Greet the season

Designer cakes, software programming, gel candles and computer engineering make strange bedfellows. Not for Surya Ann Joseph, a software engineer at Infopark and Tijo Jose Tom, a lecturer of Computer engineering. The couple pursue, along with their professional engagements, their passion for making cakes and candles. What started for a lark has now snowballed into a compact little business Jo+Ann’s Kitchen. They are flooded with orders and an expansion plan is in the offing.

The start to the venture was a trial fruit cake baked by Surya, a birthday surprise for Tijo. With no idea of baking but with a curiosity and desire to bake, she gingerly followed, step by step, a You Tube demo and came up with a cake so delectable that she has not stopped baking since. Meeting success with her first cake and from the encouragement she received from those who savoured it, she took up baking seriously. Tijo gave her full support in her endeavours. Cookery lessons on the Internet became her teachers and led her to a world of designer cakes.

The couple began initially in Bangalore baking cakes for friends. From simple home-made cakes, Surya forayed into designer ones.

“It is a designer world; everyone wants something special, different and magical,” she says.

The orders for designer cakes kept growing fancier and more challenging. Some fancy ones she made were a clapper board cake, the Frozen Elsa theme, and the ubiquitous Spiderman. She gradually moved on to making three tiered wedding cakes.

In 2015 she won the Master Chef award in her office competition at UST global entering with barbecue spare ribs and chocolate brownie as presentations.

The shift from Bangalore to Kochi has been good for the couple as they receive more orders than expected.

Her USP, she believes, is the combination of quality and creativity.

Just as she learnt baking online she learnt to make gel candles too the same way and launched them as one of her new products. Encouraged she made 100 candles last Xmas and found them sell like hot cakes. “That was it,” she says, and began improvising, adding scent and accessories to them, making them decorative pieces. Aquarium candles are the latest additions to her inventory.

Surya and Tijo complement each other in their professional and creative worlds, chipping in whenever required.

That she says is the secret of their success, the two in one combo.

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Printable version | Oct 16, 2021 1:47:12 AM |

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