An interview with Mehvish AbuBakar of Sinful Bites

An interview with Mehvish AbuBakar of Sinful Bites

The Desi Appetite team sits with Mehvish Abubakar – the owner of Sinful Bites. She’s a home caterer based in Karachi. She started off in 2012 with an array of scrumptious desserts but since then she has involved her mother in the business to start savory items & Indian street food.

Q. So first question – tell us a bit of Sinful Bites.
Sinful Bites’ is a home-based business that started with the sale of cakes, cupcakes, and brownies at first, and then we gradually added new items and expanded our menu to savories, frozen snacks, etc.

Q. We were going through your product range and make desserts, frozen food AND Indian street food! Positively scrumptious but how do YOU manage all of that!
My mother and I divide the work. I do all the baking, and some items from the frozen snacks menu, while my mother does most of the frozen snacks, mainly the Indian street food!

Q. And of course, we want to know the favorites from your menu? Desserts & Savory both of course.
My Twix Cake is a huge hit! It’s a really moist chocolate cake filled with crushed biscuits and home-made caramel sauce, with chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream frosting. Another fave is brownies, which are really fudgy and gooey.
Under savory items: Peri Bites, Paneer Cheese Parcels, Chicken Tikka Pizza Rolls, Dhoklas, Ragda Patties and Vada Pavs are hot faves, and they are all made by my mother.

Q.  What is a typical day like for you?
Simultaneously managing the page, replying to all the queries, and preparing the orders is definitely not very easy, I tell you. So it’s usually a crazy busy day in the kitchen for me almost every day.

Q. We have all had baking fails. Can you tell us a baking disaster that you have faced and how you fixed it?
This incident is actually quite funny now that I think of it! Last year, after one week of Eid-ul-Fitr break, I decided to bake a cake, and shortly after it was out of the oven, I realized that I had forgotten to add sugar! Big fail! There was no fixing this disaster. I just went onto baking a new one.

Q.  What is the greatest challenge of starting a home based catering business in Karachi?
Finding new customers is a huge challenge. Limited resources to begin with. Overhead costs have to be considered. Have to stay efficient and consistent in what you offer.

Q.  How do you think social media (especially food forums) has impacted your business in the last couple of years?
Social media is a powerful tool for businesses today. While word-of-mouth can be great influencer too, social media, especially food forums, plays a much more significant role in not only increasing business awareness and generating more exposure, but also greatly influencing purchasing decisions.
Q. With Ramazan coming up, we know your frozen food range is going to be very popular! How do you plan your Ramazan schedule with the orders and the heat! We would love to get some tips.
We usually prepare all the fillings for the frozen snacks at the beginning of the day, and then samosas, rolls etc. at night. So that’s how we manage. The idea is to keep yourselves hydrated and not get overworked. Though, admittedly it does get tough at times.

Q. We have noticed that competition in the baking world is getting more cut-throat day by day. New bakers are coming up with even lower prices. Customers are falling for it and getting disappointed. How do the premium bakers stand out and deal with this competition?
What new comers need to understand that it’s not just about the price, it’s about the trust you build over time. How does one build good relationship with the client? By winning their trust! And this isn’t something that can be achieved in one day. It took us quite some time to build our clientele. We ensured (and still do) the clients that we use top quality ingredients in all of our products. Rest, the reviews on the page speak for themselves, so people have a fair idea that we deliver what we promise – the best in the business.

Q. What is next on the Sinful Bites horizon?
If things work out in my favor, then I plan to open up a small bakery/cafe of Sinful Bites in future, Insha’Allah.

Q. What advice would you give to people who want to start a catering business in Karachi?
Focus on your goals, stay passionate about what you do, and trust yourself!

Q. We would love it if you would share a recipe from the ‘Sinful Bites’ kitchen.
I love making Chocolate Smoothie, perfect drink to beat the heat!
You will need the following:
Milk: 1 cup
Nestle Yogurt: ¼ cup
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: 1 tbsp heaped
Nutella: 1 tbsp heaped
Banana: ½
Peanut Butter: 1 tsp
Ice cubes: ½ cup
Simply mix all these ingredients together in a blender and serve immediately.

If you want to order from Sinful Bites, here are the details. 

Contact Number: 0324 2176888
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