Hope Mari Adegbeye (@sweetness_cakes)
C.E.O, SWEETNESS CAKES (FOOD AND BEVERAGE COMPANY) 2011-Now
At first glance, the petite and beautiful woman would strike you as a model who somehow has managed to keep in shape despite all the calorie-adding foods that scream for our attention on and off the counter. Then it gets even more interesting when you see two adorable children come running towards her mouthing the words “mummy”. Now you are hooked and so for your curiosity to be satisfied, you would want to find out more. This is what we know how to do best at BLACK SAFAYA! Meet wife, mother and entrepreneur, Mrs. Hope Mari, the woman behind Sweetness Cakes, a baking and confectionery company based in Kaduna, Nigeria as she takes you on a journey to sweetness…
How did Sweetness Cakes KD all start?
- Document Beginnings!
I started baking to make money; I hated having to ask my parents for money, so I started selling cakes to my friends so I could have some extra money to hold on to. Mommy had poultry, so eggs were not my problem; I’d steal some and bake some things that looked like baked pancakes and somehow, the more they flopped the more I tried harder.
Then for the first time I baked a cake in my home economics class and that was when I got hooked, and since then I could not take my hands off baking. After I started dating Olufukeji, now my husband, I named my company after him. I call him “Sweetness.”
What are the favourite things you love to bake?
- Identify your passion!
I love baking carrot cakes and Sponge cakes, those are my two favourite cakes.
What baking skills do you consider yourself an expert in?
- Be a master at something!
Whew! I haven’t become an expert yet o… But I’ll say I love making sugar flowers, and I am still perfecting the art so I can become a master.
Who do you look up to in the industry?
- Find a mentor!
I love Ron Ben Israel of @rbicakes, and I aspire to be like him and even better. When I discovered Mrs. Ezinne Okonkwo of @dewdropscakes had been trained by him, I started tracking her, she’s my mentor and has been instrumental in the rise of Sweetness Cakes.
But I also look up to other excellent bakers like Terry Addido of @grated_nutmeg, Tarella of @dripplescakes. They are many o! Buddy Valastro of @carlosbakery, Siky Adewuyi of @cakesncandy, Amina Jamil of @sugardustbyamina. See ehn, they are many o! I know exactly why I follow them, and I know their cakes by just seeing them even without their brand names on it.
Have you had any major baking disaster? If yes, how did you remedy and deliver it to the customer?
- Mistakes are opportunities for growth!
There are many o…the most recent, I forgot to dowel rod one layer of a cake and when I remembered I thought to myself, “the cake would hold itself up, you don’t need the dowels.”
I finished the setup, rushed to the wedding and when I returned to the reception venue, the cake had started slanting. I quickly realized that and tried to adjust the cake, but no way. At some point, the compere called me, “Mrs. cake Decorator, come and adjust your cake; it is falling o!”
It was embarrassing but I went forward and reassembled the cake again. I apologized to both the bride and groom and they weren’t offended. I explained what happened, and promised to make them a free cake on their first baby’s birthday.
On my part I learnt that day never to underestimate dowel rods, so I was glad it happened that day and not at an event where I wouldn’t have been forgiven. I always use my disasters as a learning experience.
List a few recipes you currently teach
- Offer value and monetize your passion!
OK! I don’t just teach cake recipes, I help bakers make their cakes taste moist, delicious, mouth-watering, appetizing, flavoursome, flavourful, toothsome, inviting, very enjoyable, and palatable. These are the fruits of the spirit of any cake. A CAKE WITHOUT THESE IS NO CAKE AT ALL!
These are some of the few recipes I teach:
Red velvet cake
Rich fruit cake
What’s your greatest challenge and milestone/achievement so far?
Greatest challenge would have to be the gas explosion I had while baking.
Greatest achievement so far is a training I attended in Lagos by Mrs. Ezinne Okonkwo and Terry Addido. I was in the same room with many other passionate bakers from around the world. It was really an experience.
How do you combine motherhood, marriage and career…the work-life balance?
- The work-life balance!
First, I would say I am so blessed to have married Olufukeji Adegbeye. He’s so supportive and he’s actually the one who has pushed me this far. He has been a support system; he understands me and my passion so well that he makes excuses for the days when I am buried in work. There are days when he has to help out with the kids, house chores and the cooking while I bake. There are days when we have to eat out, and he hardly ever complains.
My parents and siblings too are very supportive, they love the kids so much that I actually take them home whenever I have so much to do.
My kids too have grown to understand that mommy is a baker and so they are learning to be supportive and not make unnecessary demands, especially when I am baking. When I am not baking, I pay back for the lost time baking has stolen by spending quality time with my loved ones.
But above all God has really been my help and support, He has taught me how to balance my life, how to be a loving wife to my husband, mom to my children and friend to the people who look up to me, he has helped me to set my priorities right and concentrate on the things that matter the most, so I’ll say it’s been God all the way.
What are your last words to the woman out there who sees you as her role model?
- Help others grow!
Love God, trust Him to help you discover yourself; trust him to help you discover your purpose, get friends that remind you of your purpose and help you live it. Also, trust God to lead you to that man who would love you and help you live your purpose to the fullest.
Above all Love God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind (Luke 10:27).
For bookings, orders, consultancy services or other enquiries, contact her here, 08033586095 or email@example.com