Avi Going Places With Creative Pastries

Avi's creative cake pops

For what started off as a hobby when she was barely a teenager, Avi Jutley turned her passion for baking into a full time business by setting up Cakes, Bakes & Desserts in 2013. As the 26-year-old ventured into this highly creative field, her desire to grow and passion for technique saw her quickly climb the ladders of the industry and transform many an occasion with eye catching cakes, fancy desserts and even famous French Macarons to mention but a few.

Avi talks to Nilpa Shah about her journey.

Tell us about yourself.

I was born and brought up in Nakuru. I live with my family;  my parents, two brothers and my grandma in spirit – she passed away earlier this year. I worked as a merchandiser at a textile industry in Nakuru a few years back, until I decided to seriously pursue my passion in baking. I attended the Lions Club of Nakuru Group of Schools. Thereafter I completed a Fine Arts course in Greensteds International School, Nakuru. I carried on to do a Graphic Design Diploma and then went ahead and did a diploma in Business in Information Technology. As far as my being a baker and cake decorator is concerned, I’m completely self-taught. I do however hope to study the same professionally some day, just for my own satisfaction.

Avi Jutley displaying a wedding cake.

Tell us about your journey in business. What inspired you to start?

I have always been interested in baking and decorating. I have always been the creative kind. I found myself helping my grandma and mum whenever they would bake homemade cookies when I was much younger. I do all the baking myself now. It’s a hobby turned business. It doesn’t get better than that! I love what I do. From baking for friends and family, I have managed to swim my way up to larger parties and corporate tables.

What resources did you start with and how did you use them?

Initially, my dad would help me financially. Working from the house, I started off with very basic equipment that was available in our kitchen. As my interest grew, so did my technique, which obviously called for advanced ingredients and equipment.

What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?

The most effective way has been Facebook. People are intrigued by vibrant colours and shapes; and this platform has allowed me to showcase just that. This is closely followed by word of mouth. When the delicacies exceed a customer’s expectations, or when the flavours are delightful, the customer spreads the word. Quality is key here.Some of Cakes, Bakes & Desserts products

What have been your biggest challenges so far with running your business and how do you overcome them?

One of the biggest challenges is that I am doing this alone. It gets tricky when there are huge orders, but I make up by working very late nights because I actually work better at night. At times there is no sleep time at all. But I gladly go the extra mile, because this is what I enjoy doing, I don’t see myself doing the same with other jobs.

Tell us about your team.

Currently it is just me, with a lot of support from people close to me. However as the orders flow in and the business expands, I will look into hiring a strong team who share the same passion.

What do you love most about running your own business?

I do it at my own time and I’m not answerable to anyone for anything – unless I mess up an order! I will have the client to answer to then! Thankfully it hasn’t come to that yet! Also this business allows me to let my creative juices flowing in a sector that calls for total dedication and with no room for error. The challenge of baking something new every day keeps me on my toes.Avi Jutley and samples of birthday cakes she makes.

How do you keep motivated through difficult times?

I always look forward to the end product. Once I am done and I get customer feedback and appreciation, I know that the struggle was not in vain. When you see the customer coming back again, you know that those hours of dedication were truly worth it! Support from those near and dear also encourages me a lot. 

What's the biggest lesson you have ever learned?

Never give up. Do not let anyone tell you what you should be doing with yourself. If you put your mind to it, anything is possible.

How has entrepreneurship changed you and your lifestyle?

It has changed me into a more confident person, believing in myself and my abilities. I have had to push myself at times to try new things and better techniques, which allows me to constantly set the bar higher than the previous day, and achieve excellence. As this is my passion, I feel happier and content because I am focusing on what I love to do. This business calls for discipline and timelines are very important. I do have to forego the early night sleep to make sure the end result is perfect.

If you could go back in time, what would you do differently?

I would have taken this up on a more serious level much earlier. But no regrets!

Where do you see your business five years from now?

I see my creativity soar through the roof, and probably even be a market leader in terms of creativity.

What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?

No matter what they say, do not give up. If you believe you can do it, go right ahead and show them what you are really made of.

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Nilpa Shah

 

Nilpa Shah is a believer that a little financial sense goes a long, long way…

Catch her free spirit on https://shahnilpa.wordpress.com