Diana Muchiri tips on cake business

Friday October 20 2017

Ms Diana Muchiri,a cake baker in this picture

Ms Diana Muchiri,a cake baker in this picture taken on October 2, 2017. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

“I baked my first cake when I was eight years old and I enjoyed it. However I was too young to think of this as an esteemed profession so I wasted a lot of time trying other things. I tried accounting, a course in purchase and supplies, another in animation and a job in marketing but still, I was unfulfilled.

“I got post-partum depression after having my second child in 2016. While going through therapy my psychologist helped me re-arrange my life, and I decided to follow my true passion and committed to baking.

I started with a small bakery right in my home. Then I noticed that my children were eating too much sugar and I could only bake late at night when they went to bed, so I began thinking of other options.

The breaking point was one morning last year when I woke up to them munching on a tiara I had spent most of the night creating to be placed on a cake. Now I have a bakery and a team to go with it.

“On a regular day at work, I will be baking, decorating or online learning a new tip or improving my skills. I make all kinds of cakes, ranging from wedding and bridal shower cakes to breakfast packs. The orders I enjoy most are the ones I haven’t baked before. It feels good to have a client fully trust me to try a new design.

“A lot of things can go wrong. The most frightening is when a cake falls or when it collapses during transportation. Just the other day, I braked too hard while making a delivery and the cake and the icing separated and went different ways. I have learnt is that the best way to handle such a crisis is to be honest with the client and to think on your feet so that you can still deliver.

I have learnt that a business is the people around it. I pay as much attention to making follow ups as I do to baking. I will want to know whether the taste was good enough, whether the texture was right. This is the only way to grow.

“My biggest challenge has been that I am a perfectionist, so sometimes I spend a lot if time (on a cake). Then there is the issue of pricing, of clients not seeing that they are buying value. If I could change one thing about this industry, I would put a price regulatory body in place.

I use quality ingredients but it’s a challenge sometimes justifying pricing because other bakers are using substandard ingredients and thus charging much less. Clients do not always understand this.

“When I am not baking, I play with my children outdoors. Other times, I play with my cats. I find it utterly relaxing.”