|Akanksha Arora – Owner and Founder, Happily Baked, Bareilly
“Baking is my passion, not my hobby, and you always do your best when your career and passion come together”. I have been an average student in my schooling years but on the other hand, I was a sports enthusiast and had been an active one in extracurricular activities and school functions. I had a creative mindset since childhood. I was a free-spirited kid and enjoyed Basketball. I had also played in various tournaments organized by our school. I was extremely ambitious and assertive towards my future. I had a sweet tooth by birth, chocolates and cakes have lightened my mood always. I remember how desperately I used to love chocolates while I was young. From then onwards, I used to wonder how these were made. I enjoyed eating them and relished the taste to the best but my curiosity for making them enraged when I started to learn baking by myself through youtube. I started it at a very basic level but got extensively inspired by an Indian pastry chef and businesswoman, Pooja Dhingra. I started following her everywhere and got inspired by her life story. Eventually, I learned how to bake, baking fascinated me in a way nothing else did. My family and friends then started ordering cakes and other goodies from me. I knew my inner instinct was pushing me towards doing it, doing things that I love, things that made me happy. I researched everything about baking because I wanted to refine my skills and techniques. I came across several women entrepreneurs who have taken this step and established themselves successfully as a Home Baker. I decided to go to Bangalore for pursuing my Professional Diploma Course in the same from IBCA(Institute Of Baking And Cake Art). Bangalore proved to be a game-changer for me. It was full of exposure and learning, I had realized the importance of hard work and compassion back there, things were so competitive that to be the best of all one had to put all his sweat and blood into each task. By the time I finished my diploma, I was confident enough to work professionally. I was also chosen to intern in the same institute. After my Internship, I came back to Bareilly and decided to open my own Bake House. My family and friends supported me a lot and therefore I was able to start my venture. I call it ‘HAPPILY BAKED’.
Although working from home is considered a comfortable job, but being a home baker requires extreme hard work and time. The most difficult thing is to find good quality raw material and tools at affordable prices. Also, I had to make sure that I maintain good hygiene along with adding and updating new flavors to my bakery. I do every step by myself and keep on learning new techniques through various internet classes. I usually experiment with different flavors and fillings for my work. I have also tried my hands on fondant cakes and tried to bake in such a way that it can be eaten as a whole. Playing with colors and natural flavors are my best projects to take up. I am completely hooked up with my work and have started making progress in the same. We have launched several other products, hampers, and theme-based gift boxes. The products have to be fresh and rich with flavor, because no matter how your cake looks like; if it doesn’t taste good, it’s a waste of effort. I never compromise on the quality of my products, and price my products based on the ingredients, time spent, and design. People do compare our prices to the retail shops but I constantly try to spread awareness regarding the pre-mixes and chemicals they use in their bakeries. I started promoting my work through Instagram. My customer’s satisfaction is my utmost priority and their customization helps me in improving my mistakes. My goal is to open a big house of HAPPILY BAKED all by myself. It feels happy to run a business without any financial help from parents. My brother is my constant companion and he has always supported me in all my problems and difficult situations. Other than this, I wish to take workshops online as well as offline, teaching advanced skills to fellow bakers. My aim to is lead and uplift Home bakers because we are usually underestimated and there’s a psychology that calls us ‘overpriced bakers’. I want to remove this taboo and help the struggling bakers. I always keep up my spirit when it comes to my work and also keep myself updated regarding the new upgradations that take place in our industry. I am still learning every single day to improve my skills and sharpen the details of my work. I appreciate and respect people who correct me and tell my shortcomings. Your efforts will never go in vain, each effort made by you is a part of your training to become someone you aspire to be someday.”
Instagram – @bakedhppily
* The views expressed in the above article are of the writer and not the Winged Club.