In Conversation with Nirmala Arokia, Founder of Pumpkinbakes 1


Pumpkinbakes is a Bangalore based home bakery which specializes in pastries and custom made cakes. It was founded by Nirmala Arokia Mary in the year 2014. Nirmala is baking since her childhood days. It gradually developed into a passion. While working as a nurse in California, she completed a Diploma Course in Baking and Pastry program. She was fortunate to work with some of the renowned chefs in the industry later on. Today, in this session, we have Nirmala with us to tell us her story.

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Hi Nirmala, happy to have you in this session of conflatingVisions. Please tell us a few lines about you.

I worked as a nurse in California but was passionate about baking. Hence, I went to a pastry school in USA to pursue a diploma in baking and pastry program. Shortly after which I started gaining experience working with renowned chefs in the industry. After moving to India in 2010, I found the need for an authentic bakery in Bangalore and opened Nimmy’s patisserie.

What inspires you to bake?

Christmas is usually a time to bake and get the family involved. As kids due to nonavailability of a conventional oven, we baked cakes in a pressure cooker, heated over a bed of sand. The aroma of the baking, the presence of family and the cheer of Christmas made this baking experience an exceptional one. This happiness of togetherness led to a passion to make people happy and put a sweet smile on their face through my cakes.

Tell us about Pumpkinbakes. Why did you name your bakery Pumpkinbakes?

Pumkinbakes is a stop place for an array of customized cakes, cupcakes and handcrafted Belgian chocolates. People wonder if I add a bit of pumpkin to my cakes but actually I call both my children Pumpkin and hence the name “Pumkinbakes.”

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How important is creativity in the baking profession?

Creativity is important because customers demand cakes uniquely designed for their tastes, occasion and theme of a party. They look for a wow factor!! Hence, repetition or copying previous designs do not showcase the skills and talents of a professional baker.

In what ways are you creative when it comes to baking?

Creativity goes parallel with baking.We make sure that our cakes look and taste delicious because every customer is unique and when you customize a cake it is essential to do pristine work with an exquisite design like sugar flowers and figurines.

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What are your signature items?

My signature items are Belgian chocolate cupcake, chocolate mud-cake, banana caramel cake, red velvet cake, lemon chiffon cake and vanilla butter cake.

How do you go about building a successful customer base for Pumpkinbakes?

Quality work, consistency in the cake quality and taste, and cakes finished to our highest standards, timely delivery and value for money goes a long way to make customers happy and spread the word.

Narrate some of your success stories.

Everytime a customer gets back to me about how satisfied they were with the cake this is success story itself. One thing that comes to my mind that I would like to share is just through word of mouth someone ordered a cake and it so happened to be that the Chief Minister was also a guest at the party. Hence, I feel very honored and delighted.

What are your future plans with Pumpkinbakes?

In future, I would like to have an exclusive high-quality cake/pastry boutique and endeavor in finesse wedding cakes.

Your advice to those who want to take up baking as a profession.

Cake business is not a cake walk, it requires time, patience and dedication. When you make quality cakes constantly and produce excellent work, then your cakes speak for themselves. No one gets famous overnight, but working hard and updating your skills will get you to your destination.

And, one last question of this session Nirmala, if you have had one wish…

Ahhh… tough one. I think I would like to do a cake cruise around the world and learn from the best cake artists’ in the world.

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