Featured

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.

Helpful tips for Home Bakers Starting Business (from a Professional Baker)

This is a post – originally from a YouTube video where Sheeroh – a professional baker shared tips and advice to new and upcoming bakers.

Hello everybody, my name is Sheeroh Wanjiru Kariuki. I’m a cake artist. I run a bakery called Taji Cakes. We are located in Ruiru. You can also find us on Facebook and Instagram as Taji cakes and YouTube as “Shee Bakes”

Now, this COVID period has brought with it a lot of interesting things. For most people who have been home I know baking has become the easy go to thing or hobby that people are doing to supplement their income. That means that we have had an increase in the number of new bakers coming up.

I want to applaud you first of all for starting your business. It’s not easy and it’s not everybody who can run a successful business. So congratulations if these few months you’ve been in business and you are making money.

Now, unfortunately what has been happening, if you are keen on looking at what is going around on Facebook, Instagram and other various baking platforms, is that there are a lot of cakes that look interesting. I am trying to be polite here.

I’ve actually seen someone I know who has started baking during this COVID period and they’re purporting to train people on how to bake and decorate. I looked at that cake and wondered, okay, what exactly are you going to teach people because you yourself actually need training in the first place.

So I wanted to drop in here and give a few tips or my thoughts to all the new and upcoming bakers because I once was there. I know the excitement, the passion and the zeal that you’re experiencing right now, wanting to just hit the road running and take on all the cake orders that you can.

Before you do, consider these tips that I’ve gained from my own experience;

Don’t take on a cake order that you cannot execute

I have actually had people come to my inbox to ask me, “So I have this cake order I don’t know how to go about it. It’s a fondant cake.”

First of all, you’ve never touched fondant before and yet you’ve already taken an order to do a design that requires you to work with fondant.

Please, please, please, before you take on any cake, make sure that you’re able to execute it. Do not take an order with the hope that you’re going to run to a YouTube tutorial and learn in an hour and then execute the cake. That is the reason why we’re having so many cases of what was ordered versus what was delivered. I am not sure that is the position you would want to put yourself in.

Cake fails are more common these days than ever

So before you take on any order, make sure that you can execute on it. Ensure that your skill level matches the kind of orders you’re taking. If you’re good at doing soft cream cakes for instance, stick to that, start with soft creams as you build up your confidence to work with fondant.

Invest in your skills. Take Classes.

Another thing I would like to mention is, if you would like to get to that level where you’re taking complex custom orders, please invest in classes. I will repeat, please invest in classes.

If you’re just starting out and you want to get to the level of the bakers you really admire. You know, those bakers you look at and you’re like #goals. If you want to get to that point of #goals, please invest in lessons.

Get a baker who you admire, get into a training college, have them train you on what you do not know. It is very unfair to take a client’s order and then fail to deliver on the design.

Most of these clients -I don’t know about your own – but most of my clients actually know how to bake, but they come to me for the art. That is why I introduce myself as a Cake artist, because I put art into cake. But it has taken me years of learning to get where I am. I have invested in learning. I have gone to school I have learned, I’ve been taught by bakers in this industry who are doing awesome things.

So if you want to get to that level, please invest in learning. This is not a competition, it is also not a race. Go at your own pace. Do not start doing a PhD when you do not even have a Form Four Certificate. Go at your level, learn, enjoy the process and continue learning as you go.

Now Let’s Talk About How to take and confirm a cake order. Here are some tips:

Understand your client’s needs.

If a client comes to you, they will reach out probably through your phone, on your WhatsApp, on your business page looking for cake. Most of them will tell you – “Hi, I want a birthday cake for a two year old.”

They’ll probably not tell you what flavor they want, how many kgs they want and all that. So as the baker, it is upon you to get to understand your client first. Get to understand their needs.

Yes, they have told you they want a birthday cake for a two year old, but what I would do myself is first find out: What flavor would they like? Do they have a favorite cartoon or a toy that they love? What are their interests?

Because remember, your goal is to make sure that you give your client exactly what they want. In fact you want to even exceed their expectations but you cannot do that if you do not first understand exactly what they need.

So even before you go quoting the price of the cake, first of all understand what your client is looking for. Do they want a PJ Masks themed cake? Get to know what they need, then discuss what making that cake entails.

Let them know if you’re going to be ordering any special toppers, if you’re going to be custom making figurines, whatever it is, go through that process with your client, let them understand what goes into bringing their cake to life.

Wedding cake by Taji Cakes

Educate your clients where necessary

At times you might even need to educate them. I’ve had clients come to me to do a cake for a birthday for a one year old and they want to do a chocolate cake. Now there’s nothing wrong with a chocolate cake although personally I feel like chocolate cakes are a bit too rich for kids. So in such a case I’d try and advise the clients to go for simpler alternative flavor like vanilla and orange for the good of the kids.

So it’s up to you to educate your client, even in terms of flavors and all that culminates into you giving them your price.

Communicate order execution time or duration with the client

The next thing to consider especially when dealing with custom cakes that may require you to order some few things ahead of time like toppers is to make sure you have ample time to get everything you need together.

There are cakes that you can do as last minute same day orders. There are also some that require you to prepare in advance. In the case of the latter, make sure that your client understands that you need time to prepare the cake and get everything ready.

Get a deposit payment

After you’ve agreed on everything concerning the cake – please get a deposit payment and I’m saying this from experience. I have had instances where we have baked and we were left with the cake in the bakery, because the client went quiet and we didn’t know what to do with it. It may be decorated and even be highly customized to that specific client so you can’t exactly sell it to someone else.

Ensure to get a deposit payment first.

This assures you that you’ve locked down on that business. It also helps you to cover yourself so that you don’t incur losses in your business.

So in a nutshell, make sure you educate your client, know exactly what they need and ensure that you have understood the vision they have for their cake and that you’re able to execute that vision in the best way possible.

There are a few lessons I have learned when it comes to dealing with customers.

They say that customer is king, and I will not refute that.

Listen to your Client

The first thing I learnt to do when it comes to customer care is to listen to my clients, like really listen to them.

Understand what they want, not what you think they want. Thereafter, try to make sure that the solution you’re giving them in terms of the cake flavors, design and everything fits their needs. I mean they’re paying you so the least you can do is meet their needs.

Not everyone is your customer and that is alright

The other lesson I learned is that I cannot serve everybody. Not everybody can be my customer. I’ve had some people who after the cake consultation and I’ve given them the price they tell me that you’re too expensive than baker ABCD.

It’s okay.

I want you to know that it is okay if people at times find that you’re too expensive and cannot afford you. It is okay. In the beginning I used to really beat myself up for it and try to fit into my clients budget, and I’m not saying that is wrong.

When you get to know your client’s budget you’re able to see if you can fit within that budget, but if really truly cannot fit into that budget, that is fine.

Say for example you normally sell your cake for 2500 per kg then you get a client telling you they want the same cake for 1200. I don’t know about you but I’m honestly personally not able to go that low.

So at that point I will just tell the client it’s okay, thank you for checking with us. We hope to serve you next time, and I wish you the best.

So don’t feel like you’re losing out or anything, just understand that clients have different budgets, and you cannot serve everybody. Your client will come. Whatever is meant for you is meant for is.

Always be cool, calm and collected

Then finally, always be cool, calm and collected. At times you’ll get clients who really get on your nerves. So do not be tempted to shout or to get rude or anything, so listen to your client. Be polite, above all, be polite to them.

 Good customer service is what keeps people coming back, over and above your great cake, good customer service is what keeps them coming back. Clients remember how you made them feel, so make them feel important, make them feel treasured, make them feel like you value the business they’re giving you.

With that said I wish you all the best as you navigate business, as you figure out how to go about this baking industry. I wish you the very best. Please get someone to work with you, get a mentor if you have to, keep on learning. You never stop learning. The day you stop learning is the day you start dying. So thank you very much for your time.

God bless you.

5 Business Systems Required In Your Baking Business

Are you looking to streamline your day to day activities in your baking business? If your answer is yes, then this blog post is for you.

Hi everyone, this is Maureen of Amari Baking Center. Before I go ahead and share below; please note that we have a YouTube channel where we share cake decoration tutorials, baking tips and baking for business advice as well. If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, click here after reading below – to catch up on all the recent video posts.

Today I’d like to talk to you about the 5 basic business systems that I believe every small bakery business needs.

But first thing’s first;

What is a System?

 A system is a step by step method in which you do a certain task or certain thing in your business. This can be how to bake a 1 kg vanilla cake, how you take orders or even how you receive payments.

For your business to be very successful, which is something I believe we all want, you need to have efficient and effective systems in place that run smoothly every day.

Now you may be wondering;

“Why do I need systems in place in my business?”

 Very good question. The only way for you to run your business successfully, even if it’s just you at first, is to have proper systems in place. For one, they go a long way in helping you start integrating other people into your bakery business.

If and when you start hiring people, with a system in place, you will already have a certain way of doing things and all you’ll have to do is show them how to do those tasks. You can simply write down every single process and tasks, whether it’s a recipe or even how to receive an order. That way you’ll be able to train them better and faster.

Now to the systems;

  1. A Production System

This relates to everything in the kitchen.

Whether it’s a home based bakery or a bakery shop, make sure you have a specific production system for your business.

I would suggest having cleaning lists, like daily, weekly, monthly cleaning tasks. You also need to have recipes ready so when it comes to baking the cakes, you have specific recipes and methods you use.

Make sure you have a certain way of opening and closing the bakery. If it’s a home based bakery, have a certain way of starting out your day, even if it’s with clean up – a certain way of closing up.

 The other tasks you need to specify in a bakery production system are:

  • How you store your ingredients.
  • How you store your baked goods after they’re baked.
  • How you cool them the baked products
  • How you handle them, especially now, you want to make sure you’re wearing food gloves and be very careful of food hygiene when handling foods.
  • How you package and label all your baked goods.

You want to make sure you have a production system that encompasses all those things that have to do with the actual production of your baked goods.

  • A Marketing System

These are the various activities done to market your business.

You can choose to have both online and offline marketing systems (and you should have both). The online systems can involve social media accounts and posting every day. It can also include doing paid ads monthly and posting on a website.

For your offline marketing activities, you can do different things like participating in cake fairs, or doing cake tastings and samplings.

You can also network with other customers or vendors that can help you grow your bakery brand and business over time. Make sure you have a marketing system in place with specific tasks for every month and a planned set of activities that you’re going to do to market your business.

  • A Financial System

This helps you track money coming in and money going out in your baking business.

Whether you have accounting software (e.g. Quickbooks) or not, make sure you have a way of tracking the money that’s coming in (sales). You can do so with a receipt book or cash sale and If you’re the kind of business that invoices, make sure you have an invoice book.

Now for your money going out (expenses), make sure you’re keeping track of all of it. That could mean having a petty cash voucher book.

Whatever you’re doing, make sure you’re keeping track of your daily, weekly and monthly finances.

  • A Payment System

This is a system that keeps track of how you receive money into your business and how you disburse or pay out money.

As far as receiving money goes, you can choose to have a ‘Lipa na Mpesa, Buy Goods Till Number, or maybe a Paybill number for your business.

Always make sure that everyone who’s paying into your business is using the till number or the paybill number to keep a record of all your payments. You can also choose to use cash as another payment option.

Mpesa Mobile payments can be part of your payment system

 Whenever you’re paying out money, you can choose to write cheques only when a payment is being made to or from your bank account. You can also choose to use one specific phone number/line for m-pesa to make your payments.

Just make sure you have a specific way that you receive or disburse money in your business.

  • A Distribution or Delivery System

This is a system or way of distributing your baked goods, whether it’s cakes, cookies/biscuits or bread to your customers.

If you have a shop it’d be easier because your clients will receive the cake directly or come and collect the cake themselves. However, remember that in this day and age, a lot of people are looking for delivery options. So you need to make sure you have a specific way of delivering your baked goods.

 One way to do this is to use a food delivery system. Some people choose to use taxi services. You can also hire a delivery person or outsource to businesses or people who do the deliveries for you.

Whatever it is, make sure you have a specific way in which you distribute or deliver the cakes or other baked goods, to your customers.

Summary on all the 5 systems you need to put in place in your baking business for a smooth daily run, you need;

  • A Production System.
  • A Financial System.
  • A Marketing System.
  • A Payment System.
  • A Distribution or Delivery System.

I hope this post has been really really helpful to you. I’m curious; would you guys want me to delve deeper in each system and give you more information for each particular system?

If you do please comment below and write Yes, and I will be happy to do so.

Again, I hope this has been really helpful for you. Be sure to implement all these systems into your bakery business and all the best.

We offer Baking for Business consultations and mentor-ship, Click here for more details.

Amari Full Cake-making and Decoration Course in January 2021

Are you a self-taught home-baker looking to gain professional baking and cake decoration skills that will help you perfect your craft and gain confidence enough to start a small baking business?

Are you a cake-lover who has a passion in learning how to gain baking and cake decoration skills that can help you start a home-based or small baking business?

Are you a youth who recently completed High School or College (or parent of a student ^_^), and you’re looking to learn a vocational skill that can help you develop a passion in something you love that could help you generate income over time?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above; then you should join our Full Cake making & decoration Course and start your baking journey in January 2021.

What our Full Cake making and decoration Course entails:

Amari Full course breakdown

The Amari Cake making & Decoration full course is a combination of our three main courses that help you learn how to bake various types of cakes and decorate cakes using various icings and frostings. The classes have progressive levels: Basic, Intermediate and Advanced. When an individual takes all three courses consecutively then purposes to practice what they have learned, they can become accomplished professional bakers who can start small home-based businesses or small bakery shops to start earning income.

To see exact details of topics covered in each course, please click on the links below:

Are you ready to sign up for the Course? I bet you are! Deadline to book for the January class is deposit or full payment by January 16th, 2021. Dates for the full course shown below:

January to March 2021 Full course dates

To sign up; please schedule a visit to our Bakery workshop that’s on Ndwaru rd in Riruta/Waithaka area, off Naivasha Rd. On Google Maps; search “Amari Baking Center”. Please do call ahead for directions and to get the best date and time to visit us. Contact us on: 0701796688 or 0791384890 (Call/Text/Whatsapp) Business hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can also send us an e-mail on: info@amaribakery.com

Once you visit the workshop; to book your spot, you can make the payment on site via cash or through our Lipa na Mpesa, Buy Goods Till no. 89736.

Wondering why you should sign up for the classes with us? Here’s why:

  • We offer a hands-on learning experience for each student in attendance – this means each of them will work on their own project (baking & decoration) No shared group work. We also only teach a minimum of 4 students in one class in order to ensure each student gets to understand the lesson well and for social distancing safety as well. This makes us one of the top choices when it comes to baking classes in Nairobi.
  • We offer support and constant advice after the class in our community groups as well as physical meet-ups. We also periodically hold baking competitions for our full course Alumni to ensure they are constantly practicing and sharpening their skills.
  • We focus on business training since we understand that most of our students have a goal of starting small baking businesses in Kenya over time. We offer advice and focus on business tips and skills that will help each student run a profit-making business;especially costing and pricing.
  • We have had success with various students who have taken our full course with business training and started businesses of their own. Some of our alumni who have taken our full course are show-cased below ^_^

Amari Class Guidelines: Once you pay to book and attend the class, it is your duty as a student to attend each scheduled class. If you miss any class session; it will not be repeated, though you can choose to pay for a custom one on one session just for you to make up for the class at Kshs. 3,000 (per 4 hr. session). Punctuality is a must; if you come late – class content will not be repeated for you and you will continue from where you find the class lesson plan. If you are more than 2 hours late; you will not be allowed to attend the session.

Our class sessions are practical and include hands-on learning for every aspect of the kitchen; that is mixing, baking, decorating and cleaning (dishes, table-wiping & cleaning workshop floor). Each student will be expected to do all the above – no exception. Our classes run for 4 hours; please make sure you can be able to stand for at least 4 hours. We incorporate a very small 10 minute break during cleaning only. We provide hot refreshments: hot water, coffee, tea and drinking chocolate. Each student should bring their own cold drinking water and snack if he/she prefers to do so.

COVID-19 SAFETY: Please note that we require all our students to wear a face mask all through the class, we will also provide a dust-coat and gloves (only where necessary), for you to wear as well during practical classes. All these precautions are mandatory and if you cannot abide by them; you cannot attend our classes. If you fail to comply while in class with any of these precautions, you will be ask to leave the class. In line with the social-distancing directive; we are only taking 4 students per class only.

REQUIREMENTS FOR STARTING THE BAKING CLASSES

  • Full payment (or deposit payment based on the payment plan you choose) to book your spot
  • Food Handlers’ Certificate (Contact us for more details)
  • Kitchen Hand Cloth
  • Carry 2nd pair of shoes for classes: closed, flat, kitchen-safe shoes
  • Notebook & pen for notes taken in each session
  • Be Punctual to class
  • You will be provided with: a Dust coat, Hair cap, ingredients, equipment and an Amari text book.

TAKE HOME:

  • You take home the products you bake.
  • You receive recipes for all products covered in the class.
  • You receive a Certificate of Participation after end of course. (Please note this is not a national certificate, we’re currently not yet a TVET Certified institution at this time. We’re a small private academy).
  • N/B: If you would like to – and meet our requirements; we can help you look for an un-paid internship with a small bakery business in order to practice your skills for a short period of time and get experience. This will depend on your final class review and overall performance during the whole Course (on both practical performance and overall attitude).

If you would like to make an inquiry about the Full course above; send a message below and we’ll e-mail you right back with details: To see a full list of all the Baking classes offered in Amari – Click here For directions via Psv on how to get to the Bakery workshop, click on this link and scroll to the bottom for details.

Why Bakers in Kenya Need A Food Handler’s Certificate

Hi, everyone it’s Maureen of Amari Baking Center if you’re new to the blog, welcome. We also offer baking tips, baking for business advice and cake decoration tutorials on our YouTube channel. If you’re interested in checking that out, you can click here to visit the channel. Feel free to subscribe and hit the like button if you find the content helpful and make sure you hit the notification bell to get notifications every time we do a new video.

In today’s post, I wanted to cover why you need to get a Food Handler’s Certificate for your bakery business.

Are you a baker in Kenya doing business? If so, do you have a food handler’s certificate?

You might be thinking; “Yes, Maureen, I’m a baker, but do I really need a food handler’s certificate and if so, why?”

Yes, you absolutely need a Food Handler’s Certificate. The reason being that the County Council Offices need to make sure that you are indeed fit to handle food that is suitable and safe for public consumption.

So how do I go about getting a Food Handler’s Certificate?

To get the Food Handler’s Certificate, you can visit the city council offices. You will then be directed to the nearest government health lab for tests before being issued with the certificate of good health.

Go to your county council offices to get details of the food handler’s certificate

You will be required to pay the fee which ranges from Kshs. 700 to 1,000 before the lab exam.

At the nearest government health facility, they will test you to make sure you don’t have any food-borne illnesses. This will guarantee that it is safe for you to handle food for your consumers.

Having a Food Handler’s Certificate will also add credibility to you and your business. Besides the assurance that you have a clean bill of health, actually having the certificate establishes you as a credible business person.

Credibility is important in a business

The other reason why you need a Food Handler’s Certificate is because it’s illegal to sell your cakes and other baked goods if you don’t have a Food Handler’s Certificate. It is a requirement under Kenyan law that you have a Food Handler’s Certificate to be able to bake for business.

Run a legal business

So, to recap the reasons why you need a Food Handler’s Certificate for Your Bakery Business:

  • To make sure that you are fit to handle food for other people to consume.

It shows that you don’t have any food-borne illnesses, and can therefore handle food for consumers, safely.

  • To add credibility to your business.

Having a Food Handler’s Certificate makes you look like a credible business person.

According to Kenyan County Council law, it is illegal to run a food business without a Food Handler’s Certificate.

So remember, if you’re baking for business in Kenya, make sure to go to the nearest public hospital to get tested and receive a Food Handler’s Certificate.

I hope the advice above has brought you lots of value; if you have any questions regarding the Food handler’s certificate, feel free to comment below and ask.

Sharing is caring; if you know anyone who would benefit from this post in your network – share this link ^_^

November 2020 Amari Online Baking and Decoration Classes in Kenya

We’ll be having our monthly online classes in November as well. 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 and willing to do the practice during the duration of the class. If you are – then success is definitely guaranteed.

We’re currently doing an intake for our November online classes. We will be offering five 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.)

Online class details below:

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, Chocolate Cake, Red Velvet Cake, Fruit cake and 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 layer cakes and decorate cakes with height, How to decorate borders and write on cake, how to decorate using edible print. Dates: The class will start November 2nd to 16th, deadline to pay is November 5th Cost of online class is Kshs. 1,000.

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, Fondant Icing and Whipped Ganache.  Decorations/Topics Covered: How to make and decorate using buttercream frosting. How to decorate using two frostings that can be used as a crumb-coat for fondant.  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: November 5th to 19th, 2020. Deadline to pay is November 9th. Cost of this online class is Kshs. 1,000

Basic Cookies, Breads and Puff pastry 2-week Class. In this class you will learn to bake 3 types of cookies, 5 types of yeast pastries  and Puff pastry dough. This is a beginner level class.  Cookies covered: Chocolate chip cookies, Sugar cookies & Butter-scotch Cookies. Yeast pastries: Home-made bread, Dinner rolls, Yellow scones, Fried yeast donuts and Burger buns.  How to make Puff pastry dough and two types of puff pastry products: Sausage rolls and Meat Pies.

Dates: October 5th to 18th, 2020. Deadline to pay is October 9th. Cost of online class is Kshs. 1,000

2-week Online Custom Cakes Class. In this class you will learn how to decorate 3D cake designs. Frostings covered: Buttercream frosting, Whipped Ganache and Fondant Icing. Concepts learned: How to carve and crumb-coat 3-D Cakes. How to decorate 3 African cake designs: Jiko cake, African Pot and Kiondo Cake.  

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 at least a basic decoration skill level. Dates: November 16th to 30th. Cost of this online class is Kshs. 1,500. Deadline to book and join is November 19th

Sponge cakes and Whipped Cream Online 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: November 16th to 30th; deadline to pay is November 19th Cost of online class is Kshs. 1,000

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

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

Tips and Advice for Beginners given by Professional Kenyan Bakers

Hello Bakers and Bakerettes, this year has been quite a challenging one for many. Unfortunately many have lost jobs or have had to find a way to supplement their income for their families. One of the industries that has had rapid growth and entry into the market is the Kenyan Baking industry.

As a Baker in the Kenyan industry; I’ve been excited and happy to see new bakers and lots of growth in our industry. It is important to note though, that we have seen lots of challenges as well. The most common being new bakers taking on orders that are too complicated for them and the end result being a rather negative one – especially from unsatisfied customers.

This inspired me to reach out to a few Bakers in the industry who have been doing business for a while and have experience that they can share with new bakers. If you are a new baker in the industry or even if you have recently just started baking for business – I hope you take all these tips and advice into consideration. All this advice is invaluable and truly helpful. It is a very positive and I know for many – an exciting journey; but you have to be careful and patient as well. Take your time to learn; be patient and build your skill. Don’t take on too much – especially if you’re not confident enough.

I approached each baker below; shared 4 questions with them and they sent me their responses which I did not edit and have shared below. I am truly grateful for the time and advice that each baker has shared below. This is just a fraction of the very many bakers in Kenya – these are just the few that I was able to get a quick response from in a limited period of time. I will add on any more advice shared as Bakers continue to share their tips.

The questions I posed to the Bakers:

  • What advice would you give new bakers looking to take on orders that they are not sure they can handle yet? e.g. a fondant cake order & they are not proficient in fondant-making.
  • What 3 tips would you give to a new Baker in the industry when it comes to order taking and confirming orders?
  • Any advice on dealing with difficult customers?
  • Lesson you learned that you will never forget when it comes to customers and/or customer service that changed how you do business.

Quick mention about Sheeroh Kariuki of Taji Cakes who went an extra mile to share a video with her advice. We shared it on our YouTube channel, please click here to watch.

Owner of Taji Cakes, Bakery based in Ruiru, Kenya

Advice from Gilbert M’mudi of Mudi’s Cakes who has been in the Kenyan Baking industry for over 20 years.

Q.What advice would you give new bakers looking to take on orders that they are not sure they can handle yet?

A. Don’t take orders for the sake of being busy , take orders that you can effectively and efficiently execute and at the end make a realistic profit. Its better to do 2 cakes properly and make ksh 1000 profit than to make 10 cakes and make ksh 1000 loss.

Q. What 3 tips would you give to a new Baker in the industry when it comes to order taking and confirming orders?

i. Give your customer a cost that you know is profitable for you- not what is comfortable to the customer and a loss to you. As in the long run you shall cut corners and compromise on quality
ii. Do not focus on the price but on the cake , keep the customer eyes on what they are getting and not what they are spending
iii. Regardless of who is making an order treat each person as a client whether it’s your relative, friends or stranger… keep business as business

Q. Any advice on dealing with difficult customers?

A. Difficult is relative , I would say challenging customers. Take time to understand where the customer is coming from and take time to understand your potential to deliver and merge the two.
You will realize not everyone is part of your customer base and not every order needs to be taken.

Q. Lesson you learned that you will never forget when it comes to customers and/or customer service that changed how you do business.

A. I have learnt business growth takes time, client trust in your brand takes time. Be ready to learn from successes and mistakes. And most of all stick to your lane of doing business.
I focus on pleasing the customer and to have a long term relationship of service to each customer to create loyalty to my brand, as the loyal customers are ones greatest marketers

Owner of Mudi’s cakes based on Ngong Rd in Nairobi, Kenya

Advice from Maggie Njoroge of Hope Cakes Kenya who has been in the Baking industry for over 8 years.

Q. What advice would you give new bakers looking to take on orders that they are not sure they can handle yet?

A. Be honest with your clients if you know very well you can’t hack that cake design. To date I still pass on sculptured cakes to a baker who does it effortlessly. It’s not always about money. Pass it on and take the challenge of learning. Or give the client an alternative design.

Q. What 3 tips would you give to a new Baker in the industry when it comes to order taking and confirming orders?

A. a) Give the clients a timeline, how many days/hours in advance should they book the cake order.
b) Deposit; let the client know that you require a deposit to confirm their order.
c) After taking the order, kindly put all the details down on an order form, send that to the client to reconfirm. This will ensure you captured all the details correctly.

Q. Any advice on dealing with difficult customers?

A. You calm down, don’t blame the client, listen to why they are upset, is it a late delivery? Calm them down, apologize, and SPEAK the TRUTH always. Give the client options like picking the cake (from them) and re-doing it, please don’t hesitate to redo a cake for a customer who is willing to give you a second chance. Before I “baptize” my customers as difficult – I do my best. If it’s not working, I release you. If it’s not working, I walk away.

Q. Lesson you learned that you will never forget when it comes to customers and/or customer service that changed how you do business.

A. i)The customer doesn’t care what you have been going through to deliver your cake. Please save the customer many details – “Ooh, my house girl didn’t show up ooohh…” Please deliver no matter what.
ii) Cash is King, collect your monies un-apologetically. Period.
iii) As you perfect your baking and decoration skills, please invest in customer service. Pick that call; even when you are extremely tired, be calm and talk to the customer as if you are a customer care agent. You understand, don’t tell the customer in a very tired voice that – “Oooh I can’t speak now..” They can tell you are seriously overwhelmed. Please stay calm, tell them you will call them later. And REMEMBER to call.

Owner of Hope Cakes Kenya based in Nairobi, Kenya

Advice from Wanjiku Mugo, founder of The Bakers’ Club. She’s the creator of one of the largest platforms in Kenya that helps bakers learn and connect with vendors and customers. She’s also a trainer.

Q. What advice would you give new bakers looking to take on orders that they are not sure they can handle yet?

A. Take time to fully practice your craft so you can be confident when called upon to deliver. Invest in your skill. Practice on your family cakes until you can comfortably execute what you intend to offer for sale. Tell the client the truth about your skill level. The client may still want to engage your services even if you have not handled a certain design before, or they may decide to change to one that you can comfortably execute.

Q. What 3 tips would you give to a new Baker in the industry when it comes to order taking and confirming orders?

A. Advertise only that which you can deliver.

Write down the order details accurately and ask for as much details from the client as needed. This includes design, type of icing, allergies if any, date and time of delivery/pick up.

Discuss other costs involved e.g. Delivery, toppers and other additions.

Q. Any advice on dealing with difficult customers?

A. Patiently listen to the client and get to understand what their expectations are. Do not be afraid of referring them elsewhere if you feel you cannot deliver to their expectations.

Q. Lesson you learned that you will never forget when it comes to customers and/or customer service that changed how you do business.

A. Over time I have learnt that everyone is an expert in their field. Your client may not know much about your cakes/products and may rely heavily on your advice and guidance. Be knowledgeable enough to advice and explain what it entails to deliver the kind of product they are looking for. Guide them through the order process and you will have an easy time delivering to their expectations and win yourself a repeat client.

I learnt from a Customer service workshop that “The client is not always right; but they have a right to be wrong”

Founder of The Bakers Club, largest forum in Kenya for Bakers to connect

Advice from Julius of Almasi Art who has been active in the Baking industry for more than 13 years.

Q. What advice would you give new bakers looking to take on orders that they are not sure they can handle yet?

A. Time is of the essence; as a new baker, if you have time to do the research or learn on a certain design that you haven’t done before or per customer’s specifications – well and good,you can go on and take the order. If you don’t have enough time or it’s a last minute order; please don’t take that order, it’s better you refer that customer to another baker rather than disappointing him /her and you end up regretting.

Q. What 3 tips would you give to a new Baker in the industry when it comes to order taking and confirming orders?

A. (a) Understand what your customer wants.
(b) Take all the necessary details from your customer
eg: design, flavor,colors, cake message etc.
(c) Ask for a deposit before you start baking.

Q. Any advice on dealing with difficult customers?

A. a) Keep calm
b) Don’t be rude
c) If the customer becomes more difficult for you, it’s better to cancel the order. Or you can return the cash if he/she had paid any amount.

Q. Lesson you learned that you will never forget when it comes to customers and/or customer service that changed how you do business.

A. The customer is not always right.

Owner of Almasi Art based in Nairobi, Kenya

Advice from Gacery of G.G’s Sweetthings; a cake artist who has been in the Bakery industry for over 8 years.

Q. What advice would you give new bakers looking to take on orders that they are not sure they can handle yet?

A. It’s alright to say No to a particular style of cake or technique that isn’t your forte. If it’s a cake design that can be executed with a medium you’re more familiar with e.g buttercream frosting, then offer that as an option. If it’s something you can’t do well, be confident enough to say “you’d hate to turn down the order, but it’s something you can’t execute” and if you do know a baker who can do the job well, refer them to that baker.

Q. What 3 tips would you give to a new Baker in the industry when it comes to order taking and confirming orders?

A. * – If you took the order over the phone, re-confirm the order via text message/Whatsapp with the cake flavor, size, type of decor(cream, fondant, edible print etc) * -If using Whatsapp or email, attach images of the sample pictures of what you intend to do so that everyone is on the same page
*-Always confirm the due date/date of their event

Q. Any advice on dealing with difficult customers?

A. Never lose your cool, don’t be rude if they’re rude to you.
Be clear and concise in your communication, be firm in what you’re trying to put across without being rude.

Q. Lesson you learned that you will never forget when it comes to customers and/or customer service that changed how you do business.

A. There are customers who are very ‘laissez faire’ (very easy going) and won’t fuss about small details, and there are those who are extremely particular. Learn to read your customers, don’t be lax in how you do your work because one isn’t as fussy as the other one…give your all to all your projects.
Remember your client’s name and refer to them using their name as much as you can, it goes a long way in building customer loyalty, don’t use pet names like “sweety” and “dear” it’s unprofessional.
After confirming an order, thank the client for the order, appreciation goes a long way.

Gaceri of G.G Sweetthings based in Nairobi, Kenya

Advice from Jojo Lydiah of Little Hands Bakehouse in Nakuru. She has been a rising star in the baking industry for over 5 years.

Q. What advice would you give new bakers looking to take on orders that they are not sure they can handle yet?

A. For new bakers, I would advice them to appropriately advice the clients on what they can do and what the cannot. In most occasions clients appreciate the truth and can give chances to execute what your comfortable with…but if they really need exactly what they have in mind. Then they can opt for another baker.

Q. What 3 tips would you give to a new Baker in the industry when it comes to order taking and confirming orders?

A. When confirming orders; get all details correct i.e. agreed cake design, cake flavour, number of kgs and total cost discussed and agreed on.
All this should be given in writing not only verbally.
Also make sure to get a down payment and balance to be paid before the cakes are dispatched.

Q. Any advice on dealing with difficult customers?

A. Understand them and also educate them on your company’s policies and systems, so then can follow them to make everyone’s work easier.

Q. Lesson you learned that you will never forget when it comes to customers and/or customer service that changed how you do business.

A. There’s a client who could not make payment and close a deal simply because she doesn’t trust online sellers and we didn’t have a Till where she could send the cash.
From there we had to acquire one, just in case another client asks for the same.

Jojo – Owner of Little hands Bakehouse based in Nakuru, Kenya

Advice from Emily Sakwa – Madete of Lylisa Cake House in Vihiga. A very talented baker who has been in the Baking industry for a number of years.

Q. What advice would you give new bakers looking to take on orders that they are not sure they can handle yet?

A. Before you take any cake order it is very important that you must be able to deliver in all aspects of what has been requested This is in regards to the cake’s finishing techniques, decorative finishes and type of cake requested by the client. This means as an upcoming baker you must practice and practice to ensure you have a wide variety of cake textures and finishes to choose from. Alternatively you could decide to specialize in a specific type of finishing which will become your trademark. If a client orders for a specific finish e.g. fondant and you are not proficient in it, you could always be truthful and tell them you are not very good in it and suggest an alternative finish. If the client accepts your suggestion, then you can do a finish you are comfortable with and deliver a good cake. My advice is; do not take an order you cannot handle because a disappointed client can bring your budding business down through bad reviews.

Q. What 3 tips would you give to a new Baker in the industry when it comes to order taking and confirming orders?

A. 1. Keep a ledger. For every order; indicate the date order was received and when it is due. Then clearly describe the type of cake in regards to flavor, finishes and decorative elements. This will act as a reminder when you are making the cake so that you do not have to call the client again. Have a column which indicates amount of deposit paid and another for pending balance.

2. When taking an order; ensure a deposit of at least 50 Percent of the cost of cake is paid. In case the client cancels the order when the cake is already baked this deposit will be forfeited to cover your costs. If it is cancelled in good time you could refund the client. Payment of deposit for the order confirms the order. 3. Ensure confirmation of an order is done in good time to ensure you can access all requirements/equipment needed for the cake without getting into a crisis. As a rule of thumb I ensure clients confirm at least 4 days before order is due. But the earlier they confirm the better.

Q. Any advice on dealing with difficult customers?

A. Always deal with clients in a professional manner. Do not become overly friendly. Greet them respectably and with a smile, listen keenly to their order, confirm if you can deliver on the order. If you cannot deliver on the order, be polite and decline. This way you do not give a client room to get angry with you when the cake is not as was expected. Avoid shouting matches or exchange of nasty phone texts. If you made a mistake, apologize. If you did not make the mistake, give the client time to vent and listen to why they are so angry. You could make a decision in future not to deal with the client again and even refer them to another reputable baker.

Q. Lesson you learned that you will never forget when it comes to customers and/or customer service that changed how you do business.

A. Apologizing sincerely when the cake order did not go right! If the client is not happy it definitely means that you the “baker” did not deliver to their expectation. I had a client who picked a cake from me and they left it under the hot sun for hours during the speeches before it was cut. Now in Nyanza/ Western Kenya where I am based, we can have temperatures soaring to about 40 Degrees Centigrade. This exposure to very high temperatures resulted in the cake crumbling during cutting. According to the client; they felt the cake was substandard. When they called me back; I listened, apologized and I refunded her 100 percent of the cost. I had not explained to her that the cake should not be placed in direct sun. (After that I made sure I added a clause in my client cake agreement explaining to clients how cake should be handled once it leaves my custody).

Emily of Lylisa Cakehouse based in Vihiga, Western Kenya

Advice from Bilhah of Keky Tamu, she’s been in the baking industry for over 8 years.

Q. What advice would you give new bakers looking to take on orders that they are not sure they can handle yet?

A. Be honest, if it’s not within your skill-set don’t take the order until you have done research. Research extensively until confident that you can do the cake. Once you have studied heavily do it afraid 😃, at times I’m never confident, but I still do it anyway. never stop learning.

Enroll for classes to better your skill. Practice practice practice.
Buy dummies and practice. Use your family and close friends birthdays to try out new things then offer them to clients once you feel you have executed it well. Get a baker you admire, ask them to critique what you do and where you need to grow don’t be afraid of negative criticism. Use it to grow.

Q. What 3 tips would you give to a new Baker in the industry when it comes to order taking and confirming orders?

A. Establish the flavours you’re offering to clients. Don’t be quick to do a flavour that you have never tried. Create a methodology on how to take orders. Create an FAQ to enable clients to order well.

Accounting, start book keeping early, it becomes a bit more challenging as your business grows. It will help you know if you’re making a profit or giving your cake for free.

Q. Any advice on dealing with difficult customers?

A. Sieve what you hear. At times the client is right when they give negative feedback, at times the client is wrong and wisdom dictates you either keep quiet and let the matter slide or in a kind manner educate the client on matters cake. Either way, God brings them to better us. It could be measures/principles that need to be implemented in the business, a skill as a baker one needs to grow in or a way to grow your intuition.

Q. Lesson you learned that you will never forget when it comes to customers and/or customer service that changed how you do business.

A. I don’t always agree that the client is right; but how one handles issues or difficulties is highly important. Be quick to admit mistakes you have done don’t be on the defensive. And in honor, if the client is wrong handle the issue amicably and honourably. Stand your ground, be principled. Some clients will push you to better you some to harm you. Be wise to decipher the two.
Have a confidant who can tell you the truth to your face even if it hurts.
Honour everyone, rich poor, young old. Everyone is important

Bilhah of Keky Tamu based in Nairobi, Kenya

Advice from Martha of Baked Art by Martha who has been in the Kenyan Baking industry for a number of years.

Q. What advice would you give new bakers looking to take on orders that they are not sure they can handle yet?

A. My advice would be – learn to say “no I cannot do it” and reach out to a fellow experienced baker. As you are passing the work over to them; you can kindly request to go watch as they work, so that next time you can try on your own. You can also give the client other frosting options that you are comfortable with and can handle stress free.

Q. What 3 tips would you give to a new Baker in the industry when it comes to order taking and confirming orders?

A.

  1. Be very clear on what the client wants , if possible let the request be written, chat, SMS or email
  2. Try as much as possible to replicate the design given or if you will give it your twist , let the client know in advance.
  3. Do your costing correctly before sending a quotation, there is nothing as bad as telling client to add money because you under quoted, you will give an unprofessional image.

Q. Any advice on dealing with difficult customers?

A. We meet them every day; first understand them, know their taste, and if that doesn’t work – you can always say no for a peace of mind. I say this because some clients will always see fault in your work even when you have tried your very best, they will come with unrealistic demands and will even make you have self doubt. Please release them politely.

Q. Lesson you learned that you will never forget when it comes to customers and/or customer service that changed how you do business.

A.

  1. Never compromise; don’t charge less to keep a client, charge what you’re worth.
    2. Have that personal touch – like remembering birthdays and calling them (your clients) for reminders.
  1. Once in a while; add an extra kg or topper to your loyal and regular client
  2. Nothing is free, let them know that from the get go especially tasters.
  3. If you wrong a client, apologize and do something to makeup don’t say ‘shauri yake’ – word of mouth is a very important marketing tool and one wrong move can make or break your business.
Martha of Baked Art by Martha based in Nairobi, Kenya

Advice from Ephantus of Ahava Cakes and events – who has been in the baking industry for over 6 years.

Q. What advice would you give new bakers looking to take on orders that they are not sure they can handle yet?

A. New bakers are always excited with new orders with is good and great. But when and how should they take orders of cakes recipes and designs they are not good at?

  • Always tell the client to give you time and you’ll get back to them on feedback, this will give you time to consult your mentor, trainer or baker friend how to go about that order.
  • If you are confident you can give it a shot; go ahead and make it. If not, kindly pass the order to another Baker who can deliver the kind of the cake the clients want and if possible let the client know it’s not you who is doing it, they will appreciate your honesty.
  • Always remember to charge correctly, take all information from the client including colors, delivery dates and location so that your co-baker doesn’t make mistakes.
  • Bottom line: Remember the client doesn’t care that you are a new baker. They want value for what they are paying for.

Q. What 3 tips would you give to a new Baker in the industry when it comes to order taking and confirming orders?

A.

  • Educate your client.
  • Take all necessary information about the cakes order as possible and note then down.
  • Price well.
  • Be confident and assure the client that you will deliver.

Q. Any advice on dealing with difficult customers?

A. No customer is difficult
No customer is right
No customer is wrong

  • A customer will seem “difficult” when you have not or you did not get all information about their cakes orde or when there was no clear understanding of what the client really needs or wanted. This will make the client seem difficult.
    Always educate your client, gather all necessary information and re-confirm in case of doubts. Be honest, price well, decline the order if you are short of time or you can’t deliver at that price.

Q. Lesson you learned that you will never forget when it comes to customers and/or customer service that changed how you do business.

A. No customer if difficult
No customer is always right
No customer is wrong

It’s important to always respect and appreciate every customer that calls or comes to you for a cake order. One of the greatest lessons I have learned, is to always look forward to educate your customer about the services you offer and different types of cake recipes you have with their different prices. This way, I have always seen customers appreciate and know they are valued at Ahava. I have met many customers who think cakes are only vanilla – flavored; after having a talk, they have a bigger perspective about cakes and they discover they have a broad variety to choose from.
Another great thing; is client feedback – whenever possible I text a client to inquire how their event went.. in the process I get to know about the cake we delivered to them. We get either positive or negative feedback which helps us to improve our services or products. Where apologies are required we give without hesitation.

Ephantus of Ahava based in Nairobi, Kenya

Advice from Vivian of Bakers Bounty Cakes who has been a baker for more than 9 years.

Q. What advice would you give new bakers looking to take on orders that they are not sure they can handle yet?

A. Don’t. Bite more than you can chew ! Be honest with your client and try convince them to consider an alternative (stick to what your good at) or have a mentor baker help with the cake order at a fee.

Q. What 3 tips would you give to a new Baker in the industry when it comes to order taking and confirming orders?

A. Learn to price right – don’t under value your skill Get all (order) details plus at least 50% deposit, and know your limits (don’t bake yourself to fatigue) Don’t be bullied into giving discounts.

Q. Any advice on dealing with difficult customers?

A. Swallow your fear and talk to a client directly , do not get into fights on social media . Create a policy on returns and refunds and stick to it.

Q. Lesson you learned that you will never forget when it comes to customers and/or customer service that changed how you do business.

A. Bridezillas / cakezillas can make or break your business , learn to sniff them out and manage them. Do not be driven by money but customer satisfaction.

A great big thank you to the bakers above who took their time to participate in this effort, much appreciated.

If you are a baker doing business, please heed the advice given above; it is truly invaluable. Share this post with a baker or even a new food business owner that you know will learn so much from this. If you have advice you want to add on below, please feel free and if you have a challenge you have encountered , feel free to share below as well.

If you’re looking for resources and information on baking for business; please check here.

October Online Baking and Decoration Amari Classes

As our September online classes come to an end, we’re doing an intake for our October classes. For those who have signed up for our online classes and are truly committed; we’ve had success with them as they watch the videos and practice what they learn.

In October; we will be offering five 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 (Call/SMS/Whatsapp: Monday to Saturday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

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 taught: Vanilla Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Cake, Red Velvet Cake, Fruit 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 layer cakes and decorate cakes with height, How to decorate borders and write on cake, how to decorate using edible print. 

Dates: October 1st to 16thdeadline to pay is October 5th Cost of online class is Kshs. 1,000

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, Fondant Icing and Whipped Ganache.  Decorations/Topics Covered: How to make and decorate using buttercream frosting. How to decorate using two frostings that can be used as a crumb-coat for fondant.  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: October 5th to 18th, 2020. Deadline to pay is October 9th. Cost of this online class is Kshs. 1,000

Basic Cookies, Breads and Puff pastry 2-week Class. In this class you will learn to bake 3 types of cookies, 5 types of yeast pastries  and Puff pastry dough. This is a beginner level class.  Cookies covered: Chocolate chip cookies, Sugar cookies & Butter-scotch Cookies. Yeast pastries: Home-made bread, Dinner rolls, Yellow scones, Fried yeast donuts and Burger buns.  How to make Puff pastry dough and two types of puff pastry products: Sausage rolls and Meat Pies.

Dates: October 5th to 18th, 2020. Deadline to pay is October 9th. Cost of online class is Kshs. 1,000

3-week Online Wedding Cakes Class. In this class you will learn how to decorate two Wedding cake designs. How to take a wedding cake order, cost and price a wedding cake and how to give a quotation. Wedding cake contracts and consultations. Frostings covered: Whipped Ganache, Buttercream frosting, Gum paste and Fondant Icing. Concepts learned: Doweling: How to stack a 2-tier cake and how to stack a 3 tier cake. How to make edible fabric, sugar lace and use stencils on cake. 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: October 12th to 31st. Cost of this online class is Kshs. 1,500. Deadline to book and join is October 17th

Sponge cakes and Whipped Cream Online 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: October 16th to 31st; deadline to pay is October 20th Cost of online class is Kshs. 1,000

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

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

Amari Online classes for the month of September 2020

As promised; we’ll be holding our online classes every month until the end of the year. For those who have signed up for our online classes and are truly committed; we’ve had success with them as they watch the videos and practice what they learn.

We’re currently doing an intake for our September online classes. We will be offering five 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 (Call/SMS/Whatsapp: Monday to Saturday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

Online class details below:

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 taught: 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: September 1st to 15th The class will start September 1st 2020 and will end September 15th 2020, deadline to pay is September 5th Cost of online class is Kshs. 1,000

2-week Custom cakes Decoration Only  Class. In this class you will learn how to decorate three custom cakes: Kiondo cake, African Pot and Jiko cake.

Frostings covered: Whipped Ganache, Buttercream frosting and Fondant Icing. Concepts learned: How to carve and decorate a 3-D design of these cakes: Jiko, Kiondo and African Pot. 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: September 1st to 15th, 2020. Deadline to pay is September 5th. Cost of this online class is Kshs. 1,000

Basic Cookies, Yeast and Puff pastries 2-week  Class. In this class you will learn to bake 3 types of cookies, 5 types of yeast pastries, Croissants and Puff pastry dough. This is a beginner level class. Cookies covered: Chocolate chip cookies, Sugar cookies & Butter-scotch Cookies. Yeast pastries: Home-made bread, Dinner rolls, Yellow scones, Fried yeast donuts and Burger buns.  How to make Croissants, Puff pastry dough and two types of puff pastry products: Sausage rolls and Meat Pies. Dates: September 10th to 24th. The class will start September 10th, 2020 and will end September 24th, 2020; deadline to pay is September 13th  Cost of online class is Kshs. 1,000

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 taught: 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: September 16th to 30th. The class will start September 16th 2020 and will end September 30th, 2020; deadline to pay is September 20th  Cost of online class is Kshs. 1,000

Intermediate Decoration 2-week 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, fill 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 pipe buttercream flowers. How to panel a fondant cake. How to make 2 types of sugar flowers. How to practice writing cursive on cake. Dates: September 10th to 24th. Deadline to book this class is September 13th. Cost of this online class is Kshs. 1,000

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

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

Why You Need to Register a Business Name for Your Baking Business in Kenya

Hi everyone; short post today on why it’s important to at least register a business name when you start baking for business.

First reason;

  • To own your own identity and brand. By making sure you’ve registered a business name, this means nobody else can actually use that business name and it belongs only to you.
Own your own brand

Second reason;

  • To run a legal business
  • If you’re baking for business, you need to do it legally, meaning you need to have a registered business name.

Third reason;

  • To make sure your business name is original
  • If you start a business using a name you haven’t registered, you might find somebody else using that same name later on.

If you would like to register your business name; you can go through the process online: visit ecitizen.go.ke to get started.

I hope this post has shared some helpful insight, if you have questions on the above topic – please comment below.

Make sure to share this post with someone you know who may benefit from it. Sharing is caring ^_^

6 Pricing Strategies You Can Use When Pricing Your Baked Products

Bakers and Bakerettes; especially those just getting into the baking industry or looking to start seriously baking for business in order to earn some income; struggle with how to cost their products correctly.

In this post; I wanna share the various types of pricing methods, why you need them and factors to consider while you’re pricing. This will be helpful to you especially if you’ve been able to cost your baked products; but you’re unsure on how to price and what you should consider while doing so.

Premium Pricing

  • This refers to costing a product at a high price due to its high quality.
  • This strategy is used for luxury custom and/or wedding cakes that are usually packaged really well. Or other high quality and artisan baked products.
  • The target market is usually consumers looking for good quality, who aren’t worried about budget.
Chiffon cakes by Amari – this is our premium priced brand for cakes

Penetration Pricing

  • This refers to when you enter the market with a really low price that you will later increase.
  • It’s a good strategy when you’re new in the baking industry and want to penetrate the market quickly.
  • You need to make sure that you inform your customers – that the price you’re selling at is a discount or sale price and that it’s going to increase later.

Economy Pricing

  • This strategy is used for low-budget, fast-moving products like breads, cookies and commercial cupcakes/queen-cakes.
  • If your target market is low-budget, you can offer them fast-moving products at a low price.
  • In order to make a profit, you have to mass produce, keep your costs low and make a lot of daily sales.

Price Skimming

  • This is when you’re introducing a new product (or technique) into the industry; pricing it really, really high and then as it gets saturated in the market, your price comes down.
  • This strategy is used for products that the industry has never heard or seen, which is rare in the baking industry. Though it works very well on new decoration techniques and styles/designs in the cake decorating industry.
New designs or techniques can use the Price Skimming method

Bonus pricing strategies  that should be used in conjunction with the above:

Psychological Pricing

  • Refers to using numbers to psychologically affect your client’s decision to purchase e.g. Ksh.999 instead of Ksh.1000.
  • The aim is to attract customers by making it look as if that product is actually cheaper than it really is.

Promotional Pricing

  • This is when you offer discount pricing during a certain season, such as Valentine’s Day and other holidays, or for specific products, such as BOGO (Buy One, Get One half off).
  • This strategy should be used often in your business, at different times of the year.

Importance of Choosing the Right Pricing Strategy

  1. You’re able to price well for your target market
  2. Attracting the right clients in the right niche will help you make sales. Examples: Using the economy pricing strategy for your luxury cakes will make your target market wonder why they’re so cheap. The premium pricing strategy can’t work for a low-budget target market that can’t afford highly priced products.
  3. Ensures you’re pricing for profit – you’ll have a profitable business.
  4. Using the wrong pricing strategy means you might not be making any profit.
  5. It ensures that you know your niche; this enables you to choose the right pricing strategy and price your products in a way that helps you make a profit.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Pricing Strategy
  • What type of business do you have? e.g. Do you only bake when you have an order?
  • Are you a luxury brand? Do you offer custom cakes that are really high quality?
  • Are you a high volume bakery? Do you bake a lot of products/Pastries daily and sell to people?

You need to know what kind of bakery business set-up you have, in order to know how you will price.

I hope the above information has been helpful to you. If you struggle with costing and pricing, please reach out to us. We offer free online costing classes and we also have a Pricing E-book you can purchase.

So I’m curious , are you a baker who’s doing business? Have you priced and costed your products? Are you struggling with pricing? Please share below.