Bau Rd in Tailevu, with all its simplicity, farmland and laid back lifestyle, is not where you would expect to find a cake and bakery business. But Artika and Sam Chand are proof that when the heart wants it, the possibilities become endless.
The husband and wife team operate a small, ever-growing baking business from their home in Kuku.
It all started when COVID-19 hit the world and Artika, a pastry chef, learned that she had been made redundant. “I was not the only one but I was still worried,” she says.
“I had worked hard for more than 15 years and suddenly I found myself without a job. It was a terrible moment. »
But between her acute disappointment and her discovery of how to spend time at home, she quickly found her muse: baking. Before the pandemic, she had worked in the Cook Islands and various western resorts, on the back of her certificates in commercial cooking, baking and pastry. While baking isn’t a new frontier, running it as a business was strange territory for the 36-year-old.
“Relatives and friends were coming home during the pandemic and I was baking them muffins and cakes to share over tea or coffee.”
“Their feedback was overwhelming, so my husband and I decided to try selling cakes at home.”
After a few social media promotions and a few custom orders, the couple knew there was no turning back.
“Actually, I’ve always dreamed of one day opening my own pastry shop,” says Artika.
“I just didn’t know when. Once we realized we had a clientele, we knew the time was right.
Now, a few years after the crisis, Chand’s Cakes & Pastry is enticing baking lovers in the Suva-Nausori Corridor, and beyond, with cakes for all occasions – from weddings and anniversaries to birthdays and festive events.
“We make cakes for all occasions,” says Artika.
“We know that the prices of certain cakes can be very high. With the recent rise in food and fuel prices, they have all hit the ceiling. That’s why we try to be reasonable with our prices.
Tiramisu, cheesecakes, black and white forests, mousse cake, cakes and any other mouth-watering pastries you can think of, can be made according to your budget.
Husband, Sam was a taxi driver, so after the couple transitioned into the cake business, he took over delivery work.
The couple do free home deliveries based on expense and location. The busiest time of the week is between Thursday and Sunday, so it’s important to place orders in advance.
“On a very busy day like Saturday, we start work on Friday and continue until Saturday morning,” Sam explains.
“Sundays are also busy as many families order cakes for lunch desserts and want them delivered right after church.”
As business unfolds and Artika continues to learn her business, the couple are in planning mode. And a café and a pastry shop loom on the horizon.
“Part of our expansion plan is to open a cafe in the city where we would sell cakes and take orders,” says Artika.
“I believe nothing can stop you if you think about it and work hard.”
As a piece of advice for young and budding female entrepreneurs, she says to trust your instincts.
“Just believe in yourself, keep trying and don’t lose hope,” she adds.
“Some people will envy you and try to put you down, but don’t focus on them.”
“There are always family and friends who can support and encourage you. Focus on your goal and you will be fine.
Sam’s Cakes & Pastries also offers gift baskets for special occasions such as Father’s and Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, Easter, and more.
They have a variety of cake designs to choose from and also do custom designs. Like many startups, Sam’s Cakes and Pastry has its beginnings.
The business needs adequate refrigeration and better access to cooking utensils. But the Chands seem to be survivors.
They may be new kids to the neighborhood, but with ambition and drive, nothing will stop them.
- Contact Name: Sam’s Cakes and Pastry
- Location: Kuku, Bau Road, Nausori
- Mobile: 9147911/7244203
- Email: [email protected]