Biodun Adeloye is a London based cake specialist. She bakes the best cakes in town. Though she lives in London, she frequents Nigeria. She has a shop in Lagos called Inspiration Cakes that sells cakes and cake accessories to other bakers who need her series. A few weeks back, Bee-Loye who is a mother of 4 lovely girls and is a single mum spoke to City People Publisher, SEYE KEHINDE about her world. Her nickname Bee was coined from Biodynamics and Loye from Adeloye. Her Lagos shop is at 39 College Road, Haruna Bus Stop, Ogba, Lagos.
Why did you go into the cake business?
I would say it’s my passion. It started from my secondary school. I went to Isabatudeen Girls Grammar School in Ibadan. I did Food & Nutrition. That is where the whole passion started from when I traveled, no matter what, if my friends asks me to give them a present its always cakes. In London, there was so many opportunities and I decided to take advantage of the fact that I was abroad to study more. So I went for courses in Beginners, Intermediate & Advanced In Cakes in a College and I was able to learn other things that I wasn’t taught in Nigeria.
That was after my degree. I did my primary and secondary school here then I did my degree and Masters in London. I was born there. And I went back after my secondary school.
What did you do after you left school?
I worked with HMRC, Revenue & Customs. I was with them for about 15 years. So I used to book my leave in December so that I can have time for cakes. After I had my last born, I decided to leave to face my cake business. I quit the job after 16 years and started my cake business.
You’ve been doing cakes now for how long?
Officially, I started 2002 for my daughters 5th birthday, I launched it on that day.
When you came back to Nigeria, how easy was it set up here in Lagos?
Its not been easy. I still shuttle. I am not fully back. I do about 5 to 6 times in a year. This year this is my 3rd time here now. I love Nigeria I won’t lie. People that are baking in Nigeria are not taking it for granted. They are really serious minded. They look at those of us coming from abroad as coming to compete with them. They envy us. They will never help you. They will never tell you what you need to know until. I started going for exhibition and I joined so many groups on whatsapp and I started meeting people and I discovered many places myself.
How has the business been?
So far so good. Nigeria still pays than the UK. In the UK there are so many big stores where you can easily walk into and buy cake. But if you really wanted proper home-made cake, it is always good to get somebody to do it for you because those one in the shop would have been baked for a long time and it is refrigerated Nigerians prefer proper home made cakes.
There is an auntie of mine who encouraged me. She used to live in London too. She owns Cosby Cake at Ikeja. She told me to keep doing what I am doing that I should maintain my standard. She said I should keep stocking good quality imputed products. She said no matter the amount people will buy. She said don’t stop your quality because they will know it will last longer.
How do you see the growth that the Cake business has witnessed in the last few years?
You have to be very creative when you are into cakes. Don’t go beyond your boundaries. With cake skills, stick to what you know. I know what I am good at, I know what I am not good at and I don’t pretend. For instance I am not good at caring, so I wouldn’t even go there. I know where my limits and, so I stick to it. My strength is that I go for training. So, I am abreast of the latest in cake making. If you know you want to be on top of your game and you have passion for it, then you have to keep going for training. I stick to what I know. I stick to my level. I still learn more. Cake business has gone haywire. People have become very creative.
When you decided to go into cakes years back, how were you able to convince your parents?
My mum knows I love cooking. When I was in school. I scored A1 all through in my Food and Nutrition courses. My mum noticed that my passion is towards that direction of making cakes and cooking. And anytime it comes to party cooking she will see me jumping for it. I will be the one jumping for it. Everything is about passion. She never tried to stop me. I don’t think I can ever learn cakes.
What did you study in school?
I did sociology but I was still baking then. It’s been a passion. I love it.
How was growing up for you?
Growing up was nice. I was raised alone by my mum. She has 5 of us. It wasn’t that easy. We were born abroad, but brought us back here to Nigeria to school. Then she asked us to go back and do our university and we started going back one-by-one. I grew up in Ibadan. All my school life was in Ibadan. I am a JJC in Lagos. Growing up in Ibadan shaped my life. Ibadan is lovely. Its peaceful. I grew up with nice people in Ibadan. But interestingly all my friends are now in Lagos compared to Ibadan, Lagos is very good for business. The fast pace of Lagos helps business. Ibadan is very peaceful to live but in terms of business it is a bit dull.
So what services do you offer here?
I do event planning, I bake cakes, souvenirs, I do supply drinks. I do a lot. I am very adventurous.