Bringing to you this week, a beautiful person and an amazing baker. I met her many years ago at the Organic Bazaar and it was like you find ‘someone from your own tribe.’ As authentic and true to themselves as one can be!
Suneeta believes, “that the best bakes are the ones that need no color or sugar and artwork to hide behind. The true test of good baking lies in the texture and flavor of the bake, made with honest-goodness ingredients and seasonal fruits.”
And if your philosophy is the same in life do read her tête-à-tête below in detail as it carries some pointers and great advice.
Q1. How did the idea for your business come about?
ST: I’ve been a passionate baker all through my adult life (even at the time I didn’t have an electric oven). I baked for friends and family on their special days and I baked to de-stress. Regardless of the kind of gathering (office potluck, parties with friends or other celebrations) I went to, the cakes I carried always got consumed real quick and I received a lot of appreciation for them verbal and non-verbal.
While on a break from my corporate career of 14 years, when home-baking had slowly began to get popular, I started to bake commercially, part-time begin with. I wasn’t sure if there was a market for the kind of baking I did, considering the home-baking market was flooded with fondant and colorful butter-creamed cakes with loads of color, preservatives and ingredients that didn’t necessarily justify the label of home-baking. I believe that the best bakes are the ones that need no color or sugar and artwork to hide behind. The true test of good baking lies in the texture and flavor of the bake, made with honest-goodness ingredients and seasonal fruits. What I was doing, was quite niche and I wasn’t sure if there would be many takers for it. I was surprised by the response and as my customers grew, there came a point when I realized I needed to make the choice of doing this full time or get back to a job, so I took that leap of faith in November 2014, when I set up the Simple Pleasures Baking studio from my home. I taught hands-on baking and baked on order. And my baking evolved to cater to variety of dietary needs, from Vegan, to Glutenfree, to dairy free to sometimes a crazy combination any of the former. The USP was to bake for my customers as I would for my family, no compromises whatsoever.
Q2. What was your key driving force to become an entrepreneur?
ST: My key driving force to become an entrepreneur was the freedom to work on my terms, according to my values. To have better control over my life and to live my convictions and the curiosity to see if you can really make a living out of your passion.
Q3. How do you market your business, and which tactics have been most successful?
ST: I’ve used a combination of all of many methods and I am not quite sure if I am the right person to talk about this as I don’t think I marketed aggressively, also I believed in organic growth. After testing waters a little, realized FB paid advertising wasn’t quite effective. so didn’t quite use any of the paid advertising available on FB and Instagram. But I’ll share what I did so it might benefit someone… who might be starting off.
1. To begin with, I mostly relied on advertising my workshops on Foodie and Baking Facebook groups and of course on my own business and personal page on FB. That definitely brought me a lot of participants for a couple of years till it hit a saturation point.
2. Also tried newspaper inserts a couple of times, which honestly weren’t executed well. If you have to use this method, make sure to personally go to the newspaper points early in the morning to ensure they really add the inserts and yours aren’t lost in a sea of pamphlets.
3. I’ve been conducting bake sales at the monthly Goodseeds Organic Bazaar for about three years now, and this has been a great way of getting targeted customers for my bakes and workshops too. It’s a place where I get to interact people who buy my products and I get a lot of instant feedback.
4. Never underestimate the power of good word-of-mouth, happy customers make the best advertisement. Keep your work good and word gets around.
What piece of advice would you give to women who would start a business of their own.
First decide on how you will differentiate your products in the market and stick to that proposition. Don’t get swayed by market trends which tend to be very transient. Make sure that your products play to your strengths.
Understand that home-based/artisanal business take years to get established and start earning regular revenue. If you are in a hurry to monetize your business, this may not be the route for you. Be willing to spend that time on growing this business by keeping your costs low. Don’t go all-in with your investment.
Despite what it looks like on the outside, this is hard work and you are going to question your life choices many times. Keep going for the period that you planned. And if for any reason it doesn’t work out like you planned, take the lesson and do not be afraid to change you vision.
Q4. What entrepreneurial tricks have you discovered to keep you focused and productive in your day-to-day busy schedule?
ST: Getting super-organized. I use some of my learning’s from my corporate career to stay organized.
Being a one-person owner baker needs me to multitask and be very organised. My phone has worked as my productivity tool where I use the Notes app to make my checklist of to dos, reminders to ensure I don’t miss an activity. Having reusable checklists around repetitive tasks really helps me.
Build your tribe who will keep you positive and grounded. Folks you can use to bounce off ideas and plans.
**Truly, truly agree with you there. Thank you so much for sharing such valuable gyaan.
And we wish you all the successes in the coming future.
➡️ You can follow her online to know more about her work here: