An interview with Namz Bake House founder & Creative Director Namita Zutshi
By ANJALI NAURIYAL
Namita Zutshi, the owner of Namz Bake House, navigates the Delhi baking community with beauty, brains and talent. She obtained her Bachelor’s in Arts from Delhi University & after working for several years in a sports management firm & also heading a preschool chain, decided to pursue her passion for baking.
With an inherent curiosity and interest in exploring sophisticated recipes, she started a home-based baking business in 2019 & saw unprecedented orders during the Covid 19 times simply by virtue of word of mouth praise.
She has studied pastry arts and wanted to professionalize the online cake delivery system in Delhi NCR by introducing to the market, quality & affordable baking products.
Namita has won over the hearts and tummies of hundreds of satisfied customers with her delicious baked goods. Namita bakes delightful creations with local, organic ingredients specialising in Fondant Cakes. Garhwal Post caught up with this avid Delhi based cake maker in her plush Jorbagh home in New Delhi for an exclusive inside details.
How did you become interested in your creative practice?
I began baking as a hobby. We would extensively travel to Europe each year on holidays & I loved baking in our service apartments during the evenings. It’s actually a funny story, after learning to bake in Europe, I had been visiting my mother’s house in Delhi & in her kitchen saw an oven that looked as if it had never been used. I asked my mother if I could take it back to my house & my Mom always says yes to anything, I ask so I brought it back and immediately started experimenting. Cooking and baking have been a passion with me since then and with the encouragement of family and friends, I have kept it going. This laid the foundation of how Namz Bake House started & I realised that I have finally found something that I love and it’s such a wonderful feeling.
Where do you find your ideas, we saw some of your cakes and they are so creative?
Oftentimes, I would confess ideas find me. Someone, somewhere will ask me if I can make a certain cake or bakery product, and they already have an idea in mind which is the genesis. I then build on that & in my zone adapt it and give it my own flair. My close friends always share old family recipes with me and challenge me by saying “Here is the recipe, I know you’ll make it better.” I don’t consider myself a very creative person so almost everything that I create is an adaptation of a recipe or a design I have seen. I have recently started appropriating ingredients that I know work well together in other recipes, combining them, and hoping for the best.
It’s interesting that you don’t consider yourself very creative and I beg to differ seeing some of your products. I think of creativity as having a lot to do with working hard to cultivate our skills and coming up with new ways to use them. It looks like you are doing just that. What if you’re making something new, how will you decide if an idea for a recipe is viable? Do you act on all your ideas?
I watch a lot of cooking and baking videos online and have read so many cookbooks to understand why certain ingredients are added to a recipe. After a while you begin to just know what will work and what won’t; after all, cooking and baking may involve scientific processes but the gut feeling always guides you. I wouldn’t say that I act on all of my ideas or that I am always successful in reproducing what I had ideated but I do like trying new things, so when I have the time, I certainly try.
What keeps you occupied currently?
Currently, my priority is to create a business plan and build a client base. I also want to scale up the business now based on the positive feedback from all my customers. I am also working on new techniques, & focusing on fondant cakes & picture cakes. All my leisure time goes now in watching YouTube tutorials and learning something new about baking. One thing that I’ve learned about cake making is that there are limitless possibilities and I have been able to get inspiration from literally everything around me including a phone chat and seeing around me what some of the wonderful bakers are able to create & deliver, only firms up my resolve that while there are no shortcuts to the baking business and quality & hygiene are paramount, there are also no limitations in this medium.
How have you made it financially possible to focus on your passion?
Well, my husband who has a full-time job is the investor, so I am able to financially support my hobby & scale it without worrying about money. Also, now that I have started selling my cakes and baked goods, the business is self-sustainable.
(Dr Anjali Nauriyal is a veteran journalist, author, social worker and actor. Her book ‘Retelling of the Folk Ballads of Garhwal’ has become a regional best seller. As an actor she was last seen in a cameo in the film ‘PM Narendra Modi’).