Piece of cake
Kathy-Ann Michelle Osbourne used to shadow her aunt Yvonne, the cake maker/baker in the family. When she entered The St Michael’s Secondary school she did classes in home economics and would entertain the family with every recipe learnt.
When she lost her job earning bread she turned to making bread – baking cakes and pastry.
“Baking cakes was a hobby, doing birthday cakes for close friends and family. I was the administrative assistant for a manufacturing company and when I lost my job, a couple of my friends pushed me to move from hobby to business and I have expanded slowly to where I am now.”
The St Peter mum of two girls furthered her skills by attending Joan’s Sugar Craft where “I learnt some of the finer skills and a few tricks of the trade. Some aspects were self taught. Some recipes are old recipes that were altered or from books.
“I have also experimented and put my personal twist on things. The important thing to do when experimenting is to keep good records of all changes made.”
The business is called KAMO?Kakes (the first initials from each of her names, and the 37-year-old baker has a home operation.
“I started small, buying equipment as I got small orders from friends for parties, birthdays, weddings and also when my aunt Yvonne of Yvonnes Catering has functions I will do the required desserts.”
Many of those desserts and cakes range from personalized ones featuring personalities, cartoon characters and some Independence cakes that she posted on Facebook that elicited many surprised responses.
“I was just surprised at the response the Independence cakes received on Beautiful Barbados. It’s hard to please people. Sometimes you meet difficult customers who it doesn’t matter how you try you cannot please them and there are those who desire lots of detail in their product but do not want to pay for it. I am, however, thankful that such customers are in the minority as most of my customers are from referrals.”
Kathy Ann has flavours such as Chocolate Baileys, Pina Colada, Red Velvet and many more and says great cakes are her speciality:?“It is somewhat funny as great cake is not my first choice of cake to eat. I just love baking. To say I have a favourite item is so hard but if I had to choose I would say cheesecake. With cheesecake there are no limits to experimenting with flavours so I can cater to individual palates.”
Kathy Ann remembers her favourite cake she made was her first bag cake, “because I just took up the challenge. I had never made any and decided to try it. The appreciation shown by the excited customer who said it took them days before they cut it gave me the confidence to try all designs on cakes.”
Since KAMO?Kakes is a one-woman show, the baker is up at 5 a.m., followed by a full day in the kitchen. “Depending on order,s I may not get to bed before 10 or 11 p.m. As a single mother, balancing work spending quality time with the children can be difficult and I am thankful to my extended family and close friends for helping out.
“It’s challenging. Having to fill the chain of command myself and ensuring that all customers are satisfy is time consuming, so I had to give up a huge part of my social life.”
Kathy Ann said she has learnt important lessons since starting Kamo Kakes.
“Go after your dreams. The road can be rocky but it’s worth trying.”