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“What’s cooking, dear?” I asked. Prompt came the reply “Strategy!!”

It wasn’t until I crossed over the fence to be an entrepreneur, did I start noticing and pay closer attention to an entrepreneur that’s been around me for a while…my wife – Kaushali.


As a quick background, after having worked for many years in corporate world, Kaushali took a break to start something that she’s always been passionate about – Baking. Two years ago, she started a small venture called Memories…with you always!! with a core focus on providing excellent customer experience, and creating products that leave long lasting memories.


Fast forward to this morning, when I stepped in the kitchen and asked her, what she’s been up to…I got quite a perplexed look. As much as I would have loved for her to think about what she should gift me every month, she was actually thinking about how to scale her current business?


And that’s what prompted me to write about where we are today, and seek your valuable input on how and where can we be tomorrow?


The following visual summarizes our current frame of mind.




Where we are today: We serve a very niche market, take highly customized orders, extremely customer focused, brand conscious, only premium ingredients, higher than market prices, work from home business, with a capacity of maybe 2 or 3 orders per day, mostly cater to clients who can pick up, and only COD or bank transfer payment modes available.


Where we want to be tomorrow: Increase our marketing efforts to reach out to a larger audience, solve our logistics bottleneck to cater to this spread out market, increase production capacity (need to move out of home), and enable multiple payment options…not create run-off the mill products, maintain premium quality and brand recall.


So here it is…please share your valuable feedback on:


    1. Should we look to scale in the traditional manner? (Go online, do deliveries, multi-city, etc)


    1. What else could we do to scale our business without losing sight of our core principles?



Coming darling…Yes, yes, I’ll do the laundry, and drop the daughter to school, and yes will call your parents, and yes will take you for shopping….S@#T did I just say that aloud?




PS: Is the bawi bride listening? 🙂


PPS: In case you’re wondering, why am I writing on Kaushali’s behalf…well, other than my official Saturday morning baby sitter job, Kaushali has just appointed me as her official communication manager 🙂 while she bakes some yummy cupcakes!!


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  1. i so love this!!!!

    i will pakka go through the site etc and try to give you some useful feedback.

    meanwhile vikram – just a small observation – the branding is a bit confusing – it took me quite a while tagging/mentioning over social – the fb page says MemoriesWithYouAlways while the twitter handle is itsabtmemories…

    ps: now i’m thinking only cupcakes 🙂

  2. Thanks Asha.

    You’re right…we’ve struggled with that since day one. While we feel that Memories…with you always!! is what we wanted to stick by as a brand, unfortunately, the name or combination of thereof was becoming too long and prone to spelling mistakes etc. (especially Twitter putting char limitations even on handles). So the website and Twitter are a little different.

    We’ve started using hashtags though now in both FB and Twitter #MemoriesWithYouAlways…so hopefully that’ll help.

  3. Hi Vikram,

    Yes, the BawiBride is indeed listening. Here’s my two (or more) cupcakes on your strategy recipe…

    Cupcakes, cakes and baking is all about emotion – that’s why we gift cakes to people. I would therefore vote for sticking with the customised option. Why? The USP of Memories currently is customisation/creativity. Am sure you now have a followership of customers after being 2 years in the business. If you move towards standardising I would think that those customers may not be too happy. Why? because suddenly the creative factor is limited and they are just getting what everyone else gets. E.g. Monginis – they do customised birthday cakes but they have the same design album since I was born I think and while you may ofcourse update your designs there is no better joy than getting a cake that is totally customised. I know a baker that made me a laptop cake for my dad who is addicted to technology (looked exactly like the picture I gave her complete with the branding etc) – everyone was like wow! 

    So here are some tips on how to stay customised but scale… all of which I am using.. Am so excited to see the responses for this!

    1. To move towards a more online based marketing approach, I would suggest trying to use social media more effectively and also some guerilla marketing – I am by no means an expert here but how about twitter contests (something to do with best cake memories) or setting up an online shop via Imly. I think Abhishek of Imly is now a Rodinhooder as I convinced him to join 🙂 Bawi Bride too is on Imly and while I have yet to see some traction it offers up a beautiful shop front for your store. I also love the go to the airport and give out cupcakes at International Departures idea Vikram – good one!

    2. Pickup issue can be sorted easily via a MyPeon delivery service. If your clients can afford to pay for the customised cake i doubt they would mind paying extra for delivery.

    3. Content – Content marketing is the best way to get your brand front and centre. How about some content on decorating with Fondant, Sugarcraft techniques – what about a you tube channel just on cake decoration (I will be your first subscriber as I have been dying to learn how to do it better – am absolutely unartistic when it comes to cake decor)

    4. Partnerships – There are a lot of Weekly Gourmet Box/Popup shop setups- contact them and supply them the 1 signature recipe you have. They will do all the promo + it means your brand is now out to a whole bunch of new customers that you never knew. 

    5. PR – Since you are officially the communications manager now, you must try doing this. Share Share Share with journalists and hopefully someone will pick up. Please contact Rashmi Uday Singh on Twitter and ask if you can list Memories in the Times Food Guide 2014. She is on @rashmiudaysingh I believe

    6. Logistics bottleneck – Get an apprentice from a catering college and train them from scratch perhaps?

    7. Cross Promotion – Send me a quick blurb – I can promote via my FB as well. I am a strong believer of the ‘good deed approach’. Share someone else’s content and they will share yours…

    If you notice my Rodinhood history, you will note I always vote on the side of ‘niche’ so perhaps my opinion is a bit biased but hope it helps. That’s all the stuff I could think of for now – will put on my thinking cap again 

  4. Hi Perzen,

    That’s great feedback. We’ve tried a few things you mentioned above, but I’m going take some time to digest each one of the above, and see how we can do them better.

    For now, I think you and I have quite a few reasons to get on a call – bawibride, Memories…with you always, Ennovent 🙂



  5. Your articles are very inspirational.I like your out of the box thinking. Liked the website

  6. Thanks Krishna 🙂

  7. Hi Vikram, 

    I think i am little bit late. Thanks to Asha, for sharing the same on FB with #cupcakes. I had word with Kaushali few days back regarding Memories…with you always. 

    We, cakehunt, help bakers to sell as well as home deliver cakes and chocolates. This platform can work as an alternate channel for sells. Talks related to Mumbai ops are in advanced stage and we will be there soon. As of now you can use this platform to sell only.

    Moreover we share some interesting stories about the bakers. We would like to share Kaushali’s journey from Employee to a successful Baker. (cakehuntdotcom

    JUST A SUGGESTION : Please ask her to be active more on facebook groups like Chef At Large, Just Desserts, Home Bakers Group Pune, India Food Freak, Sugar Teachers ~ Cake Decorating… She can share her creativity and give suggestions to others posts. It will help her.

    My best wishes !

  8. wow ashish! thanks for mentioning how the hashtag caught your attention on fb – huge lesson for me!! thank you :)))))

  9. Asha, by saying thank you you are obliging me… I don’t know how many times i have to say thank you and sorry to you… One day I would like to share your story also on ICS24BY7.COM, it is all about giving services, tirelessly, like you.

  10. 🙂 ashish – i’ve got an advertising background. so as most ad people, i STRIVE TO learn at least one new thing everyday. you taught me about the effectiveness of fb hashtags – this to me is INSTANT LEARNING!!!

    now whenever i use the hashtag, i will be reminded of #cupcakes 🙂

  11. Hey Ashish,

    Thanks for the tips and wishes. Yes, we’re looking forward for you to start your operations in Mumbai. I think Kaushali did share a small write up with you…will have her get in touch again.

    Regards, Vikram

  12. For both of your models on Baking and Bawi Bride too If you feel ok you can also check out and set up an online Facebook store and direct it to your website too on our very own Rodinhooder Nameet Potnis also of Inscripts  – 

    Cooking up a Storm 🙂


  13. Thanks Darshan. In touch with Nameet for the same.

    Regards, Vikram

  14. vikram – tagged you in a post by Mad Bites. they offer free cupcakes on a home delivery of Rs 500 and above. there could be an interesting b2b mkt that we haven’t thought of, coz it’s not so obvious! 

    also, i think being well connected to creches, play schools would help. cupcakes are far more popular than messy cakes at that age for b’day celebrations.

    my gut feel says scaling up in the city itself first makes more sense. 

  15. Thanks Asha. Yes, B2B surely has a larger potential to scale.

  16. Vikram : a little icing from me, Yo should probably flip the weight scale image horizontally your Nich actually has less weight and Scale infact should have more weight.
    Reason: cape cake is produced on large scale and every one claims a niche.

    The big problem here with any small start up is they are really are inexperienced in terms of launching a Brand no matter how small it is ,I guess impulse plays a lot more role that thought.

    It seems that you are getting knee jerk from your name chosen and the tag line ,which should have been infact arrived at with lot lot lot of thinking and poisitioning and R& D now the situation is you seems to be dead ended on revamping the brand best luck

  17. Hey Vikram,

    We love covering such stories at Eatopia. Would be happy to feature Kaushali.  


  18. Hi Tanul,

    I don’t mean to high jack Vikram’s post but I too run a Parsi food cooking blog. Could I also send you some details? It would be great if you could share your contact details 🙂


  19. Thanks Tanul. Would love for us to connect. Please share your contact details on

    Regards, Vikram

  20. LOL Perzen…even if you hijacked, I know when hijacked, we’ll surely be treated with some sumptuous food 🙂 

  21. :-).  send me your details on

  22. Hi Ashwin,
    Thanks a lot for the feedback. I’m no brand / marketing expert by any stretch of imagination, so I had to do some research to ensure that I understand where you’re coming from, and try to respond to your feedback constructively…I even drafted this in an offline mode 🙂

    To begin with, the context of my post was:

    1. Should we transform our two year old lifestyle business, to a mass market / scalable product company
    2. It was about should we and how can we tilt the weight scale from niche to scale?
    3. It was more about we trying to challenge ourselves in going beyond our comfort zone, and figuring out what would it take for us to scale?
    4. It wasn’t really about us reaching any dead ends and having difficult times with positioning/branding/revenues/costs etc and the need to revamp.

    So, the first thing I did was to revisit my understanding of a Niche. Based on this definition, our niche has been customers who stay in a 10KM radius from where we are based, mostly women, can afford premium products, want to spend 30+ minutes talking about the occasion for celebration, share their personal likes and dislikes, talk about the likes/dislikes of their kids/husbands/in-laws, have a taste for what’s good and bad, value the homely feeling when they visit our home to order/pick-up, and be treated as our guests and not as customers. That’s the premium that they are ready to pay for the intangibles and the experience that they typically do not get in a retail environment.

    Even then after doing all this, I agree that we are not unique and that there are many players already in the so called “niche” market of serving cup cakes. But I guess, each one of them is serving a different niche in the larger market.

    When I read your statement “you are getting knee jerk from your name chosen and the tag line..”, my first reaction was “Ouch, that hurt” 🙂 But seriously, I think while you might be right in your general observation that startups need help in brand management and they should most likely get professional help…I think you’ve made some gross assumptions and quickly jumped to a conclusion that startups don’t do any thinking/positioning/R&D.

    So while we may not have considered everything on how to build a food brand, we followed these simple rules without spending too much time/money/effort:

    1. Boss, no matter how you brand your cupcakes, if they taste like S!@T, then no one’s coming back
    2. The logo should be suggestive of the product
    3. The name should be extensible to a larger product portfolio in case we decide to scale in the future.
    4. People should remember us for the quality products, experience and the customer service we offer, and then associate the brand with it. Hence, the word “Memories”, which is associative in nature.
    5. The brand name has to be available in all social media (see my above response to Asha, where I’ve mentioned about us having difficulty in the same Memories…with you always / itsaboutmemories)

    Finally, while branding is specific to each product/service offered, I look forward to you adding to the above list, and sharing your expertise and experience around brand management for startups.

    Can I invite you to write a new post on the same? Share your experiences from Pantoscope?


  23. Yes – that is indeed doable. I accept and give food bribes only. 

  24. Thanks for taking it in right spirit.

    Memories- I think that’s the value you want to give back to customer,may not be reason to choose brand name.
    Design- its all wavy, I guess was it designed by a women designer? It gives an impression as if your cupcake is floating on water!
    What you want to be?:I see, by the wiki definition you have painstakingly paste up there, happy to serve moms and is no way a scale mindset.
    What you want to be? Birdys? OvenFresh? @dadar,or Venus cake? Hope u must have an its very important for scaling. Is your cake made up of top quality stuff, or merely affordable one?
    Do you use vanilla essence or sticks?
    2 years too early to scale,but if have capital then go ahead.Is your cake a rage ?

    Does your cake give me aha moment? Or just the stuffed felling.
    Does you cake makes me remind the muffins I had in whole foods New york or Kayani in pune?
    Does it evoke my memories then I think you should scale and become successful
    These type of mom and shop products are build over years on mouth publicity and some extreemly sticky ,loyal customer.

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