To hear Mazo Hoppel talk about baking is an absolute joy. The proprietor, confectioner, and creator of the famous bakery Indulgence is more than just your average baker, after all. She and her husband (who, as luck would have it, also happens to be a confectioner) were probably the first people to make cheesecakes and baked cheesecakes in Pune way back in 1983.
“I got one on one lessons to make Austrian desserts like apple strudel, cheesecakes, and fresh cream torte, from him. Not many people knew about cheesecakes at the time, so that certainly contributed to the craze!” she reminisces.
As a stay-at-home mom, she decided to make the most of her talents by baking from home only on pre-orders. And after successfully doing that for over 14 years, she started her venture, Indulgence, 10 years ago.
For this indibeat interview, Mazo spoke to us about her drool-worthy desserts and shared her secrets to running a successful bakery business.
IB: What makes your desserts different from the ones sold at other bakeries in Pune? What are the bestsellers at Indulgence?
In my opinion, what works for us is that we’re not just consistent with our quality, but we have also stayed true to our own creations for a quarter of a century now. This allows us to serve our customers the best quality, top-notch, original Austrian desserts.
Our bestsellers are the classic, blueberry, lemon, and raspberry cheesecakes. I’d say the mousse cake flies off our shelves too! Perhaps that’s because on Wednesdays, we have Happy Hours starting at 5 pm, where we have a buy-one-get-one offer on a selection of cheesecakes and mousse cakes.
IB: What are the differences you’ve noticed between Austria and India when it comes to dessert?
Indians are huge on their sweets! However, what’s fascinating about Austrian desserts is that they’re not all sweet, and thus, one gets to appreciate the different flavours and ingredients that are used. And because that’s different from the norm here, we see that the locals enjoy and appreciate that.
IB: Any tips for budding bakers who want to start their own business?
Firstly, understand that baking is hard work. I have to get up early in the morning for my preparations, so if you’re not prepared to toil, I’d recommend not getting into it.
Secondly, you have to be patient with the cakes for them to come out perfect — so that’s important too. And of course, there’s that bit where everyone’s out holidaying, but you are busy catering to holiday orders. But if you love baking, that shouldn’t be a problem at all.
Also, if you’re just starting out, your family and friends need to be your guinea pigs. Test out your creations on them and get their honest reactions and feedback — especially those of siblings and children, because they’ll never lie to you!
If you’re serious about starting a business, get some formal training which will help you manage your kitchen better too. Most importantly, if you know your product is good, be confident and give it your best — the good times will follow. That was my road to success, anyway.
IB: What can we expect from Indulgence in the near future?
Consistency, originality, and great quality, of course. But we also have some new desserts and cakes that we’re going to make using new recipes from Austria, so watch out for those too.
Follow Indulgence on Facebook here.
Image Credit: Indulgence The Cake Shop