A&E Interviews… Maha and Nada Safa, Founders of Pastel Cakes
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After having so much fun making cakes for their own children’s birthday parties, Lebanese twin sisters Nada and Maha Safa turned their hobby into a full-time career – and the outcome has been sweet.\
Ever since they were little, identical twin sisters Maha and Nada Safa have been fascinated with the world of baking. The twosome would often watch their mother mixing up miracles in the kitchen.
But it wasn’t until 2016 that the now Dubai-based siblings had the idea to turn their lifelong passion into a source of income. Since then, Pastel Cakes has whipped up and sent out thousands of cakes across the region, catering to all kinds of dietary needs – think vegan, keto and gluten-free sweet treats.
Speaking to A&E, the duo chat through their business to date and plans for the future.
Tell us about how the idea for Pastel Cakes came about?
It all started when we were planning our kids’ birthdays. We realised that we have pushed everything and focused on the cake and planning the rest accordingly. Ever since then we were hooked!
Why did you pick the time you did to open a bakery?
It was right after those birthdays. We both made such a good team with each one of us looking after the cake and the other would focus on the designs and details. That’s when it hit us that we could turn this passion into a business.
What inspired your love of baking?
We used to look forward to watching our mother bake a new cake every weekend. We would help her in the kitchen and we learned from watching her every move. Her passion for baking had resonated with us growing up.
How does running a successful business coincide with family life?
It’s quite challenging to have the right balance between both, however, we always try to bring the fun element to it. We love experimenting with our kids and they love spending time in the kitchen.
What has been one of the biggest struggles when it comes to getting the business up and running?
Having to wear all the hats can be challenging in maintaining a business, however, it’s a learning process and we love what we do and so it doesn’t make it a struggle.
And one of your proudest achievements to date?
Being mothers is our proudest achievement.
How do come up with new recipes?
We always have to see what’s out there before we come up with any recipe. And we are always experimenting and researching. And because we both love travelling, we get to be exposed to so many new concepts and recipes. And we get inspired!
You make vegan and keto cakes – why was it important to you to cater to a variety of dietary needs?
We always paid attention to what our clients ask for. And we were aware that our clientele have a range of different dietary requirements and we wanted to accommodate most of them.
What’s your favourite ever cake flavour? And what would your dream cake look like?
Chocolate Hazelnut Cake and the Skinny Carrot Cake are our favourites! Since we both love nature, our dream cake would be earthy and rustic.
What’s the ultimate goal with your business?
Our goal is to be the best leading dessert company providing the best customer experience and finest quality.
And what do you enjoy most about your job?
We love the creativity and having to be part of our clients’ celebrations.
Do you have a motto in work and life?
Love what you do! Don’t let any challenges stop you from pursuing what you love! And fill your life with lots of laughter.