When nine year-old Amber Kaiser compiled her first recipe book, she never knew that her love for baking would one day turn into a successful cupcakery with an outlet in the F-11 Markaz.
Brought up in a conservative family, where working women were the exception not the norm, Kaiser happily baked for friends and family. In Canada, where she and her husband lived for five years and where Halal ingredients weren’t so easily found, her desserts were renowned in the local desi community.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, Kaiser narrates her difficult journey of establishing a business with minimal experience and very little funding. “The idea came to me when I saw a picture of a nicely decorated cupcake online; it just hit me,” she said. None of what happened next was easy by any stretch, from facing scepticism from her extended family to starting a business with no budget for advertising and marketing. She began as a home business hoping her creative recipes and cupcake designs would speak for themselves. They did. Word spread, aided by her Facebook page and orders began to trickle in.
The last few years have seen a rise in the demand of “designer” cakes and cupcakes. There is one for every occasion, from birthday parties to weddings and baby showers. Kaiser said, “What distinguishes Funky Bake from the masses is the personal touch me and my team bring to each product, at the customer’s convenience, not our own.” She cites numerous examples where she and her husband have gone beyond the typical job description to deliver to various places in the city, down to buying and wrapping baskets when orders came from outside Pakistan.
What really differentiates Funky Bake from the competition is the love and passion with which the family behind it operates, quality being its topmost concern. The batters for cakes and cupcakes are prepared only by either Kaiser or her husband. “My son is the artist in the family and does all the 3D art on the cakes,” she proudly states.
But Kaiser’s ambitions aren’t limited to owning a corner store, and she hopes to expand into a larger setup. And now with a regular clientele, she feels confident that in time Funky Bake will continue to grow.
With its rich, double chocolate cheese cake and red velvet cupcakes as part of its best-selling ensemble, for anyone with an insatiable sweet tooth, the corner shop right next to Subway ought to be the next stop.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 13th, 2012.