Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Raveena Oberoi, Owner of Just Cakes Bakeshop, located in Surrey, BC, Canada.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

My business is Just Cakes Bakeshop ltd! Our target customers are people who love dessert in the Lower Mainland! We typically attract those who love that "instagrammable, aesthetic" dessert vibe, and it's super fun to continuously push what we can offer for our little community! Our most common customer - surprisingly - is moms who love to treat their kiddos and families with awesome cakes and dessert!

Tell us about yourself

I started baking when I was 16 years old. It was one of those things born out of feeling sad and isolated from the world. I found my place in the kitchen very quickly, very young - and the obsession with Food Network was really real. The kitchen is the place in which I found my identity. I was in a very dark place at the inception of my baking career, and through baking, I found confidence and love for myself again - so it's a very special thing for me.

Even today, the kitchen and the world of baking continue to be my source of therapy. Over the years after that inception of my passion, I practiced obsessively on my craft and slowly but surely grew my business through online platforms and, more importantly, word of mouth. I don't know where the past 13 years have gone, but it's been a long, long journey of ups and downs and trust in passion. And that's what motivates me. You won't have motivation every day, but your 'why' matters more.

My 'why' is to allow other young people to just find this one example of our bakery and my journey in it just to give other people the permission they need from themselves to go for it - do something different - do something that makes them happy - and run with it. I'm a South Asian female who left her university degree to do something outside the status quo because it fulfilled me. And now we are here. If I could do it, anyone could - and I just want my story to be a small reminder of that for someone.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment is my team. I am so so grateful for our incredible team. Never in a million years would I think that nearly 30 people are behind my "little cake hobby." It's truly a family. I'm most proud that we've been able to really serve our team, too - with ethical wages, full benefits, and more - and continuously striving to change the language around food industry employment standards.

My other biggest accomplishment is being one of the youngest judges on Food Network Canada's Wall of Bakers! I watched Food Network religiously growing up - so to see myself as a judge on it is absolutely ridiculous to me in the best way possible.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

The ups and downs. One day you will be so over the moon about how the past few days have been and feel so confident in your skills as a leader and business owner. And the next, you will have mayhem everywhere and question even getting into business in the first place. I feel like it causes whiplash sometimes! But this is where the strong why comes into play - even if the going gets tough, you need to have that strong anchor there to bring you back to the basics and refocus.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Dream big - and plan big. We overestimate the time it takes us to grow and adapt and grow even more. You can make big changes, big leaps in your own growth in days, weeks - not necessarily months or years. Trust in the "1% everyday" process. It works.
  2. Learn to problem solve. That is the biggest and most crucial skill you can have as a business owner. Problems will arise - almost every day. Sometimes they are big problems, and sometimes they are tiny! You must get used to solving problems in a way that's efficient and objective.
  3. Learn to communicate effectively without your ego getting involved. Especially if you're working with a team, communication is crucial. 90% of every problem I've encountered this last five years of managing a team involves communication. As a business leader, you learn how to communicate in a compassionate but still objective way and with the greater vision in mind - but also take feedback seriously and ultimately put communication as a top value in your company.
  4. You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems. (Book: Atomic Habits) This could not be more true. Your goals only give you a direction - your systems give you the steps. You must work on your systems before anything else. A system is just a way of saying "how you do something." Communicating those systems and having a clear idea of the systems of your business will only help you get to success faster.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Dream big, dream hard. You owe that much to yourself.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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