Have you had a cupcake today? Shitija Nahata reveals the secret behind the success of ‘The Cupcake Company’. PAYAL CHHABRIA
As you step into the latest baking destination, you will witness a plethora of cakes seated briskly on subtle trays that are divinely white, complementing the sparkling white walls within its premises. However, these cakes are concise and the mistress, Shitija Nahata, has appropriately housed them in what she calls *The Cupcake Company’. Yes, mistress because she has the ultimate control over them. She straightens them with a bit and bridle as much as she moulds them exactly, with waves of intense affection.
After a tiresome journey through three jobs at British Airways, The Taj and The Hyatt, Shitija discovered that it was time she pursued her passions. That was also around the time when wedding bells were ringing. Shitija says, “I always enjoyed the process of baking. Once I got married, I started baking in full swing. Eventually at one point, I wanted to pursue it further. I began a facebook page where I uploaded pictures of my cakes. Someone liked them and connected me with the owners of Amethyst. But then I realised, I did not want to sell under another brand name and well, that’s how ‘The Cupcake Company’ mushroomed.” And since its inception in October 2011, it has become popular thanks to its fluffiness and frosting. They have set up shop in three areas - St. Mary’s Road, Gopalapuram and Anna Nagar.
Alongside cupcakes, the establishment is also involved in the customization of cakes. Shitija reveals, “I’m self-taught; it took me one-and-a-half years to perfect the art. To customise, you need to be an expert.” Special occasions bring with them a platter of specialised cakes. Christmas, Easter, Diwali and Valentine’s Day, saw fascinating line ups of appropriate cakes. Their recipes have undergone several rounds of improvisation that she credits to her mother, who she claims is also an avid baker. All of their products are made naturally without the addition of any preservatives. Making the most of the season, they have recently included a bunch of cold beverages, to their offering. They have built acquired a regular clientele over the months, but Shitija insists that they thrive on the new walk-ins because she believes that, that’s where significant feedback stems from, which in turn leads to quality control. The businesswoman that Shijita is, she says, “Today everyone is aware of what they want. People are specific and aware of quality. So it’s important to work on all aspects.”
She has incorporated her previously acquired work experience to fabricate a retail chain. However, she insists, “We did not want this to be a cafe. It’s not a great idea to generalise, when you are trying to push a particular product. However, we would like to include beverages (coffees, specifically) and some more bakery options like breads, at some point.” This does not mean that they are content. They will be working on setting up retails stores at other cities as well. When you stand before a platter of these perfectly put together cupcakes to analyse your options, their vibrant hues are certain to captivate you, but their names – Death By Chocolate, Pink Panther, Lady In Red —will probably enhance the temptation and lure you into grabbing a couple of them. Like a teacher, who finds it a task to make a preference among her bunch, Shitija reluctantly adds, “’The Red Velvet’, is special.”
Payal is a II Year M.A. Communication student at MOP Vaishnav College for Women.
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