Meet the engineer turned home baker who strives despite adversity
“Make sure that you are baking out of complete love and passion. Don’t just do it for the money.” – Manali Chiplunkar
We can do anything as long as we have the passion, the drive, the focus and the support. Nobody embodies this better than engineer turned home baker Manali Chiplunkar. She is the genius behind Baker’s Cottage, her home baking business which provides delicious customized cakes for all occasions.
What makes Manali’s story so interesting is that she has a degree in engineering and turned to baking due to the recession period a few years ago. She attended a few short baking courses and then decided to impart her learnings to other people who were interested in baking. She has also learnt a lot by watching online baking tutorials and videos and started her full-fledged business almost five years back.
The first cake that Manali remembers baking was a Black Forest Cake, back when she had started. She giggles, “Taste-wise it turned out quite well but appearance-wise it wasn’t very professional.” But after that she practised a lot and gradually improved her craft.
Her favourite cakes to bake are the Chocolate and Rasmalai cakes, while her signature is the Shaahi Pan and Gulkand Cake. As to the most challenging ones, she says, “Due to the fact that I am suffering from cervical spondylitis, I cannot work for long hours at a stretch. So making fondant cakes is quite challenging for me. If in case anyone orders for one, then I have to work in slots. Also, fondant figures are quite tough to make.” It’s so commendable that despite this personal issue and tremendous pain, Manali manages to make such wonderful creations!
Her plan for the next five years is to run the business from a separate flat as it would give her more space to operate. As for working with Bulb and Key, she says, “It has been a pleasant experience. While there are a few things that they can still improve, they have a lot of potential for long-term success.”
Manali’s advice for the budding home bakers is to do their work out of sheer passion and not for the money. She explains, “Make sure that the finishing of your cakes is up to the mark and faultless. People should love not only the taste of the cake but also the decorations and overall presentation. Make sure you use premium quality ingredients only. If you pay attention to all these details, then customers will keep flocking to you, for sure, regardless of the competition around. Also, keep gaining as much knowledge as you can.” We totally agree.
If we have a dream, it’s definitely achievable through hard work, dedication and sacrifice. – Manali Chiplunkar