Journey of Ankita Goyal, Once an Amateur baker now stealing hearts with her Cakes
August 2, 2017
Gyan Please is here with the Third Interview of the Story Box Series. This time we bring the story of a Women Entrepreneur who is an apt example of balancing her professional and family life beautifully.
La Chocolatier, an ordered fed home-based bakery is gaining popularity among the households of Kanpur and Lucknow cities of Uttar Pradesh. Mrs. Ankita Goyal, the prime mover behind this Cakery started with simple chocolate making that electrified the taste buds of customers and after that, she is successfully chasing every milestone coming in her way. Through La Chocolatier Ankita is redefining the home based bakery services and with every successful order proving all those people wrong who believe one needs a proper setup and shop to become successful in the bakery business.
Ankita is also an avid traveler who never compromise with her family and personal life as money and business are secondary. She believes in living her life on her own terms and this Bakery is also a result of her long chase towards her passion that became the profession with time.
Let’s begin the Interview Hi Ankita,
When did you decide to become a baker?
To be honest, I didn’t actually decide to become one initially. I started with chocolate making that too as a hobby. This hobby indulged me more into baking world. For a long time, I was not feeling like a baking professional as I was simply giving time to a hobby that I loved a lot.
In a nutshell, I can say, earlier it was a passion which turned into profession later on.
Did you attend any culinary school?
No, I didn’t. As I told you there was no as such plan to make a career in this field and I used to be a happy homemaker in my early days. Although I definitely attended some professional courses and workshops time to time mostly in Delhi and Mumbai and some other parts of the country. I believe in continuous learning and that’s why I don’t miss any decent opportunity.
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Where and how were you trained?
I have completed a lot of different courses with variety. It helped me to master some amazing cake arts and network building with some top-quality professionals in this field. The main reason behind attending these workshops was to explore some untouched segments in the bakery domain but not getting a professional training.
Tell us about the birth of La Chocolatier, an order fed Cakery? What offerings do you have for the prospective customers?
Click this Image to connect to La Chocolaterie on Facebook
La Chocolaterie started around some Seven years ago. Earlier it used to be just a shop offering some ready-made and customized chocolates. The response from the customers pushed me to delve more into this field and after that, some good amount of hard work marinated with patience resulted into a Bakery or I should say a ‘Cakery’.
At La Chocolaterie, our motto is to provide customers a top-class quality and strictly fresh baked items. As we are mainly order fed so every minute detail matters a lot and that’s why we listen carefully to our each and every customer before placing an order. Perhaps these precautions are get rewarded in the form of customer loyalty and retention.
Bakery business is not an easy thing to run, especially when you’re dealing in the Cakes. What is the most challenging part for you in this profession?
I completely agree Bakery Business definitely handle in cakes but is not a Cakewalk. And for the same reason to run this business smoothly, I try to provide only a top of the class item and the quotient of satisfaction our customers deserve. In this field taste and quality is the prime mover so I take utmost care of it.
In order to achieve it, we try to overperform ourselves only and that helps us to achieve the golden goal. Also, I don’t compromise quality for money by accepting a lot of orders. We simply accept only that much orders that can be provided complete justice.
Every time when I start making a cake perhaps is the most challenging part and even after a good experience still I get nervous most of the times.
How supportive your family was in this endeavor?
In such happenings, family support matters a lot and to be honest I feel very Blessed in this case and that’s why consider myself extremely lucky. My family has always been very supportive in my profession, especially my husband.
My husband has been one strongest pillar for me who helped me with each and every thing when I need. Without his support and efforts, this dream couldn’t be a reality ever.
What is your specialty?
I mastered in the complete cake Making art but due to the awesome responses and love of our customers, I can safely consider myself good at Designer and Chocolate Cakes. Till date, I completed many assignments for the same two varieties with pretty appreciating notes.
Is there a chef you admire the most? Who and why?
Not as such till Recently when I was sneaking into some new bakery designs to try, I encountered with work of an International chef, Amaury Guichon. He is simply amazing at French bakery products, especially French Pastries.
Among the items you prepare for your clients, which one is your favorite? How many different types of cakes are you capable of producing?
My personal favorite is Choco Mousse Cake. I can easily make 5 to 6 cakes in a day if pre ordered and according to our customers, I am very good at that. 😉
La Chocolatier is getting a huge fan base in Kanpur Area, especially among the Rich & Upper middle-class connoisseurs. What is the best Complement you’ve received as of now?
It feels amazing when your work attracts appreciation from the customers. Time to time I receive admire and kind words of customers but what gives me goosebumps and inspire me to work harder is when my customer says-
It was the best cake they ever had in Kanpur Area and luckily, I received similar comments for a number of times.
What trends are you noticing regarding bakery items? What do you do to stay current on new trends?
The Internet helped people to explore and try more. With the rise of various food channels on YouTube people are now more aware so they ask for something different or new, especially when they are sound with their pockets. That’s why to survive and maintain in this field you need continuous efforts.
For Current trends, I mainly refer some websites and online spaces. Apart from that, the major source is our huge circle of home based bakers. We are always in touch and share every latest demand and variety with each other.
How important are experiments in bakery industry?
The bakery business is all about experimenting on a continuous basis as people always want new stuff.
One should always put his/her efforts to present some flavors or new concepts to attract customers. Now people are pretty educated in this field so it’s not easy to dodge them with old designs and traditional flavors. Also, they are very demanding when they are spending a good amount.
How do you test the quality of your ingredients?
As I personally prepare all the cakes so Quality and hygiene are well taken care of and it leaves no scope for any issues on this line. Also, till date with the grace of God I didn’t face any complaints about quality issues but as a precautionary measure I always request our customers to leave genuine reviews so that problems can be dealt with (if one comes)
When are you feel happiest at your work?
When people recognize me through my work. Every time when I receive a message of appreciation it simply makes me overwhelmed.
If you were told that your food cost was high, what three things would you look at first?
What most of the people do out there to solve this issue, they simply alter the quality. And from the same day, they start losing their customers. To deal with this problem I start searching for alternatives to the all costly ingredients and also alter input & presentation. It helps me to cut the cost to quite an extent.
What are your future plans?
As of now, I operate from my home and for the same reason couldn’t expand my business properly. To meet with this problem, I really want to open an outlet of my own. It’s a desire as well as a necessity both for me.
What are your two cents for the aspiring female bakers?
Because of residing in a small city, I overcame many hurdles and issues. Being a married woman, you need to be very focused and managing things well at home. I believe learning is very important in this field and these days you can learn a lot from YouTube based videos. I would advise every aspiring woman baker to stay confident with their work and always arrange reviews from people so that they can improve themselves. To evolve you need to know your weakness. Also, experiments are very important if you want to achieve some level in this field.
Stay Poised and keep experimenting with new stuff!