Hi! Today I wish to tell you about one of the best Cheesecake makers of Pune. Before which, I would like to know; How many of us have been passionate or keen about something as kids? Very few. Or maybe all of us.
Almost every kid has an area of interest that fascinates him/her more than rest. For few, it is academics but there’s a huge galore of others who have a flair for something specific. Namely singing, dancing, cooking, sketching, crafting, writing stories, poetry, playing an instrument, some sport & the list goes on & on.
Unfortunately, most of us were made to believe that nothing but academics would make us eligible breadwinners. And somewhere on the journey to growing up, we buried that flair. And by the time we start earning a living, we lose all memories of that keenness, that passion for making something we love.
Today I got a chance to meet someone who kept that fire alive. She loved cooking, she loved singing. And hasn’t left either of her interests to this date. She bakes for a living & practices classical singing 2 hours each day. She has a tremendous passion for cooking, is always updating herself with nutrition facts, changing trends in the food industry and learning new cuisines.
Meet Kalyani. A sweet, gentle person with a passionate drive for making only the best for her clients. She runs a popular, highly admired, baking venture named Lavender Crumb. Her clients claim her homemade cheesecakes as the best in town. Weekday or weekend, celebration day or a usual one, she gets daily orders. And she credits the freshness of her cakes to all the love & trust received from her regulars. She refrains from using anything synthetic & adds only natural ingredients for all her creations.
Furthermore, the journey till here wasn’t anything simple or easy. She has been a cook since early childhood. As a kid she loved cooking everything; her parental kitchen being the playground and recipe books her favourite company. With the advent of the internet, she forayed into baking and that’s where cakes & cookies happened. One fine even on a casual dinner date with her now husband, she tasted cheesecake for the first time and few bulbs lit up. She instantly fell in love with it and developed an insatiable urge to make one herself exactly as awesome as she tasted at a joint in Fort, Mumbai.
She holds an MBA. Earned Sangeet Visharat in classical vocal!!! Went into banking. After marriage, she moved from Mumbai to Pune to settle down with her husband. And he now bears the credit for making her quit banking & get into full-time baking. How often do you get to hear that?! Kudos to the man! Sohil is a gentleman of few words, but a very pleasant company. He was the one to write & hand her over the resignation letter. Kalyani credits her husband for all the courage & persistence that went into this journey. And in the same breath, she would thank her parents, her in-laws, brother, brother-in-law and her friends for being the unwavering support & endless help. She counts all of them as her best blessings. And for all that help & favour she only had to feed them with her cakes & cookies in return. Aint that a win-win for both parties?! :D
While beginning with cheesecakes, she discovered that the cheese needed for making perfect cakes were unavailable locally. She would get it imported through friends & family travelling from outside India. Luckily she then found a farm-house who were ready to make & supply the desired cheese. She fondly remembers the condition that owner of the farm put up in return “if you use my cheese, you have to commit to using only the fresh and sell only fresh. Consider that you are going to feed your 1-year-old that cake.” She has not broken that promise to date and proudly admits to turning down big hotel Contracts & orders who needed cakes that cannot be done without food colours & artificial ingredients.
Experimenting for years to make the perfect cheesecake with only natural ingredients and only the freshest of items came with a plethora of challenges. There were many who requested her for vegetarian cakes or sugar-free ones & keto cakes etc, which were temptations hard to resist. But she was never ready to replace natural & fresh with anything synthetic (which is unavoidable with cheesecakes if it has to be anything like requested). She had her fair share of failures & heartbreaks but loves every bit of the hustle. With an untamed laugh, she would say “my cheesecakes are full of sugar, cream, chocolates, fresh berries, eggs & everything that’s not diet conscious!”
With her husband by the side & endless support from family & friends, she is extremely happy with what she has earned.Their modest house at the far west corner of Pune is gradually becoming the epicentre of best cheesecakes in town. If you want a piece of this awesomeness, here are the links where you can follow her & order from:
Photo Credit: Bimal Nair