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Sundri Ramesh wasn’t always a cake designer extraordinaire.

In fact, she spent years as a successful Human Resources (HR) manager. But a nudge from her CEO and a love for baking that stretched back to her school days led her down a sweeter path.

Sundri said before she left her HR job, her CEO told her, “If you go out there, everybody bakes cake, everybody does butter cake, and everybody does butter icing, so create something different, even if anyone else does it, your name is there. They will remember you.”

That’s when she decided to do something different. Sundri Bakes & Bites wasn’t born overnight. It started with a passion for baking and a desire to create something unique.

In 2014, after years of navigating the corporate world, Sundri took a leap of faith by opting for early retirement to focus on her baking business. This wasn’t a blind decision though. She meticulously researched the market, identifying a gap in cakes catering to the Indian community in Malaysia.

“I began promoting my cakes on a part-time basis in 1995. I would bake them at night after work, as I worked as the HR head for a top corporate events company during the weekdays and assisted in production for the same company on weekends. So, this was the only time I had available to make my cakes.”

“For about six months, after I retired I took time to read the market on what was actually sellable and who can I sell my cake to,” she said.

Image Credit: Sundri Bakes & Bites

The birth of sweet and unique creations

Inspiration struck when Sundri stumbled upon a newspaper article from India featuring a saree cake with a drawing design. This sparked a fire within her. She wouldn’t just replicate, she would innovate.

Drawing on her baking skills and artistic flair, Sundri crafted her own version of the saree cake. In 2016, she unveiled her now-famous saree cake, a beautiful and unique cake design on Facebook that quickly went viral.

“I was shy to post it at first,” Sundri admits, “But within 24 hours, the response was incredible.” Her social media post featuring the saree cake went viral, garnering a staggering number of likes, shares, and comments.

Image Credit: Sundri Bakes & Bites

The cake’s exquisite design and unique concept resonated with people, not just in Malaysia but across the globe. This wasn’t just a dessert; it was a celebration of Indian culture, beautifully presented on a cake platter.

The viral post not only catapulted Sundri Bakes & Bites into the spotlight but also cemented Sundri’s place as the pioneer of the saree cake in Malaysia.

Her philosophy is refreshingly simple: prioritise quality over quantity and creativity above all else.

Sundri focuses on custom-designed cakes, meticulously crafting each one to be a masterpiece. She refuses to compromise on the quality of her designs, ensuring every decoration is eye candy.

Image Credit: Sundri Bakes & Bites

This unwavering commitment to excellence has garnered her a loyal clientele and industry recognition extending beyond Malaysian borders.

Sundri cakes have graced the tables of Kollywood celebrities, and her talent has been acknowledged through prestigious awards like India’s Tamil Nadu Small Tiny Industries Association 2022 Emerging Business Award.

She’s not just a baker; she’s an artist who has carved a niche for herself in the cake design world.

Image Credit: Sundri Bakes & Bites

Besides her well-known saree cake, she has created the gravity saree cake, a five-element nature cake weighing roughly 30kg, and a lotus pond cake, her most recent masterpiece.

Sharing the sweetness

Today, Sundri Bakes & Bites is a thriving business that’s more than just a cake studio. It’s a haven for passionate individuals who yearn to learn the art of cake design.

Since 2018, Sundri has transformed into an inspiring educator, sharing her knowledge with over 2,200 students through online and face-to-face classes.

Last year, she took a giant leap forward, transitioning from a home-based studio to a full-fledged culinary studio in Nilai.

Image Credit: Sundri Bakes & Bites

But Sundri’s vision extends beyond creating beautiful cakes and teaching eager students. Her ultimate goal is to transform this studio into a comprehensive training centre for aspiring bakers.

“I want to teach people more than just baking,” Sundri explained with a glint in her eye. “It’s about design, marketing, and the entire business aspect of running a successful bakery.”

Her vision is to empower bakers, not just with the technical skills but also with the knowledge to translate their passion into profitable ventures.

For now, she dreams of conducting masterclasses within Malaysia, sharing her expertise and unique cake-making style with a wider audience. But it surely won’t stop at the Malaysian border, she said.

Image Credit: Sundri Bakes & Bites

With her daughter by her side, eager to learn the ropes and eventually take over the reins, Sundri Bakes & Bites is poised for continued growth and success.

The recipe for success

Reflecting on her journey, Sundri offers invaluable advice to budding entrepreneurs—the “five P’s”.

Sparking with passion is the first ingredient, the foundation of any business dream. “You must have passion for whatever you do whether it’s baking or makeup or anything,” she said.

With that being said, only with passion, can one have patience. Building a business is a marathon, not a sprint. Results won’t magically appear overnight, so planning is key.

Image Credit: Sundri Bakes & Bites

“You must know when to bake your cakes, when to ice your cakes, when to do your icing, and when to decorate. When you start planning, you will understand the planning method, only then you can know how to do 10 or 100 cakes,” Sundri shared.

Yet, planning is just the blueprint. To truly rise, practice is essential. Learning never stops, but knowledge without action is like flour sitting untouched in a bag.

The final ingredient? Persistence. It’s the secret to keeping the flame of passion alive.

“Never stop learning, never stop creating. Persistence fuels the drive to explore new techniques and keep that fire burning in your belly.”

“Remember, the competition isn’t the bakery down the street; it’s you yesterday,” she said.

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

Featured Image Credit: Sundri Bakes & Bites

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

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

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