@cakesbytosan / 234 (802) 3137893 / 234 (81)17248808
The African Cake Maestro Mr. Tosan; began his pastry journey almost 2 decades ago. He was not just ahead of his time, but he solely helped define the cake industry in nigeria by setting high professional standards and immense creative process to his work. He has inspired a lot of entrepreneurs and also personally trained them as well.
Can you pleases introduce yourself and tell us about your background –
My name is Tosan Jemide. I am popularly known as the African Cake Maestro and I started up Cakes by Tosan in the year 2000 when I came back from the UK. I wanted to bring a new experience to the industry that I was very passionate about. At that time, the industry was relatively young, attributed to women and housewives as mainly a hobby.
My first act on moving back was an exhibition that became successful and opened us up to more opportunities.
What are your various brands?
1- Cakes by Tosan (A Luxury Cake brand ),
2- Celebrations by Tosan (A Commercial Cake brand),
3- Topcrust Bakery (A Commercial Bakery )
4-Cupcakes by Tosan.
The cakes by tosan brand especially was built around me as a person and it took a lot of hard work. So it got to a point I got tired of that excessive demand on my time,. I started thinking; ‘this is not a business’, this is just a hobby because a business is something that you can leave and it will run by itself. A business is sustainable and you can build an institution around it, but I couldn’t do all that with Cakes by Tosan. The commercial bread line TopCrust Bakery came as a result of this and I said to myself, this is business because I run it as a CEO.
Moving forward for me is manufacturing; trying to fill the void in cake and bakery industry (listen to the podcast to learn more).
Can you give us the most challenging experiences you have had?
Workforce is definitely the challenge that mostly concerns me. Everybody wants to be a boss. Apart from the quality of work, there’s also this mentality where staff comes in to learn for a couple of years and after all the training, they just think you are making all the money and so they go and start their own; and that essentially happened several times.
In general, running a business in Nigeria is challenging (Listen for more).
What has been the biggest lesson you’ve learnt as an entrepreneur?
Never ever give up! no matter how many falls and disappointments.
What piece of advice would you give someone starting up?
Essentially, it’s an adventure and I always say, there are no two businesses that will ever be the same and there are no business experiences that will ever be the same. Never give up. There is an opportunity everywhere you can tap into and you need to open your eyes towards opportunities. For me I see every problem as an opportunity.
What is the biggest pitfall in this business that people should avoid?
I think the cake business is relatively easy if you know your stuff. But because it is a customer service based business and you are dealing with human beings which come in different personalities, it becomes challenging.
Well I will say as much as possible don’t model your business around yourself, try to keep it running as a proper business where you have the various departments and job separations. let there be a structure so that everything does not revolve around you as a person. Delegate; you need your time as a CEO to function mentally and be more creative about moving the business forward.
One thing about you people don’t really know?
I am a very shy person. I like to stay to myself.
Sugar Icing by Tosan
- Never ever give up! no matter how many falls and disappointments
- Business is essentially an adventure and no two businesses will ever be the same; no business experiences will ever be the same
- There is an opportunity everywhere you can tap into and you need to open your eyes towards opportunities
- As much as possible do not model your business around your person
- Let there be a structure so that everything does not revolve around you as a person
- Delegate. You need your time as a CEO to function mentally and be more creative about moving the business forward.
Visit link for more about Cakes by Tosan : www.cakesbytosan.net