workshops across India. She has been baking for over six years and has an Instagram page where she conducts live streams to help up-and-coming bakers with all things related to baking and entrepreneurship. We had the chance to interview her about her baking journey and how she built this successful business!
1. Tell us a bit about how your venture started out.
I started out Fluff In A Cup 6 years back merely as a hobby and with the sheer excitement of making cupcakes, as it was not so popular then. Experimenting for my cousins’ birthdays gave me a platform to showcase my passion. This slowly evolved to me starting my own Facebook page and starting official orders. It was one of my best decisions as I do things that I love on a daily basis.
2. What were the initial difficulties that you faced, and how has it helped you become the baker you are today?
Initially, the whole concept of home baking was looked at as a household chore and not like a profession. So what was difficult was explaining to people what you actually do and that it is a genuine profession and not a mere hobby. People did not understand and that is a very demoralizing factor. But now that this field has grown tremendously, I am quite proud of all the fellow bakers who are in this community. This entire vision to change the mindset of people actually made me achieve a lot of things and to approach my journey and goals with more passion and vigour than ever before.
3. How do you decide to price? Do you have issues like customers comparing your price to stores and asking for lower prices?
Pricing is mainly the cost of the products + electricity consumed + packaging + your brand value. You have to ensure that you do not forget to take into account the effort and time that goes into your creations. Yes, the comparison is something I face normally and it is always comparison with store-bought goodies, but my regular clients have always understood my prices and since they know that the quality of ingredients I use is high, they are happy to pay and I have not received any complaints.
4. As someone who has moved from Kochi to Ahmedabad, how is it to start from scratch in a completely new city and what advice do you have to anyone who is going through the same?
It is very difficult. When you move from your base and go to a new space it is a challenge. You have to build everything from scratch. It took me over a year to understand the client base. So if anyone is facing the same, stay patient and consistent- good things will come.
5. Do you face any challenge with delivery? How do you manage your deliveries?
Not really, because I don’t deliver. I only have the option for the customer to pick up. I somehow don’t rely on delivery agencies as it is food we are dealing with here so it needs utmost care.
6. What are your top three tips for any aspiring baker?
- Be patient - when you do what you are interested in and you hone your skills, you will be able to reach your goals
- Perfect your skill
- Don’t compare yourself to other bakers or people. Everyone has their own journey and comparing yourself to someone who has been doing this for years is not fair to yourself.
That was Sarah, a truly inspiring story for all you lovely bakers and fans out there.
To keep getting inspired, do not miss out to get the latest updates on our events, blogs and newsletters on https://homebakers.co.in