By: Sizakele Nduli
While employed as a domestic worker, Mercy Ncube was pushed to bake cakes for the family she worked for as they were not keen on buying cakes. “The family I was working for didn’t like to buy cakes from the store, so they would ask me to bake from scratch using the internet recipes and YouTube,” said Ncube, who started Bakes and Bites Creations in 2020.
She told Vutivi News that she started saving money from her wages, which she used to buy her own baking equipment to bake for her family and friends when she was at her house in Cosmo City in Johannesburg. “Some would give me a fee to say thank you for the cake. I decided to leave the job and find another one. Luckily, I got a job at a bakery where they only made cakes,” Ncube said. The 29-year-old baker decided six months later to enroll in a course for weddings at the FBI Chef School & Patisserie Academy to enhance her skills in baking cakes, while simultaneously working at a bakery.
She noticed significant improvements in her baking skills. “While going to work I used to tell people that I do cakes, some would place orders and I got many orders. That’s where I decided to be my own boss,” Ncube said. Ncube, who bakes cakes for all occasions, said that she relied solely on her savings and never got funding to help boost her business. She prides herself on delivering quality and uniquely designed cakes, and bakes between eight and 10 cakes per week. The price for a cake starts at R600. It is determined by how big it must be, and the flavour and design. It costs around R2500 for a two-tier wedding cake.
She offers delivery services to customers who are located in neighbouring townships. So spectacular are her cakes, that Ncube has even been on television. “On the 18th of March, we were part of a show called Married Our Way on SABC 2. We were (making) a cake for the couple who will appear on episode 10, The Mokgope’s.” Today, Ncube’s business has two full-time employees who assist her with the day-to-day running of the business from home.