By AS Joel Kumar
Deputy Bureau Chief
Christmas and Cakes cannot be two different things. The moment anybody thinks of Christmas, first thing that comes to mind is the different kinds of cakes prepared and displayed by famous bakers in city. Most bakers make all out efforts to attract the customers. Even the star hotels and hotel management institutes organize cake mixing events involving celebrities. But this is all about cakes which are in public.
Cake baking by housewives at their homes is picking up in a big way. Without any media publicity their cakes are a big hit among the locals. Home makers are now becoming home bakers. After their responsibilities at homes, housewives are learning courses on baking and starting their own business. Deepthi, mother of two daughters, after her responsibilities, takes orders of cakes from friends, relatives and neighbors in Srinagar colony.
"This Christmas I have done many orders. Usually Christmas time is cake time. But I can prepare more than 20 types of cakes and many cup cakes. Not just Christmas, I prepare cakes for all seasons and occasions. For Diwali I prepare Diwali cup cakes. I maintain the quality and prepare these cakes. This is all made possible with the support of family and friends," says Deepthi.
Alifiyah of Banjara Hills is another home baker who had a busy season of baking for Christmas. For Christmas generally cake themes would be related to santa, gifts, snowman, snow fall. "Baking all these wonderful cakes came to me naturally as I was more interested in baking rather than cooking. I learnt the skill of baking and started taking orders. There are also enough orders for New year also," says Alifiyah.
To help Alifiyah, her teenage daughter Zehra also gets involved in the business of baking. She takes the orders over phone. Also keeps the cake models on the social media and attracts clients. "The moment I receive an order for cake, my mother and I get excited. We prepare normal fondent cake within 24 hours. If the order is big we take time. We also make cookies and jar deserts," says Zehra.
Some women who have migrated to Hyderabad recently are also busy baking cakes. Swetha David of Kondapur is one such housewife. A native of Bihar, Swetha moved to Hyderabad as her husband David is employed here. For many years she has been making cakes for her family and friends, she took to baking in a big way. For Christmas she has to spend some sleepless nights to supply the orders.
"It is really tough to take cake orders when there are two kids in the family. To balance home and business is difficult. But I am able to balance by the grace of god," says Swetha.
"My wife takes orders for cakes and prepares them very sincerely. In our apartment she gets many orders. There is no doubt about the quality of cakes. She also prepares chocolates and cookies. We are very proud of her baking," says Swetha’s husband David
Apart from housewives, working women who quit jobs to look after their kids have also turned home bakers. Rupa of Madinaguda, worked in TCS as software engineer for some time and had resign her job after marriage. But as she was found of baking learned all the skills and started her own business. She also keeps stalls in small gatherings that happened at her apartment where she is staying.
"Initially I used to make cakes for family, later to relatives. But with the support of family she started taking orders. Recently, I kept a stall for children’s day in our apartment and I got good response. I focused on children themes. This Christmas season I was busy baking. I prepare cakes, cup cakes for all occasions . I m not interested in making huge profits but want to enjoy baking," says Rupa.
There are some women who started baking in city recently. They are all excited with Christmas and New Year festivities. Rachana, who stays in her flat in Nallagandla, is excited this festive season as it is her first Christmas and new year after she started serious baking. “Already, I was busy for Christmas making cakes, cup cakes, cookies. Now I have to prepare for New Year. I am keeping a stall in my apartment and there is lot of work to do”, says Rachana who is busy doing cake decoration with a santa cap on her.
Just like the swagruha snack outlets in city that received good response, home bakers cakes are also being accepted by locals. With this new trend picking up many more women and housewives are showing interest to learn cake baking. Hence, some women are just focusing on training other women in cake baking. One such cake baking trainer is Prasanna of Bharatnagar. Under the banner Sumeru creations, she trains women in cake baking and other techniques.
"We teach them basic cake baking, cake decoration and other specialized segments in cake making.I teach for a class of at least five. If anybody wants individual classes also I will take. I have trained several women in the past eight years. Mostly housewives and women who quit jobs for the sake of family take my classes," says Prasanna.
There are women, who are already employed but would like to learn cake making. Deepthi, who recently joined cake baking class says, "Now I'm just a beginner. I learned to make 10 different types of cakes. Very soon I will learn all the varieties. Later, I would like to start my own business."
Some women are learning just to serve different varieties of cakes to their family members. "Earlier, I was doing only three varieties of cakes. I joined cake making course only to serve my family members with delicious and colorful varieties of cakes," says housewife Harini.
Women, who are into serious professions are also getting attracted to cake making. Madhuri, a research scientist with a private firm is passionate about cake making. "I joined the course as I want to prepare different cakes. Now I in the process learning the techniques of cake baking. First I want to serve my family and later would think about expanding," says Madhuri.
Women, who are staying abroad with families are looking towards cake baking as a business proposition. "My husband is working in Malaysia and I have a kid to look after. In my free time I want to bake cakes and circulate among common friends. Since I am in Hyderabad for a brief vacation I am taking personalized cake making classes. Once I go back to Malayasia I would like to try start my own business," says Meghana.
There was a time we used to look towards bakeries for cakes. Now times are changing fast. People are looking towards home baked cakes. Housewives who earlier showed their expertise in swagruha foods are now making a mark in swagruha cakes.