LONDON, July 2009: We were on our way back from the annual family vacation in US. This time we decided to take a stop over in UK for a couple of days.. to meet up with some family and friends. My bestie was living in London at that time and her super power is baking. So while chatting away, she started praising the cakes I had been decorating after I did the basic course of Wilton Cake Decorating. So she goes like ..
“Why don’t you move to London and we can start a cake business..I will bake and you decorate.”
and we laughed at it …that was the end of this idea (or so we thought).
ONE YEAR LATER….
DOHA, Jun 2010: Things took a very unexpected turn (for the better of course!) and my bestie moved to Doha in May 2010. We had totally forgotten about this random conversation we had, about the cake business, a year earlier. But one day out of the blue, it hit me and I go like..
You remember how you said I should move to London and we can start a cake business?? Well , now that you are here, why don’t we start that business here..
and that’s how Homemade Cakes, Doha came into existence.
It was very exciting for both of us.. and we spent hours arguing about the name of the company, the logo , the pricing etc. etc.. Since we weren’t sure if it would work or not, we therefore didn’t want to invest a lot of money on the venture.. and hence started a home based business. We did most(Read ALL) of the things ourselves.. the logo, the flyers and the costing sheet (the toughest part of it all!). There was even an order form which I don’t think we ever used!( lol!). Very frankly, it wasn’t about the money at all.. it was all about our passion of baking and decorating cakes! (and ofcourse spending loads of quality time together!).
With me on board, there had to be an excel sheet!(Ofcourse! I make one for even a dinner I do at home- OCD as my husband calls me!).Hence there was one.. an extensive crazy one for costing, income, capital investments and running expenditure! (There was no costing of the hours we were putting in! But hey we didn’t have any Finance or Business studies background.. we both are IT people and that’s our excuse! ).
So, we decided to do all levels of Wilton’s Cake Decorating Courses (I had only done one earlier and there are 4 levels in total). We completed the 4 courses and then started our Facebook page called ‘Homemade Cakes, Doha’. And that was the beginning of a very fun journey! We got a lot of support from our friends in Doha who ordered from us and slowly the word spread outside our social circle too and we started getting orders.(Yipppeee!!!)
Every cake order meant hours of discussion on the design and then hours of fun along with lots of fine detail work! We loved doing any cake that challenged us! (repeat order of our designs was a Boring project!!). And at that end of a verrryy long day.. there would be high fives, praising our own work! (Come on, every one does that!! or I think they do!) and some celebration with Coke! (we are both Coke addicts!). After the cake was done, we would get my besties husband to take pictures of the cakes! (So a lot of pictures you will see are by him- Poor guy!)
My bestie even bought us both a Panic Button (lol, yes a real one! ), because there were times when things didn’t go as planned and we would have to MAKE a plan B (at the spur of the moment!).
We had a lot of fun doing the cakes.. and were getting 2 to 3 orders a week. Some cakes took hours and hours to complete.. so yeah we got really busy..really soon! We would be decorating cakes while my daughter enjoyed nibbling on the fondant and licking the left over icings (and yes she did end up with a tooth cavity!! Guilty mum!).
But as my husband says we had No “Contingency Planning” in our business ! We both got pregnant at the same time (No! we didn’t plan it that way!). I was expecting my second one Dash and she was expecting her first child (and our kids were born only 17 days apart!) and that was the end of the Cake business.. After that we just made our kids’ birthday cakes or made(READ Blackmailed into making one) for some of our friends …Though, later my bestie did start it again (after things got under control at her end).. but I couldn’t because I was expecting Jack-Jack! .So I kept pressing the “Panic Button” for totally different reasons! 🙂
Its been an year now that she has moved out of Doha. But before she moved, whatever money we made, we spent it all at a Dinner and a Spa treatment!! (See we did make some profit! lol – hey come on.. the business was running on our earnings.. the new pans, cutters, tools and ingredients!). The cake business is now officially over and till date I get messages with Cake orders! (I should probably tell them about my blog! ).I don’t see my self going ever back to it without her 😦
In this section of my blog, I will share the various cakes we did and any funny story associated with it! So watch out for the eye candy coming your way!