While most bakeries and restaurants in the city have begun stocking their shelves up with traditional fruit and plum cakes, some baking enthusiasts in the city have turned entrepreneurs and are using social networking sites to market their cakes.
Twenty-one-year-old Safoora Syed, a resident of Richmond town, who has been baking for over two-and-a-half years says Christmas is the best time to sell fruitcakes and plum cakes. She says there is a huge demand for homemade cakes as bakers can experiment with by adding their own ingredients and personalise them to customers’ requirements. “Posting pictures on social networking sites helps me get orders and sell my cakes,” she said, adding that her “passion” for baking became her business after her friends and relatives started buying her cakes.
Bakers also say the novelty of homemade cakes is that they are simple and made with traditional recipes. Charmaine Saldanha, who started baking after watching her mother bake cakes, says “I have been baking cakes for the past four years using my grandmother’s recipe and I have been able to sell about 300 cakes every season.”
She also says the customers she “wins” during Christmas come back to her through the year. Ms. Saldanha says she sells her cakes by posting pictures of them on Facebook. “As I have received a good response from my customers, I have decided to get professionally trained and expand my business,” she says.
Safoora says this season she has baked several varieties of fruit and plum cakes. “I had the cake mixing ceremony during November and I am hoping to sell the cakes this Christmas season,” she says. Asked why people prefer homemade cakes, she says, “My ingredients are fresh and I generally do not use artificial preservatives.”
Another baker, Theresa Varghese, a resident of Horamavu said she initially used to bake cakes for her children. She says she normally bakes tea cakes, pies, muffins, tarts and chocolate cakes. For Christmas however, she says she makes fruitcakes and puddings. Ask her what the secret of her baking is, and she says, “I avoid excess butter and sugar in the icing.”