Society

Rising to the occasion

Sirisha Challa says baking is a dream fulled by passion and one can see that in her bakery

Sirisha Challa’s intricately designed and beautifully decorated cakes are a huge hit on Instagram with 3,087 followers. A search for #bakemywish yields 1,266 posts of cakes and cupcakes that speak volumes for her skill. Challa is a civil-engineer-turned baker based in Lawson’s Bay Colony.

Her bakery Bake My Wish has been around for four years. Before that she was a home baker.

Most of her days go planning her creations. Customers come to her with pictures or videos of cakes and want her to replicate them. People know what they want and sometimes this can be both a positive and a not so positive thing, she laughs. .“It is good because they are not vague and have specific demands which helps but sometimes the demands are so specific that they make my life difficult!”

Challa says that trends are changing. While earlier an occasion for a cake were few and far between, usually for birthdays, today there is a demand for cake for several occasions. “Having cakes at marriages was not prevelant before, but these days weddings feel incomplete without a cake,” she says.

“I get orders for breakup cakes, I-will-kick-you cakes and ‘cakes that are specially ordered when a person turns 30,” she says. People are also opening up their purse strings for extravagant cakes. The most expensive cake she has baked was worth ₹45,000.

Describing her journey as tumultuous, sprinkled with failures and mistakes, Challa says it also taught her about hardwork and patience. “ I had to learn on the go, there was no other way.I have learnt from my mistakes. And now I can do designs and variations that used to freak me out four years ago. The advantage that I have is that I am not trained to do this. It is a passion that I follow. May be that is why I am more open to innovations and different ideas,” she says.

Her bakery is filled with the sight and smells of cakes, cupcakes, brownies and muffins. The white and teal coloured walls have framed doodles. However, the magic happens in the not-so-decorated back rooms of the bakery. With a core team of 12 people, Challa not only serves cakes but also runs a cafe that serves continental food as well as the traditional Andhra food. And as she signs off , Challa says surrounded as she is by so much sweet, she enjoys anything spicy. “My favourite is the punugulu, a deep fried snack made of rice and urad dal. You find the best ones near MVP Bridge and a stall opposite LIC building. If you are an early bird, you should definitely try the tiffin at Kantamma Hotel on Police Quarters Road. If you are lucky, you might get a serving of the tomato chutney which is something out of the world and flies off the shelf,” she says.

(Living Vizag is a weekly column that profiles people who this city special, and explore it through their eyes.)

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Mar 29, 2020 1:46:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/rising-to-the-occasion/article23903946.ece

Next Story