Food startups are thriving in Ahmedabad and there are more entrepreneurs are joining this league. And mind it, this trend is not limited to youngsters alone. Meet Mrs. Poonam Gopalani, founder of ‘Piece of Cake’ who started her entrepreneurial journey at 50! From gaining the necessary skillsets to taking professional classes in Mumbai, Bangalore and New York, she was determined to establish herself as the best home baker in Ahmedabad. Here’s her story in her words:
Describe your brand ‘Piece of Cake’
‘Piece of Cake’ is a home based bakery that only works on custom made orders to deliver the finest desserts in Ahmedabad for special occasions like birthdays, weddings, etc. It is targeted towards those Amdavadis who want freshly baked goodies.
How did the idea of ‘piece of cake’ come up? What was your incentive for starting up?
As a housewife, I always wanted to use my spare time more productively. Prior to launching ‘Piece of Cake’, I used to take cake orders for almost 20 years in Himmatnagar. There were times when I used to get 7 -8 cake orders in a day! Then, I went to French Culinary Institute in New York expand my knowledge and learn new things. Soon, we started operations in Ahmedabad.
Two years ago, while my son was studying at MICA, we started taking cupcake orders from university students. Cupcakes were a rage at that point of time and it gave us the right platform to launch this initiative and also experiment with other products such as mousse and cheesecake. We also used this initial phase to resolve issues related to packaging, delivery and costing of products.
What type of cakes do you bake? What makes your initiative unique?
We make all sorts of cakes – photo cakes, special flavors or unique shapes, etc. What makes us unique is our quality & taste. While we are surrounded by restaurants and cafes that use artificial flavors & sweeteners which are not only harmful but also taste awful, “Piece of Cake” is entirely focused on home-made and using the best ingredients. And since we do not have the cost of a shop, we can charge the same as the shops & give better quality. We bake cakes on order and not make them a day or so prior for storage, which keeps it fresh and the taste is entirely different. We wish to bring genuine sweetness during people’s important occasions rather than keeping it artificial.
What are the challenges you face?
Keeping a superior quality and using the finest ingredients has its challenges. There are restaurants that only asked for cheaper products so as to improve their profit margin, irrespective of quality. That’s when I decided to be selective about clientele and focus only on those restaurants, which appreciate the desserts instead of looking only at profit. This meant being very selective and yet keeping the authenticity alive.
Any specialty products?
Our mousse is very much in demand in restaurants. We have very unique flavours, which you will not find in Ahmedabad. These include blueberry, strawberry, tiramisu (very much loved!) and the normal ones like chocolate as well. Our other specialty is cheesecakes. We can guarantee you that you will not find cheesecakes the way we make anywhere else in Ahmedabad, and that is why they are slightly more priced than normal cakes and desserts.
How can people order cakes from you?