In the midst of the pandemic, Godwin senior Saaymia Mohammed turned her hobby into a business, showcasing her baking and decorating skills with her baking business “Piece of Cake.” Even though the business started in December 2020, baking has been a long time passion of Mohammed’s.
“I started baking when I was 7 years old. I would watch countless YouTube videos and try to recreate the recipes for my family.” said Mohammed.
Her interest in baking began through various baking shows.
“When I was younger, I used to be obsessed with shows like “Cake Boss” and “Next Great Baker” which all took place in Carlo’s Bakery. The shows sparked my interest and fueled my passion for baking at a young age.” said Mohammed.
Mohammed is also a self taught baker, “most of my knowledge comes from a mixture of what I’ve seen in YouTube videos and my own experience.”
Mohammed’s self run business sells cupcakes, cakes, cookies, cake pops, and seasonal items such as hot cocoa bombs and boxes for Valentines Day. All of Mohammed’s items are packaged in eco-friendly boxes. The business’s best selling item is the cupcakes.
When asked what her favorite that she sells was, she responded with “I don’t think I can choose between cupcakes or cakes!”
While it may seem difficult to manage a baking business on top of school work, Mohammed said, “So far I’ve been able to separate the two well, and one of the biggest things that helped was making sure I didn’t take orders during the school week. Most of my baking is done on either Friday, Saturday, or Sunday which gives me plenty of time to focus on school during the rest of the week.”
During the week Mohammed puts between four and 20 hours of work into her business depending on how many orders the business receives and what they are. So far Mohammed has received about 30 orders.
Mohammed gets her recipes from all over the place. Mohammed said “if I see a recipe that I think will work, I test it out and tweak it to my own liking.”
Mohammed doesn’t just bake solely for her business.
“I [bake] for fun too! I bake for myself at least once a week because it’s just an outlet for me to relax and de-stress after a long week,” said Mohammed.
Her baking business is not temporary and she hopes to make this her future career and possibly continue the business through college.
“I plan on continuing with college because I plan on commuting for the first one to two years of college. For now, the plan is to continue but it might change once I’m actually in college,” said Mohammed.
In running your own business, especially in highschool by yourself, you learn a lot.
“You have to be ready to devote a lot of time to it. Even when I’m not physically baking something, I need to re-stock ingredients/packaging, work on advertising, or test new products/recipes. I learned how much of it is the ‘background work,’” said Mohammed.
Some advice from Mohammed, now an experienced business owner, that could be helpful to other aspiring business owners is, “Just go for it honestly. The only thing you really need to make sure you do before creating your business is to research EVERYTHING. Prices, recipes, advertising, all of it. You should have a pretty firm understanding of it all before you start because it makes it a lot easier. It might be a little boring to sit down and just take notes and do the math, but trust me it’s worth it!”
In every business there are hardships and struggles. In Mohammed’s case, “It was a little difficult at first to get the word out about the business as a whole, but I just promoted it a lot on my social media and asked anyone who placed an order to tell them, friends/family, about it to help boost the business,” said Mohammed. “So far, it has been working pretty well and I hope to continue this growth!”
Pushing through struggles has led to success for Mohammed. When asked about her greatest success thus far she said, “In the past couple of weeks, I’ve seen my customer base grow a bit more which has been very rewarding. In the earlier stages, I was selling to mainly just friends and family but now I get orders from all kinds of people. It lets me know that more people are hearing about my business and that’s how I can keep growing!”
“Piece of Cake” not only has an instagram, @picecofcake.rva, but is also working on developing a website. If you are interested in placing an order you can DM the instagram or email “firstname.lastname@example.org”