No celebration is complete without dessert, and a cake tops that list. I’m sure we all have been in that situation at a party where we just wait for the cake to come out and hope we get to grab a bite before it’s all over. Everybody loves cake after all! That heavenly taste you get with the first bite is incomparable. But behind every palatable cake or dessert must be an excellent and passionate baker. Many people start baking as a hobby or to just achieve that fulfillment of making something with their own hands. It’s a medium to express one’s creative side. Baking can even be therapeutic as it can help you relax and unwind if you are good at it. And just the thought of baking to treat oneself or to make someone happy is itself satisfying.
Those bakers who do this professionally certainly have a sweet tooth and eye for creativity. Such is the case of Samantha Pereira, a self-taught baker and the founder of Cake-a-Licious situated at St. Inez, Panjim Goa. Baking for Samantha is a feel-good factor. What sets her apart from other standalone home bakers is that she always offers design customization options on all her cakes. To keep up with what is trending in the market, Samantha started preparing her unique 3-D sculpted cakes for her customers in Goa. Samantha 3D cakes are a sight for sour eyes. They are so aesthetically pleasing and prepared with such precision that they can easily be mistaken for the real thing. Sounds tempting, isn’t it?
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We caught up with Samantha to learn about her journey and achievements with Cake-a-vicious. The excerpts of our conversation are below.
Tell us a little about yourself
My name is Samantha Pereira, born and brought up in Panjim. I am a full-time Geologist and a part-time-cake artist, model, and actress, holding double post-graduate degrees in Earth Science and MBA. I love trying out new avenues and currently, I am dabbling between being a full-time professional and part-time entrepreneur.
What is the inspiration behind Cake-A-Licious?
Baking is my first love, even though I started it a few years back. I’ve always had a sweet tooth, and cakes and pastries have always been a feel-good factor for me. Looking at the innumerable cakes that would be at every table at a birthday party, I decided to try my hand at baking.
Initially, I would bake sweet treats for friends, family and neighbours and I did receive immense positive feedback. My first product that I vividly remember was chocolate-mint cookies, which I distributed to family, friends and neighbours. The feedback received was extremely encouraging and this also led me to sell my first product. Looking at the success of the cookies, I further decided to try my hand at baking cakes, and the first cake I baked was for my own birthday. The reviews from the guests were commendable and since then there was no looking back.
Did you ever get formal training or did you just jump right into business?
I am a self taught cake artist through experimentation, trial and error. I’ve never had any formal training before, however in the recent past I have attended a masterclass to further hone and upgrade my skills.
What inspired you to first pursue cooking professionally?
I love what I do! Baking and churning out my own masterpieces by using a mix of the client requirements and my own creativity is what makes me thrive. The immense positive feedback from customers and their requests to bake a cake or a dessert is what led me to pursue baking professionally.
How do you market your products?
My products are marketed mostly through “word of mouth” and I do leverage social media platforms as well such as Facebook, Instagram, etc.
What makes Cake-A-Licious unique from the other players in the market?
My brand is extremely customer focussed and quality-oriented. I offer design customization options on all my cakes and make use of only quality ingredients. In the current baking market where 2-D cakes are a common product, my brand sets itself apart from others through my unique 3-D sculpted cakes which are a novelty in Goa. Each product is meticulously designed and produced with a lot of love.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
I am very proud of being able to carve a niche for myself in a highly competitive and extremely saturated industry. I am extremely proud of all my achievements to date which include:
- 2nd place at the Cake Bake Fest powered by Goa Times, Universal Alliance Group & Monginis in 2013
- 2nd place at the Sweet Treat contest powered by Zomato, Monginis, IFB & Lakme in 2019.
- Recognised as the “Best Outstanding Entrepreneur” by the eminent GoWomania platform spearheaded by Ms.Siya Shaikh in 2020.
- Shortlisted as one of “Unstoppable Women – empowering tribe” by the eminent GoWomania platform spearheaded by Ms.Siya Shaikh in 2020
- Felicitated as an “Established Entrepreneur” in the Outstanding Achievers Award 2021 by Gowomania platform.
What’s your pastry philosophy?
Passion, customer satisfaction and quality deliverance is what I swear by!
What are your favorite flavor combinations?
Chocolate cake with generous amounts of liquor is a die hard favourite!
What are your favorite aspects of being an entrepreneur?
Unleashing my creativity and turning it into a unique masterpiece is my favorite aspect. The best part is getting to know people from all walks of life, interacting with them, learning about new tastes and techniques, and of course, bringing a smile onto my customer’s face is an exhilarating feeling as an entrepreneur.
What do you think you’d be doing right now if not for Cake-A-Licious?
Baking is my first love and I don’t think I can see myself doing anything else!
How can our readers stay connected with you as well as your brand?
What’s next for you?
At present, I intend to go with flow, whilst also learning and practising new techniques and upgrading my skills.
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