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‘Mother’ to all baked goods


‘Mother’ to all baked goods

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It’s not unusual to find Terissa Bushell elbow-deep in flour, eggs, and icing sugar at this time of the year.

It’s the Christmas season, one of the busiest times of the year for the St Philip baker and she usually gets “a lot of orders for great cakes and cheesecakes”. And, said the owner of Teri’s Pastries, she was a “professional bowl licker” long before she started the business just over three years ago, so she knows her stuff.

Bushell told BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY she started baking while a student of The St Michael School where she did the CSEC exam in food and nutrition.

“I wanted to do a cheesecake for my SBA and my teacher gave me a recipe for it. I fell in love and it picked up from there. I used to sell different types of cheesecake slices and cupcakes at lunch time to my colleagues, and it kind of snowballed from there.

“My grandmother was a baker and I used to help her out in the kitchen as much as I could. Her speciality was great cakes and conkies, more traditional baking but I was the professional bowl licker, so that’s probably where I got my start.”

After studying law and math at the Barbados Community College and management at the University of the West Indies, it was a bold step for her to say goodbye to accounting and start baking her cakes, pastries, bread pudding, and banana bread. They all come with gluten and egg-free options.

“When I entered the workforce, I was working for a chartered accountant. There were other companies in the complex and I started baking for them. I used to call it the crazy cupcake weekend and they would make their orders,” she recalled.

“I would try to do a different flavour each month and around Halloween, I did them with toppers – I made eyeballs…things that were Halloween oriented. I did the same thing for Valentine’s Day and then there was a month dedicated to cheesecakes only.

“My boss called me into her office one day and asked if I was sure I wanted to stay in accounting. I told her ‘I was neither here nor there about accounting because it was really not my favourite thing to do at the time’. She gave me her blessing to go and pursue the baking full-time. That’s when I started my baking career.”

Bushell said she was glad she followed her passion to sell delicious goodies. She has no regrets even though trying to expand Teri’s Pastries is not an easy task. She said the equipment is expensive but she is “trying to manage”. The entire operation is funded out of pocket.

Having participated in the annual Chocolate Festival, Bushell reported that she has seen a rise in the number of customers since then, as well as from her Instagram and Facebook pages.

One of her best received products is a Mackeson Stout chocolate cake, a popular choice for customers. It is also ironic because she is allergic to chocolate.

“It is the absolute best chocolate cake ever!” she declared. “One day, I was following one of my favourite pages online and they talked about a stout chocolate cake, but with Guinness.

“There were a lot of Mackeson promotions going on at the time so I said I would switch and use that instead,” she said. Bushell sought sponsorship from the distributors and when she served samples at the Chocolate Festival in January, it was a hit.

“I am mother to all my cakes. I don’t prefer one over the other. I love them all,” she said.

With her creations and flavours, one would think that Bushell has had formal training. YouTube and social media pages are her go-to for tutorials.

She spent lots of time looking at videos and then practised so she could master her sculptured goods.  She likes to get at least 48 hours notice for each order, but the more complex orders require additional time. (GBM)