Saturday, May 07, 2022

Latifah: I'm a professional butter cream queen - ITREALMS

Interview@ITREALMS ... making leadership SENSE with digital news!

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Exclusive House of Cakes and Catering Services Limited; Exclusive Plus Events & Exclusive Kitchen, Oyedokun Latifah Oluseyi (Mrs), described herself to ITREALMS’ GBEMI OMOTOSO as the professional butter cream queen, noting that social media is a new heaven for all small-scale businesses.

Excerpts:

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Exclusive House of Cakes and Catering Services Limited; Exclusive Plus Events & Exclusive Kitchen, Oyedokun Latifah Oluseyi (Mrs)
What are you into?

I'm a certified baker, a Caterer with class, an outstanding Cake Instructor and unique events planner cum decorator.


How did you get the name Exclusive Events?

Exclusive events was my interior decor name which started out of passion; all my friends usually call me to select curtains, furniture and more for them and I later began to monetize it in 2005. Thereafter, House of cakes was added to "Exclusive" due to a day’s event in December 2013. When everywhere in my house was full of cakes; the whole 3 bedroom apartment was full of cakes.

As a baker, caterer and event person, how do you balance the tasks especially when you’re to cover major events?

I have always been handling multitasking jobs while I was young.  During this period, I managed my grandmother's textile business since age 9; will sell and count the money while my grades at school never dropped.

Even while I went to live with my mummy at the age of 14, my holiday's period was to take kolanuts to the North; Kano, Kaduna, Sokoto which exposed me to being enterprise (start making my own money at tender age). Also, while in Secondary School, I sold undies and greeting cards.

How many years have you been in the industry?

 I’ve been in the event industry since 2007, while my company got registered in 2014.

Your educational background?

I attended the Local Authority (L.A) Primary School Oke-Aluko,Ilorin. Olorunda Primary School Ile-Ife, Osun State. All Saints Unity Secondary School, Usi-Ekiti and obtain my Higher National Diploma (HND) in Marketing from Federal Polytechnic, Offa-Kwara State.

What are your dislikes?

I dislike lies, laziness and gossiping.

What is your experience so far in the industry?

Humm! It has been so good, not full of roses, but it's worth the while.

How has the present economy affected your patronages?

To be sincere in cake business, there is a huge gap between now and then. Cake was not as expensive as it is now, but we were making a lot of money then. It's really hard to make profit now without compromising quality. Thank God for our amazing customers who still understand the current economic situation.

How do cope with difficult customers?

I see them as tools to learn from, their criticism is the reason I'm still here. I learn from difficult clients a lot, and always won them over.

What is your signature in Cake industry?

I'm a professional butter cream queen, but not an artist because you can't see me creating images on cakes.

Considering your busy schedule, how do you manage your health status?

I'm a light sleeper, and don't eat much as well, just have a routine with vegetable and fruits. I take only water and black coffee, no cream nor sugar.

How would you describe yourself?

I'm a very lovely person, highly principled, very hardworking, a goal-getter that is always willing to learn.

As a baker, Chef & Event Person, how do you balance the task especially when you are to cover the three major events?

I handled four events this weekend and the testimonies were amazing. Having, a good organizational structure must be established for a smooth delivery. I was once in the hospital for three weeks and none of my clients complained about delivery while the baking classes were running concurrently. I've never close Exclusive Plus Events outlet for once.

A good planner must always be ready to give her best in terms of teaching, I don't hide knowledge from those around me; and I don't also spare the rod. I’ll be harsh when they are not getting it right, but will also correct with love when I'm calm, never afraid of losing my staff. I train them for their personal-growth to benefit my company too; one thing about me is that I’ve never left people the way I met them.

a product of Exclusive Cakes

Any daily routine?

Yes! Salat, (Prayer) then my morning coffee. I don't eat without using the toilet first. Then, I report at my decor office by 9am; Cake office by 9;30 every morning. While baking class ends by 4pm. Then, I'm back to my decor office; closing by 7pm.

Are you a casual or powerful dresser?

It all depends on my mood, but I always dress well, whether casual or social gatherings.

What is your specialization in event industry?

I'm an event planner, event decorator and also rents out prop (decorating accessories) and I also sells flowers too.

Any memorable event?

(Smiles) Waoh! Countless! It's been great!! Every day, my clients overwhelmed me with beautiful testimonies.

Can you mention one?

I baked and decorated a wedding cake in 2013, it was a 7-tiers cake; well decorated and beautiful. However, the cake collapsed though, I wasn't in the car. I had to ask my son to send me icing sugar, turn table and tools.

The driver got to Ilorin and left the same night without delivering the items to me anyways I’ve to improvise; while the cake still made it to the first page of an Intercontinental Magazine. I don't even know how I did it.

If given opportunity to change the cake industry, what would it be?

A proper sector will emerge. I’ll make sure every baker passes through a due process by learning and mastering the skills first.

What is your view about social media as an advertising tool?

Social media is very important method of advertising. It's simple, less expensive and with great results. Social media is a new heaven for all small-scale businesses.

How did you get your customers?

My jobs bring more customers, referrals then few on social media.

Advise new-comers in cake industry?

The upcoming bakers should stay focus, know their onions and practice during their free time so as to be in tune with the latest designs. However, dancing on social media may give them great followers but only their professionalism will retain their clientele.

Your advice to upcoming caterers?

Catering is a very tedious job not for the lazy ones in other to build a career in catering; just like in any events related business. You need to acquire some certain knowledge and experience. Also, one must able to create unique recipes in other to stand out.

a product of Exclusive Cakes

Your advice to new comers in event industry?

Never do competition with anyone, and follow what works for them; by being distinct in their own styles. The new entrants should never try to buy decor props as a beginner so as not to be drain their pockets thereby preventing them from doing a perfect job.

What is your beauty secret in being young?

I’m just blessed. 


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