The aroma of freshly baked cake can make anyone long to eat it. Being a grown up now, I still cannot resist cakes and pastries which continue being my weakness since childhood. I still continue being the one keeping an eye on a birthday cake at a party rather than having a gala time with people around!
How I enjoy gobbling cake when there is nobody around and the fact that I love to chew the last piece of the cake pretty slow to let it stay there for some more time. Well, it’s all because I feel, Life is too short to say no to cake. When I came to know about The Sweet Store first, the only thought I had was being surrounded by cakes and pastries!
We caught up with the Founder, Apoorva Mairal, a charming 24-year-old spreading sweetness through her craft. She’s actually an Interior designer by profession and now a self-taught superb home baker.
The Lifestyle Portal is happy to share her journey as a baker…
How did it all begin?
For Apoorva, baking was never a career option. Surprisingly, she had actually never baked until her first cake in summer 2015 which turned out really well and was loved by all. Two months of trying and experimenting more with cakes, Apoorva started taking up orders after a family friend insisted. Slowly starting with cupcakes and then gradually sponge cakes and loaf cakes, Apoorva had never thought this is going to take her far.
“I was doing my interior designing course side by side those days. Baking was actually relaxing for me and has always been to date. I gave my business a name in July 2017, that’s when The Sweet Store was born. I never knew baking was my passion, but as I started experimenting, practising and baking more, it became my passion,” recollects Apoorva.
Initial investments and Branding
“I wasn’t working when I started taking up orders, I was actually studying interior designing and it my dad who helped me initially with the funding. Later on, as my business grew I started doing it all by myself. I started getting huge orders with a lot of help from my family and family friends and my business was now growing fast,” says Apoorva.
She further adds, “When I started thinking of a name for my business, I had just one thing in mind that I wanted it to be simple and that which people could relate to. It actually took me 3 whole months to decide this name.”
Apoorva explains her challenges, “This work is time-consuming; you have to plan everything ahead of time so that you can make the delivery in time. Doing all the work i.e. baking, decorating, packing and delivering, all by yourself is also a challenge since it becomes a difficult task and I feel the need to have a helping hand so I can finish everything on time.
Planning things is also very important in this line of work. I actually wasn’t a person who would plan her work and then execute it accordingly but baking has taught me this now. If you don’t plan, you won’t complete your work in time. With every order that I get, I have to be more creative and different.”
The regular clients at The Sweet Store are mostly family friends, collegians and some major preschools in Kandivali and Dahisar area. I take up orders from our Facebook page and deliver across Mumbai. At present, The Sweet Store doesn’t supply anything outside Mumbai.
The artist baker at work
What makes The Sweet Store unique
“The USP of The Sweet Store is that we use pure products here, we don’t use preserved products. We use fresh products for our baking. I believe we bake the tastiest cupcakes and oats cookies in our area. Everything is homemade and this I feel is a major USP of The Sweet Store. We don’t use fondant cream because I feel it’s a waste of money and time-consuming. I feel there is a huge difference between a cake bought from the stores outside and what we bake at The Sweet Store. We deliver more affordable and reasonable rates compared to all the other big bakeries and cake shops in the vicinity,” says Apoorva.
From birthday cakes to plain sponge cakes, loaf cakes, cupcakes and homemade chocolates for Diwali and special occasions- The Sweet Store has it all. To add one, they also make cookies, one of which is the oats cookies, a favourite among all the customers.
Their menu also has mouth-watering chocolate truffles and newly started customised cakes like photo cakes, Barbie cakes, wedding cakes and much more. Well, the fresh cream pineapple cake is the baker’s recommendation and you must try it too!
Delightful rainbow cake – homemade with love
“We had a very interesting exhibition last year, says Apoorva. Planning to do them every year now, we display all our bakery items in the exhibition wherein customers can taste the products themselves. Last year we got an amazing response to our exhibition. Keeping an exhibition is actually a great way to interact and socialize with a lot of different people. People get to know about all the products, they get to taste the products and also buy the products.
We also conduct workshops such as chocolate making workshop, cupcake baking and decorating workshop and are now coming up with new workshops this summer for kids and adults.
We give private classes to customers wherein the customers decide what all they want to learn. In this way, we give the customers the freedom of choosing what they want to learn.”
“As a baker, I am still learning, I still have to go a long way. I love experimenting with recipes and it really helps me grow my business. I want The Sweet Store to be considered as a very prominent brand in the near future. I love making people happy with all of my sweet treats. I would really love to open my own bakery in the future and it will be a very big step in the success of my brand.
I wish to take up more workshops for different age groups and connect with more people sharing with them the love of baking. Travelling to different cities and taking up workshops is another plan I have. An upcoming and very interesting workshop is to be held in Pune, the details of which will be out soon on our social media handles,” says an excited Apoorva.
Response so far
“The response for The Sweet Store has been incredible. More and more people are getting connected with The Sweet Store family. It’s an amazing feeling when your efforts are appreciated so much. My journey has been a roller coaster ride, from handling both interior and baking together to now just baking and growing with The Sweet Store, I would thank my parents, relatives and friends for supporting me so much throughout this process,” smiles Apoorva.
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Photoshoot by: Tanya Munshi.