With Mother’s Day at the end of the month, everyone will be looking for cakes and goodies to celebrate the special occasion. If you’re on the hunt for something unique this year, check out newly launched online confectioners Sugar Sprinkles for a custom-designed dessert that’s sure to impress and stand out from the rest. We sit down with Mai Nasr, founder and owner of Sugar Sprinkles, for a sneak peek at some of her Mother’s Day treats. by Noha Mohammed photos by Hayssam Samir
Tell us about your experience with baking and when you decided to turn your hobby into a career by launching Sugar Sprinkles.
Growing up I always took great interest in imitating my mom when she was making cakes. Little by little, I came to realize that I have a kind of obsession with making cakes and cupcakes. This was 10 years ago. Due to some friends’ and relatives’ positive comments, I decided to take the challenge and to turn this hobby into a career.
What do you have planned for Mother’s Day, when everyone will be buying cakes? Naturally people will have to book in advance, how long does it take you to fill an order?
For this special occasion, I usually make customary preparations to fulfill all my clients’ desires and expectations by introducing new designs with colorful presentations, along with new collections of trendy cupcakes. It usually takes me a single day to fill an order, but for important occasions like Mother’s Day and Valentine’s, I ask that clients book three days in advance so everything is delivered in time.
Custom cakes require a lot of creativity, not just in decorating but in coming up with ideas to fit the occasion. Do customers usually ask you for a specific kind of cake, or do you come up with the idea yourself?
Both. Clients often come to me with a specific cake in mind, however, I often suggest some innovative ideas to them when it comes to special occasions, and these usually win their approval.
What inspires your ideas?
My client is the main source of my inspiration. When a client first gets in touch I ask for “clues” to help me present something to impress them like: the type of occasion, number of invitees, their favorite color and flavor, their age and career, hobbies and so on. Then, I work on information by imagining the final product that will best fulfill my client’s desires. It may take a whole day to find the appropriate design after having discussed the initial information with my client.
Egypt has a huge food culture, with most of our activities revolving around food. At the same time homecooking/catering has become so popular in Egypt that there is a risk of oversaturation. Do you feel that there is a need for home catering, or is it just a craze?
In Egypt we have various occasions relating to food, and thus the need for varieties of food and desserts is growing. Moreover, as more women enter the workforce, the more they need home catering services. An important factor that may help feed this consumerism is the innovative techniques we use to capture our clients’ attention to our products.
What’s Sugar Sprinkle’s edge?
Competitive prices, fast delivery of orders and my readiness to facilitate party planning in association with professionals in the field I think set me apart. All these have helped me expand my business substantially and, I believe, set me apart. I also like to experiment with non-traditional colors and that’s really attracted my friends and clients to my cakes. Undeniably social media has played a big role in promoting online custom-cooking initiatives. How important is it for Sugar Sprinkles?
Thanks to the social media, Sugar Sprinkles is rapidly becoming popular among my connections and other acquaintances. It’s really the most effective and the most convenient factor of successful promotion nowadays.
What are your favorite cooking shows and who are your favorite chefs? Do you find inspiration from TV chefs?
I am very interested in dessert cooking shows which present their items in a competition-like format. This can inspire me with some creative ideas of preparing new collections. As for my favorite chefs, I really find Sally Fouad and Ghada Attalli from CBC Sofra amazing and innovative.
Do you have problems finding ingredients?
The ingredients are available in online stores as well as in hypermarkets that provide all the materials needed to create delicious and attractive cupcakes. What do you plan for the future for Sugar Sprinkles?
My next step is to move from a one-woman business to a trademark organization with typical signatures and features. This entails a marketing plan and affiliations with five-star hotels. Accordingly, I’m thinking about finding new locations, recruiting proficient staff, and keeping up to date with trends in designs and flavors of desserts. Sugar Sprinkles Mob: 010 66388789 facebook.com/sugarsprinkles