EASY MAGAZINE: Zari’s sweet life
AT FIRST ZARI LUKE wanted to be a doctor but her dislike for physics diverted her attention and she drew inspiration from her mother Cheryl Carter-Duke, a certified general accountant, and picked up accounts.
However, Zari, 19, also had a knack for making a strong case and decided to study law along with accounts at the Barbados Community College (BCC). She is now on the home stretch of a law degree at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus.
But most days will find Zari elbow deep in dough, whipping up yummy cupcakes, home-style rotis and delicious pizzas for eager customers in her business Dream Creations.
During an interview with EASY magazine recently, the Harrison College alumna explained that her grandmother, on her mother’s side, sparked her interest in baked goods.
“She was a head cook and my mother did a cake and icing course but she doesn’t like her hands getting dirty so I picked it up,” Zari said laughingly.
“I was one of those children who liked being up behind granny licking the spoons and bowls after she baked. It got so bad that I didn’t use to like eating certain things cooked and my grandfather used to feed me raw dumplings. Even now I prefer to eat the cake batter than to eat the cake when it’s finished.”
Zari Luke perfecting the design on this cake.
Zari said she was grateful that her mother supported her in any area she could, including helping her order the essential ingredients she needed to meet the demands of customers.
“My business does not necessarily finance my way through school but it helps my mother with bills. Right now I am only living with her because my dad is overseas and he doesn’t always get to help. Let’s say I make a certain amount of money, half would be mine and the other half is hers; I consider myself to me a mummy’s girl because I am very fond of her. My boyfriend Nicholas also helps me in this venture. Anytime I need help all hands come on deck.”
Zari went to a couple of baking classes to improve her skills and does not like to be placed in a box.
“If you come and ask me to do anything I would,” she said.
However, her specialty is cakes, rotis and pizzas.
“I find that when it comes to cakes and cupcakes people get really creative; not that they aren’t with the pizzas but you can only do so many things with pizza. I also find that my skills in art help me with designing the cakes and I do any flavour the customer wishes . . . . It doesn’t matter if they want red velvet, vanilla, pina colada, chocolate or cookies and cream.
“Or sometimes I just come up with ideas in my head because I try to create flavours that people don’t normally think of like coffee chocolate cake or cayenne pepper chocolate cake and people actually do like the cayenne. They say they like the little kick of heat. The next thing I would like to try is a chocolate chip cheesecake brownie with caramel sauce.”
Although it may seem like Zari has a lot on her plate she finds a way to juggle her business and school load.
“Let’s say I start to study at 9 a.m. I would do two subjects until 1 p.m. I would stop, bake and start back around 4 p.m.
Zari, who lives in Windward Garden, St Philip, added that this routine of baking helps to take her mind off the difficult subjects she has to study.
“Law is very stressful. I would not encourage anybody to do it unless they totally love it.”
Zari has always been involved in something entrepreneurial.
Her family used to raise broilers and she recalled the days when she had to pluck chickens and scale and bone flying fish.
“Some people prefer to say I want my child to be a doctor or lawyer but when the money adds up from making cakes it is a full-time job. It can even be something more if you push through and show your passion for it.
“Some parents need to be more understanding and supportive of their children. If I did not like accounts and law the way I do, I would have pursued baking.”