We chat with Bernie Nel about her thriving cake business, Bernie Boo Bakes.
What products/services do you offer?
I make novelty cakes, cupcakes and flavored biscuits.
When and how did your business start?
I started my baking business in 2016 after my dad landed in ICU and his medical bills fell on my sister and me. I was fresh out of varsity and didn’t plan for the expenses, so I started selling cupcakes. Eventually, I was creating, birthday and wedding cakes, cakesicles, and biscuits. I never expected my baking to pick up as it has, but it truly has been a blessing.
What inspired you to start your business?
I found baking to be very peaceful and a good form of therapy. It became my escape. With each order, I wanted to learn more. I also made it a point to bake all my orders from scratch, as we are so easily exposed to premix/ processed items. Customers appreciate a good homemade treat.
Are there any special recipes that you use for your products?
All my recipes are recipes that I have tried and tested, with a tweak here and there. I pride myself on providing products made from scratch.
Where do you find inspiration?
Most of my creations are inspired by what is trending.
What are some of your favorite desserts to make?
I love making drip cakes. My most ordered items are my chocolate cake and cupcakes. My peanut butter and choc chip biscuits are also popular, so I have had to make them weekly to keep up with the demand.
What are some of the challenges you have faced and how did you overcome them?
I am my biggest challenge, I am quite a perfectionist and sometimes it lands me in trouble because I try to do everything alone. I have realized that I need help and can’t do it all by myself. In the last year, my sister has taken over a lot of the administrative duties and purchasing of supplies, as my passion is to bake and create.
Have you had any proud moments in your business?
I think my proudest moment was when I made it into the top five wedding and function service providers in the Eastern Cape Survey in 2020. I am also proud that I was able to renovate and create my own bakery in my parent’s backyard.
What are your goals for 2023?
For the business to grow stronger and be more consistent.
What advice do you have for someone who is interested in a similar line of business?
The main thing is to just start whatever you want to do and then prioritize your time to make it happen.
It’s hard in the beginning, but it will get easier once you get a solid routine. Baking/cake decorating is extremely time-consuming, so it is important to plan regularly.
Is there anything else that you would like our readers to know?
Whatever you want to make, ensure that you have a passion for it, then it will never feel like a chore. Baking works for me, but it might not work for you. I went through my childhood thinking I have no talent, but we have all been blessed with talents. Figure out yours and make it work for you.
How can our readers get hold of you?
Facebook and Instagram: @Bernieboobakes, Whatsapp: 061 -449-3739.