How long can passion take you? For Ashwini Kamat Tendulkar, a homemaker from Goa, it made her a proud entrepreneur. She is the face, the creative cake artist and the chief home baker behind the Goa-based home baking venture Urvi’s Angelic Bakes. At Urvi’s Angelic Bakes, cake lovers can place their orders for tasty and healthy customized cakes. You give Ashwini the idea and she will transform it into reality! And, she has been doing it quite successfully since the past one year. Today, Ashwini Kamat Tendulkar joins us in this session at conflatingVisions to share her story!
Hi Ashwini, welcome to conflatingVisions. Please introduce yourself to our readers.
Hi, I am Ashwini Kamat Tendulkar, a passionate home baker from Goa. The name of my venture is Urvi’s Angelic Bakes, providing wholesome cakes to those who derive delight in relishing everything that a cake can provide; from the visual appeal right to the taste.
Being a homemaker provided me with all the time to hone my skills as a baker. Having a lot of free time made me decide to utilise my passion in baking and bring it out for the world to experience. And when strangers start to become your regular customers, I realise that I have hit the mark. My family and friends have always supported me in whatever I have tried to do. But my daughter has been the real force and inspiration for me; her push has been my motivation to look for challenges and conquer my inhibitions. And that has given me a lot of confidence!!!
Ashwini, how did you get started with baking? How was your first baking experience?
I baked my first cake after my marriage, and it was a Victoria Sponge Cake. I tried it out from a recipe that I found in a cookery book. It was a total hit, with my family loving each and every crumb. A perfectly baked cake in my first try gave me the boost I needed to experiment further. I have never taken any professional training in basic baking; guess you can call me a self-learnt baker!!!
What inspired you to take up baking as your profession?
Though I have been baking all these years for my friends and families, the thought of going professional had never crossed my mind. I was never serious about it even a few years back. The appreciation and constant push by my friends made me realise my potential. I realised I could utilise my free time to venture into the world of customised cakes. A Facebook friend pushed me to bake a cake, as an order, for his parents combined birthday; and that was the start to my venture. Lovely reviews and appreciation from that bake was what I needed to trust my skills further.
Tell us about your baking venture Urvi’s Angelic Bakes.
Through Urvi’s Angelic Bakes home bakery venture, I take orders for customised cakes – Healthy bakes, exotic bakes, birthday cakes, tea cakes, brownies. Now I am planning to add savoury bakes in my menu. And each of my bakes is personalised as per the clients’ requests. Some of the requirements are challenging and far-fetched, but trying to meet them, and getting the customers to smile genuinely is rewarding in itself.
What are the signature items of Urvi’s Angelic Bakes?
Each of my cakes are customised, so each one of them are special to me. The Strawberry Creme and Red Velvet varieties are my best sellers – loved by all!!!
We all know creativity plays a big role in the success of a business. How do you try to be creative?
Creativity plays one of the most important roles in my baking, and I mean it literally. Frankly speaking, I was not a great cake decorator but had to delve into it fully due to necessity and requirements of the clients. My creativity is at its peak when I try different flavours in my cakes and frostings. I like to experiment with new flavours and they never fail me. For example, when a bride to be said that she wanted a typical mithai cake made from mithai I wasn’t sure where it could be available, so I offered to bake one for her. So I made a gulab jamun flavoured eggless cake soaked in saffron and rose water with saffron and milkmaid frosting. I can never forget the smile on her face.
Venturing into the unattempted gives me the adrenaline push to try my best in all my attempts. The final outcome may not be the same as the design, for I strive to better it, and make my customers come back for more.
Ashwini, how has been the journey so far for you?
It is nearly a year now since Urvi’s Angelic Bakes has been in existence, and the journey has not been smooth. But that was what I was expecting it to be. There were a few issues initially while doing the setup, as most of the tools and raw materials were not available here in Goa. I had to reach out to vendors in other cities and get them to courier my needs, which many a times would reach someone else, and so on. Goan humidity also is a big issue in baking, and needed a lot of time and money to be resolved. Hopefully, it should be smooth sailing henceforth.
Narrate some of your success stories.
Every cake that makes my clients come back for more is a success. But the creme de la creme was when I got a chance to bake a cake for Sanjeev Kapoor at the launch of the restaurant “The Yellow Chilli” in Goa recently. The way he handled it and reviewed it was a dream come true. It was a moment that I will never forget.
Did you experience any failure so far? What lessons did you learn from the failure(s)?
Dealing with different cakes in this humid Goan weather can be very frustrating. And over time I have learnt to handle this issue. I will not say it has been a failure of any sort, but it is certainly the biggest challenge I still has to face.
What are your plans to further scale up your baking business?
I am looking forward to venture into savoury bakes as I foresee a proper market. Not many are aware or used to such goodies. So, to keep baking, sharing my knowledge with others, and to share this love and passion to all who want to strive in this field of baking, that is the future I look forward to.
Your tips to those who want to start a baking business…
Get into this field only if you are passionate about baking, not because it will help you pass the time or just because you think a friend or neighbour is making a moolah out of it. Baking is back breaking work, and the only thing that drives you is the passion. Also, stick to proper and recommended raw materials; this habit will help your business to last.
Ashwini, one last question of this session, if you have had one wish…
I wish to keep on baking and to keep on learning new techniques from around the world. My dreams are not very big, just that my learning never stops, and that my passion never wanes.