NEW BAKING KID IN THE BLOCK
NEW BAKING KID IN THE BLOCK
Self –taught baker Johra Salmin is known as the cake diva in Coast, vibrant straight talking young woman, believes that a cake is a form of art, as she loves and enjoys into designing pieces of art driven by her creative energy.
The cake diva is one of a few women to find success in the baking industry, like Johra decided to take her passion for cooking and baking and make money from it.
Her skills and personal styles creating simple elegant cakes with a touch of glamour, as she believes that there are no rules in terms of baking.
Johra Kenyan / Canadian , who used to live in Canada for 10 years decided to come back home and share her skills in this industry, she has also taken the advantage of social media to market her services through an active Instragam page where she post cakes that she has made and interacts directly with different clients.
As I visited Johra at her baking school in Mombasa for an interview, Johra explained to me, that when a person has the desire to start up a business as an entrepreneur he or she should keep in mind that the first year of the business should be more of marketing, branding, investing of the business, returns or rather saying making of the profits should give it as a second year phase.
‘cake decorating is an art that keeps stretching your imagination, and as Entrepreneur one should not have that fear or the verge of giving up when starting up a new business , as we know change is usually slow’. She added.
Entrepreneur living in Coast should never get discourage as we know opening a business in Mombasa it’s quite difficult for a person to succeed compared to other parts of the County, she added.
After been a home baker for quite a long time Johra decided to come up with her own bakery school, where people can learn the art of cake baking and decoration.
Cake Emporium College of Confectionery arts was born a very high tech institution very innovative when its comes to the latest trends of baking and cake decoration in Coast, when it comes to bakery. Johra as the Founder and a director.
The baking school that is located in town opposite Tusky bandary at KT building has grown very first, enrolling students, lot of students during holidays do apply in bakery classes.
She started with a group of 50 students from skills Mitaani a project funded by the NG- CDF Mvita Constituency ,and later she started teaching small private groups of 2 to 5 students.
‘its gives me some sought of satisfaction it’s like a form of reward when my students gain knowledge and are transformed’. She said.
Johra also have different project under the school, like the monthly work shop ,every last of the Saturday of every month she conducts workshops ; holiday workshop for kids on different activities, charity based program and happy treats donations to the community that have challenge background.
When you start a baking school, there are few things that a person’s needs capital baking equipments, the target market, license, she added.
She explain it was a bumping ride, and very new in this industry, am just six months old since I open it this year, I was not sure of the grounds I was laying but from the increased number of clients and students, I was assured I have made the right investment.
The set up of the school is highly equipped curriculum are four bits a day part time classes 3 hours ,morning, mid morning ,noon and evening classes.
She added that price of cakes are high because they are prime and time consuming, the lowest cake usually goes for 50 thousand Kenyan shillings.
Johra has also organize a big event on September a 2 day event 15th and 16th , the Bakery Expo, a very first time event to happen in Mombasa ,the idea is to bring together all the bakers in one platform from cooperate companies to small business ,home bakers, the local bakeries, hoteliers.
The theme of the event is Africa jellwery and fashion, where by models on the runway will dressed the Africa attire and holding cakes that are design from it, this is to promote the local talents.
The event will also include a live demo on stage and every individual exhibitor they are going to do their own personal demos. and be awarded prices on different categories, number one to number three winners will be awarded free sugar flower training in her institution. Urging everyone to parctipate.
Apart from the reward there going to be other amazing gifts like stand mixers, blenders, and some cake accessories.
Johra added that the event is also trying to link the bakers with correct clients to buy their products as we know most of the products in the baking industry are from Nairobi.
The bakery industry in Mombasa it’s still down ‘’we must come up with new ideas creativity.’’ Johra added. She believe the expo will be a turning point for the baking industry as it will give the bakers exposure and suppliers, and it will inspire other students, who will want to venture into this business.
As one ventures into the baking industry its gives someone the opportunity to be their own boss by starting up their own bakery, as we know unemployment it’s very high in Mombasa County.
As an entrepreneur you have to be on your tools it’s always advisable to participant in different events, Brides and beyond expo event gave Johra exposure to build her brand, as she won the best décor booth during the exhibition.
As a member of different bakers whatups groups on social media, Johra acknowledge of the amazing talents of the bakers in Mombasa, adding that all they need is polishing these skills by joining training baking schools.
Adding that in Mombasa we have a lot of home bakers and they should try to create networks and clients, and some sale cakes at a very low price advising them they should not lower their standards just because the industry is very competitive to attract people.
A lot of students especially youth are interested in baking courses but the challenge is they lack school fees, urging the Government to intervene and support the youth through bursary funds,
Johra added as a baker they face challenges ,like it’s very hard to source some of the ingredients in Mombasa some few examples the gluten flour , fresh whipping cream, the same reason when clients order cakes we request them to give us at least three days to source out this ingredients.
Johra future plan is to open a branch in Nairobi because some of her social media fans have been asking every time now and then to open another branch in Nairobi.
Johra role models is Lori Hutchinson (the caktress Lori) Canadian and Ron-Ben Israel cakes based in New York city. Johra schooled at Bonniegordon College a baking school in Canada and McCall’s school of cake decoration in Canada.