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Upcoming online July Baking and Decoration classes at Amari

We’ve been running a few classes online and we’ve had quite some success with some of our students via e-learning. As we plan on how we will slowly re-start some of our practical classes in our bakery workshop. We’re still going to be holding online classes as well through-out the year for those unable to attend our physical classes.

We’re currently doing an intake for our July online classes. We will be offering five separate classes with a focus on different topics and baking techniques. Details are shared below for each class, if interested – please use the form below to reach out and inquire about joining the classes or contact us on no. 0701796688 (Call/SMS/Whatsapp: Monday to Saturday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

Details:

Beginner Cakes & Buttercream Decoration 2-week Class. In this class you will learn how to bake Butter cakes and how to decorate with Buttercream frosting. This is a beginner level class.
Cakes covered: Vanilla Chocolate Chip, Red Velvet Cake, Fruit cake, Chocolate Fudge cake and Marble loaf Cake. How to decorate using American Buttercream frosting and Cream Cheese Frosting. How to decorate a Death by Chocolate cake using Glaze Ganache, Chocolate buttercream and Chocolate Shards. Decoration: How to layer cakes and decorate cakes with height, How to decorate borders and write on cake, how to decorate using edible print. Dates: July 1st to 15th The class will start July 1st 2020 and will end July 15th 2020, deadline to pay is July 5th

Beginner Sponge Cakes & Whipped Cream 2-week Class. In this class you will learn how to bake two types of Sponge cakes and decorate using fresh and non-dairy Whipped cream. This is a beginner level class.

Cakes covered: Vanilla and Chocolate Sponge Cakes. Black and White Forrest Cakes (how to assemble them). How to bake a Chiffon cake. How to decorate using non-dairy Whipped Cream and Fresh dairy cream. Decoration: How to properly layer cakes and decorate cakes using Whipped cream, cake borders and how to pipe flowers using Whipped cream. How to make two types of Chocolate cages and how to write using whipped cream. Dates: July 16th to 31st. The class will start July 16th 2020 and will end July 31st, 2020; deadline to pay is July 18th

Intermediate Decoration only 1-month class. In this class you will learn how to decorate using American Buttercream, Fondant icing, Whipped Ganache and SMBC. This is an intermediate level class – this means that you have to have some basic cake decoration skills.

Decorations/Topics Covered: How to decorate using buttercream frosting to get smooth sides, sharp edges and beautiful borders. How to layer and decorate tall cakes. How to make fondant and use it for cake decorations. How to use basic fondant tools e.g. molds, quilting tool, etc. How to make edible lace. How to decorate chocolate drips and make chocolate cages. How to pipe buttercream flowers. How to panel a fondant cake. How to make 4 types of sugar flowers. How to practice writing cursive on cake. Dates: July 1st to 31st The class will start July 1st 2020 and will end July 31st, 2020; deadline to pay is July 6th

Basic Cookies, Yeast and Puff pastries 1-month  Class. In this class you will learn to bake 3 types of cookies, 6 types of yeast pastries, Croissants and Puff pastry dough. This is a beginner level class.

Cookies covered: Chocolate chip cookies, Sugar cookies & Piped Vanilla Cookies. Yeast pastries: Home-made bread and scones, Yellow scones, Fried yeast donuts, Burger buns and Bagels.  How to make Croissants, Puff pastry dough and three types of puff pastry products: Palmiers, Sausage rolls and Meat Pies. Dates: July 1st to 31st The class will start July 1st 2020 and will end July 31st, 2020; deadline to pay is July 6th

2-week Custom Cake Decoration Only  Class. In this class you will learn how to decorate 3 Fondant Custom Cake designs: Fondant Jiko cake, African Pot and Fondant Kiondo cake. You will also learn how to make and use Fondant icing, American Buttercream frosting and Whipped Ganache. This is a decoration only class. This is an intermediate to advanced skill level class. This means that you must have prior knowledge of fondant making and an intermediate decoration skill level. Dates: July 6th to 20th The class will start July 6th 2020 and will end July 31st, 2020; deadline to pay is July 9th

Please Call/Text/Whatsapp us on no. 0701796688 (Monday to Saturday – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

You can also inquire using the form below.

Home Bakers Masterclass in Nairobi this October

Are you a home baker who sells their cakes or pastries?

Are you really making MONEY in your Home baking business?

A common misconception most bakers believe is that as long as you’re baking and selling cakes & being paid – you’re running a profitable business. The REALITY is that most home bakers are making losses in their baking businesses, but they don’t know it… So what should you do about it?

If you can ensure that you have costed & priced your cakes/pastries accurately. Especially to suit your particular niche and you have a solid marketing plan – you can be on the path to making profits in your baking business.

⁠If you need help with any of the above points and you’re in Nairobi – you should sign up for our upcoming physical Baking for Business Masterclass on Saturday, October 23rd. The class will be at the August 7th (Bomb Blast) Memorial Centre (behind the park) in Nairobi CBD; from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Snacks & Tea provided.

Learn how to start running a profitable home-baking business by attending our masterclass and learning tips on marketing, picking a niche and costing profitably. This Masterclass will give you the confidence to continue growing your home baking business

Masterclass details

⁠We’ll cover 3 main TOPICS in this Masterclass:

  • How to accurately cost a 1 Kg cake as a home baker – this will give you the confidence to ensure you’re costing and pricing accurately for profit
  • How to pick a niche for your business – this will help you in positioning your business appropriately for success
  • We’ll also cover the basics of marketing your baking business online – this will help you know how to grow your baking business over time to increase sales

This class will work for any one who is baking at HOME for business or has a small bakery shop.

To sign up; make payment to our Lipa na Mpesa Buy Goods till no. 89736 (Amari Quickbreads Bakery)- then send us payment notification. Sign up & pay by October 15th and you can take advantage of the Early Bird PRICE of only Kshs. 1,000.

Please contact us to inquire or book – on 0701796688 or 0791384890 (Call, SMS or Whatsapp please – Monday – Fridays: 9 am to 5 p.m. Saturdays: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.)

You can also click on this link to send us a direct message on WhatsApp

Feel free to use the contact form below as well:

Tips for Home Bakers starting a baking business

We’re always getting a lot of inquiries of regarding baking at home. I did a live Q&A (Question and Answer) session on our YouTube channel some time back on the same. Today we’re going to be going through those Q&As on Baking for Business with a focus on home bakers.

Featured questions are those we asked home bakers to contribute their own questions regarding the topic on our social media pages. If your question wasn’t tackled however, no worries, ask away in the comments below and I’ll make sure to respond below.

Question: I have done my costing and purchase of ingredients is wholesale. However, I feel like maybe I’m not doing it right? (Pricing)

Answer: I tell bakers all the time that the first step is always costing your goods. I also encourage bakers to buy ingredients in bulk instead of at the supermarket or shop. Why? Because not buying ingredients in bulk (instead buying retail from shops) is part of the reason why your cakes are so expensive.

If you want to cost your cakes effectively and sell at a certain price, you need to figure out how to buy things in bulk. This way you even save costs on ingredients. However, you may do all of this and still struggle to make sales. Why is that?

You might be selling your products to the wrong people. To give you an example, if you have a premium product, say a 1kg cake that goes for Kshs.3500. However, instead of selling it to premium clients who would pay that amount, you sell it clients on a budget, you’d be working against yourself, right?

Another thing when it comes to costing; you might not be including all other costs e.g. airtime, internet costs, Mpesa charges, bank charges, other transport charges for the business, etc. Make sure that you are capturing ALL expenses that you pay for in your business, not just ingredients and packaging. If you need serious help when it comes to Costing and Pricing for your baking business; please join our 4-week Online Costing & pricing class for bakersClick here.

Question: How do you pick a niche?

Answer : When it comes to picking a niche I’ll ask you just one question. What are you good at?

You might want to venture into the wedding niche but you don’t really know how to make wedding cakes. So the big question would be, what are you good at, and more so, what need/gap have you identified in the market?

When it comes to picking a niche, first look at the skill(s) you have. If you haven’t quite advanced your skills in making wedding or custom cakes, then it might NOT be a good idea to start taking wedding cake orders within your first month of business, right?

Instead, take time to learn the skills involved in doing wedding cakes. Meanwhile, what you can do is, perhaps you’re really good at doing cookies and pastries; do just that. Sell cookies and pastries to people looking for cookies and pastries. Or if you’re able to do cupcakes and easy Whipped cream cake designs; you can start with that.

Identify your products, whatever it is that you settle on. Figure out who wants those products and where they stay (or where their attention is). You might find that cookies and pastries do best in corporate settings like offices where they want something they can have as a snack really easily. Your target market would then be corporate working class people in offices or parents looking for snacks for their kids.  

When you find your target market and give them a product they actually need and that you know how to make, that’s how you identify a niche to sell in.

If you know how to bake cookies, start with that ^_^

Question: How to get noticed and known for people to try you out. It’s really tough for me and maybe for other beginners like me.

 Answer: Now that is true. The one thing that we will never lie to you about is the fact that starting a business is easy, especially as a home baker. It never is.

There are a lot of bakers in the market right now which means it is quite saturated. You have to prove to people that your baked product is worth buying. Otherwise, why should they move from their current baker and start buying from you?

That is why I advice home bakers to get into business knowing that when you start, it’s not going to be easy. It’s going to be hard, which is why you need to have a marketing plan. 

If you join any of our masterminds or mentorships, you will become familiar with our tradition of sitting down every month and doing a marketing plan for your business.

The first step in the process is always identifying your niche; for example, celebration cakes. These are cakes celebrating some occasion such as birthday cakes, baby shower cakes, etc. You can choose to specialize even more, perhaps your focus can be on Celebration cakes decorate with Soft frosting only.

Start by showcasing your skills on soft cream cakes. It doesn’t matter even if you’re not getting orders. All you need to do is start practicing and taking very good photos with good lighting in a nice background and start posting those pictures on your social media pages.

You need to go onto Instagram and share your work in your stories. Then you need to go to social sites like Facebook, if you’re in Facebook, and post in retail, foodie or baking groups.

Depending on the niche that you’re in, you can start doing samples as you start looking for your target market, but be careful about samples. Tell people you have samples; for them to be aware that you sell cakes and let them know if they want them they have to order and pay. You can even give them a copy of your menu.

You can also give cake/pastries samples in exchange for reviews. The individual can share a review on Twitter. They can share a photo and tag you on Instagram and write what their feedback was of your product. They can even go on Facebook and leave a review on your page. Whatever the case, you need a good review and you need it to be public (social sharing).

Why? Doing this may give you your first customers. You can also identify potential clients who are your target market; give them samples, have them taste your products in exchange for feedback. We call this social proof. All that means is that the person is telling other people, “I’ve tasted his/her cake and guess what, it’s really really good.”

So the first few months you want to give samples to your target market. Not everyone of course, just some few people, and all they have to do is taste your cakes and give good reviews.

The good thing about reviews is it lets your clients know you’re not the only one who thinks your cakes are awesome, other people do too. That way if you have at least three to four reviews on your page, you’re off to a great start.

An example of feedback we’ve gotten from our own Chiffon cake products ^_^ This really helps with marketing

You can also do cake tasting. I know it’s a little difficult now with Corona, but if you can manage an estate cake tasting safely, that would be good for your business.

Social proof goes a long way in boosting your business. Depending on your resources, you can even look for foodies who do food reviews. Then you can just send over your product and they’ll review it online for you. It does wonders in letting people know about your products and draws them in towards eventually buying from you.

So the truth is, starting out is not going to be the easiest thing, but that’s okay because you’re in it for the long haul, right? I hope your answer was yes. If you’re seriously considering starting a home bakery business, you need to be in it for the long haul.

Question: As a home Baker, can I bake and sell to friends and neighbors without the legal requirements of a bakery?

Answer: As a home baker, this is a really common concern that I like tackling and talking about very honestly. First and foremost, the rule or law of Kenya and specifically the City Council which is the legal body that would handle such matters is very clear on the issue.

For one, the city control law states that you should never do business from a residential property. So starting out, it is important to be aware of this. Number two, there is a rule that says you cannot sell manufactured products like food from a house or place that is adjacent to your sleeping area. In this case that constitutes your house,

As a result, you may have noticed that a lot of people who are home bakers start by looking for a separate unit outside the house. Now of course you’re going to start at home, and you can sell to your friends and neighbors. However as your business grows, it becomes a little harder to keep running the business from home.

When the business grows exponentially, people start to pay attention to you and some will realize you’re baking from the house. Not everybody’s very happy with that fact. To avoid this, as you start your business, set goals. Tell yourself something like, within 8 to 12 months, I’m going switch my kitchen from home.

There are some options you could explore. You can opt to find a shop outside somewhere close by that you can rent. That way you can still bake from the house and take your goods to the shop. It can also be a pickup point or somewhere you display your cakes. The point is; it’s a step in the right direction as far as adhering to the law is concerned.

So yes, you can start selling to friends at first. You can even sell from your house, just know the rules and how far you can go. Fact is, as the business grows, you will have to find a more favorable location.

The other thing you could do, which is something we did, is relocate the kitchen. If you live in your own home and own your own land, you can build a separate kitchen on the side. It would still be in the same compound, yes, but it would be strictly for the purpose of conducting your home bakery business.

Please do note though that according to law, the land you set up your separate kitchen on cannot be residential (Of course; there are exceptions of cottage industries – please visit your local county council offices for clarification please). It either has to be a commercial property or what we call a multipurpose property. Ours for instance is a multipurpose property which legally is quite okay.

The most important thing though is to take the first step to come out of the house. It can even be to use a Servant’s Quarter (SQ) if available. That way it serves as your business’ legal premises in your 8 months to one year plan. If you’re looking to get serious about your business, please look into that.

If you don’t have this option but have a big space in your house, then find a room that’s separate from the kitchen. Again we’ll repeat, as a home baker looking to grow your business commercially, you can never work and stay in the house, that’s illegal. KRA and the government have been quite vigilant on telling business owners to do things right. Please do things right so that it doesn’t develop into a legal issue.

Question: Which is the best and safest cake preservative?

Answer: It’s very ironic to call a cake preservative safe, after all, these are chemicals. Over time, in excess, they’re not really good but in moderation they’re fine. Our advice is to find goods sold by a certified food merchants. These include but are not limited to Pradip Enterprises LTD and Topserve Limited Kenya. They stock goods that are KEBS verified.

If you go to a cake supply shop or a food additives vendor like Pradip Enterprises, they sell food-safe preservatives. You should never buy preservatives with no labeling on them.

That’s why we advice that when it comes to preservatives, go to places like Pradip Enterprises. They manufacture the preservative themselves, they write the instructions on usage.

 Realize that there are different types of preservatives; there is one that is used for bread preservation i.e. Calcium Propionate, and there’s are also variations of cake preservatives e.g. Sorbex.

We don’t particularly use preservatives ourselves. If you would like to know more about cake preservatives, kindly visit the manufacturer. They will be at the best position to tell you how to use them safely.

Question: How is a business plan done depending on the area one is so that one can know how to sell?

Answer: A business plan is very important. It’s a blueprint of your business and will answer a majority of the important questions e.g the name of your business, what niche you are in, what products you’re selling, how you’re going to cost them and who you’re going to sell them to.

It also tells you how to structure your business. Let’s say you’re in business with someone else, maybe a spouse or a sister. You’d need to write who the directors of the business are and what they do. Getting things very clear in terms of exactly what everyone’s role is in the business is a prerequisite of the business plan.  

If you are the baker and the other individual is the delivery person, or if they’re doing the business financial accounts, their job description needs to go into the plan. If you’re going to do business with someone else, make sure it’s included in your business plan. Note down all their tasks and this includes mentioning any contracted labor that you need e.g a baker or delivery person.

Also take note that business plans change. You might have to alter it every year. When you have one in place though, it makes alterations so much easier.

Question: Do you need any food safety or health certification to operate as a home baker?

 Answer: Yes, you do. It’s called a Food Handler’s Certificate. What a Food Handler’s Certificate is supposed to do is prove to people, and the government that it is safe for you to be handling food and selling it to your clients.

Remember once you choose to start doing business, you have a responsibility to prepare food safely for someone else to consume. If you had typhoid for instance, and prepared food without taking the necessary precautions and somebody ate the food, then you would infect your clients as well.

It is therefore your responsibility to ensure that you are healthy and taking safety measures to prepare healthy safe food to give to another person.

The first thing I’d tell you as a home baker is to go online to ecitizen.go.ke, sign up and pay for your Food Handler’s Certificate. If you have never signed into ecitizen.go.ke, sign in now and sign up for an account. This is how you access, many things like a driver’s license and passport. It is also where you can pay for the Food Handler’s Certificate.

Question: Having a full time job and you want to start a home based bakery. How do you juggle?

Answer: It’s tricky, I won’t lie. When I started, I had to quit my job and then start my baking business, but that was a personal choice. I do know people who have done both (being employed & run a baking business) but you need resources – which is a good thing when you’re working. You can take your money and pump it into the business.

What you want to do when you’re working is identify early enough who is going to help you in your business. This means you can’t be the one who’s baking all the time. You can choose to be the one who’s baking in the evening and even that might be tricky because you’re going to be stretched too thin.

You can choose to bake at certain times and deliver at certain times. I know of bakers who allow clients to order at any time, but only do deliveries on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Therefore choose to have specific delivery days. This will help you collect all your orders, bake them at a certain time and deliver the cakes to your clients. It also helps you manage your time.

The second thing I always advocate for is having systems in place. This means training a baker to start assisting you. You can start by just having the assistant baker on bake duty. Then come home from work, decorate the cake yourself and deliver the cake the next day, that method can work.

However, when I talk of systems I’m also referring to ensuring you have a person who delivers the cakes for you. That way you’re not at work and trying to figure out how to deliver a cake. If your cake is ready, your delivery guy can just come, pick it up in the morning as you go to work and deliver your cake for you. Having systems in place is what actually really helps you balance having a job/being employed and running a baking business.

If you’re interested in getting mentorship as a baker doing business; consider joining our 3-month online Mentorship Program – click here for details.

Social Media Marketing Online class for Bakers

Are you a home baker selling cakes and pastries? Do you have a small Bakery business and you’re looking to grow and market your business online?

If you want to brand and market your bakery business online and you’re struggling with how to do so – we’re here to help!

We will be holding a one month Online Social Media Marketing class specifically for Bakers in September 2021.

  • If you’re looking to start a home baking business or if you want to start and run a small bakery shop – you can join the class
  • If you have an already existing home-based baking business or small bakery shop and you’re struggling with marketing your business on social media – you can join the class
  • If you’re baking for business and you are very confused about social media i.e. opening pages, how to post and start getting an audience and even running ads – You can join.

This online class will run for the 30 days and close after that. If you cannot commit to joining the class and following up on the class videos in this period of time and completing assignments – PLEASE DO NOT JOIN THE CLASS.

Once you pay and join the group; payment is non-refundable and it is your responsibility to watch the videos and take part in the class for the class dates mentioned. Once class is over; the group will be closed and the videos will not be available for you to watch. We will send you the few templates shared in class on the class content.

How the group works:

  • Class will run in a private FB group; once you pay, you’ll be invited into the group.
  • Classes are not all live; most are pre-recorded class videos – once they are posted based on the class lesson plan, they will be available to watch at any time of day you prefer.
  • For live class sessions; once posted they will also be available to watch for the duration of class.
  • To inquire about the classes, feel free to contact us on no. 0701796688 (Monday to Friday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.)
  • To join, make payment to our Lipa na Mpesa, Buy Goods till no. 89736 (Amari Quickbreads Bakery).
  • For non-Kenyan Students you can join by either making Mobile money payments to our line 254701796688. You can also make a payment via paypal, SendWave or WorldRemit. Please send us a Whatsapp message to inquire on the exchange rate.

To contact us; please use form below, we’ll reach out via E-mail.

You can also click on this link to send a quick Whatsapp DMAmari on WhatsApp

Amari Baking & Decoration Online classes in August 2021

We’ll be having our monthly online classes in August. For those who have signed up for our online classes and are truly committed to practicing; we’ve had success with them as they watch the videos and practice what they learn.

If you would like to sign up for the online classes; make sure you’re fully committed to create the time and willing to do the practice during the duration of the class. If you are – then success is definitely guaranteed. If you’re not sure if you can make the time in the 21 day duration; please DO NOT sign up for the classes until you’re ready.

We will be offering 3 separate classes with a focus on different topics and baking & decoration techniques. Details are shared below for each class, if interested – please reach out and contact us on no. 0701796688 or 0791384890 (Call/SMS/Whatsapp: Monday to Saturday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

You can click here to send us a direct message on Whatsapp

Online class details below:

Beginner Cakes & Buttercream Decoration 21 day Class. In this class you will learn how to bake Butter cakes and how to decorate with Buttercream frosting. This is a beginner level class.

In this class you will learn how to bake Beginner cakes and how to decorate with Buttercream frosting & non-dairy whipped cream. This is a beginner level class.
Cakes covered: Vanilla Chocolate Chip, Red Velvet Cake, Black Forrest Cake, White Forrest Cake, Chiffon cake & Chocolate Fudge Cake. How to decorate using American Buttercream frosting and Cream Cheese Frosting. How to decorate a Death by Chocolate cake using Glaze Ganache, Chocolate buttercream and Chocolate Shards. Decoration: How to decorate using non-dairy Whipped Cream and Fresh dairy cream. Decoration: How to properly layer a sponge cake and decorate using non-dairy Whipped cream, cake borders and how to pipe flowers using Whipped cream. Dates: The class will start August 12th and run till August 31st, deadline to pay is August 19th Cost of online class is Kshs. 1,000.

Amari Online Class

Basic Cookies, Breads and Puff pastry 21 Day Class. In this class you will learn to bake 3 types of cookies and 5 types of yeast pastries. This is a beginner level class.  Cookies covered: Chocolate chip cookies, Butter-scotch Cookies and Sugar Cookies. Yeast pastries taught: Home-made bread, Dinner rolls, Yellow scones, Fried yeast donuts, Puff pastry dough, Meat Pies and Burger buns. Dates: The class will start August 12th and run till August 31st, Deadline to pay is August 19th Cost of online class is Kshs. 1,000.

Amari Online Yeast August classes

2-week Beginner Fondant Decoration only Class. In this class you will learn how to make and decorate using fondant icing. This is a beginner level decoration only class. Frostings covered: American Buttercream frosting and Fondant Icing.  Decorations/Topics Covered: How to make and decorate using buttercream frosting. How to layer, fill and decorate a tall cake.  How to make fondant and use it for basic cake decorations. How to panel a fondant cake. How to make 2 types of simple sugar flowers. This is a decoration only class. This is a beginner fondant skill level class. This means that it is advisable to have basic baking and decoration skills with at least one frosting; and you now want to start learning how to make and use fondant. Dates: The class will start August 12th and run till August 31st, Deadline to pay is August 19th Cost of online class is Kshs. 1,000.

Amari Beginner fondant Online class

Non-Kenyan students can also join the Online classes. Payments can be made via Mobile Money Mpesa to this line: +254701796688 or using other sites for mobile money payment e.g. sendwave.com or worldremit.com. We also take payments via Paypal. Please contact us to confirm the rate to pay before making a payment.

P/S: Facebook account required to join this classes, as the online classes are currently held in a private/secret Facebook group for the 21 days.

Please Call/Text/Whatsapp us on no. 0701796688 or 0791384890 (Monday to Saturday – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) to inquire or book.

You can also fill the form below and submit and we’ll get back to you via E-mail

Production Systems you need to run your Baking Business

Are you struggling with the smooth running of your bakery kitchen? This blog post is for you.

Hello, if you’re new to this blog – welcome. We share Baking Recipes, Cake Decoration Tutorials and Baking for Business Advice. If this is something you’re interested in, make sure to follow this blog and leave a comment below.

I will breakdown some of the Bakery Production Systems and tasks you need to set up for the smooth running of your bakery kitchen.

We did a previous post that describes the five systems you need to run your bakery successfully. This is a follow up post on the breakdown of one of the systems required in your baking business. In this post; I’ll share the various production systems you can implement in your own bakery kitchen or your bakery workspace to make it a lot more efficient.

Below is a list of productions tasks that you can list down, execute and streamline; to start making sure that it is easier to run your daily, weekly and monthly baking production.

  1. Recipes for Your Baked Goods

The first list of tasks you need to work on are your recipes. If you’re baking for business, a recipe should be kind of obvious. You should have a list of recipes and in each recipe you should have directions for exactly how to bake that particular baked good.

 For instance, if it’s a cake, you should have the exact steps on how to get it done noted down. This includes the equipment you’ll use, ingredients, how to measure the ingredients, how to mix them, how to bake the cake and for how long as well as at what temperature and finally how to cool, pack and label the cake.

Have a set of consistent recipes you’re using in your baking

For this you need to make sure you have a checklist or recipe card with ingredients and mixing procedure.. It comes in handy in case you’re training someone. A checklist helps to make sure that person has done everything on the list and executed it well.

This way they can be able to check as they go, for example, have I made sure I have all my ingredients, have I made sure I have all my equipment and this way they’ll go step by step to ensure they’ve accomplished each task. The checklist will therefore confirm that everything on the list of tasks has been done.

You should also have a list of recipes with ingredient quantities and directions on how to measure, mix and bake.

2. Daily, Weekly and Monthly Cleaning Lists

The second list of tasks you should have are cleaning lists. You might have more than one when it comes to cleaning lists because there’s things you do daily and some things you do weekly and even monthly.

Have daily, weekly & monthly cleaning lists (Image: Arisa Chattasa – unsplash.com )

I would suggest having three lists that contain the tasks or the types of cleaning you should do every time.

For instance, a daily cleaning list could state the dishes, dish cloths and the different things that you have to clean every time you bake. The weekly cleaning list on the other hand might include scrubbing walls, scrubbing windows, that kind of thing. You can even have a monthly list for general cleaning for the bakery and cleaning out and scrubbing your oven.

Make sure you sit down, note what you have to clean in the different periods of time, then write them down as tasks. Make sure you even describe how you want these things cleaned.

If it is dishes, you probably want them cleaned in hot soapy water and rinsed in warm water. Ensure you describe exactly how you want it done, and then have a checklist to go with that. This way if somebody else is doing that cleaning, when they’re done, they can come and check to make sure they’ve cleaned everything that they’re supposed to clean daily or weekly, or monthly. Make sure you have cleaning lists in your production system.

3. Opening and Closing Checklists

The third list of tasks you need to have are your opening and closing checklists. This is a general checklist to prepare yourself to open the bakery workshop, especially if you have a separate kitchen space for your baking.

There are things you should always do before starting the process of baking. It might be just wiping down the tables because they’re dusty, maybe removing equipment from storage, that kind of thing.

You should also have a closing checklist. This will include the things you need to do before you close the door in your kitchen. Perhaps you need to put ingredients back, maybe you need to write an ingredient list of what you need tomorrow morning.

Oven Cleaning in Kitchen

Write a list of tasks for the various tasks in your specific workshop that you need to do to open and close the bakery and make sure you have a checklist to ensure that they’re actually done.

4. Stock and Inventory Lists

The other list of tasks that I would urge you to have, are your stock and inventory lists. A stock list is basically the list of ingredients you have that you would want to keep track of daily or weekly depending on usage.

If you’re not too busy you can actually do it weekly, but as you get busy, you need to start doing daily stock, especially if you have more than one Baker in your kitchen. You might actually have to do a closing stock by the end of the day, and an opening stock check every morning.

For inventory, you can take inventory of the equipment and the tools you have like maybe work tables, whisks, measuring cups & spoons, etc. You can do that monthly and if you’re a larger business you can do it at least twice a year or at the end of the year.

Make sure you have a list that helps you keep track of your ingredients, one that’s updated daily or weekly. Then have one for your inventory that includes your equipment, bakery furniture and other kitchen tools, periodically.

As an extra note, when it comes to your stock, especially your ingredients, you want to make sure you have an extra section or column where you can note the expiry dates of each ingredient.

 Everything that comes into the kitchen should have an expiry date, whether it’s your flour, even your food colors, they all have an expiry date. Make sure that as the ingredients come in, you’re writing the expiry dates. Another important item to note is the re-order level of each item. This means the minimum quantity of each ingredient you should get to before you order the item again.

Taking stock of your ingredients is very important

Writing and tracking the above information is going to help you keep track every month or every week or every day. Especially on expiry dates; this will let you know whether that product has expired. So make sure you have that little extra column for expiry dates.

5. Storage List

To Inform you on How Ingredients and Tools Should Be Stored

The other list that I would tell you to have is the storage list. You need to make sure you have at least a document that’s stating exactly how every ingredient should be stored, or even how every equipment should be stored.

For example, all of us, especially bakers, use wheat flour, so you should make sure you have a description of how you store your flour. When you receive it or when you purchase it what do you do? Do you put it in like a plastic sealed container? Do you empty it and put it in specific containers and store it somewhere where it’s clean and dry.

You need to make sure you describe every ingredient that comes into your bakery workshop, how it’s stored, where it’s stored and how you’re going to label each container. Perhaps you need to make sure you’ve written All Purpose Flour to differentiate it from the Self Raising Flour. Either which way you need to make sure you label your ingredients in storage.

 So please sit down and make sure you have a list, or at least a description of how all your ingredients are stored. This also applies to your equipment, for instance when people wash a whisk. How will you want it stored? Will you want it hanging somewhere? Will you prefer if it were placed on a dish rack?

Whatever the case you need to describe how you want it done. When it comes to equipment, how would you want them stored? When washed, for instance whisks, would you want them air dried and then after that would you want them put in a container for storage?

Make sure you have a list of tasks and a description of how you want your things stored, both ingredients and equipment.

Storage is important

 Just as a little note in addition to that, you need to have a place to store your packaging as well. As bakers we have brown bags and cake boxes, so you need to make sure you have a specific place that you’re putting those cake boxes because remember they’re going to be holding food, and so they have to be kept very safe and away from contamination.

Have a Food Safety and HACCP Plan in Place

The last thing I want to mention, although I don’t want to go into details, is making sure you’re ready in a food safety kind of way. As a food business, it is your responsibility to be totally ready in every aspect when it comes to food safety.

You should make sure you have a system or at least a list of tasks that you and anyone who’s working with you needs to follow. This includes washing hands, making sure you store things, and then making sure you have a HACCP plan that you have in place that deals with instances such as metal objects finding their way into your food as well as making sure you don’t handle wheat flour that has aflatoxins in it.

A HACCP refers to Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points which is a systematic approach to food safety from biological, chemical, radiological, and physical hazards that can cause a finished product to be unsafe. It is a plan that measures and helps reduce these risks to a safe level for any business or kitchen.

Having these in place will make sure that by the time you’re producing, manufacturing and selling your cakes to people, that it’s going to be safe for everybody to consume.

Get information about HACCP

What I would advice is for you to find an expert who can help you in setting up a HACCP plan or making sure you have a food safety and sanitary kind of system in your bakery. Even if you’re a home baker, make sure that whatever it is you’re creating is safe for anybody to consume, especially in this time of COVID. So make sure that you’re ready for food and safety and then make sure you’re HACCP aware.

I hope this video has been really helpful to you. I understand that this is a lot of technical information but if you’re baking for business this is something that is necessary for you to start doing/working on in your business. In the long run, it is good for efficiency and good for the safety of your customer as well as for you to make sure you’re running an effective business and not making any losses.

If you have any questions about the production system, make sure you comment below and we’ll be sure to help as much as possible.

If interested in Baking for Business Mentorship, please click here for more information.

If you don’t already have it; make sure to get our book on “How to startup a small baking Business successfully” – check here for details.

3 Points to Consider Before Starting Baking Classes

Are you a baker who’s been active in the baking industry for a couple of months and you’re thinking of starting baking classes? Well you’ve come to the right place because that’s what we’re going to be taking about today.

The baking industry is going through quite a growth spurt. We have a lot of individuals who are looking to learn how to bake and decorate. We also have a lot of Bakers who are starting to offer baking classes due to the demand.

Now this is a great thing being able to share your skills, but there’s also a downside. I’m sure we have heard a few of the negative stories of students who have gone to classes and come out of there very dissatisfied. Sadly, this comes from bakers offering classes when they’re not very well prepared on how to run the class or get a successful result.

Today we’re talking about how to do it right. I’ve been teaching classes since 2014. Over time, I’ve trained a small team that assists me at Amari in our baking & decoration classes. We’ve also gained experience and we get lots of feedback from students who taking short courses online – on how to teach effectively.

I’ve been able to get tips and strategies on how to run successful baking classes, over time. So now I want to share a bit of that with you. Here are three points I think you need to consider before starting your baking classes.

  1. How long have you been a practicing baker?

You need at least six months of practicing your baking/decoration skills – and this doesn’t INCLUDE class time. After the six months of practicing, you need to make sure you have experience from baking or decorating for at least four to six months.

This way you’re able to teach an individual to the best of your ability. Remember, when you’re teaching someone, they have to be a skill level below your own in order for your teaching experience to have a high percentage of success.

Amari Intermediate Class students

This means; if you’re an advanced cake decorator you can teach intermediate baking skills. If you’re a master baker, you can teach any level of baking skills. Either way, you have to make sure you have enough experience and practice to be able to teach your students the right way.

  • Do you have the required equipment to run the class?

Whether you’re running the class in your kitchen space or in someone’s kitchen space, you need to make sure you have the bare minimum requirements for teaching the class.

Look at the equipment you need for the baking or the cake decoration class and make sure you have everything you need. A lot of classes tend to have issues because they don’t have all the equipment needed to run the lessons.

Do you have the required equipment?

If you need to use someone else’s space, you can share the list with them before you go to class as you’re engaging before starting the class. This way; you ensure you’ll find efficient equipment to run the class at the class location.

  • Avoid overwhelming your student

During a session with your student(s), you may feel the need to give them a lot of information you think they need – ALL at once. Don’t! That’s not going to be of benefit to them or you.

If you give them too much information they probably won’t absorb or understand most of it anyway. You need to make sure you keep the lessons or sessions simple. Teach one or two concepts per session and then give your students enough time to practice the concepts after the class.

Another reason why you shouldn’t overwhelm your student is that, they’ll leave the class worse than they came. Why? Well – because they’ll be totally overwhelmed with information and they won’t know how or which information to process. Make sure you keep it simple. Depending on how long each session will be, ensure they understand what you’re teaching them per session.

Ensure good results with your students every time

Just to recap on the three points you need to consider before starting baking classes;

  1. How long you’ve actually been practicing your baking skills, and the experience you have.
  2. If you have the equipment to run the class.
  3. Avoid overwhelm when it comes to teaching your students.

Thanks for reading, as always – I hope the information was helpful. If it was, please let me know in the comments below.

I’ll be holding a live Zoom class in August (10th & 11th: 11 am to 1 pm each day) for bakers looking to start offering classes (or streamline existing classes). If you feel you need help with coming up with an effective lesson plan, costing your class or just knowing where to get started when it comes to holding classes, consider joining the Online class. Cost is Kshs. 1,500.

To inquire; please send a Whatsapp message here – Click here. You can also contact us: 0701796688 or 0791384890 (Mon-Fri: 9am – 5pm, Sat: 9am-3pm. Closed on Sundays).

Online Costing and Pricing Class for Home Bakers & Small bakery shop owners

Sell your cakes or pastries comfortably knowing that you’re making a profit.

Learn exactly how much it is costing you to make your cakes or baked products.

Find out how to price according to whom you’re selling to. Get templates that help you just plug in your numbers and get exact cost in no time.

Take this class and instead of guessing – you’ll be sure of whether you’re making a Profit or a Loss in your baking business.

This class is perfect for Home-bakers or small bakery shop owners looking to get paid EXACTLY what they’re worth in the market.

October 2021 Class
  • 4 Week Costing and Pricing class. The class will run online where class videos will be posted and available to watch at any time you are free to sit and learn. Cost is Kshs. 1,500 for the 4 weeks. Videos are only available for that duration; after class is over, group will close and you’ll be removed from the group.
  • Topics Covered: Costing cake as a home baker, how to cost batch products e.g. scones/buns. How to cost Wedding cakes & Custom cakes. How to cost using a Profit and Loss statement for a small to medium bakery shop mass producing one main product.
  • We will share excel templates that will make it easy for you to do your costing & pricing. Assignments given to ensure you have understood the concept and feedback will be personally given to you when you do your assignments.
  • Session on target market and relevance to costing will be covered. As well as various ways of pricing your products.
  • Class will run in a secret Private FB group. To join; you’ll make payment to till no. 89736, send payment notification or share number that made payment to us on our lines: 0701796688 or 0791384890.
  • International students (non-Kenyan): Make payment via Paypal or Mobile payment to our number (254701796688 – via Bank Transfer, WorldRemit or Sendwave)
  • To gain access to group: Send a friend request to our profile: “Amari Amari” on FB. That is the only way we can add you into the group. Make sure to share your FB profile name. (Testimonials & Feedback below, from our students from the previous online class)

If you have any inquiries on the class, contact us on above shared numbers: Monday – Friday: 9 a.m. to 5 pm. & Saturdays: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

You can also use this link to send us a Whatsapp message: https://wa.me/message/3C45KSINY4SIL1

or FILL the form below to inquire via email:

3 Things you need to know Before Starting a Home Baking Business in Kenya

Are you a baker who’s been thinking of starting a home based baking business? This post is for you.

Have you been baking for a while at home? Perhaps you’ve been practicing your skills for over six to eight months and you really feel you can start selling your baked goods. Though your problem is, you may not have the resources to actually start big…

That’s okay. You can actually start a home based business in Kenya. Today I’ll share three things you need to know as you start your home baking business.

  1. Very low cost way of starting your baking business

Starting a home based business is a good idea because it’s a very low cost way of starting a business.

It gives you time to get customers and build your customer database. It also helps you learn the ropes and gives you time to slowly start getting resources to grow your business. Starting a home based business is a great start to your bakery business.

2. It’s illegal to run a baking business next to sleeping quarters in Kenya

Running a food business in Kenya in your house is actually illegal. This is because it’s adjacent to sleeping quarters. Now I’m not trying to scare you with this information, just letting you know that this is really not allowed by city council by-laws.

Here’s what I would suggest; when you start a baking business at home, have a plan. You can have a goal, say within eight months to a year that you’re going to move your business out of your house.

If you’re a home based business, I’ll share with you two options you may have. First, you can opt to get the financial resources needed to find a commercial shop, somewhere in a commercial building as you’re growing your business.

The second option which is the option most small bakery owners take; is to either start your baking business or your bakery workshop in a separate house, maybe a servant’s quarters or a guesthouse.

If you’re in your own compound, you can also opt to build a small workshop where you can do your baking and cake decoration. If you don’t have that – you can find a small shop area where you can take your baked goods and sell them from there. This way you will at least be running a legal business.

3. You can grow your home baking business successfully over time

With a proper business strategy and very good planning, you can move your business from home to an actual shop. All you need to do; is to ensure you run a profitable business and make sure you’re doing things the right way using effective business strategies.

If you would like guidance and help in learning or streamlining effective systems you can run in your bakery business to help you achieve success, you can join our business mentorship program.

We run a three month Online Bakery Business mentorship program different times through the year. Click here to sign up or get more information about the mentorship.

As always, thank you so much for reading. I hope you found the content helpful. If you did, let us know what you found most helpful in the comments below.

Share this to your social networks; it may help someone else ^_^

We offer baking classes in Nairobi; for details on our practical classes – Click here.

Types of Fats Used in Baking | Different Types of Fats and Oils Used for Baking

Hello, this post is part of our Baking Ingredients series. In this post, I’ll be covering the different types of fats and oils you can actually use in your baking.

Today, I’ll be sharing the different types of fats & oils used in baking and the differences between them.

The first ingredient I’m going to cover that’s a type of fat is:

1. Butter

If you’re baking in Kenya, most retail butter comes packaged in 500-gram or 250-gram containers, and sometimes it gets packed in smaller packages.

Butter

Butter is the original animal fat that you’re actually supposed to be using for baking. It is natural, superior quality and gives you really good cake, bread, puff pastry or even croissant results. When you’re using butter, remember you want to use unsalted butter. The salted version tends to be extremely salty and when you bake it in a cake or use it in pastries, you can feel the very salty aftertaste.

If you’re looking to make quality products, you always want to use unsalted butter; it’s the most superior fat and will give you best results.

2. Margarine

Margarine was originally created to be a substitute for butter. Butter tends to be highly perishable because it’s an animal fat. It usually lasts about a week, in a fridge. Margarine however, lasts longer and is also cheaper, especially in the African market.

Margarine is manufactured to imitate butter, it just doesn’t have the same superior taste as butter – but it’s the next best thing. If you have a recipe and it states butter and you don’t have butter, you can use margarine.

Margarine comes in smaller containers from 50gm, 100gm, 250grams to 1kg for retail sale. Wholesale quantites are also available such as 5Kg and 10kgs.

Margarine

The thing to note about margarine is that it comes salted. The percentage isn’t as high as ‘Salted butter’; though it’s still present. If you have a recipe that calls for salt, once you use margarine, don’t add salt into the cake batter as it may become salty. Every time you use margarine for any baking, don’t add any salt because it’s salted already. When it comes to baking; especially cakes, margarine is the best substitute for butter

3. Pastry margarine

This is a specific type of margarine used by Pastry Chefs and Bakers. It has a very high fat content percentage, 80% all the way sometimes to 90%. It’s used for pastries such as Puff pastry, Croissants, Flaky pastries and Pies.

It’s used also as a substitute for butter when making puff or flaky pastries. When looking for economy or a type of fat that will last longer in pastries or pie making; hotels and other commercial baking businesses generally use pastry margarine.

Slabs of Pastry Margarine

Please do note that pastry margarine isn’t as highly salted; this means that you can add salt to your pastries when preparing them. If you’re looking to get into the Puff-pastry, Croissants & Pie-making niche, you can use pastry margarine in your baking especially if looking for economy.

3. Cooking Fat/Shortening

This is raw, white fat and is usually the lowest quality fat you can use for baking. A lot of commercial bakers use it in bread making and some even use it for cake & cookie making when they’re looking to cut costs.

Shortening

Generally, we don’t advise for you to use this type of fat because it’s very bland and it doesn’t have a good final taste result. If you’re selling to a budget or economy target market – that is not driven by quality, you can use this type of fat.

People do sometimes use it for frosting as well – American Buttercream frosting. We specifically advice AGAINST this. The main reason is that; it is raw fat and frosting is generally consumed without cooking. Don’t use it for frosting, just use it for your baking needs please.

4. Cooking Oil/Salad Oil/Vegetable Oil

This is just vegetable or palm oil – in liquid form and you can use it for baking. It’s very common when you’re making some yeast pastries or types of bread. Some bakers also use it as a Butter substitute when baking cakes. Some recipes also use oil as the main type of fat e.g. Quickbreads or Oil Cakes.

Vegetable oil

When you’re using it in cake, it gives you very moist and slightly healthier cakes. Though please note that the texture of an oil cake isn’t as fluffy and doesn’t have the same volume/height as a butter cake. You need a type of fat like butter or margarine when it comes to mixing and aeration to get volume in your cake. You can still use oil in your cake if you don’t mind that reduction in height and if you don’t mind a moist cake that might not be so fluffy.

Baking tip: You can also use half butter, half oil or half margarine, half oil. When baking a cake recipe; this gives you both moist and very fluffy cakes and the results are always wonderful.

Vegetable oils are perfect for breads and you can also use them for some yeast pastries. Do note that you can use Olive oil, which is a high quality oil – if you’re looking for a different taste in bread or a specific taste. You can use it for yeast pastries, flat breads like Focaccia or other Italian breads – it works very well for breads. Olive oils tend to bring out a strong flavor and smell when it comes to making cakes; so you may want to keep to less stronger flavors or less stronger oils when it comes to baking cakes. Instead use Vegetable or simple Palm oils.

I hope this post has been helpful. If you have a question on any types of fats or oils you may have encountered, feel free to comment below.

Share this post to other bakers or foodies it may help; sharing is caring ^_^

For details on our practical classes; we offer both baking classes in Nairobi, please click here.

Why I Quit My Job To Start A Baking Business

Are you looking to quit your job and start a small baking business? This blog post is for you.

Hi everyone, my name is Maureen Kamari, founder of Amari Baking Center and Author of How to Start Up a Small Baking Business. In this blog we share decoration tutorials, baking tips and baking for business tips.

In today’s post I’ll be sharing with you guys why I quit my job to start a small baking business. So to give you a little bit of background, in 2012 I quit my job and I started Amari Quick Breads Bakery which was the name of this business at that time.

At the time we were selling quick breads like banana bread, lemon bread and orange bread to people. They would order online and we would deliver to them.

At the Cake Festival 2017

I want to share why I actually quit my job and hopefully it’ll give you a few reasons why you SHOULD quit your job or maybe NOT QUIT your job to start a small baking business.

Reasons why I quit my job to start a baking business

1. I was Unsatisfied and unhappy during employment

I was not happy with my job and I was not very satisfied. My ideas were not taken seriously and I did not feel like I was reaching my full potential. So at that time, this was a very big reason why I quit my job.

2.To pursue my baking passion

I had a passion for baking and I’d been baking for a couple of years. I’d also been able to add on to my skill and had the experience to actually start taking on birthday cakes. I’d improved my baking and decoration skills which improved my confidence in taking orders. I was very confident with my skill, and I knew I could actually sell my cakes to people.

One of my custom cake projects a few years back

3.Personal choice and goal to attain financial freedom through entrepreneurship.

I wanted to start my journey on to financial freedom. So when I looked at my long term goals I wanted to be financially free and the only way for me to do that was not through employment, it was through entrepreneurship.

I then decided to start my journey at that time because I knew it was not going to happen right away. It was going to be quite a journey, and would take some time – so I decided to quit my job to get started.

What to consider when quitting your job

A.Do you have a plan?

Don’t quit if you don’t have a plan.

Before I quit my job, I made sure I had some equipment, ingredients and some money (working capital) to actually start and run the business.

You need startup capital to get the items you need to start the business and then you need working capital to get your business going for some time. So if you don’t have a plan in place don’t quit right away. First work on that (getting the money) and then you can quit your job.

B.Does your family directly rely on your income?

Don’t quit if your family or other loved ones directly rely on your income to survive. You can choose to start the business as a side hustle first.

If your income from your salary every month is actually what keeps your family running, then don’t quit your job just yet.

What I would suggest is to start your small business on the side, then grow that business. Over time the money you’ll be making from that business can actually complement (or replace) your salary. From there you can then choose to either quit your current job or keep going with it alongside whatever income you’re getting from your bakery business.

C. Are you sure you’re ready to be an entrepreneur?

Make sure you’re ready to be an entrepreneur before quitting your job. It’s not an easy road to take and the journey is long so be prepared.

Being an entrepreneur means back breaking work for maybe the first four to five years without a lot of results.

It means working hard and you might have to work daily, night and day. You have to innovate and constantly market and do sales for your business. You might even have to do multiple jobs at the same time and not get paid the way you’re used to getting paid through your monthly salary.

So entrepreneurship is not really for everyone and it can be quite a lonely journey over time. So you need to ask yourself if you’re ready for that kind of life. If you find that you’re not ready for that kind of life – you may choose to be employed and maybe do the bakery business as a side hustle, or as a hobby. But if you feel you’re ready for it, then I’d tell you to plan, very well, and then you can join entrepreneurship.

Do I regret quitting my job? You may wonder; – What kept me going after quitting?

I do not regret quitting my job and starting a baking business. The first thing I realized is that I have to persevere the challenging times that I went through, and in business that’s what happens. You will always have challenging times as you grow.

The second thing to know is that you need a support system. So over time I realized I need a support system of people helping me out, or even mentors helping me out so that I’m able to grow my business successfully.

Still going strong

The third thing you need to know is that you have to keep your goal, first and foremost in your mind, so that every day you wake up and remember why you’re doing this. This is what’s actually going to keep you going through the whole entire journey so that you actually achieve your dreams and you work every day towards having a successful baking business.

I hope this post has been really helpful to you. Please do share your experience in the comments below if you’ve quit your job or if you’re thinking of quitting your job to start a baking business. Also, make sure to hit the like and share this post.

If interested in Business training or Mentorship; please check this link – Amari Business Mentorship. You can also send us an email at: amaribreads@gmail.com to inquire.