This week on my Mums in Business series I’m delighted to be featuring Chintal who set-up Chinskitchen; an Artisan bakery with an indian twist. Here Chintal tells us why she set up Chinskitchen, her successes along the way, and how her ambition and determination has helped to grow the business. Chintal is a firm believer, just like myself, that you should follow your dreams and not be afraid of failure.
If you’re looking for business inspiration to see how Chintal balances the business around her family, and how anything is possible if you follow your heart.
Tell me a little bit about you, your background and Kids To Career?
My Name is Chintal Kakaya and I am the founder and baker at Chinskitchen Ltd- Artisan Baking with an Indian twist. My business is run alongside my day job as a senior Occupational Therapist in the NHS. I am a mum to 2 kids- 5 year old daughter and 11 year old son, a wife to my wonderful husband. My role as a mum extends into being a carer for my son as well as he has Autism.
I was born and raised in Mombasa, Kenya where I spent most of my childhood around a very close knit community who shared the love for food.
Chinskitchen is an Artisan Bakery, which specialises in bespoke buttercream/ganache celebration and wedding cakes which are bold in flavour and infused with sweet spices, Award winning Nankhatai- Indian shortbread, desserts and treats. We supply directly to customers and café’s, restaurants. Chinskitchen initially started off as a vegetarian food blog in 2013 where I shared a range of fusion recipes. My cooking/baking is influenced by a multicultural background I grew up with. My passion for baking and cooking started from a very young age when I used to eagerly watch my mum bake delicious cakes using very basic ingredients and simple tools such as a wooden spoon and bowl. I used to sneak into the kitchen and start cooking whatever I could from what I observed. At the age of 12 we moved to the UK, my mum had purchased a subscription of cake decorating books for my sister. That was just the beginning of my adventures in baking and baking with a fusion of flavours and spices was a niche for me.
What were your drivers and motivations for setting up Chins Kitchin?
Over time I used to help mum host dinner parties and I was in charge of desserts, I started baking a lot for family and friends. My friends came to know me as the go-to girl for special occasion cakes and bakes and, in 2015, I launched ‘Indian dessert-inspired cakes’ to test the market, enabling others to get a taste too.
The concept? To weave elements of classic Indian sweetmeats into traditional cake recipes, creating something quite different to anything else on the market. Applying the same thinking to Indian shortbread, my now Great Taste-award-winning acclaimed range of nankhatai biscuits was born. Chinskitchen launched as a Artisan baking business in February 2016, turning my passion into a business which is growing successfully.
When I’m not in the kitchen, I’m doing great things elsewhere; notably as a charity champion for Find Your Feet – an organisation devoted to enabling families in India, Nepal, Malawi and Zimbabwe to break out of the poverty cycle.
The organisation’s annual Curry for Change campaign raises funds through celebrating Indian food – having wooed guests with savoury and sweet food at both her own and large-scale co-hosted events, I continue to dedicate time, recipes, and desserts to the cause.
How do you balance the business around family and childcare?
This is a million dollar question, It is not easy and can be very challenging as I have to split my time across everything I do. However, when you do something that you are passionate about you put your heart and soul into it and you will make the time to achieve your goals. I plan my days and weeks but it always changes. You have to do what works for you. Planning in advance and blocking your time does help but allow for some flexibility. There are times where I have ended up working until 2 AM and start the next day at 6 AM. I will also add that I have a very supportive family, I work with them to see where they can help out ie: school pick ups, child care etc. Any family events happening are in the diary so I know not to take on any more work.
Since setting up the business what’s been your biggest success to date?
There have been many successes to date, one of them is to fulfil and be able to work on my passion and dream with the support of my family and friends. My products have won Guild of Fine Foods Great Taste Awards 2016/2017, and I am a official stockist at Hilton T5, plus my recipes have been published in international baking cook books.
What’s your top tip for Mums who are thinking about setting up their own business?
Research and test the market before you set up your business. Be prepared for a lot of hard work and to face challenges along the way, and have the right mind set on how to overcome these challenges. Challenges make you stronger. If it is your dream and passion then go for it, don’t let anything or anyone stop you, a lot of the times our fear of failure stops us but don’t let it stop you. If you don’t do it someone else will do it.
Thank you so much Chintal for taking part in my series, it was lovely to interview you, and I wish you the best of luck in the future.
If you would like to be part of my Mums in Business then just drop me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or have a nose at some of the other businesses I have featured in my series: Kids to Career, Moment Health and Isabella & Us.