"Respect should be earned by actions, and not acquired by years. "
- Frank Wright
“Don’t get discouraged by competition. Be focused in your work, have full faith in yourself and enjoy the process.” – Pooja Sodani
In the highly competitive home-baking industry, at times it might get a little tough to keep the creativity alive. Being positive and determined is vital for any entrepreneur, more so for a home-baker. Someone who follows this belief is Pooja Sodani, a Pune based home-baker. She is the founder of Baker’s Nest, her home venture that rolls out delicious customized cakes, cupcakes and chocolates.
For Pooja, baking has always been a passion. “I used to bake a lot for my family and kids. I did it casually, never thought of it as a career option. I am an engineer by profession and was working in the corporate sector for a while. After some time, some of my friends and family encouraged me to turn baking into my profession. So I decided to go for it, even though managing everything at home, my kids, along with baking full-time was a bit challenging”, she says. But once she started, she never looked back and has been doing this for four years now.
She has taken a few professional baking courses from White Lotus, Pune initially and later upgraded her skills on her own. Her first clients were her neighbours who wanted a cake for a first birthday. It ended up being a big hit and this motivated her to go on.
According to Pooja, her most interesting project till now has been a wedding cake. She shares, “I did not have much knowledge back then, but I took it up as a challenge and also because it was for a friend. I learnt a lot from that experience, especially that a cake is not just about baking – it’s about the measurements, calculations, carpentry and a lot of running around trying to get it right! I had no help at that time and did everything on my own, so it was endless hours of work day and night, but their compliments in the end made it totally worth it.”
Talking about the most challenging cake till date, she says, “It was quite a creepy one – a ghost hand with blood oozing out and rats running around. Looking at it, at first I thought I could not do it, I mean, let alone making it – how could somebody eat it! But then the client insisted that I make it so I did eventually. I was able to pull it off.”
Sharing her experience working with Bulb and Key, she says, “I have been a part of Bulb and Key for a long time and it has been awesome working together. Whatever I had to say, they updated it immediately. They are really good.”
Behind every business is a definite plan and future goals. Pooja’s goal for the coming years is to put up a retail outlet and she is working on it currently.
Her important piece of advice for budding bakers is to keep being focused on their work despite all the challenges and competition. “You might have a lot of doubts along the way but have full faith in yourself and your work. Don’t get discouraged by competition. Once you get the clients and satisfy them, they are sure to come back and want your products. I say this from experience. A lot of my customers are repeat customers and have also come to know about my cakes through word-of-mouth. I hardly advertise on social media or anything. I don’t think I need to, as of now it’s going quite good.” So give your hundred percent to your work and you will get the desired results.
If you’re a true warrior, competition doesn’t scare you. It makes you better. – Pooja Sodani