"Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her: but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game."
“If you believe in your work, keep going at it passionately.” – Tasneem Contractor
Always be brave to stand for what you believe in even if you stand alone. These thoughts deeply resonate with the super-talented home baker Tasneem Contractor, who is the founder of B & R Bakers which offers a variety of baked goodies apart from cakes. She specializes in making structured cakes and her quirky yet delicious creations have to be seen to be truly believed.
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Tasneem has always been good at fine arts. She used to make a lot of clay sculptures earlier and got interested in baking when one day she made doughnuts with her cousin. Soon they tried out new recipes and one thing led to another, and Tasneem’s journey as a baker began, with encouragement and support from her sister. Being a single parent, home baking also seemed like the most practical choice, since she had to look after her children, work and manage her other responsibilities simultaneously.
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According to Tasneem, her first cake was a disaster. It was baked for her daughter’s birthday, who had just started walking. Thinking it was a chair, the little baby sat on the cake and smashed it! Giggling, she fondly remembers, “It was the first smashed cake in our entire family.”
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This artistic baker has learnt through online tutorials and experience. She loves to do detailing work on cake figurines and her favourite cakes to bake are the structured cakes, like a purse, Thor hammer, a bat and a ball. They are in fact the USP of her brand and have earned her an award as well. She says,” Even though people in this city usually don’t go for structured cakes, this is something I really want to focus on and even start teaching it.”
One of her favourite cakes to bake is the Chocolate Orange Cake and the most challenging ones are the customized, structured cakes. Trying to make these cakes stand for a long time and getting the particulars right is the tricky part, she believes. “Kids in particular have a wild imagination, for example – a combination of Spider-Man with a dinosaur. So this is something challenging but I love doing it.”
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Tasneem says,” In the next five years, I really want to take B & R Bakers to such a level that it can be taken forward by my kids so that when they grow up, they already have a well-established platform that they can take to higher levels. I also want to start teaching novelty and structured cakes and put up a cafe cum workshop where I can take orders as well as conduct classes.” Such an interesting concept!
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Delivery is a big hassle for each and every home baker and it was no different for Tasneem. But after working with Bulb and Key, the delivery part became much easier and she also started getting more orders. “Bulb and Key’s app, the way we give our quotations – I really find that very helpful.”
Through her baking journey, Tasneem has seen a lot of bakers who cut down the prices of their cakes just to sell all of them off. She says,” If a Truffle Cake is priced for Rs 1000 in the market, then the home bakers will sell theirs for Rs 600 or Rs 700, just to sell their products – even though they earn peanuts in it. Different bakers start charging differently and this causes the customers to compare and wonder. This spoils the market as well.”
Apart from this, she advises budding bakers to stick to their belief and passion no matter what. The initial lack of customers or demand should never hinder one from working towards their goal. There will come a time when all our efforts will pay off and our work will shine. She shares, “During the initial six months, I had no orders. But if I had stopped at that time, saying that I have a very limited budget and have to manage the household responsibilities as well as my kids, then I definitely would not be where I am today.” Despite all these hurdles, she just kept going.
Keep experimenting and practicing until you find success. – Tasneem Contractor
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