With an admirable profile and over 4,000 'likes' on her brand Creamy Melts on Facebook, techie turned cake baker and decorator Rajeena Mohammed who is now a household name in the UAE talks to NISHAD PADIYARATH about her journey from being a simple homemaker to a successful baker
As a youngster, during her school vacations, when many of her friends preferred to go for music and swimming classes, Rajeena Mohammed choose to help her mom in the kitchen to bake cakes. That eventually inspired the soft-spoken home-maker to take up cake-baking as a full-time profession.
With an admirable profile and over 4,000 'likes' on her brand Creamy Melts on Facebook, Rajeena is now a household name in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). "During my school vacations, I didn't want to go anywhere because what I was interested in and what I wanted to learn was right at home. During my childhood days, on weekends, my home was filled with the aroma of baked cakes and cookies. Probably this would have been the inspiration for baking. All thanks to my mother," said Rajeena with a smile in an interview with Thursday.
The 33-year-old techie turned baker is in great demand among cake lovers and also has some of the top corporate clients from all sectors in her kitty. "More than my profession (Computer Engineering) my passion was always culinary. More than my engineering books, it was the cookery books that occupied a major share of space on my study table. Looking back, I feel I am on the right path," she said.
During the start of her journey, Rajeena had only known the basics until she took her Masters in Sugar-crafting from Knightsbridge PME, United Kingdom to know the nuisances. "Initially Google and YouTube were my teachers," she said. "I used to keep learning and watch videos and works of international cake designers like Debbie Brown, Zoe Clark, Verusca Walker, David Austin and Handy Manny but there came a point in time when I realised that I needed to sharpen my skills to a higher level and that was when I did my Masters. I learnt my lessons from my mother and elder sister and this, combined with years of trial and error and experimenting, led to a yummy recipe," she explained.
Within just three years of starting Creamy Melts, Rajeena has already captured the hearts of her customers in the UAE with some of her stunning cake decorations, all credited to her days of hard work. Intense planning and hours of research makes her work spectacular. "It is not easy to bake or even decorate a cake. When I receive an offer to make a birthday cake, I go into the minutest of the details. I sit with the kids' parents and find out their likes and dislikes and then draw a plan before I start my final preparation. It takes many days of hard work and sleepless nights to come out with those decorations," Rajeena said.
"I am still a student," she said humbly. "I feel that three years is a very short span and I still have a lot more to learn. Like how musicians say "music has no end", similarly I strongly believe that there is no end to cake baking or sugar-crafting techniques," she said. What makes her unique among other bakers is her variety in designs. Each cake has a story to tell. "During my study I found out that there are a lot of wonderful bakers and cake decorators all around. However I wanted to bring a new element into my work. When it comes to sugar-crafting, the possibilities are countless. It is all a matter of brainstorming and extreme patience because each little sugar detail that you see on a cake is a result of hours of labour," she revealed.
For Rajeena, the motivation for her work comes from the "jaw dropping expression" of the little birthday girl or boy at seeing the cake and the joyous hug from their mothers for fulfilling their child's dream and turning it into reality. "I'm a person who personally loves surprises. Taking up this profession has given me opportunities to work out a lot of surprise cake deliveries and the happiness that comes with it motivates me all the more," she noted.
An inspirational homemaker
On her tag as the 'most-sought after' cake baker in the UAE, Rajeena had this to say: "As I said, cake-baking was more of a hobby for me until I thought more seriously about it as a profession three years ago. I remember baking decorated cakes for our family get-togethers and I began to get good reviews from my friends. That was a real motivational factor and I began to think about doing this as a small-scale business and rightly named 'Creamy Melts'.
To make it even more exciting, my brother-in-law who is based in Qatar surprised me with a beautiful website www.creamymelts.com. From there on, it was a matter of mouth to mouth publicity. During the Christmas of 2010, Creamy Melts had a handful of orders and that is when we took off in a full-fledged way."
Rajeena's is no doubt an inspirational story for homemakers who have similar passion. With her two daughters – Mehak Zeba, Zaara Sanam – and husband Shaheen, Rajeena manages her household despite handful of requests from cake lovers. "I have always been inspired by other homemakers who are successful entrepreneurs. My simple advice to homemakers who are interested in cake baking and decoration is to just follow your passion. Of course, there's plenty of hard work and dedication involved in this but as long as you enjoy every bit of what you do, you turn out to be a successful homemaker. And my advice to their family is that without the right kind of support from you, no homemaker can work from home and earn. Every woman is talented in some or the other way, a marriage shouldn't be an occasion to put an end to your passion," she pointed out.
According to Rajeena, the real boost to her work comes from her own family. "They (her family) are my true critics. I strongly believe that without the support of my entire family, I wouldn't have reached this level. Frankly, with the encouragement and motivation from my husband, Creamy Melts wouldn't have taken-off. Shaheen is the marking brain and the backbone of Creamy Melts," she remarked.
With the success of Creamy Melts that once took-off from her home in Sharjah, Rajeena now has ambitious plans to expand. "Setting up my own designer cake store is the biggest dream. Whatever is happening now is all a stepping stone towards the achievement of my dream. In a few years from now, I will have my own store so that I can cater to a lot more people, thus expanding my reach. At the moment, retail business is something which a homemaker cannot do and that is possible only by setting up a store," she added.
As someone said: "Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go and do that. Because what the world needs are people who make it come alive." Rajeena chose her path, from being a simple homemaker to becoming a renowned baker. Let this be an inspiration to the hundreds of women in this country.