Why baking is art to Divya Sreeji
Divya Sreeji has been recently adjudged as the Gurgaon Foodie Best Baker of the year for three times in a row. Divya has been baking since she was 13-year-old and continued baking for family and friends in the UK while working there. She returned to India in 2010 and during a few months into a year-long sabbatical, she came up with the idea of making her hobby a full-time profession. And that led to the conception of De Cakery which makes celebratory fondant cakes for in the Delhi-NCR region.
“When I started in 2010, there wasn’t much competition for fondant cakes but now you have a new place coming up every few weeks. To keep myself updated on the new trends I go abroad every year and try to pick up on new skills,” says Divya who works up to 15-16 hours on the weekends to prepare the cakes.
“I wouldn’t call it baking, it is art to me. Every cake takes up to 4-10 hours depending on the size and intricacy of the design.”
“I wouldn’t call it baking, it is art to me. Every cake takes up to 4-10 hours depending on the size and intricacy of the design. People are mostly flexible about what they want, even if they have an idea in mind, they let me interpret it in the best way possible,” she adds.
Although De Cakery has over 50,000 likes on Facebook Divya says that she gets eight out of ten orders because of positive word-of-mouth. A growing interest in fondant cakes is also indicative of the fact that people are well travelled and wouldn’t mind paying extra for a superior product made of imported ingredients. And because there is a lot of content on sites like YouTube, even executing something like a four-tier cake is not difficult anymore.
A growing interest in fondant cakes is also indicative of the fact that people are well travelled and wouldn’t mind paying extra for a superior product made of imported ingredients.
“The most challenging experience I had was when a lady wanted to order 250 gift boxes comprising of nine cupcakes each, as return gifts for her son’s first birthday. Because of the sheer size of those boxes, we couldn’t stack them on top of each other. So we had to hire a refrigerated truck to store the boxes and get it delivered to place intact,” she informs.
Divya hopes to start her first retail store this year and her advice to aspiring bakers is to never look at what other people are doing and be their own competition, “Be happy with whatever you can achieve. Be the best version of yourself.”