What started as a passion for home baking has led a group of sisters to create a new business in Birmingham.
The quartet began baking treats from their Erdington home during the lockdown and delivering them to friends and family but suddenly started receiving orders from strangers.
It prompted them to ramp up operations and Traybakez was born.
The business has now grown at such a rate they have been forced to move out of their kitchen-come-workshop and into a proper business unit in Birmingham city centre.
They make items such as hot cookie dough, waffles and brownie specialities and have amassed thousands of followers on social media, reports our sister site BirminghamLive.
Sosan Abdi is 27 and a full-time teacher but also finds time to act as the venture’s main baker.
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She said: “I’ve had a passion for baking. We were baking for family and friends and leaving it on their doorstep but they were posting about it – social media is so powerful. Before we knew it people were calling us saying ‘Can I put an order in?’.
“I had to take a step back and think, are we set up to bake? There is a difference between knowing how to bake, being a good cook and actually providing a catering service.
“Quickly, we looked at the rules and regulations and what we actually needed to do to start a catering service. We got our Level Two (certification) in Food Safety and Hygiene.
“We have quite a large kitchen in our house and we just extended it, set up our area and we were ready to go.
“Before we knew it we were doing 30 cakes a day – it was the height of Ramadan so we really thought it would die down afterwards but it didn’t.
“My little sister is what you would call the sous chef. You’re an accountant, an admin worker, a baker – there are so many different hats.”
Traybakez receives orders via its Instagram account and sources as much of its supplies and packaging locally.
Ms Abdi said: “There was so much stock we physically could not hold any more food. We had all the packaging boxes down the hallway, the whole place was engulfed in stock.
“We’ve licensed a large unit in town. If that proves to be successful, we can think about branching out to our own shop unit – I do feel like it’s 100 per cent going in that direction.”
The team has benefited from social media support from local celebrities such as Coventry artist Pa Salieu and Birmingham rapper Jaykae.
“We reached out to Jaykae and straight away he was responsive. We wanted to swap some cakes in exchange for some exposure but he said he heard about Traybakez and was more than happy to pay,” Ms Abdi added.
“He actually paid extra as well and put us up on his social media a few times. He is really supportive when it comes to small businesses.”
The sisters have dreams of taking the business even further and pay tribute to their mother’s influence and migrant heritage.
Ms Abdi said: “The reason why it’s been such a success is because we never started it thinking to make money, it just happened organically. The main thing is having that passion.
“The end goal is to franchise it. It’s good to have big dreams but even if we don’t get there we would be very happy just opening a shop.
“What drives us is to make our mum proud. We came to England in the ’90s when we were very young as refugee children.
“She was in her late 20s, coming to a foreign country, not understanding anything and having to navigate another world. Raising eight children as a single mother must not have been easy,
“She sacrificed her whole life so that we can have a better life – she is our driving force.”