by Abigail Mathias
Raspberry whipped cream with white chocolate, peanut butter and chocolate ganache…If you’ve got a sweet tooth; you are in for a mouth watering experience. Natalie Von Rooyen runs Nat Bakes, a small business which delivers cup cakes to eager customers around Kuwait.
She says, “I have been living in Kuwait for five years and started Nat Bakes in June 2010 as I did not want to lose my passion for cooking and food.”
What started out as a hobby has turned into a flourishing business in just a few months. Natalie explains, “About two years ago I started baking cupcakes for friends. My friend Mary Ann suggested that I start a business. She really motivated me to do it and even helped come up with a name for the business.”
Natalie holds a diploma in food and beverage combined with culinary arts and hospitality. She says, “I was raised in a family where every gathering and event was planned around food and cakes, combined with a real feeling of togetherness and strong values. I was taught how to cook and bake from a young age, with my main influences being my mother and grandmother.
“I believe my business is successful because I am very passionate about food. Every batch of cupcakes are made with love,” says Natalie.
Reminiscing about the growth of the business in a short time she says, “A year ago, I didn’t think that my love for baking, and cooking in general, would turn into a successful business. Now, I am in talks with various partners to establish a larger test kitchen with the right staffing needs so that we can grow even further. The idea was to always keep it small and intimate so that the product can remain the main focus. So often businesses grow and the quality of the product deteriorates, I would never want that to happen with my business. Now, I participate in some exhibitions and small events around Kuwait when I can.
“A high percentage of our business is from repeat customers and referrals,” says Natalie. The cakes are getting a lot of hits on an official website. These goodies can be bought online but orders have to be placed two days in advance and delivery is free of charge. Customers can select cup cakes from a classic menu or a creative menu. Cup cakes range from KD6 to 8 per dozen though the more you order, the less you pay!
Some of the popular flavors include Red Velvet. Natalie explains, “This flavor is still a mystery, but I guess when you combine velvety soft cake with a hint of chocolate, smothered with just the right amount of cream cheese frosting, you have a winner.”
The other favorites include vanilla with white chocolate frosting, lemon with lemon cream cheese frosting and peanut butter with chocolate frosting. There’s also pomegranate and green tea with vanilla frosting.
Besides cup cakes the company also makes birthday cakes and finger foods for children’s parties. They recently created specialized cakes for a monster themed event.
Explaining her home delivered cakes, Natalie says, “I think the most unique part of our service is that we can incorporate any flavor and design that a customer desires into either cupcakes, or cakes. Further to that, we always guarantee the freshest, lightest and tastiest cupcakes, and have even been praised for having better cupcakes than Magnolia Bakery in NYC. We also develop new flavors all the time. During Ramadan we offered date and saffron cupcakes and for the festive season we are doing sugar and spice cupcakes.”
Natalie’s advice to upcoming entrepreneurs and cooks is simple. “It is so important to maintain momentum. Never ever compromise on quality and remember that presentation is important, but it should never outdo the taste of your product. Every time someone bites into my cupcakes and I see the joy on their faces, it makes me very happy.”
Induldge in the art of cupcakes and call 9449 8299 to place orders.