Baking has always been a passion of mine from a young age, but it wasn’t the natural career path along my journey. You could say I chose to ignore it because it wasn’t a fancy job or the normal corporate position one was expected to acquire upon graduation. I started N’ticing Cakes in 2013 and specialize in making custom Wedding Cakes, cakes for all occasions and desserts. It hasn’t been an easy journey, but I wouldn’t change it for the world!
While most people use their vents as a way to warm their homes, this 6 year old found a way to turn it into an oven. Let me back it up a bit and put that into context. Being an only child in a Tamil family is a rare occurrence but this is my reality. As a child, I found myself having to find ways to entertain myself when I wasn't around friends or family.
I guess my creativity started young as I recall digging through our family closets and finding an old film roll container (the black and grey ones). I would take this film roll container, fill it up with flour and mix in some water and any other ingredients I could find. I even went the extra mile and took some food colouring to turn the "cake dough" into a pretty colour. I would then put this container over the vent and just watch. Obviously, because that’s the best way to bake something when you aren’t allowed to use a real oven. I knew this wasn’t real baking and I didn’t think that I was baking an actual cake but it was the closest I could get to the process being so young. I also really enjoyed it. I also found a way to do this when my parents weren’t around and I still don’t think my parents know I did this until this day.
Fast forward a couple years to what I can confidently say was the BEST Christmas ever! My uncle, whom I will always be grateful to for doing this, got me my very first Easy Bake Oven. It was a DREAM come true! I remember that I opened it up that night and made my dad find me the brightest light bulb so that I could bake everyone a treat right then and there. Well, I guess you can say not much has changed!
After hearing that story, you would think that I would have always pursued baking. Unfortunately, I fell into the typical Tamil path that requires going to university, getting a degree and working a corporate job, which had nothing to do with baking! In 2013, I decided to make my own engagement cake. The owner of the hall loved it so much, he asked me to make it into an artificial version for him so that he could use it for other couples. That got me thinking, maybe I can turn baking into a career after all. After years of just working the boring 9-5, I finally got the courage to start my own business on the side.
The name we came up with was N'ticing Cakes (pronounced as enticing – shout out to my husband for thinking of the name). I finally got the courage to start taking orders in 2013 and being completely self-taught, I was hesitant but knew that I had what it took to make the business successful. Slowly but surely, business started picking up and the positive feedback I was getting from my clients was just unbelievable. However, at this time my husband and I decided to get married. I just couldn’t find the time to work full time, plan a wedding and take orders, all at the same time. I did however manage to make my own wedding cake and my entire dessert table (Yes, I am crazy but it was totally worth it).
So, I told myself I would take a 6 month break until life settled down. Sadly, those 6 months turned into about 2 years due to the struggles of real life. Sitting on the sidelines, while I watched those around me continue to do what I also loved to do, eventually took a toll on me. I would occasionally check my page (@nticingcakes) and continued to receive emails for order. Naturally, since I wasn’t taking any orders, I lost a lot of my clients.
This really broke my heart. Thankfully, I had the support of my amazing husband who is a huge believer in following your passion. He told me to "stop overthinking" and just start again. So, I took that leap of faith again just 5 months ago! I was discouraged at first as I wasn’t getting requests the same way that I was used to. However, my patience has paid off. Now, I am so grateful for all the requests that I'm getting and even those that I sometimes can’t keep up with. I still work full time (the struggle is real) and work on cakes every last minute that I have. Whether it is personalizing every inquiry I get, spending time collaborating on ideas with my clients and just going the extra mile - I've been pouring my heart and soul into this company.
In these short 5 months, I have had the amazing opportunity to complete an order for Andy Curnew, a well-known Canadian philanthropist and Jeremy Bieber (yes, Justin Bieber’s dad!) for their joint annual party. I have supported a few initiatives including ShowHer (a charity drive for mothers and children in need) and most recently the TYO’s 2017 Killithatu tournament by being their silver sponsor.
Last year, I was lucky enough to see my favorite Tamil actor speak, Madhavan. (Who by the way is just as beautiful in person and he shook my hand, AHH!) That day, he said he never tried to get into acting but through completing some acts of good deads, brought upon other opportunities and led him in the right direction. Keeping that in mind, I too often try to do good and give back as much as I can. I am working on starting my own Not-For-Profit organization, called “Scraps For Love”. (More to come on this maybe in another article!)
I guess some of you may be wondering, so what’s the point of this article? I am just an average girl, who has big dreams with obstacles like everyone else, but still decided to follow my heart and took a risk to start this venture. I easily work a minimum of 15-18 hours a day between making cakes and my day job and sometimes look and feel like a zombie. But, I know that at the end of the day that I gave it my all and I am following my heart! The overwhelming feedback I get from my clients makes every minute of hard work totally worth it. Eventually, the goal would be to only work hard for myself. I have a very long way to go to achieve my end goals, but I always remember that every step taken (big or small) is one taken in the right direction. I’m hoping that someone reading this who may be on the fence about following their heart or taking that risk, is inspired to take that step because a year or two from now, you’ll be wishing you did – you have nothing to lose!
OH, and try my cakes and treats if you haven’t already, I promise you won’t regret it! You will be enticed with every bite!