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Saturday, 9 August 2014

Akeem and Bolanle Lawal -The Nigerian Couple Behind Creamy Delight Cakes

Many will be quick to disagree with the idea of a couple running a business together, citing that many factors will stop it from working. Akeem and Bolanle Lawal of Creamy Delight Cakes story will change that line of thinking. For this Nigerian couple, they did not only start their business together, they have also been able to build a successful brand. I saw their inspiring story on Spreadmediang and just had to share it. Read below:

Tell us! What’s your Story?
We stumbled on Cake Business by accident. My wife who was my fiancée back then made a birthday cake for me and I loved it. It wasn't that the cake was so fantastic but that was my first birthday cake ever, and it really thrilled me. The following year, we discussed the possibility of perfecting the skill and making a business out of it.

We decided to settle for cake making because of the following reasons: 1. It does not rely on electricity in any way. 2. It belongs to an industry that’s inexhaustible – the food and beverages industry. 3. It doesn't need a third party participant to ensure its success. What this means is that unlike a business like decoration where you have to hire extra hands when you have more than a job at a time, cake making does not require such. So, the success of the business is not dependent on ‘an outsider’.

After our university education, she enrolled in a training school in Ibadan. On our relocation to Lagos, she was involved in several trainings with a view to improving on her skill. Naturally, she became my teacher, after every training. We went commercial in 2007, and started with cupcakes which were sold at N50 each. Our first wedding and engagement cake was N10,000 and we really danced after confirming the deal.

In the last 4 years, Creamy Delight Cakes has grown in leaps in bounds. With our business strategy, we have been able to successfully carve a niche for ourselves by ensuring that we don’t make off-the –shelf cakes. What this means is that “every cake we bake is already sold. We don’t bake cakes for sale”.

We have also been able to effectively use the social media to take our business to a whole new level. It is on record that less than 1% of our clients know our physical office, while less than 15% of our clients have ever seen us in person. But then, it wasn't easy. We burnt cakes, sacrificed pride, lost money, wasted materials and had our own share of disagreements over business principles; but we never gave up. We never stopped believing in our dream.

Strengths: Freshly baked cakes, timely delivery service, excellent customer service
What are the Initial Challenges you faced: Uncertainty and intimidation by the size of other bakers. We felt like we were making a late entry.

What is that thing you wish you did differently? Nothing. The road has not been smooth but we have not burnt our fingers in any way.

Who is your Main Inspiration
: Business/Personal: God and our clients

What makes you different from your Competitors?: We don’t make off – the –shelf cakes. You cannot just walk into our shop and pick a cake. There must have been an express order via e-mail.

Would your Business still be around in 5 years? Wow Us! Most definitely! The business will certainly outlive us.

What does it take to start a Business like yours? Passion. Money is really no issue because we started the business with N5,000

In what ways have you given back to the Society? Free trainings, complimentary cake donations to charity events.

Favorite Quote: “We don’t bake cakes to sell. Every cake we bake is already sold” · 

What would you like to tell the person who is scared for one reason or the other to start a Business?
No matter the negatives, Dangote would rather die a Nigerian than relocate abroad. There are opportunities in this country begging to be tapped.

Message to other Entrepreneurs: You inspire us everyday, and we wouldn't have had it this good so far without you.

Message to would-be Entrepreneurs: the sky is big enough for all the birds to fly comfortably. Welcome to your glory.

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