Home Baker Nikita Das – Interview
“Always remember that a home baker is someone who runs a business out of passion. Keep that in mind and don’t try to compete with the big bakers. Stick to your guns.” – Nikita Das
Each person has his or her own skills and abilities and it is essential to embrace our uniqueness. This is something that home baker Nikita Das strongly believes in. Nikita is the baker behind A Baked Affair, which offers a wide range of fresh and customized cakes to customers.
With a background in engineering, Nikita has always loved baking. It ran in her family as her great-grandfather was the baker of the Maharaja of Kolhapur. This talent and passion for baking passed down to the family and after baking for fun, Nikita eventually decided to start her own home baking business. She says that her initial cakes were not quite visually appealing but as soon as the orders started coming in, she began to focus more on the cake decorating aspect and undertook a course in it from White Lotus School. A Baked Affair took off when she got a chance to do a souk from High Spirits.
According to Nikita, “The first cake that I baked was a Red Velvet Cake, back when it wasn’t that famous here. I did everything right except I added cocoa powder into the batter and it became pink! So I ended up making a Pink Velvet Cake which everyone loved.” Well, this interesting little story just proves that sometimes while experimenting, our mistakes can actually turn out to be something good! So don’t be afraid to make mistakes – they always teach.
For any baker, there are always some challenges cropping up along the way and for Nikita, the most challenging project so far has been a two-tier fresh cream cake that she had to bake before she had joined White Lotus. As she was a novice back then, she had to read a lot about it. Her favorite cake to bake is the humble Carrot Cake.
In the next five years, Nikita aims to open a quaint little cafe that offers her cakes as well as a few of their home recipes. She really admires the work of Melanie Andrade (of Fat Cat’s Cafe) and hopes to sell some unique goodies inspired from Pune as well as Goa, which is her mother’s hometown.
Speaking about her experience working with Bulb and Key, she says, “It has been a good experience but to be honest, it is a tad bit expensive. Other than this, my deliveries are getting pushed out and reaching my customers on time. Especially when it comes to distance, even if a customer lives far, I know that I can rely on Bulb and Key for timely, safe delivery. The team is very professional and accommodating.”
One piece of advice that Nikita would like to give to budding bakers is to never look at baking as a profession. She says, “Yes you do need to earn money through baking but always remember that a home baker is someone who runs their business out of passion.
Stick to your USP and don’t ever go down on the quality and quantity based on the budget and costs. At the same time, there are customers who might try to take you for a ride so always be very aware of that. Keep learning along the way – read, watch baking videos online, go through Instagram for lots of interesting ideas and inspiration from top bakers and others. Also, more importantly, have patience. It all takes time – work hard and when the time comes, you will be noticed.”
So as is the case with any profession, baking too requires passion, patience and the ability to showcase our strengths, no matter what comes our way.
Passion should be your sun to the solar system – Nikita Das