This article is part of our series ‘The Reinvention’ about women who adapted to the ‘new normal’ during the COVID lockdown and took a new direction in their career during this challenging period.
By Shweta Bhandral
A gifted singer, Soumya Sofat had her first major encounter with fame when she reached the finals of music reality show The Stage on Colors Infinity in 2017. But the final-year student of Delhi University, who is also completing her music degree at Global Music Institute (part of the Berklee College of Music), had to postpone plans of launching her professional singing career after college this year because of the lockdown.
Instead, she channelled her creativity along with her marketing and designing skills in making doughnuts. Lots and lots of them!
“Doughnuts are an affordable indulgence, so a doughnut business doesn’t have to be complex,” says the 21-year-old, who launched her home bakery Sprinkles of Joy in June this year.
“I wanted to bring this simple yet indulgent treat to people’s doorsteps with the assurance of sanitary cooking habits and quality ingredients, almost like you’re cooking for your loved ones,” says Soumya, who personalises packaging for each order and donates a part of the proceeds to various NGOs.
A self-taught baker, Soumya experiments with various recipes that she comes across in recipe books and online. “I love the look on someone’s face when they take that first bite and find out it does taste as good as it looks!” she gushes.
“Doughnuts, for me, represent absolute perfection; they are the ideal canvas for endless variations to suit your different moods.”
Though Soumya’s best-sellers are the classic sweetly glazed or chocolate-dipped flavours, there’s a surge in other flavours as well. She also offers an assortment of cake pops, which are very popular with kids. A typical order size ranges from four to 24 doughnuts, and though she currently only takes orders in Noida where she lives, she is looking to partner with a delivery chain and supply pan-Delhi soon.
Priced Rs 80 to 95, Soumya plans to display her ware on her Instagram page @sprinklesofjoydonuts. As a one-girl team wearing many hats, time management is her biggest challenge.
“The constant pressure to perform with a deadline can be taxing at times. I like to have my orders prepared fresh and delivered on time, and it takes a huge amount of effort to maintain this standard. That being said, I love that I can work on all areas of my business and am not limited to certain tasks,” she says, adding that she uses only recyclable materials for packaging.
Having found that doughnuts are one of the fastest growing desserts on restaurant menus and that millennials are interested in trying adventurous flavours, Soumya hopes to expand to a store that is an amalgamation of all of her favourite things – music, art, aesthetics and, of course, doughnuts.
“My motto is to keep my focus on what I do best and always leave room for creation and improvement,” she says.
Place orders at +91 95609 81764
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder; 2 tsp cornflour; ½ cup granulated sugar; a pinch of salt; 1 cup milk; 1 tbsp butter; 1 tsp vanilla extract
- In a deep saucepan, take cocoa powder, cornflour, granulated sugar, and a pinch of salt. Mix well.
- Then gradually add milk and stir all ingredients together. Whisk well to remove any lumps.
- Place the pan over low heat and keep on stirring on low flame until it thickens. Once thick, turn off the flame and add butter and mix until it turns glossy.
- Add vanilla extract for flavour.
- Use this to top cakes, cupcakes, doughnuts or just have it as it is!
First published in eShe’s August 2020 issue
Syndicated to Money Control