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Since childhood, Lakhshmi Priya, alongside her sister Dhivya Dhyana and cousin sister Vidyalakshmi, shared a deep passion for baking fostered by their mother’s loving tradition of baking cakes for birthdays and family gatherings.

What began as a childhood pastime bloomed into a full-fledged business venture, taking shape as Ministry of Cakes.

The inception of Ministry of Cakes traces back to 2015 when the trio, fueled by the unexpected demand for their homemade creations, embarked on a journey of entrepreneurship.

“While we were studying and working part-time, we started baking and posting all the cakes we would bake on Facebook and to our surprise, we got a bunch of enquiries from friends and family asking if we were taking orders.”

“Without much experience or knowledge on starting a business, we started taking orders for our closest friends and family,” said Priya.

Initially named “Caked,” the business underwent a rebranding in 2017, evolving into what it is today.

As Priya took the reins of the business, her sister Dhivya delved into her medical career, and Vidyalakshmi navigated her own professional path.

From home baker to cafe owner

Opening a physical store wasn’t just a business move; it was a big leap for Priya.

Image Credit: Ministry of Cakes

From baking cakes at home for two years, while juggling a job in architecture, she never imagined she would own a bakery one day. But as she lost interest in her day job and found solace in baking late at night, she knew it was time for a change.

Then, the opportunity arose to visit her fiancé in the United States, offering her a chance to break free from the monotony. During her travels, she explored renowned cafes in New York, London, and Paris which ignited a spark within her.

With each delicious bite and aromatic sip, she felt a longing to create something more, something tangible. The allure of owning a brick-and-mortar bakery became irresistible.

Supported by her fiancé and mother, she quit her architecture gig during the pandemic and dove headfirst into planning and preparation for opening her own bakery. 

Even though she struggled to find the right spot within her budget, she kept at it and eventually stumbled upon a gem that exceeded her expectations.

She shared that she was initially looking for shop lots in more popular places with heavy foot traffic but after scouting around, she realised her business had thrived online for over six years. 

Image Credit: Ministry of Cakes

This realisation shifted her perspective on location needs; foot traffic wasn’t crucial since she could rely on third-party delivery services or customers picking up orders. This understanding led her to her current location. 

Her knack for interior design came in handy as she mapped out her dream bakery. From designing the layout to overseeing the renovation process, she left no stone unturned in ensuring her store reflected her creativity and passion. 

Nestled in the heart of Petaling Jaya, Priya adorned her new space with touches of pastel colours and with the glass windows all around, the place basks in warm sunlight, giving it comfy and homey vibe.

Crafting sweet offerings & experiences 

Since the pandemic, there’s been a surge in home bakers nationwide, making it challenging to stand out. 

Despite offering similar products, her bakery distinguishes itself by specialising in customised buttercream cakes made from premium ingredients. 

She also experiments with flavours while maintaining a selection of popular choices. Their top-selling item, the Gulab Jamun Cheesecake is a fusion of Indian and Western influences. 

Image Credit: Ministry of Cakes

But what truly sets her cafe apart is probably its aim to foster a sense of community. With a kitchen, a studio for classes, and a cafe area, her bakery is more than just a place to buy cakes.

Ministry of Cakes also serves as a space for learning new skills and hosting private events. 

With glass windows allowing patrons to observe workshops in the studio while dining, it creates a unique and engaging experience.

One cake at a time 

Building her business wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. It took literal blood, sweat, and tears to turn her dream into reality. 

Priya grappled with the complexities of licensing, inventory management, and team building.

Finding the right team proved difficult, with turnover hindering growth. Research and development also posed challenges, navigating what sells and experimenting with new items. 

Even with these hurdles, she remained hands-on, baking alongside her team and ensuring quality control. 

Image Credit: Ministry of Cakes

With her mother’s support, they managed the daily operations, but she struggled with delegating tasks, having been a one-woman show for so long. However, she remained hopeful, aiming to build a strong team to share the load in the future.

While additional locations may not be on the immediate horizon, Priya envisions expanding her business ventures, including launching a line of bottled iced coffee and ready-to-bake items. 

Whatever she will pursue, her overarching goal remains clear—to realise the full potential of Ministry of Cakes and continue to sweeten lives.

  • You can learn more about their business here.
  • Read other articles we’ve written about Malaysian startups here.

Featured Image Credit: Ministry of Cakes

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Vulcan Post aims to be the knowledge hub of Singapore and Malaysia.

© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)