Every day, Olaye Ereku of The Cakist turns out cakes daily. We chatted her up and its intriguing the things we found, meet the Princess of flour and the Queen of Cakes.
- What drew you to cakes?
My journey into the “Cake World” dates back to my first taste of dessert as a child. I was so fascinated that I personalized my Mum’s cookery books just to look/study the dessert sides of them. These fed my childhood curiosity and created a quenchless interest inside me.
Secondly, my mother bakes cake for us (her kids) and we used to eat hot sweet cakes directly from the pans. And lastly, I was gifted baking toys from my Dad’s company as a child. I believe all these were orchestrated by God.
- Why the name; “The Cakist”?
Growing up, me and my siblings used to playful add the suffix;”ist” to anything a person did excellently. I had initially chosen a name but discovered it’s already an existing brand. The name “The Cakist” perfectly explains what I am and does; it’s a fusion of two words: “CAKe and artIST”
- How long have you been around?
I can’t remember when I officially became the chief baker for my family, because I have always been baking for my family. It was partially commercial in my third year in the university when I discovered a demand for it and the extra income was great, but it became a full time business for me 3 years ago, after my graduation.
- Who are your inspirations?
Ron Ben Israel, Buddy Carlos, Verusca Walker, Avalon Yarnes, Tosan Jemide, Toyin Bello, Ijeoma Ndukwe just to mention a few.
- Tell us a bit about you.
My name is Oritsetsolayemi Comfort Ereku, fondly called Olaye by my family and friends. I am a change agent, a microbiologist from University of Benin and the lead cake artist at The Cakist. I am passionate about Warri working, a productive and exporting Nigeria. I love to create things and when I am not doing cakes, I am singing somewhere.
Which is your best cake job so far?
It’s not just about business when I bake Wedding and Children cakes. The excitement from kids to see their birthday cake, that alluring presence from honeymooners standing together to cut their first cake. The bliss and satisfaction they get is why I bake. The best so far was a cake I baked for a cook-out in December, 2015 in Warri. The cake was made in the shape of a pot of fried rice with a cooking spoon, and I made it for free. I wish I had a picture of it here, I would have shown you to see how real the design was. It was a blessing to have that opportunity to put smiles on the faces of all that was present.
What do you want to achieve with The Cakist?
The Cakist will become a global brand, but first we want to cease the local market by becoming the household name in Warri. We are much more than can cakes, we are also about people. As a change agent, leading The Cakist I am passionate about reaching out to people in need that cannot help themselves and doing something however little to better their lives. In May 2015, we carried out four different community development projects. Getting involved in community projects is part of our corporate goal, so we’ll get involved more in notable and noticeable projects as the business grows.
What sets The Cakist apart from all the others?
Our uniqueness has been our greatest strength. The Cakist is a company that places great value on all our clients.
We listen, advice and usually go out of our way to ensure they are satisfied.
I like things extra special and do a lot of research work to come up with wide ranges of cake flavours including healthy cakes that are consistent, extremely delicious and satisfying.
Periodic Training is also part of our corporate goal, this has given us a clear edge because, the practical and online training does not only improve on our skills for better productivity, but keeps us constantly informed, which makes us relevant every day.
- What is the best part of your job?
The happiness, genuine smiles, spoken and unspoken words of appreciation from my clients are worth more than millions.
When did you bake your first cake and what lead to it?
The first cake I made was for me, and that was 14 years ago, I was with my Grannies spending my JSS 3 holiday, and I wanted cake, so I made one for me. I tried making a chocolate cake (I love chocolates) without a recipe. I used up a container of cocoa powder and kept adding milk thinking it would make the cake fluffy. When it was done, the cake was so hard, it could have broken a rock! It was very chocolaty of course (lol).
Where do you see yourself in the next ten years?
In the next ten years, I am optimistic that The Cakist will be a Household Name in Delta State with branches in some major cities across Nigeria.
I will be pioneering a bake ware and product line in both local and international markets through The Cakist.
Teaching and empowering what I have learnt through The Cakist skill acquisition centre in Warri.
And because I am passionate about agriculture, I will be heavily involved in agro business.
And privately, a wonderful wife to a wonderful husband, and a mother of two lovely children,
- Where can we find you?
We are on these social media platforms for now:
Facebook: The Cakist
And before we let you go, What is the latest with The Cakist?
At the moment we are making final arrangements for Relish. It’s a Cake Tasting and Exhibition Party.
It’s about Cakes, Music and People.
It’s from 4:00PM on Sunday, 26th of June, 2016, At Bimos Hotel, Opposite St. Mary’s Junction Airport road, Warri. You are invited.