Diya Jojan’s cupcake bouquets have travelled across India. Such is the demand for these tasty treats that are no less beautiful than a bouquet of real flowers. Her cakes are scrumptious to taste and works of art to look at. Her prowess as a baking artist is unmatched. Proof: A massive 4 feet by 4 feet cake for a fairytale themed wedding. And it’s all her, no fancy equipment, no hi-tech kitchen. She says, “More than the equipment, your skill and talent will take you the distance.”
More than the equipment, your skill and talent will take you the distance.”
Diya’s journey as a baker began at age 9, when she made her first cake with her grandmother. But, it was more a hobby, than a serious career consideration. While she had been baking for orphanages since 10th grade, and then old age homes, it was only in April 2015 did she take on baking as a full-time profession. Recalling fondly the experience that inspired her, she says, “With one cake I made all the residents smile and it motivated me to start. I wasn’t only doing something that I loved, I was making someone else happy as well.” Reflecting this thought, she describes her baking company The Sugar Therapy as ‘happiness for sure’.
Quality and consistency being her USP, Diya only uses the very best ingredients. Her usage of butter and not margarine, Belgian dark chocolate instead of milk solids or flavours which aren’t pure chocolate, and imported colours, is what makes every item she bakes rich in taste. Additionally, she puts in a lot of time into every cake, a minimum of 5-6 hours!
While Diya’s popularity as a baker has been steadily growing, there are hardships that come as part of the job. She says, “It is a very stressful job since a lot of time and effort is needed, and customers keep changing their minds. Till the cake is delivered I am worried, since during delivery if anything happens to the cake, they are going to blame me.” Dealing with those who look down upon her profession is one of the more personal challenges that she has to encounter. But Diya plods on, encouraged by the feedback and appreciation received from her customers.
Her talent and fame hasn’t gone unnoticed. She was part of an under-25 entrepreneur summit recently held in Bangalore where she shared her experiences during the segment ‘Emerging Bakers Panel’.
Drawing inspiration from herself 10 years from now, Diya is working on the business plan for a commercial kitchen she would like to open; and from there, eventually a store.
Having experienced it herself, Diya advises, “You need to be patient. People won’t know you are until and unless you have a name in the market. It takes time, and once you build your name, don’t be over confident. Be consistent with your work, and don’t let that passion die.”
There is no substitute for hard work and Diya Jojan proves that. But when you are doing what you love, it’s less work and more fun.