Chennai-based home baker Mridula Ganesan is an young achiever. At the age of 21, she makes beautiful cakes. Not only they look good and tempting, they taste even better. Her baking venture, Hew and Frost, which started operations early this year has already managed to grab significant attention from the cake lovers in Chennai. But the interesting part of Mridula’s story is, she is just not a baker. She is a textile design graduate from the National Institute of Fashion Technology and works as a Designer and Merchandiser for a Design Studio in Chennai. Mridula is also a talented photographer. The list of the fields in which she is an expert is even more. And, it wouldn’t be wise if we disclose everything about this talented young girl here!
Today, Mridula Ganesan, the founder of Hew and Frost joins us in this interview session of conflatingVisions to share her story. We hope Mridula’s inspiring story would inspire many of you to rediscover and explore your hidden dreams!
Hi Mridula, welcome to this interview session of conflatingVisions. To begin with, we request you to introduce yourself to our readers.
Well, long story short, I’m a designer by morning and baker by night.
A 21-year-old Textile Design graduate from the National Institute of Fashion Technology. I work as a Designer and Merchandiser for a Design Studio based in Chennai. A Photography enthusiast, Hand-letterer, typographer with a never-ending love for collecting all things of paper and art supplies.
When did you first discover your love for baking?
I’ve always found baking exciting. I truly got to experience it when we had bought an oven in the year 2010. With a few trial and errors, I found my place in this amazing world of baking.
What was your first baked product? How was the outcome?
It was a strawberry muffin. The outcome was pretty fine.
Please tell us about Hew and Frost. When did you launch this baking venture and what inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
It was during my college, we had a chance to put up a pop-up stall during 2014 Diwali celebration. I decided to sell cake pops. An hour since the sale began and I was sold out. That was when a friend of mine dropped by to place an order for her brother’s birthday saying she loved what I made and wanted in the very same flavour; that being my first official order.
Ever since, I got few requests every month and slowly the numbers kept increasing. I started Hew and Frost with its official Facebook page and an Instagram handle in the month of March 2016.
Initially, it was about fulfilling my dream and my passion; now, it’s about the hundreds of souls that I’ve touched and those who move and inspire me to keep up the creativity and create toothsome cakes.
It’s a space for one to expand and express levels of excitement, joy and emotion. We believe what we do will create memorable memories for you and your loved ones.
‘Hew and Frost’ is here to offer the sought after creative bespoke cakes, cupcakes and sweet treats that are handcrafted with love whether it’s for your wedding, engagement, special birthday or to indulge.
Being creative is very much important in baking. How do you use your creativity skills while baking?
As a Designer, we are mould to follow a design process and it pretty much works the same way here.
We start with a conversation with the client. We discuss about the event, number of guests, theme, flavour, etc. Once I understand the nature of the event, I send a few sketches or the client sends a few images to give me an idea of how the cake should look like.
Mridula, what are some of the difficult cake designs that you have done so far?
I firmly believe that I’m yet to get a difficult one.
What are some the signature products of Hew and Frost? Which one is your personal favourite?
Hew and Frost’s signature products are Belgian Chocolate cake, Banana Cake with cream cheese, Vanilla/Chocolate cake with coffee filling and mascarpone frosting.
Our Rustic wedding cakes and Tall drip cakes have become our USP. Non-fondant Tiered Wedding or engagement cakes have become quite the thing in the recent times from Hew and Frost.
I’m afraid I have to pick all my cakes, because they are all my favourites.
Narrate some of your success stories.
The recent one being a 6 kg three tier engagement cake that was accompanied by 400 Dessert Jars. Being the only one who bakes and decorates the cakes at Hew and Frost, it was indeed quite a feat. I got help from my parents for the dessert jars. I’m surely lucky to have such supporting parents.
What are some of the challenges in a baker’s life? How do you overcome them?
During my college days, managing time demanding assignments and cake orders was quite a task. It took some time for me to plan ahead and work accordingly. It is pretty much the same now. Managing between a full-time job and the cake orders is definitely stressful but I absolutely enjoy baking and I love my job. I wouldn’t want to let go of them.
At the end of the day, it’s about choosing what you want to do and doing it no matter what.
As a baker/entrepreneur, managing the baking and the admin part of it is challenging. As a baker, we spend most of the time in the kitchen, baking and decorating and responding to messages and inquiries with hands filled with cake batter.
What are your future plans to scale up your baking business of Hew and Frost?
I’m working on it. Soon I’ll put the cards on the table.
Mridula, if you are given an option to fix a failure of yours, what would you do?
I have had failures before and I have come up with solutions to avoid the same. One of the reasons why I bake a day ahead.
And one final question of this session Mridula, if you have had one wish…
I’d want to have all the best cake baking and decorating supplies to be easily available to all of us.
If you are in Chennai and want to delight yourself with the best cakes in Chennai, then get in touch with Mridula Ganesan. We believe she wouldn’t disappoint you!