Sheenu Saxena: Passionately Creating Your Celebratory Artistic Cakes at Plaan n Plate

Sheenu Saxena
Sheenu

A passionate heart keeps beating even in unsurmountable challenges. A burning passion keeps your deepest dream alive in every circumstance, waiting for its moment––a chance to siege the moment and turn the course of your destiny on the path leading to successfully achieving your aim––personal upliftment through professional endeavor.

Being an entrepreneur simply means being ardently zealous about always being enterprising with your most interesting avenue. In ups, downs, adversities, and opportunities. Sometimes the wait is short. Most times, the interval is quite long.

Successful entrepreneurs are those who stay in the game till the very end. They are never deterred by terrifying turbulence, tumultuous turmoil, amplifying adversities, mountainous obstacles, and umpteen challenges. Even mighty professionals found running their businesses arduous in the wake of the global healthcare pandemic. It is not that they were not talented or able. Only those who had an ocean full of passionate spirit emerged triumphant from it.

That is how Sheenu Saxena victoriously created her brand Plaan n Plate – the Baking Studio. It was before the pandemic in 2019 that she started as a home chef, as she loves to cook and bake. By profession, Sheenu is into teaching and is currently working as a coordinator in one of the distinguished pre-school “Kids Castle”. Along with that she conducts nursery teachers training classes for the budding preprimary teachers.

She also runs a group of women- entrepreneurs “AVASA” who are running small scale businesses from their home. Motive of this group is to support and promote each women- entrepreneur.

She conducts baking and culinary classes in her studio, during summer break she conducts kids baking camp also. She provides complete hand on classes and share a lot of tips and tricks with students. One of her student Suraksha Rao K, after attending the class said:

“Thank you, ma’am, for the cake classes. Before joining I was not sure if I’d learn to bake cakes and decorate but now, I’m confident about it. You are letting me bake and decorate the cakes on my own is the best thing. It helped me to learn the techniques. And your way of teaching and constant encouragement is the best! You are very patient, and you shared so many tips too. Thanks a lot!”

The Starting Point

However, “Baking is my passion,” says Sheenu. “I used to bake for my family only.”

In 2019, Sheenu used to take orders for home-cooked food. Once, she baked her own birthday cake and posted it on her social media status. Sheenu recalls, “Looking at the cake, one of my friend “Shipra Chandra” approached me for her son’s birthday cake; that was the starting point.”

People loved it, and Sheenu started getting orders from their apartment. This was the turning point. She started getting orders through references and outside the apartment from the nearby areas.

Being more passionate about baking, Sheenu left cooking and completely got into baking. Since then, there has been no looking back. “In April 2022, I started Plaan n Plate – my baking studio, and I am completely into customized baking” says Sheenu, a mother of three kids, one 6 years old daughter and 4 years old twin babies, one boy and a girl. 

An Exceptional Inspiration 

Earlier, she used to think that she would never be able to do anything with three kids. “Once, we (my family) went to Coorg. We stayed in a homestay managed by an elderly aunt who loves to cook and care for the guests with a few helpers.

I was very impressed. Since I always loved to cook and bake, from there, I got the inspiration to start something from home. After coming back, I started working on it and searching for suppliers of raw material and packaging material,” reflects Sheenu.

She got her first order from a friend “ Anuchhanda Mahata ” . Slowly, word of mouth spread that Sheenu was supplying home-cooked food, and people started ordering. Then by chance, she started baking. And everyone started liking it so much that Sheenu left her cooking business and became a full-time baker.

Since beginning she is getting constant support from friends and her apartment people who always order from her and admire her efforts.

“I am grateful to all those people who supported my small venture during initial days” says Sheenu.

Twisting the Challenges

Here comes the twist in the tale in the form of challenges. For every woman entrepreneur, running any kind of business means a herculean task. There are numerous issues to counter. Maintaining work-life balance, if you can’t, manage your family you can’t ,manage your work also. Other challenges are raw material costs, financing the initial investment. And, of course, maintaining the highest standards in terms of quality, value, and customer service. Sheenu reveals that it is tough to get exposure when running a business from home. She says people take it for granted and feel like the prices should be very low if someone is doing it from home.

The reality is exactly the opposite. She adds, “They will compare your price with the outside bakeries without understanding the fact that in bakeries, they do bulk baking. And as home bakers, we bake for each customer, keeping in mind customization and particularly hygiene.”

Thus, “Working on the costing part is challenging when you are in the baking business,” states Sheenu.

An Unbreakable Promise

“Yet, overcoming these challenges, we still manage to offer personalization. We are very particular about customer preferences, customization, and taste.

We never compromise on quality or hygiene. We focus on timely delivery. So in our client list now we have many corporate companies, colleges as well as distinguished professionals who keep ordering for their special occasions. “I would specifically like to mention here about Dr. Aman Sodhi and Ms Sanjitha Muralidhar, who are our most loving clients associated with us since the beginning.” — says Sheenu.

These are a few things that, if you follow them, will lead to success.

  • We adjust the sweetness and other things as per customer preferences.
  • We don’t use preservatives or harmful colors in our cake or any other baked good. We always educate our customers about it.
  • We prefer using natural and real flavors rather than artificial essences. Specially for fruit flavor cakes, we make sure to use real fruits and not just the essence.

Our signature cakes are “Rasmalai Cake”, in which we use fresh homemade rasmalai. Another signature cake is “Chocolate Orange Cake”, which is admired by the customers a lot.
During summer season our hot selling cake is “Fresh Mango Cake” .

We provide a variety of Fusion Flavors like Coffee Caramel, Rabri Motichoor cake, Gulab Jamun cream cheesecake, Lemon Cream Cheese, Lavender Honey Ganache cake, Lemon Blueberry Cake, Biscoff Truffle and Spiced Raspberry truffle.

In teatime cakes our hot selling cakes are “Banana walnut cake and masala chai cake, Orange Almond cake”.

We have a series of healthy bakes and snacks as well which includes “Millet Cookies, Ragi Jaggery Cookies, Whole Wheat Jaggery Almond Cake, Ragi Brownies, Oatmeal ChochoChip Cookies”. Our “Seeds and Nuts trail mix” is liked by our customers the most which includes all healthy nuts and seeds and is mildly sweetened by some healthy sweetener.

Thus, an unbreakable promise of quality, taste, personalization, organic ingredients, and ethics are Plaan n Plate’s unique selling prepositions. “More than running after profit, we keep improving our quality further and further. We know that in the market, competition is fierce. Yet we are successful because we had never compromised,” insists Sheenu.

Ethical Advice

As an experienced professional, Sheenu’s advice to budding aspirants willing to enter the business world is straight from her heart. She appeals, “I would suggest they be consistent in their efforts. Don’t be demotivated even if you get fewer orders. Don’t compromise on the quality.”

‘If you follow some business ethics, like giving priority to customer preferences rather than your own profit, you will excel. Don’t think about short-term profit; give your best, and you will get constant orders from customers.’

Some testimonies from our clients …

One of our client Farsiya says  “Taste design price all perfect all-time favorite dear friend Sheenu Saxena ..great inspiration for many”.

Sneha Kulkarni says “The cake and all bakery items are always awesome …the taste, texture, design everything is perfect, she is excellent person when it comes to cake.”

Ankit Agarwal says “Cakes made by Plaan & Plate are very good in taste, sugar level is always balanced”

Prince Singh says “Excellent Cakes by Plaan & Plate . Totally customized cake as per our requitement unlike other cake shop who don’t tend to focus on the customization and prepare cakes as per their pre-defined stuff. Plann and Plate is a welcome change.”

Learning Continues…

On envisioning her company Plaan n Plate’s operations with the emerging technologies and automated tools that are revolutionizing the business world by enabling innovations, Sheenu divulges that they are already equipped with all the equipment in their studio. “We keep updating ourselves from time to time when required. Regarding social media for the promotion of our business, I am already using all of them,” she adds.

Learning to bake is never-ending. The more you get into it, the more you will learn. Every day, there are different types of cakes and bakeries coming into the market. “I keep attending various baking workshops to enhance my knowledge,” concludes Sheenu.

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