Yet another successful week as we had a talk with Chef Ssekajja William, owner of Kings of Cakes Bakery about his multiple ventures in the Industry and his perspectives according to his experiences. Enjoy!
How long have you been in the Industry?
I have been in the Bakery Industry for nine years but in general I have been in the Bakery and Hotel Industry for eleven years.
What products does the Kings of Cakes offer?
The bakery mainly offers cakes as the most selling products, cookies, doughnuts, bread, and pizza.
What / Who inspired you to start baking?
The absence of creativity to achieve the best in the Industry both in the Cookery and the Baking part of it inspired me personally since it was something that I studied and wanted to put into practice. A few bakers here also inspired & continue to inspire me like Sarah’s Cakes, my friend from Cake Studio and also some away from Uganda like Cake Priest from Nigeria, Cullen, Natalia & the rest
How did you start the Kings of Cakes bakery?
Being a hotelier by profession, I felt it wasn’t quite right to hire someone else to bake my graduation cake since I’d been in the Industry and it was something I had studied. So baking it was something to show the people that had come to gather with us what I had studied. The people that tasted the cake later on starting posing orders. The few gifts I received from the graduation plus some little money are what I used to start up and that’s how Kings of cakes began in 2011.
What were you doing before you got into baking?
I was working with a certain hotel were i developed for my passion and love for pastries and later alone. I started on my own while I was still working with the hotel and the business was running along my job because baking by then couldn’t pay me enough. Also majority of clients had not realized so much about the value for having cake at the function.
What has been the highlight of your career?
There are quiet many but I will point out few, like the cake we did in form of a cow shape in 2016 and the most recent one in the shape of a cob……. oh my God! When we presented, they almost looked like a tourist art piece where most people left their seats to take photos of it. The other one is when we organized our cake decoration workshop, arranged by Sarah Aninda of AS cakes, Philo Nabisawa of Ultimate Confectionary, different suppliers for bakery items who contributed positively successfully exceeding our expectation.
Positive feedback that comes from the bakers that have attended my trainings and workshops for cake designing of how they have been helped to improve their skills.
Will there be another Cake Decoration workshop?
Yes. The next one will be on 18th October. It will be around Ntinda.
What activities will be there in the workshop?
From there will learn a number of items including making wafer paper flowers, Rustic themed cakes, geode cakes, highland cake design and manual tree bark designing and so on.
What makes you stand out from the crowd?
Speed, Accuracy, Creativity both in Production and Cake designing as well as discovering new ideas to better my skills
What is your specialty?
I usually do realistic illusion cakes though my niche has been more on African traditional cakes after realizing that the beauty of our African cakes especially Ugandan cakes were not well represented and this explains why we receive 60% of traditional cakes than wedding.
What is your best selling product at the moment?
Fruit Cakes sell so much, then there’s the Chocolate Fudge and Blueberry.
Where can potential clients find your products?
We are located at Bweyogerere-Kirinya along Bukasa Road just after Universal Church.
What is your biggest challenge in the Industry?
I can’t list quite many because it’s something I did out of passion and studied and also some challenges can be there to train you to be a better person. As a hotelier you have to expect anything, clients can call for emergency orders that also demand creativity. So those were the challenges I was ready to face when I opened the Bakery. In the process when you are handling a lot of orders, you need to have some people to be there around you to achieve something much better for the client. Resourcing the best employees to work as a team that can set the standard that you want is so far the challenge that I can mention.
How do you market yourself?
We use social media as our main way of marketing products that we produce at the bakery, on different functions where we participate service providers and also at our bakery where stickers, posters and signpost are availed for clients along the way.
Are baking full-time now?
Yes, I am a full-time baker, researcher for restaurants, hotels and bakeries as well as a trainer. I also have a small place where I train my students both baking & cookery. It’s located just next to the bakery with a separate name and a separate management. It’s called Kitchen Star School of Baking & Cookery where I feature in as the Executive Chef.
A researcher mainly looks at different recipes and find ways of translating them practically or even twisting different recipes to get different cuisines. I have mainly been doing this mostly in vocational schools and restaurants and perhaps 2 hotels but under the class of three stars. New products keep coming in and you need to find ways of being flexible on how to apply them.
Does your Job affect your General lifestyle?
Slightly. I tried to organize for that two years before by distributing responsibilities to different trusted employees of mine in order for my job not to affect my lifestyle immensely like visiting friends, giving family time
Any advice for Novice Bakers?
- Listen keenly to the feedback from your clients and be ready to receive it in its format whether positive or negative.
- Attend baking schools, trainings and cake decoration workshops to improve your skills by learning more and because knowledge is power when you fail to have it get, it from a neighbor with in.
- Have it in minds that the best cake is the next order to get, this keeps you having that positive anxiety to always do better on each cake you do
- Look for opportunities today by presenting the best out of you because today is your opportunity to build the best tomorrow you want.
- Baking work gets you messed up and tired, like something you never wished to do by yourself, but when you get tired learn to rest but don’t quit.
- Everything will work out at the end, you don’t need to know how, just trust God that it will, never let a bad situation bring out the worst in you, just be calm and humble, strong always and positive to yourself.
Who are your inspirations in the Industry at the moment?
Henry Bukenya of Cake Studio and Dr. Ann of Cake to Differ
Any future plans you would like to share for Kings of Cakes?
We are soon launching our new type of bread which is coming on the market. We have been baking bread but on a small scale but now we are upgrading to a more commercial level. We also plan to acquire new machines to expand our cookery school.