Interviews

Chinelo Awa on cooking up profits and helping others

6 min read

02 October 2018

This founder is enjoying the flavoursome combination of business growth and humanitarian impact.

Chinelo Awa doesn’t believe in the cookie-cutter model for business innovation. Her company creates bespoke, hand-crafted cake creations, that are more masterpiece than simply baked goods.

She sits down with Real Business and talks about her magic ingredients, including passion, determination –  and a thirst for oven-based disruption.

Company: Good Cake Day
Website: http://www.goodcakeday.com/

Your mission:

The mission of Good Cake Day is to artistically and creatively showcase what makes our customers BLUSH using the medium of cakes. The curiosity to find out who our customers are is important to the growth of Good Cake Day, from marketing to offering tailored products and services.

What fuels your company’s need for innovation?

Our cakes are designed to capture what makes our customers BLUSH. BLUSH means beautiful, loved, unique, special and human. The diversity of our customers’ individuality and our desire to capture what makes them BLUSH fuels our need for innovation.

What factors do you take into account when offering your services to clients?

As a company offering a tailored and bespoke service, the first factor to consider is what our customers actually want. For instance, we’ve noticed an increase in requests for custom cookies and have started rolling these out as a product we offer. Another factor is the interaction between consumer behaviour and the marketplace we operate in.

In recent years, the demand for vegan, allergy compliant and halal cakes has significantly increased. Consequently, we’re developing a vegan range and already have allergy compliant and halal cakes. Finally, we look at our competition. What services do they offer that customers respond positively to? What products do they offer that have high demand?

 

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How do you beat the competition?

Identifying your lane, developing and innovating your lane and staying in your lane. Lane in this instance being your USP. For us, it’s the belief that everyone is BLUSH and how that feeds into our designs, interactions with our customers, internal operations and organisational structure.

Why is social impact important to you?

When I started Good Cake Day, I did so with the conviction that I would find a way to give back. As someone who was adopted, the plight of orphans is very dear to me because I could so easily have been in their shoes.

I started The BLUSH Project to give orphans in Nigeria the gift of a cake every month with the hope that they would feel like part of a family and know that someone is rooting for them. It’s been running since February 2017 and my plan is to expand the project to multiple cities and countries.

Why the transition from working in law to cakes?

I decided in 2014 that I wanted to have a flexible career that would allow me to be as present as possible when I became a mother. I realised that a career in law was unlikely to offer the degree of flexibility I desired. After a mental scan of my interests and skills, I decided to start a cake company because I love cakes and am a very creative person.

How did you identify a space for your brand?

The cake industry like many industries, has a mixture of players, from mass-produced cakes in the low to medium price bracket, to bespoke cakes typically in the medium to high price bracket.

Research has shown that whilst there is a lot more personalisation of ‘mass produced’ items, high-end personalisation is also thriving due to demand for ‘experiential luxury’, the shift from “having to being”, this speaks to a need or desire to have the things we purchase to reflect who we are.

Whilst there are a plethora of cake artists none (as far as I am aware) focus on matching every cake to the individuality of each customer. The one time something close to this approach occurs is for wedding cakes, when many cake artists offer cake consultations. Even then, the focus is often on the theme of the wedding.