Be it a birthday, anniversary, or any other occasion, cakes are always our go-to pick for a colourful celebration. Various flavours like vanilla, chocolate, black forest, and so on please people's taste buds.
But with customised cake makers like the Cake Walkers, you get a visual treat with mouth-watering items. They can materialise any unique concept of cakes and turn them into extraordinary art pieces. Syeda Ummul Warah, the founder of Cake Walkers, has shared her baking journey with this writer.
When marriage is a turning point
The most interesting thing about her is that her marriage triggered her latent talent in this regard. Because she never had to visit the kitchen before her marriage.
"My father never let me do things in the kitchen. Whenever he saw me around the kitchen, he sent me to study immediately. So I did not have much culinary knowledge."
"Interestingly, I got a foodie husband. For him, I used to experiment with different new items with the help of YouTube tutorials. Eventually, I got passionate about cooking," Syeda narrated.
But it is not her husband, but her elder son, who is the main reason behind her early steps in baking. In her words, "I noticed that my elder son likes cake very much. I learned to bake different cakes for him, and afterwards, I made my own recipes."
Officially on Facebook
It was never in her mind to open a Facebook page like Cake Walkers.
Initially, she used to try cakes with new recipes and share those with her relatives and friends. Appreciation came from every corner, and words of her expertise started to spread.
"One of my friends suggested I should open a page and take my baking skill to a new level. I was not that much hopeful at first. But everyone I discussed the idea with appreciated it. So I thought to give it a try. Then in October 2016, Cake Walkers was born," she shared.
The initial few years were very tough. She had few resources at that time. Also, there was the game of patience. It so happened that she got only two orders in a month.
Family support gives a much needed boost
The patience ultimately paid off. Currently, she is so busy with her clients' orders that she has opened a baking studio in Mohammadpur. But in her highs and lows, she got constant support from her family.
"Many people have a struggling background behind their success where they single-handedly changed their fortune. But I never faced this kind of situation. My family, especially my in-laws, have tremendously backed me up. For many cakes, I needed different items unavailable in our country. In that regard, my relatives residing abroad helped me."
"And most importantly, my husband helps me with my work. Without him, it would have been impossible for me to deliver 5-6 cakes daily on average," Syeda remarked.
She doesn't only get support from her family members; they have taken Cake Walkers as their own.
Syeda said, "If I get fewer orders someday, my in-laws become more anxious than me. It's lovely to see them so involved in my work."
The page has reached out to about 19 thousand followers, which is small considering the quality of the work. When asked why, she said, "First of all, I never tried to promote the page as this is my passion, not my job. Another thing is that, as I, along with a few of my family members, do all the work, it is challenging for us to handle a huge number of orders now. If we get more responses in the upcoming days, we will consider some other manoeuvre."
When quality speaks, quantity hardly matters. Nusrat Sarwar Chowdhury, one of the Cake walkers' regular customers, shared, "I can't recall how many cakes I ordered from Cake walkers in the last two years. But every time I threw them a challenge with a complex design, Cake Walkers successfully delivered it. Even I requested them to deliver a cake within 9 hours without compromising on taste or looks. And they passed with an extension. Syeda apu is undoubtedly my go-to person in terms of the bakery."
The only complaint Navid Shahriyar, another regular client, has got about Cake Walkers is, "Their design is so beautiful and perfect that every time I feel very bad to cut the cake!"|
All these good words reflect Syeda's hard work. But for that, she has to compromise a lot in her personal life. As the mother of two children, she doesn't get much time to spend with them.
"My sons are habituated to see me busy all day. They also understand the situation. They handle their small needs and problems without waiting for me. It's difficult for me, but that's how it is," she described.
The secret behind her perfection is her constant hunger for excellence. She throws challenges to herself with complex designs.
In her words, "I learn new things from every cake. I believe that if I don't work with harder designs, I won't be able to grow myself."
With that belief, she is pursuing higher baking degrees to excel more. Occasionally she takes basic baking classes in her studio too.
From her experience, Syeda has two pieces of advice for anyone who wants to start a business or online shop.
"Firstly, you have to be passionate. Don't just learn things as time pass. Gather enough knowledge before you start anything. The next thing anyone will need is patience. As I said, I had very few orders in my early days. It is supposed to be. You might have to wait for weeks, months, or even years. But you should not be impatient about that. If the quality of work is good, eventually it will gain people's attention," she explained.
From a regular homemaker, what Syeda is doing now is inspiring in many ways. She is an example for many women that being a successful entrepreneur is possible for any homemaker.