The beginning

I started our first blog in November 2008 and after 11 years I would like to get back to blogging, as it's such a fabulous way to share our journey :) 

I thought my first blog post on this new website should be a bit of background on how Baking Maniac started. 

Baking Maniac really started from my love of all things sweet. At age 12, I really wanted to learn how to bake and make beautiful desserts, so I emailed many hotels in HK, asking for a free internship alongside pastry chefs to learn baking skills. However I was rejected by all, due to me being underage. Hence I decided to try out new recipes myself after school and blog about my creations. The purpose of the blog was to record my creations for myself (and eat them), the intention was never to sell my baked goods. 

Soon after, I unexpectedly got my first order during Christmas 2008 and from the first order, word of mouth spread and I started getting more orders. I remember getting the call for my first order and was asked how much they are. Having absolutely no idea how much to sell them as I never calculated costs, time...etc I quoted $10/cupcake. 
assorted chocolate cupcakes with flowers, strawberries and fondant decorations
(My first order at age 12 in 2008)
Every night we would watch Cake Boss and DC Cupcakes as a family and I would get so inspired by the amazing work which made me really want to keep trying new designs and improve my skills. I then decided I need to learn the basics first so everyday after school I would make a fresh frosting recipe and try pipe a classic swirl hundred times till I got it consistent. Took me a while, but I eventually got there :) 

By age 16, once lots of media covered me, it became very busy. Many individuals and large corporates started placing orders and I was busy baking for orders on a daily basis after school till midnight. We were working on really exciting projects with great companies, such as Lane Crawford, Ralph Lauren, Christian Louboutin, L'Oreal...etc  At this point, I knew I could not leave Baking Maniac to go pursue my other dream of studying at an Ivy League university. Hence I decided to stay back in HK and pursue my studies at CUHK, since they offered a similar hospitality program to Cornell and had an exchange programme there. 
I worked extremely hard every day, running the business alongside my studies to fulfil my dream of being able to study for at least a semester at Cornell University. I knew my chances were low as they required a very high GPA and only one student a year gets accepted into Cornell from CUHK. However, I studied extremely hard and was lucky enough to get this wonderful opportunity. 
Student reading a book in a library at Cornell University

During my university years, I was able to achieve another dream of mine which was to experience working in hotels. I interned for 3 months at The Upper House. I worked in the Restaurant and Bar division, and was given the opportunity to design the high tea menu, operate the grab and go breakfast counter at the lobby, formulate SOP’s and interact with hotel guests. The experience at The Upper House was an eye opener in terms of appreciating how luxury hotels maintain standards, profitability and customer loyalty. During the summer of 2016, I interned at Four Seasons Hotel with the Guest Experience team. I handled the daily front desk, concierge operations and assisted the bell team in order to provide guests with a personalised and memorable experience. Through this internship I learnt how to work by international standards while still create personalised and unique experiences for each guest. 
Ankrish working as a chef during his internship at The Upper House in Hong Kong
Ankrish working as an intern during summer at The Four Seasons Hotel in HK

I graduated one year early as was so eager to graduate and take Baking Maniac to the next level. I graduated in April 2017 and signed our lease for our commercial kitchen in June 2017. Before opening, I quickly realised I needed to rebrand the business from what it was when I was 12. I redesigned the logo, colours, packaging, planned where we want to position ourselves...etc It's been such an exciting journey and we have been so lucky to work with such fabulous people and brands over the years.
old baking maniac colourful logo to black and gold new logo
I hope you are able to get some ideas and inspirations from our blog for your own baking projects! Or to just have fun seeing what goes on behind the scenes