We believe – A story inspiring a few hundreds of other stories
And so we bring to you inspiring stories of heros of our own tribe.
Zareen Shaikh, the lady behind Cake Me Out, inspires to quell the dilemma, take the plunge and dare to follow your dreams.
Zareen Shaikh took up a mass media course to complete her formal education, but knew her heart belonged elsewhere. She had an inclination towards cooking and baking since she was a little girl. With a nudge at the right moment and untiring perseverance, she started a gourmet bakery Cake Me Out. Cake Me Out is now three and half years old and continues to serve exquisite, relish and gorgeous looking desserts. They specialise in French entremets, macarons, and different international desserts, they also conduct workshops to disseminate the skill.
In conversation with Zareen Shaikh:
Tell us about your love for cooking and baking as a little girl?
I was introduced to baking by my mom – who makes awesome Indian desserts – the earliest memory I have was when I was around 8-9 years old I used to love helping my mom when she used to make desserts especially when we were hosting guests…guess this is from where my love for baking has evolved.
Where did it all begin? Did you always aspire to take up baking professionally? What was your first job as a baker?
As mentioned earlier, I always loved cooking and baking right from my childhood…as I entered college I used to always in my spare time try and read recipes and try and emaluate them…I was a very curious person and used to try and experiment with these recipes and try and create new dishes…later on during my mass media graduation days I realised that I was not in the right field and that’s when with the help of friends and family I realised my true passion was in baking…this realisation was confirmed by my classmates when during our final year trip I baked a cake for the entire batch and carried it along for a trip…later after my graduation my parents motivated me to take up professional course to fine tune my skills and that’s when I applied to LCB London and got selected.
What was your first job as a baker?
After completing my course my parents wanted me to start on my own but my brother insisted that I take up a job for sometime to learn the nuances with day to day management and operations of a bakery….this is when I applied to a very old and reputed pattiserie in Mumbai and was part of their team for a good year and a half…I really cherish my experience working with them and always thank my brother for supporting me.
What inspired and motivated you to start Cake Me Out?
During my job after my graduation from LCB I realised that people in India are devoured of high quality French desserts:… I saw this as an opportunity and started cake me out with a vision to popularise French desserts and high end cakes.
What steps did you take to get things going in the beginning?
Since we started with French desserts, I knew that initially the demand would be less and would pick up only when awareness is created…hence the initial steps was to fine tune the menu and get the products in line with people’s expectations and get them to slowly accustomed to new types of desserts.
What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?
The most important challenge was creating awareness of my kind of range of products…people of mumbai have been lucky that 3-4 other players of high quality have entered into this business and hence expectations have been met…another challenge was something which is very peculiar to this city – i.e. Humid climate which is very unconducive to these products…. hence we have built additional cooling & refrigeration to overcome this and ensure product remains the way it should be right till the time of final consumption.
Are there any challenges as a baker you face even today?
Well the challenge is getting people to try new stuff…people still aren’t very comfortable at experimenting and this sometimes makes life a little difficult for us
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness about Cake Me Out and getting new customers?
Social media takes the number one spot but besides that I keep doing lots of sampling wherein I invite a few people to sample and give their feedback on the new products that I keep creating….just recently on the occasion of World Macaron Day which was on the 20th & 21st of this month I distributed samples to around 40-50 individuals to just get them to know what exactly a macaron is…however I must say that with increased social media apps like Facebook and Twitter and Zomato people are aware of the products.
What advice would you like to give to other bakers who aspire to start their own business?
Just follow your heart instead of following your favourite chef/baker….it’s all about the creativity and guys like u can only make sure that this field retains its glory by being creative.