Get bamboozled with the chocolate frenzy: Sumi Shroff

A know-how on Sumi Shroff, a mother of two and a home baker.

Our specialty in eggless free desserts brought in the success factor

Sumi Shroff

With an amazing response in India and abroad, ‘Addicted to Chocolate,’ taken forward by Sumi Shroff has won hearts. For the third time in a row, the ‘Oats Nutella Almond Slab,’ has been the showstopper. Along with the creation of sinful delights, below is a ‘must-see’ conversation to have an overview on the same.

How did your journey as a home baker begin? Give us an overview.

Being a home baker by profession, I started my journey, ‘Addicted to Chocolate,’ five years back in June, 2015. Cooking has always been my passion and runs in my genes, but my fascination with baking started much later. My tryst with cooking started when I started taking cooking classes, workshops and camps. This resulted in my recipes getting published in various journals and magazines. I was also invited to judge various cooking competitions in schools, colleges and clubs.

Now that birthday parties and events are taking place on online platforms, how has your delivery pattern molded?

As birthday parties have become virtual, the new trend is sending return gifts to the kids attending ‘zoom parties.’ From assorted boxes to DIY kits, both have been the adaptation tools for these times. We also directly deliver to the houses of kids scheduling in-person parties.

Being a home baker, how have your orders been coming in?

Being a home baker, my orders are mostly via word of mouth or more specifically ‘taste of mouth.’ My main orders are placed via Instagram or when a product reaches someone.

With your specialization being in eggless cakes, how many people on an average opt for the same?

The menu is entirely veg-based, except for my travel brownies which contain egg. Even though I provide an option for eggless brownies, only 50% of the people prefer eggless desserts. A lot of times, people are very specific about their preferences, of whether they want their orders with/ without egg. This is due to the myth that only ‘egg cakes can be spongy and soft.’ Even then, they immediately get back with feedbacks and their opinions on the same.

With sanitization being a new companion, what are the protocols that you take into consideration to attract customers?

Hygiene has always played a very important role in my business, so not much of a difference. Just that, I have stopped ordering a few products on a temporary basis, which required the rind of fruits or direct leaves and floral decoration on cakes, as well. As far as the packaging is concerned, my orders are packed in ‘seal kings,’ after which they are packed up in boxes. A lot of times, they are packed in two boxes, so that the outer covering can be removed.

What are the challenges that you face on a daily basis, with your business having spread all across India and the pandemic being an additional factor?

The main issue is when it comes to sending hampers/ orders via courier. Since couriers have become much more expensive, along with unexpected delays and tracking issues even with the best of the courier services, it is a real task to cope with the same. The availability of raw materials and an increase in cost adds to it.

As per your observations, what is the shift that has escalated during the pandemic, with regards to the sale-factor?

The daily sales have not been affected. As of now, it is the orders through weddings and return gifts which has considerably come down from 100 to 10 or 20 hampers. So, in terms of the bulk-factor, it has been affected. But, orders as such, have not decreased.

Since these times have called for people to stay home, do they prefer ordering from bakeries or rely on home bakers as well?

People are preferring to order from home bakers as of now, but at the same time, this lockdown has made every second person a home baker. So, the competition has increased by nearly 75% to 80%. But there has not been a major difference, since I have set a limited menu and the orders have been the same.