In today’s Student Spotlight, we’re bringing you Inès Cheffi from Cheffi’s Pastries!
Inès has always had a passion for food. When she started to live on her own, she began cooking and baking and was always complimented on the taste of her food so she continued to experiment with baking at home.
Tell us your story! How did you get into cakes?
In 2015 I was asked by my cousin to make his wedding cake and that’s when I realised I loved it! I loved making something unique for clients that contributed to their special day. At the time I was pregnant, so when my maternity leave ended I decided to start a business doing something I loved, baking and cooking.
I was reminded of how much I loved weddings. I loved the process with the couple and creating unique cakes, so I decided to make that my core business. I won a ZIWA Award in 2019 for first place in wedding cakes. I was very proud of my achievement, this positively supported my decision to continue specialising in wedding cakes.
How has your business evolved since Covid-19?
My core business was always wedding cakes and wedding sweet tables so when covid hit I had to change my thoughts and focus on small celebration cakes. This meant I had to start my business all over again and look for a new type of client. I was lucky enough that my partner took care of all the costs of the household and I could focus on paying rent for my cake atelier and the usual costs.
How do you find working with buttercream in your climate?
I live in the Netherlands so it’s sometimes a wet climate but I found it easy to work with except on tropical days. But that’s all going to change soon because I am going to have an airconditioned space whoop whoop!
Any cake disaster story?
It was a nice summer’s day and I learned the hard way that when you fill a cake with only mascarpone cream it’s never going to hold all the weight and will start to melt down. Luckily the cake held up long enough for the couple to cut the cake and serve it. I can only say that I learned a lot from that disaster haha!
What made you decide to take an online course?
When I started my business, I didn’t have a signature look for my cakes. I did whatever people wanted me to make. That made me nervous and unhappy because I made cakes that I didn’t like at all haha! I wanted a professional look and luxurious feel for my products. So when I was looking at cakes that made me happy, I found the DTC concrete cake course and loved it!
What DTC course have you enrolled in and how have they helped you?
I think I’ve done all the courses haha! I found them practical, easy to work with, and they helped me to look at my cake business in a different way. They helped me as an entrepreneur to look into the costs vs time and be realistic about them as well.
Check out Inès' work
What advice do you have for people starting out in their modern cake making journey?
Look what suits you! Keep investigating for new techniques and try them out. And say no to cakes you don’t want to make unless it will make it worth your while.