HERE’S a sweet treat for all you readers with that commanding sweet tooth…a FITC who makes a living baking and serving up some of the most delectable cakes and treats that one can find in Castries.
Lila Robinson is a cake baker/cake designer…in fact, expert cake craftperson in my book and is the owner and founder of SweetCakery Cake Shop which can be found on Mary Ann Street.
The entrepreneur who hails from Gros Islet considers herself to be very reserved. However, in the presence of her inner circle, she blossoms into the life of the party.
Robinson said above all she is extremely disciplined and business focused and as much as she enjoys the good times, it’s always business before pleasure.
When asked about the origins of her passion for baking, she said it was an acquired skill that was realised whilst trying to find herself and her calling.
Robinson said: “Having so many sisters and growing up as a tomboy I really never knew my way in the kitchen, and at that time even after achieving a good education and holding down a job, my mom would always insist that I found a particular skill so that I could be somebody. So with that, I attempted to try all that I could until I realised that I had a passion for baking…I also loved that it made the room smell good.
The VOICE: Tell me a little bit about your cake shop.
Lila: Sweet Cakery Cake Shop is my dream in progress. It is presently located on Mary Ann Street where we offer a range of great tasting and mouthwatering treats/goodies as side products to our handy craftsman designed cakes. We are always ready to take any cake orders.
The VOICE: How did you get into the cake business?
Lila: It first started when I opened Capri’s Cafe where I sold my cakes. There, they got a lot of attention from customers but unfortunately, we had to close down. This bad patch left me home with quite a bit of time on my hands and this drove me to baking. I’d bake for family and friends, the tastiest cakes, cupcakes, cheesecakes etc. One of the sweetest things about Sweet Cakery is that my husband and daughter are always ready to jump right in and help out.
The VOICE: How do you manage to refrain from eating all of your tasty treats? Ok, that was a joke but looking at your svelte figure, how are you able to maintain it when you are surrounded by such goodies?
Lila: Actually I don’t fight it…I taste everything almost every time I bake, usually while it’s hot and then I throw it down with a cup of tea, coffee or water. Now about my weight, well I go walking off and on to keep me balanced…that’s the time I call my “me” time.
The VOICE: With healthy eating and lifestyles becoming increasingly popular and the particular warnings against diabetes and other non-communicable diseases being constantly disseminated, do you worry about the longevity of your business?
Lila: Most definitely, No question about that! Although at Sweet Cakery our treats are always readily available, my clients come first. I don’t worry about the longevity. I consider the fact that I am healthy even though I eat cakes and treats and I think for myself and others who do have a sweet tooth. We all have to enjoy life. Sweet Cakery loves our everyday customers, every day is usually different and we are not saying that you should eat our cakes and treats every single day but we are happy to make someone’s day much sweeter no matter what the occasion.
The VOICE: Continuing on from the last question, have you ever received any negative feedback since setting up shop?
Lila: Except for the fact that we are hidden, there is absolutely no negativity and if there ever is, I’m guessing the positive will outweigh it.
The VOICE: What does it take to get a business like this off the ground and to keep it running successfully?
Lila: Firstly, I would say the love for it is most important. I would then say the passion, a good plan, patience and a great support team like my family in my case who loves me and do what is needed to be done in terms of help. Also you have to be persistent and be open to learning new ideas in spite of difficulty or opposition (if there is). One must learn to connect with, know and be engaged with your clients and customers…this is very important.
The VOICE: With employment or lack thereof being a constant talking point, is this a business venture that you would encourage people to go into?
Lila: Well for me, life is about taking risks or chances and you will never know the outcome until you try but you have to be positive and as I mentioned before, there must be passion. You need to love what you are doing. There will be challenges as in most businesses and you might not know of your competitors but there are plenty. Unlike Sweet Cakery most people are working from home which allows them to play with cake pricing. Nonetheless we at Sweet Cakery Cake Shop continue to bring consistency, taste and quality.