My name is Victoria Kasuwa Ojito from Karu, local government area of Nasarawa State. I was born into the family of Mr and Mrs Timothy and Patricia Kasuwa on 12th August, 1987 in Keffi, Nasarawa State. I am the second of four children. My educational career started at Ghandi Memorial International School, Jakarta, Indonesia. From there, I came back to Nigeria for my secondary education at Regina Pacis College Abuja. I later proceeded to Nasarawa State University where I graduated with a B.A English in 2009. I did my National Youth Service programme in Ondo State. My primary assignment was at Community Grammar School, Obe Idapo, a riverine area. I learnt many new things there and it was fun all through my stay. I own the brand name Vina Cakes and Pastries.
How It All Started
Cake baking is a passion I picked up as a child. I watched my mother bake and I just loved the way she did it and I felt, I too should. I would say I learnt from her. It was easy for me to start since my mother is already into it. As I progressed, I bought some books to learn how to do icing, different types of cakes and eventually I became perfect in the skill due to constant practice. There were times I made errors but I never gave up because I was determined to excel. The business started officially in 2012 after the Ondo State Government paid my allowance in bulk at the end of my service year. I got N50,000 from the state government and went to shop for basic things I needed.
What Sets You Apart From Competitors?
The taste of my cake and neatness of my work is always commended by people. Those who have had a taste of my chocolate cakes keep coming back wanting more of it. My younger sister is a student outside the country and there are times I have to bake for her friends because they just can’t get enough of it. I feel glad each time I get these reactions because it is a recipe I got through trial and errors.
My passion for baking keeps me going. I am a journalist but the creativity in baking got me stuck and I am loving it.
There was one time I tried delivering a cake and it fell. It was a terrible experience. Another instance was a topsy turvy cake I did for a wedding, I was done icing and delivered it. They later realized it was cracking because the structure was not strong enough to hold the three sets of cake. They called me a night before the wedding to tell me, that same night around 8pm, I left Lafia to Abuja, baked another cake and delivered it before the wedding. It was a terrible experience, but I had to take that risk and extra cost because I need to satisfy my customers, I don’t joke with them, no matter the cost.
The major challenge I have for now is funds. I want to expand this business, but expansion requires certain equipment and they are very expensive. Equipment is everything one needs because with it, one can create anything you need.
I have made reasonable progress and gained a lot as I started with just a pan, wooden spoon before I later made money to buy a big oven, burner, two Kenwood big mixers though it got spoilt along the way. I also bought a very big industrial mixer, small mixers and other necessities for the business. People have been coming for training but I have not been able to, due to time. I look forward to a time when I can pass this skill on to others.
I do not have any because baking is fun.
The fear of disappointing customers. I usually take comments from them very seriously. So I try my best to make it perfect just the way they like it. I once made a three step cake for a customer and she complained about the audible paper I cut saying it was not as smooth as she wanted it. I knew it was well cut but, in order to satisfy her, I had to give her a discount and she was happy I did. When she got home, she had to call and let me know the taste was way beyond her expectation. On hearing it I was overjoyed because she got value for her money and she was a first time customer. I was glad because I was told beforehand that she was a perfectionist.
Most of the cakes we see on Instagram have slight errors but pictures cover it up through editing making it look flawless.
Most Memorable Day
The day I held my son in my arms after waiting for three years to have him.
I would love to open a bakery because I also make cookies and bread. The bread I make are the ones I ate when I was younger. I have a recipe but time to set it up has not been easy. There is this chocolate bread, I have never seen in the country that I would also love to introduce as well as funky doughnuts I was opportune to see when I travelled out.
I really want to be like the cake boss himself, Buddy, I usually watch his cake show on Food Network.
I love trying new recipes, watching action and horror movies. Romantic movies are not my thing because sometimes what we see does not apply in our society.
It is tough. I am a strong woman, a hustler who loves to work. I believe I can make it even though combining baking and journalism is hectic, on most occasions I bake at night.
Advice To Women
Do not give up. Share your dream with your spouse, let them know you are strong and can achieve it. Keep practicing to be the best at it. In whatever you do, do not let anyone or any situation weigh you down. For men, allow your wives express themselves because it will go a long way in helping the family.
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