Nina Williams, is a self taught pastry chef based in Bulawayo. She is known for her best cupcakes in town. Nina believes that striving to make quality and unique products helps her stay ahead in the business world. She does not shy away from the internet to learn some new skills in the business. Despite the current economic crunch, the sky is the limit for her, she has found a way around the situation and has created a niche for her products.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START THIS BUSINESS?
I really like to be in the kitchen, it makes me feel alive. My family is also into being in the kitchen. My sister is the one who started baking, and she taught me and my mother. Basically, my family is what inspired me to start my own pastry business. They have since supported me, and we have grown as a family of pastry chefs. I decided to specialize in cupcakes as a way of setting myself apart from my competition. I do bake cakes and other products, but my specialty is cupcakes.
WHAT CHALLENGES THAT YOU FACE IN YOUR LINE OF WORK AND HOW DO YOU OVERCOME THEM?
It is not easy to come up with fresh ideas all the time in order to beat other pastry chefs out there. We are all trying to differentiate ourselves from each other, which is why I have learnt to stick to my craft, and improve it. Mixing the dough and all the other finishes required is quite laborious as well. Clients require good quality cupcakes which means I spend most of my time trying to improve my techniques. Great pricing is also essential, one has to move around town comparing prices so as to buy affordable ingredients that will make my end products cheaper. The economy is on a decline at the moment, but I try my best to soldier on.
HOW DO YOU STAY UP TO DATE WITH BAKING TRENDS IN SUCH A COMPETITIVE TRADE
Instagram is my go to platform to get inspiration for my work. I follow other pastry chefs from overseas, I learn from them, and try to improve their techniques to come up with my own unique recipes. It helps that Instagram is very visual, I get to learn the many ways I can make my work look great and taste better. I also look around for different type of sprinkles and try to come up with unique flavors which nobody else would think about. I am very big on risk taking, so I try out different flavours and toppings, and most olf the times this works out for me.
ON A SCALE OF ONE TO TEN, HOW DO YOU RATE YOUR CUPCAKES COMPARED TO OTHER CHEFS?
With the ork and number of years I have put into my craft, I would say im at eight. This is because im not afraid to learn new things to better my craft. I am open to learning and growing in the business as well as my brand. This is why I can’t say ten. I keep looking for the next best way to present myself or serve my clients and when ever a client is happy about my work, I have achieved my goal.
Follow Nina on Instagram here