Mum of three Gillian Boateng is the creator of the sensational ‘Cupcake in a Jar’. We invited her into our VIB (Very Important Babes) lounge to talk about her business, G Desserts.
Cupcakes in a jar. Such a unique concept, how did you come up with it?
I started baking in jars years ago, as a way of baking in batches. The jars were versatile – once out of the oven the heat created a vacuum seal, thus cakes could be left at room temperature for days or could be frozen. Also the jars allowed me to pre-portion the cakes. Thus, the whole family could include the cupcakes in jars as part of their packed lunch and I could throw one in my handbag in my rush to work. I spruced up the jars, decorated & piped a rose pattern on the top of the cupcakes and started posting to friends/family as birthday & Christmas gifts – G Desserts was born.
What makes your cupcakes taste so good?
The jars keep in moisture (regular cupcakes dry out within 2 days). Cupcakes in jars last up to 8 days at room temperature, can be refrigerated for up to 12 days (you cannot store regular cupcakes in the fridge) and frozen for up to 6 weeks. G Desserts cupcakes in jars are very moist and delicious.
How has your cultural background influenced your business (I’m thinking Africans aren’t particularly dessert-oriented!)?
It’s a misconception that Africans are not dessert oriented. We love cakes just as much as other cultures. We have cakes all the time when we have events. I also spent my childhood in Ghana and we baked all the time. My cultural background has moulded my work ethics; hard work, determination as well as having faith in God and what I do.
You say your kids inspired you to start baking?
In my family we always have a dessert after meals, so when I had kids, it was convenient to buy mass produced cakes from the supermarket. My 2 oldest kids have a mild form of ADD but the youngest one suffered from ADHD. His behaviour was severely altered after meals and since I was cooking the main meals from scratch, the only culprit was the cakes. I was shocked when I looked at the ingredients list on a store bought cake and it covered the whole side of the box – a basic sponge is made using 5-6 ingredients. That’s when I decided to bake for my family; I looked into the science of baking to produce great tasting & moist cakes. Once I stopped buying mass produced cakes as well as eliminating other foods from my children’s diet, I saw a positive change in their behaviour.
How old are your kids and how do you juggle running a business with managing family commitments?
My children are 15, 12 and 11 years old. They are very independent, so make it easier for me to run my business. My husband is also very helpful and they all chip in with the housework. The children also help with the business whenever they can.
What advice do you have for other mumpreneurs starting out?
Find a fun way to involve your family in your business, so you are still bonding /spending time with them. Also learn to have some ‘me’ time so you don’t burn out.
What’s your favourite cupcake?
The lemon passion, I love the tangy sweetness.
If you could describe yourself as a flavour, what would it be?
A chocolate nutter – soft on the inside, with a crunchy hard edge and a fun loving, complete nutter!!! LOL!
Enter our Cupcake Contest!