The growth for this virtual bakery was primarily fuelled by the founders’ ambition to take the service countrywide. This obviously was given a boost with the fervent ‘comfort food’ renaissance that took hold during lockdown and the rise of the home baking movement.
The business model for My Baker is a partnership with bakers and pastry chefs across the UK, who create bespoke cakes, macarons, biscuits, afternoon teas and all sorts of baked cultural specialities for next day delivery, seven days a week. Its 100-strong community is growing by 10-15 bakers each month, evident of its trust-worthy service and ability to provide cast-iron converted orders – not just leads – for its bakers.
Not just any baker is accepted into the fold. To quality, My Baker requires the baker to have food registration approval with their local council; the relevant food and hygiene certificates; and a body of previous work that demonstrates their skills.
However, according to Mark Sinjakli, such a set-up means talented home bakers can focus solely on the task at hand: crafting mouth-watering creations.
‘Coming into our own’
“On first inspection, it seemed that lockdown might be something of a double-edged sword for our young enterprise,” Sinjakli said of the timing of the platform’s launch.
“On the one hand, we temporarily had no access to those large gatherings, weddings and corporate get-togethers on which we’d once forged our reputation, however, this short-term loss was more than recouped by a growing appetite for online shopping.
“When one factors in the temporary lack of access to pubs, restaurants and non-essential shopping, it became clear that inquisitive foodies needed new, alternative ways to satisfy their diverse ‘comfort food’ cravings. Over the same time-frame, there was also a significant spike in demand for tasty ‘food minority’ recipes that accommodate the expanding need for gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free and vegan cakes.”
Today, the site offers curated designs inspired by global style trends that run the gamet from classic offerings to those suitable to a specific lifestyles, like vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, halal and even Jain. Each bake is handmade freshly, from scratch, to order.
“While no-one’s under any illusion that a more health-conscious mindset is the primary take-away from last year, there will always be a demand for indulgent time-outs,” added Sinjakli.
“When these moments arrive, discerning consumers will be more reluctant to settle for mass market, off-the-shelf treats. These gifts have become more important, more meaningful; and that’s where we come into our own.”