GUEST FEATURE: HOW TO PURSUE THAT FOOD MAKING PASSION & MAKE IT A BUSINESS
I am starting a series on my blog called fuel your hustle as everyone is looking for ways to have more than one source of income. I chose Desserts Palace to be our first guest because wherever you find yourself in the world food is important. If you missed out on my first guest feature post, catch up on it here. I have seen people make good money from selling their home dishes in foreign countries. This is how Dessert Palace started and they have rebranded to focus solely on confectionery dessert.
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF / YOUR SIDE HUSTLE
I am Zainab Adegunwa. I started my business on June 11 2018. Desserts Palace offers a wide range of desserts as well as cakes. We specialize in whipped cream and butter icing cakes and a variety of tasty desserts. You can check us out on Instagram @dessertspalace
YOU STARTED OFF AS ZEE’S KITCHEN AND IT EVOLVED TO DESSERTS PALACE, HOW DID THIS COME ABOUT?
I learnt cooking and baking from Mix N Bake, Maryland in the summer of 2014 when I came back to Nigeria for the holidays. I learnt how to make small chops, various Nigerian meals and a bit of baking and frosting but I was not so keen about it.
I went back to school, I started a cooking business called Zees Kitchen. It was pretty much easy to balance as lectures were mostly in the morning/afternoon and orders usually came in the evening.
When I returned to Nigeria on completing my education in April 2018, I was thinking about what I can do to keep myself busy before the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) starts. Also, I had to think of the market opportunities for my passion and I came across dessert making course, the line-up of what we would be taught made me very excited so I quickly enrolled for the class and that’s how it all started. It made perfect sense as the market is already saturated with Caterers and small chops vendors so going for another course with Mix N Bake made perfect sense. Hence the rebranding of the business from Zee’s Kitchen to Desserts and Co. Palace.
HOW DO YOU BALANCE IT WITH YOUR 8-5 job?
Well, it has not been so easy balancing the business as well as 8-5 but by the grace of God, I have been able to do it and do it well. I got a job in May before NYSC so I was not sure how making cakes alongside work would be possible so I postponed starting the business but then after much deliberation, I decided to launch Desserts Palace on my birthday in June.
At first, it was very difficult balancing 8-5 and my business especially because of Lagos traffic. I close at 5 and would not get home until 8, then I’ll just start the cake/dessert making process and would not finish until midnight or so. I would then need to be awake by 4/4:30 to get ready for work the next day. As for desserts and cake making, on the other hand, it requires proper planning and creativity so the work can’t be done in a hurry, I have been able to create a schedule on how to handle each order so as to meet up with delivery.
WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU KNEW BEFORE YOU STARTED YOUR SIDE HUSTLE?
Hmnnnnn. Well, I wish I knew the reality of running a business. Securing a business name was a challenge as I started by using the name Desserts Palace for about 5 months before officially registering my business with the Corporate Affairs Commission. I paid 650 naira for name reservation online. After 2 days, my reservation was denied as there were businesses with similar names. I was really sad because everyone knows my business by that name already. It was not enough to make me upset anyways, so I tried another set of names (Desserts Palace NG and The Desserts Palace), both were denied again. Sigh, I went ahead after much consultation to try another set of names (Palace Desserts and Zee’s Palace of Desserts). Finally, the latter option was then approved by the Commission
Also, the cost incurred and the burden a business comes with is something I wish I had known before embarking on this journey. It is really not an easy task as it seems especially having to balance it with my 8-5 job. The passion I derive from my craft is what always keeps me going. Business has been booming and we hope to get bigger and better. I just hired my first staff and I’m really excited about it.
SHARE ONE HOMEMADE RECIPE YOU WILL LIKE US TO TRY
This cake is very delicious and so easy to make. It doesn’t take much time to prepare, doesn’t require too many ingredients and doesn’t spend too much time in the oven. It’s definitely my all-time favourite cake.
Vanilla Fatless Cake (6’)
4 big eggs
2 (1/3) cups of sugar
2 (1/3) cups of flour + 3 teaspoons flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp flavour
¼ tsp preservative
- Line baking pan with wax paper
- Whisk egg and sugar until increased in volume using a mixer. (You can also use a whisk).
- Add flavour to egg and sugar mixture.
- Combine flour, baking powder and preservative in a bowl and sieve.
- Remove soft peak egg and sugar mixture from the mixer and fold in flour gradually using a spatula.
- Pour in lined pan, hit 3 times on table to remove bubbles and put in the oven to bake.
- Remove and invert on rack to cool
- Can be eaten hot or cool.
WHAT ADVICE FOR YOU HAVE FOR PEOPLE LOOKING FOR MULTIPLE STREAMS OF INCOME?
My one piece of advice is for you to embark on a hustle that you have passion for as there would be times you may want to quit due to stress or the frustration but the love you have for what you do and how you impact on others will surely be more than enough reason for you to continue. Do what you love so that you would not easily give up.