NILOO BAKSHI

WINGS Woman of the Month

Life just wouldn’t be the same without desserts! Meet the elegant Niloo Bakshi – a self-taught cook and baker; she bakes cakes in a flash, and its memory can last a lifetime for you. The gorgeous designs with just-the-right-amount-of-sugar is bound to mesmerize you. She is constantly challenging herself with new concepts.

Coming from an army background, she lived in Calcutta. After her marriage, she cooked for her boys and they were her critics. She started with cooking western dishes and baking cakes, soufflés, cookies and puddings. She went on to hold classes at Mrs Alim’s finishing school, Calcutta. She was even featured in Zee Bangla for her cooking show.

Bakers are constantly making new product, and it has to be consistently high-quality. It’s not like doing a piece of sculpture that you work with for six months, and everybody’s going to look at it for the next few years. There is that need to be at your best every single day. Niloo thrives on this challenge. The focus comes in her singular commitment to bring her BEST self to whatever she creates. This ethos and her lively, personal style are infused in her cakes. Her smallest cake size is 8” and the eggless cake is 6”. She does all kinds of cakes – cream, butter icing, fondant, ganache, cream cheese, and with the filling of your choice.

This spirit of putting her 100% is also visible in her new restaurant Sajna, which will open shortly. As she talks about her grand plans for the future, she has the most infectious smile and genuine enthusiasm for life. Her eyes light up with pride as she talks about her adorable granddaughter while encouraging me to taste one of her favorite cakes. Clearly, there has never been anywhere else she’d rather be than in the kitchen, engrossed in the process of making—and sharing—something sweet.

 

Tell me about your family.
I come from an army background. I’m born and raised in Calcutta amongst 8 siblings. My husband is into real estate and we are blessed with 2 boys who are married. I have an adorable granddaughter who is the apple of my eye.

 

One thing I enjoy most about my profession… 
Cooking is my passion. I don’t call it my profession. It’s my hobby, and I find it very therapeutic.

 

My proudest accomplishment… 
Was giving up my job and taking a deep-dive in baking. Whatever I do, I put in my 200%. I have a sense of pride that I gave my 200% and emerged out successful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My boldest move to date… 
Was moving to Canada in 2001. We came here when our kids were in high school. I was a teacher in India. After moving here, I took up a corporate job and worked till 2017.

 

I would tell my 20-year old self… 
Que Sera, Sera. Whatever will be, will be. Every dark cloud comes with a teaching. I’m a Sai Baba devotee and truly believe that everything happens for a reason.

 

I stay inspired by people who…
Chase their dreams, and fight for them through hard work and perseverance! I’m in awe of women who believe in themselves and are focused, having fun along the way.

 

If you Googled me, you still wouldn’t know…
I’m not all about cooking and baking! I’m a social person and I thrive in company. I love to do interiors and I sing as well.

 

One thing that separates me from my competition is…
I’m not competing with anyone but myself. I use the best ingredients and make my own compote and ganache from scratch. To me, this is not business, I’m passionate about baking.

To someone just starting out in this industry…
Give your 100% in what you do. Find your strengths and believe in it. Don’t hold back and ape someone else. Create your signature lines – one that defines your culinary point of view and highlights your particular skills, passions, and strengths.

 

I’m passionate about…
My family, friends, and keeping my home beautiful and cozy. I’m a passionate person, I do everything with gusto.

 

The future excites me…
Absolutely! We have a new project on the horizon Sajna, which is a restaurant for about 90 people and 2 banquet halls for about 375 people at Dixie and Dundas, Mississauga. We have a lot of exciting plans up our sleeve for Sajna, and are eagerly awaiting to open doors to the public.

 

I heard about WINGS…
Through my friend Sarita Mehta. I attended the Trade Expo in 2017 and loved the women camaraderie.

 

WINGS has helped me to…
Bring me out of my shell. I’ve got a lot of support and encouragement from all the members. This has really given a boost to my morale.

 

The one message that I like to share with other women entrepreneurs across GTA about WINGS is…
Join WINGS! This is a huge group of successful entrepreneurs, who are always encouraging and supporting each other.

 

 

You can reach Niloo Bakshi at 416-305-5398 and follow her on social media (Facebook: Niloo’s Cakes and Desserts; Instagram: nilooscakes).

About the Author: Aarti Santosh is a Communications professional with a background in Commercial Arts and Journalism.