HGCP 2021 Participants: Founder of Bakerlicious Titilope Akinola talks about how her love for cake inspired her confectionary business

I sat down with Titilope Akinola, the founder of Bakerlicious to talk about how her love for cake inspired her to start a confectionary business Bakerlicious, which makes tasty treats for all of life’s important occasions. 

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m Titilope Olubukola Akinola, I’m the Lead Baker and Sugar Craft Artist at Bakerlicious, a ProHire & Craft Company. Bakerlicious is a business I run on the side in addition to my full time job at Ventures & Trusts Limited, a Financial Advisory firm where I practice Human Resource Management. At V&T, I’m responsible for Human Resource Management and Administration. I have thirteen years of HR experience as a Generalist.

I am a resourceful, tenacious and passionate person who is crazy about all things craft and beautiful. I enjoy travelling, reading, watching movies, coordinating events, cake baking and decorating, as these are my super powers.

What do you do for fun/relaxation?
I spend my spare time watching movies, hanging out with my family and friends. I also love travelling and reading.

What is your ‘why’ and how do you stay motivated?
In everything I do, I always embrace opportunities that allow me to fully maximize my God given talents, abilities and deploy my expertise. I am motivated by my utmost desire; which is to build a wealthy legacy that will outlive me and generations to come after me.

What was the inspiration behind your business?
Cake baking and decorating was a childhood fantasy (I also wanted to be a lawyer and an actress). I love to eat cake and all kinds of desserts in any shape or form (lol).

Growing up, apart from birthdays or other occasions that involved eating cake, the only time I could have cake was when my sister agreed to bake for the family, provided that I would volunteer to manually cream the batter to a dropping consistency because we didn’t have a mixer. So my sister would measure the ingredients and leave me in the kitchen to struggle with the ladle and the cake batter; picture a skinny little girl seated on the kitchen stool in one corner of the kitchen with a mixing bowl on her lap turning butter and sugar in one direction with all the energy that she could muster.

As much as I love to eat and enjoy the activities involved in making cake, I never did anything to grow and nurture the passion until I volunteered at Awesome Treasures Foundation (ATF), a faith based NGO where I was inspired and my passion to bake was rekindled. In 2015, two years after my first Cake Baking and Decorating Class, I registered a business in 2015 and started baking for family and friends. This is where I got my first paid order as a home based commercial entity fulfilling orders from the kitchen.

Introduce your company the way you would to a potential customer
Bakerlicious (by ProHire & Craft Limited) is a Baked Confection, Sugar Craft, Food and Beverage Company. Our luscious treats include a wide variety of moist, yummy, fluffy and beautifully decorated cakes with a wow effect. We also offer scrumptious butter cookies and nutylicious fruity granola.

We also produce the best homemade thick, lush and creamy yoghurt drink and Greek yoghurt in plain and sweetened with date fruits (no colors, artificial flavors or preservatives).

All our products are homemade from premium quality ingredients sourced from local and international markets.

Whatever your order, what you get is balanced indulgence and a treat for everyone! You can see our products or make an order on our Instagram page at https://www.instagram.com/bakerliciousng/. You can also visit our website at https://bakerlicious.business.site/ or give us a call or a WhatsApp on +234 81 8399 9299 and to view our WhatsApp catalogue. We’re also on TikTok at http://tiktok.com/@bakerliciousng.

How did you come up with the name for your company?
When I was naming my business, I wanted a name that speaks for the business without requiring much explaining, and my research for business name ideas led me to Bakerlicious. The name is a combination of two words describing exactly what the business is about (baked goods) and the customers’ experience when they see and taste our luscious treats (deliciousness).

How have you carved a niche for yourself?

We primarily cater to mothers who would give anything and go the extra mile to celebrate moments, birthdays, milestones, festive seasons, landmark occasions etc.. With our luscious boxed treats specially catered to their needs, and made with them, their children, spouses and loved ones in mind, we have positioned ourselves to be their preferred family baker.

Our promise is to stay with them for lifetimes, offering the best luscious treat options for life’s every occasion.

What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
My favorite thing about being an entrepreneur is the joy and sense of accomplishment I get when an order is fulfilled, knowing that the customer is satisfied and will return with repeat orders and send us referrals because they are truly happy with our products.

I also appreciate the opportunities that unfold with each step taken towards growing my business. Every opportunity unfolds in layers just like when you peel an onion and I love to experience it.

What do you feel are your biggest achievements?
Starting my business and staying the course is my biggest achievement. There was absolutely nothing that guaranteed that I could come this far. Although I’m not where I would like to be yet, I am proud of how far I’ve come and excited about the journey ahead.

I am also proud of the product categories and variants we are able to serve our customers. We’ll definitely have more products to offer as we evolve.

I am also grateful for the learning and development programs I have been privileged to benefit from like She Leads Africa’s High Growth Coaching Program, which has helped me to streamline a path and equip me with useful knowledge and information for the next phase of my business growth.

What has been a make or break moment in your entrepreneurial Journey?
It was when my newly acquired self igniting mini industrial oven exploded during its second use. As I turned on the oven to bake, I heard a loud bang, at the same time; balls of fire hit my face. But for the mercy of God, I would have been consumed. I was wearing my pair of glasses which instantly became protective gear for my eyes. My eyelashes, hair and the skin on my face, ears and shoulders cracked from the heat. Only pictures can tell.

For two years I baked with camp gas and pots which was very stressful and time consuming. I considered my options at that time and decided to take the experience as part of my learning curve.

The positive feedback I got on the taste of my cakes encouraged me to carry on. It also helped me to identify how to get the best of a gas oven when I get another one.

I carried on till December 2017 when my mother’s carer helped me to overcome my fear of using an oven, she challenged me in a very interesting way reminding me that I am child of faith and should not allow fear to hinder me.

What entrepreneurial tricks have you discovered to keep you focused and productive in your day-to-
day busy schedule?
I make use of to productivity tools to plan my schedule. I employ a combination of direct labor and outsourced services, and I make use of ready to use products to cut prep and production time for cake decorating considering I still have my 9 to 5 job. I also shop in bulk which helps to save money.

I’ve also made a point to form relationships with vendors who are supportive and will bend over to meet certain demands on short notice.

What key activities would you recommend entrepreneurs to invest their time in?
Product Development, Sales and Marketing.

What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our community?

You must have the courage of your conviction, and be knowledgeable about the business. You should be hands-on, dedicated and have an unrelenting will to succeed. Your next steps are within your reach so “Just do it”.

What business-related book has inspired you the most?
“Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell

Titi is currently on the High Growth Coaching Program working to grow and scale Bakerlicious to keep on providing sweet baked goods to people.

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