From being an HR professional to choosing a career in an entirely different field is not an easy task to do. But, Pune-based entrepreneur Seema V. Acharya has made it happen! She is the proud founder of Seema’s Flour Magic, a customized cake making venture that she started 2 years back. Each and every edible creation that goes out from Seema’s cake studio are examples of finest artworks. And, this is why she has managed to establish herself as one of the best home bakers in Pune!
Today, Seema V. Acharya, the talented home baker and the founder of Seema’s Flour Magic joins us in this interview session to tell us her inspiring story!
Hi Seema, welcome to this interview session of conflatingVisions. To begin with, we would like you to say a few lines about you.
Born and brought up in Goa, I’m a commerce graduate with a diploma in Human Resource. After working as an HR personnel, I took a break due to my personal reasons. And I started exploring my passion for baking. Currently, I create customised theme cakes under the banner “Seema’s Flour Magic” which started about 2 years ago.
How was your first baking experience?
My very first cake wasn’t made by the home baker Seema but by a wife to her husband on their wedding anniversary. I baked a Marie Biscuit Cake in a pressure cooker using a recipe I had seen on a TV show. With little or no knowledge about baking, this cake was a turning point in my baking career.
How did you learn baking?
In order to learn some basics about baking, I attended a baking course besides which I started following bakery shows on YouTube and TV.
When did you choose to take up baking as your profession? What was the inspiration behind the decision?
I would bake for my friends and family on various occasions and I had never imagined my baking love would turn out to be a profession. It only happened when my neighbour gave me an order of Mawa Cake for her daughter’s birthday and ever since then I started taking orders from my locality.
Soon, I registered myself on a social media group of women entrepreneurs known as Pune ladies which ended up fetching me a lot of orders and within no time I was one of the home bakers in Pune.
Seema, tell us about Seema’s Flour Magic.
I believe in magic and creating it out of flour is my passion. Seema’s Flour Magic was created to let people know that their imaginations could be put up in the form of a cake and there are no limits to it. Vivid and challenging customer demands and my creativity gives birth to some beautiful handcrafted edible cakes.
How has been the growth of your baking business since inception?
There has been an exponential rise in the growth since it’s inception. The cakes have got better and so is my customer satisfaction. The number of fan followings on my Facebook page “Seema’s flour magic” has reached almost 2k.
Being creative is very much important in every profession. How do you blend creativity in your baked creations?
I had a passion for creative work since the beginning. I would make handmade crafts and also loved to do everything in a creative way. Looking at my passion, my family advised me to take up decor as a business but fondness to baking made me turn into a home baker. And that is how I’ve been blending my creative mind and love for cooking together!
What are some of the signature items of Seema’s Flour Magic?
Some of the signature items of Seema’s Flour Magic includes the Paithani Saree Cake which appeared to be so realistic that when I posted its picture on my Facebook Page, I was asked if it’s a real saree. Chicken Biryani Cake was another such item. Game of Thrones themed cake was loved by all my fans on Facebook, and not to forget the Pithala Bhakri Cake.
You must have many memorable experiences in your journey as a professional baker. We would love to know about them.
Some of the memorable experiences include the audition of master chef India where I was appreciated for daring to make a spicy chocolate cake. I also shot for a cookery show called ‘Ami Sare Khavaye’ that airs on Zee Marathi.
How challenging is baking as a profession? How do you overcome the challenges?
I faced a lot of challenges when I began. Managing with limited equipments of baking and also meeting the demands of the customers was a tough time. I did not want to compromise on the customer needs and hence dedicated 5 to 10 hours which is a necessity for a fully customised cake, apart from the planning that goes in before that. There was a lot of competition in the field of baking but my aim was to stand out and be unique in my own way.
I believe in converting the imaginations of my customers into reality with extremely fine finishing which would make them amazed to believe that it’s a cake!
Tell us about your future plans for Seema’s Flour Magic.
I want Seema’s Flour Magic to be started in my hometown, Goa. I want people to identify cakes with my name and Seema’s cakes to be the first choice of the people. My dream is also to start a unique bistro in Goa.
Your advice to those who wish to take up baking as a profession…
Patience and creativity are the key ingredients to make a good baker. The baker should understand the needs of his or her customer. Customer satisfaction should be of utmost importance. Baking as a hobby and taking the same as a profession needs to be looked at differently. One has to plan every cake methodically. Also, the quality of ingredients used is as important as everything else. A cake must look good but if it does not taste as good then all the efforts shall go in vain.
Anything else you want to share…
When I started baking as a profession, many were apprehensive about my skills. They had a doubt on my abilities. But as time passed by, my bakes have proved my abilities. I am happy my family has helped me nurture my passion. One should understand that one does not become successful overnight. Success is an outcome of complete dedication and failed experiments. Every failed experiment takes you to the pathways of success. Self-belief helps one to overcome all the odds.
And, one last question of this session Seema, if you have had one wish…
To be identified and recognized as one of the top bakers in India.