What did you want to be as a child? Rather was there something you really loved and enjoyed doing? Who you’ll be or what you choose as a profession, comes to you in your childhood, somewhere as you are growing up. It comes to you at a moment you don’t expect it and you neither know it’s a future you should choose. Come to think it, would you take it up, would you leave everything you do now to follow a dream? Here is a person, who chose to do what she always loved to it, Sandhya Sureshkumar. A MBA Baker who is set to make a mark in the baking world.
I met Sandhya a year or so back, through one of my best friend Amulya. Still remember the first time I heard about her, rather about her cupcakes. 🙂 We met in Amulya’s bachelorette and I really felt a connection. Am unsure if she did ;), but it was her sweet little smile and the big heart of sweetness that drew me to her. I never thought we would end up being friends. We did and am glad.
Sandhya amused me and also feel awe, for her was an MBA girl out to do a Diploma In Baking Science. More so, I secretly cheered her as she followed her passion. I am a propagator of ‘the need to follow passions and dreams’. I believe you should follow and do what you really enjoy, because you’ll for sure end up doing great.
Sandhya – An Inspirasi Indeed
The interview had to start off with, how did this happen, when did the baking bug bite her. To which she says, “I was working as an HR after I finished my MBA. Due to some problems in my personal life, I was going through depression. I didn’t feel like working in an IT company anymore.”To which I wonder, is it that only when we know what we don’t want to do, we end up discovering what we really do want to do. What do you think?
Continuing, she adds “Baking is something which I’ve always loved. Before I used to bake for fun and it has been a stress buster, so I started baking to get over my depression. It made me feel better every day. I wanted to perfect my baking skills. That’s why I did a diploma course in Pastry Arts and Baking Science. After the course, I worked as an intern in professional kitchen. Now, I’m working as a Pastry Chef and also managing a café.”
Isn’t she an inspiration? Taking a step to do something about a life you don’t like – sadness, depression and even the job, needs courage, because you are choosing to feel better, to be happy and leave the negatives behind. All you need to do is take a step and the world will be at your feet.
Let’s Talk More Baking
I love desserts and invariably want to learn to make them. The first cake I ever made was a disaster. But I still ate it.(Yes I know some serious commitment to desserts. lol). So I was curious to know what was Sandhya’s first bake, ” I baked a chocolate walnut cake with my friend when I was in high school.” She sure had the magic hands from the start. 🙂
So what would make a baker really happy. Making them of course. Sandhya agrees and adds in ” Many customers come up to me after tasting my desserts and give compliments. Some of them even write good reviews about my desserts on Zomato. That’s when my happiness is at it’s peak.”
Sandhya bakes some pretty badass stuff. She also has her own brand, The Cupcake Swag. She takes up orders for cupcakes, birthday cakes and bakes some drool worthy desserts. Here are some of them for you to droll over,
Being a wannabe baker, I had to ask her to share a simple recipe that I or any novice baker could try. “Pound Cake is the easiest to bake”, chimes Sandhya. Here is the recipe for you to try it!
Struggle of Being A Baker & Was MBA a Mistake
When you decide to follow your passion, it will not always mean that you are equipped to just go with it. It sure is something you like to do, but may not really be completely skilled in it. More so, the more you push yourself, the better you get at it. Talking about her journey of becoming a baker, Sandhya points out, ” It sounds cool to join a pastry school but it’s rigorous to learn so many desserts in the span of five months. The Chef Trainers are from hotel management background and their expectations from you are high even if you know nothing about baking. If you’re not a quick learner, you get insulted which is very common in professional kitchen. That was the phase when I was trying to get over my depression. My mind was not at its best and I was learning at a slow pace. I somehow managed to pass the exam and got my diploma certificate.”
Next came, what next question, “After I finished my baking course, I had two options- I could either get back to my HR job in IT company or continue to practice baking. I chose the latter because it was more exciting and challenging. Was good enough at baking, I just needed more practice. So, I focused a lot on baking and practiced hard. I gradually got over my depression and became a better baker.” says Sandhya. We know where her hardwork has taken her now.
A question I could not stop myself from asking, if she regretted doing MBA and wished she knew, Baking is what she wanted to do. To which she said, ” I’m managing a café right now. I handle the accounts, supervise my staff, keep a check on inventory, interact with vendors, share a good rapport with my customers and I also bake for the cafe. My MBA definitely helps me here. I only regret not taking up baking more seriously when I was a teenager. If I had started baking much earlier, I could’ve achieved a lot by now.”
Her Support System
Taking a step to follow your dreams is a tough one. You know why? Because having studied something else and taking a dive into something you love, is scary and the society will give you a tough time on it. I was inquisitive to know how her friends and family reacted to her wanting to be a professional baker. Frankly, it’s how your loved one’s react that sort of makes or breaks you.
Sandhya sure a lucky one, “My family and friends were happy that I’ve completely become a new person after I took up baking as my career option. In fact, they are the ones who encouraged me to become a Pastry Chef!”, she says and I can almost hear a smile as she feels the powerful backbone of her friends and family.
I would like to take a moment to applaud her friends and family, for being that strength into pushing her taking up a chance at her passion. You guys made a dream flow by to it’s home, up high in there.
A Little More Chit Chat
Talking about why you should follow your dreams,
Sandhya says “Following your dreams is as important as icing on the cake. You should do it because it makes the cake tastier!” Cannot agree more on this. 🙂
Me being a feminist, end up asking everyone about whether they are one. Sandhya added a bit sarcastically, “I’m not at all a feminist. I enjoy the privileges of being a woman- free entry into clubs and free drinks at Ladies Nights.” I have to tell you, I missed the sarcasm and went all gaga to her. Am guilty about it and should stop being soo touchy about it. (Like the husband keeps saying ;))
On a serious note, I asked her what would she want to say to the ‘so-called society’ and in the classic Sandhya style, she chimed ” Eat more desserts!” You can’t help but smile reading it right? 🙂
Wondering, where she is headed too? “I’m currently researching venues to start my own business.” , An obvious next step for Chef Sandhya. Wishing her all the luck and success in everything she chooses to do. 🙂
Lets Wrap it Up
Following your dreams and passions, makes you more alive than anything else can ever. Do you remember as a kid, what playing, eating chocolates and spending endless time outside felt? That’s exactly how you will feel when you what you love. I adore people who choose to do what they love, no matter the time when they do it. The happiness and contentment you’ll have is inexpressible. 🙂
Thank you Sandhya for sharing your story. You sure will inspire many more to follow their heart. Love you girl!<3
For everyone who is wondering what to do next, check out The Cupcake Swag Facebook page and order in some cupcakes for yourself. Also hear to that little voice in your heart, that is saying something to you leading you to your dream. You can order at firstname.lastname@example.org
Loved the interview. Comment below and let me know what you thought. Also send a lotta love to Sandhya.
You can read the other interviews here for more inspiration.