The Sugar Fairy, started by home baker Seema Punjabi, is a promising upcoming brand for home baked cakes in Bangalore. Seema, an MBA qualified professional, always had the urge to set up a business of her own. The wish became true in the year 2014. The year was eventful for her as she chose to follow her heart’s desire and decided to pursue her love for baking as a profession. In this process, her brand – The Sugar Fairy came into being!
Seema Punjabi is a trained cake artist. Apart from attending a couple of cake decorating classes from the leading home bakers in Bangalore, she also successfully completed a baking and pastry arts course of the International Centre for Culinary Arts (ICCA), Dubai.
Today, we have with us the much-talented cake artist Seema Punjabi. In this interview session with conflatingVisions, the young founder of The Sugar Fairy tell us about her inspiring journey as an entrepreneur!
Hi, welcome to this interview session of conflatingVisions. To start with, we would like to know a few lines about yourself.
Hello! My name is Seema Punjabi and I was born in Mumbai and brought up in Bangalore. I have completed my Masters in Business Administration from Christ University. I have always been a foodie and has an extra special soft corner for desserts!
Seema, did you attend cake baking classes or cake decorating classes to learn baking?
I had taken a few cake decorating classes and baking classes from some home bakers. After that, I started trying my luck with baking and most of the attempts worked through trial and errors.
I also started going through books and online contents on baking. Last year, I got a chance to go to Dubai.
In Dubai, my dream to learn baking and pastry arts came true. I did a baking and pastry arts course from International Centre for Culinary Arts (ICCA).
Who inspired you to pursue baking professionally?
The inspiration to work and follow my passion comes from my Mother. My role model on the baking front has always been Pooja Dhingra, her contribution to pastry arts has been inspiring.
Please tell us about The Sugar Fairy.
My venture, The Sugar Fairy, started off because of my love for desserts. My comfort food that turned into my profession is like a dream. I started by baking small batches of cupcakes for my team mates where I worked. The constant feedback only got me baking more. A lot of support from my family, my sister, my brother and a few close friends got me more driven into baking. My manager gave me my first official order of 35 cupcakes and there was no stopping since then!
How do go about innovating on the cake decorating part?
Innovation is always required for any field. To keep up with the trends, I follow a lot of posts by popular bakers and read them as well. Some of the things I have incorporated is innovation with flavours, adding an Indian touch, healthy bakes and eggless baking.
What are some of the signature products of The Sugar Fairy? Which one among them is your personal favourite?
Almost every day I bake our most popular Death by Chocolate Cake. However, The Sugar Fairy’s popular products are cakes ranging from Death by Chocolate, Banana Walnut and Red Velvet. We also have Macaroons, Brownies and Pies.
My personal favourite is Nutella Brownies.
How good is the home made cakes market for home bakers in Bangalore?
The market for home bakers in Bangalore is quite promising. The city has already set a trend for home baked cakes and a lot of people are ready to spend and buy a cake from a home baker. The difference with store made cakes is always there. People are now willing to pay more to get the best quality and preservative free cake.
Few of the top home bakers in India are also from Bangalore. However, the competition is also present owing to the number of bakers present here.
Seema, what are some of the challenging cake designs that you have done so far?
I am in this work field from 2014. So far a lot of cakes have been on the side which I could manage. However, one cake which is still the biggest cake of my life was a Ferrari themed cake. The cake weighed around 25 kg. It had to have the Ferrari car which was a cake stand on another cake. A lot of effort went into making that cake.
Do you have any plan to start baking and cake decorating classes?
I have conducted few basic workshops for cupcake decoration and cake decoration. I would conduct more baking and cake decorating classes as that would give me a great opportunity to explore as I would gain more experience in the near future.
Please share some baking tips.
Some of my baking tips for aspiring bakers are:
- Always sieve your dry ingredients to get that extra fluffy texture in your cake.
- All your ingredients should be at room temperature for easy usage.
- Tap the cake dish on the shelf before putting the cake into the oven to release the air bubbles and get a flatter top.
- Measure your ingredients using a digital weighing scale to avoid any errors.
Narrate some of your success stories.
I was lucky to bake for brands like IBM, Fossil, Goldman Sachs, Ab in Bev, etc. Recently, I had baked for Ajay Warrier, a popular regional singer and also a jury member of the show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa. I have been blessed to be featured for my work on the Deccan Herald and The Hindu as well. Every small step for me is a milestone.
Seema, what are your plans to scale up the growth of The Sugar Fairy?
My dream is to build my brand The Sugar Fairy and reach many more people. A cafe is always on my mind. But I would love to learn and explore more. Social Media has a huge impact. So my growth will be using this platform.
Anything else you want to share…
Just I would want to say that if you love something then follow it. Nothing can keep you happier than doing what you love! Watch out for opportunities and grab it. Not everyone gets a second chance to live their dreams!
And one last question of this session Seema, if you have had one wish…
One wish? That’s too less.
It should be at least three!
Well if you ask me about a single wish then I would love to go to Paris and learn more and try more things which I could ever dream off!