SUGARBAKERS was established about 30 years ago and ownership has changed hands three times.
I am Shalini Boucher, the third owner. I bought and took over the shop in November last year and changed the name to Sugarbakers in Bollywood, incorporating the Indian cuisine and catering that is being offered currently.
The new branding came with the extension of adding onto the Sugarbakers name to make it a one-stop convenient shop for customers, offering a variety of different options to suit every customer.
I have always had a passion for the kitchen from a very young age. After I completed matric in 2000 in Cape Town, I returned to East London and attended the Border Technikon as it was then known, where I completed a three-year course in Hospitality and Tourism Management.
My first waitressing job was at the Holiday Inn Garden Court, where my passion for fine cuisine and people grew. Over the past few years, I have worked for Premier Hotels & Resorts furthering my career at Kat Leisure Hotels & Resorts.
In December 2014, after beating cancer for a year, I resigned as the Public Relations Officer for the Kat Leisure Group, as I decided to pursue my passion for catering.
In January last year, I started my catering business, Vee’s Kitchen & Treats, from home.
My husband had renovated a small back room at our home for me to run the business and I managed to build a good clientele base.
In September last year, the opportunity to purchase Sugarbakers became available. After much deliberation, my husband and I decided to go for it.
On November 1 last year, I had a business I could finally call my own – my dream had finally come true.
After 13 months, I feel truly blessed with all the ups and downs but I make myself, as well as the business, a little bit stronger each day.
I have built several great relationships with clients who have become a very special part of the Sugarbakers’ family.
I currently have three staff members, Hlanga Mkiva, Lulama Zindlani and Nomvuyiseko Zindlani and we work as a family. There are, as you would expect, plenty of laughs and the odd tear or two.
Hard work and dedication to every detail for every product that leaves the shop is what we believe in at Sugarbakers.
Without the support of my family, my mother, Debbie Els, my father Hennie Els, brother Floyd Els, daughter Vernisha Boucher and most importantly, my husband Leon, I would not be where I am today.
My husband has been my rock and my backbone even in times where I thought I had bitten off more than I could chew.
After 10 years of marriage, he is still my voice of reason and he continues to keep me grounded.
Sugarbakers is also a very proud sponsor of the McClelland Adult Centre, and we sell all the amazing biscuits made by the wonderful patrons of the centre in our shop.
We also support other charitable organisations including the Down Syndrome Association.
At Sugarbakers we believe in one main motto which we live by every day: “Through Christ all things are possible.”