" ITREALMS: CEO of Riribliss, Mgbako Rita Nkem, says talents abound in baking industry - ITREALMS

Saturday, October 29, 2022

CEO of Riribliss, Mgbako Rita Nkem, says talents abound in baking industry - ITREALMS

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

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Riribliss Cakes, Lagos, Mgbako Rita Nkem, told 
ITREALMS' GBEMI OMOTOSO recently, that baking industry is very versatile with different talented bakers abound.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Riribliss Cakes, Lagos, Mgbako Rita Nkem,
How did you coin your brand name 'Riribliss'?
My friends call me "Riri" while I added "bliss" meaning "perfect"

What is your signature in the industry and area of specialization?
My signature is fondant, buttercream and whipped cream cake and we're known for yummy taste and neat covering in cakes.

What prompts you into the industry?
The fear of not getting a well-paid job after school and the desire to be my own boss.

Did you attempt a white-collar job?
Smiles...Not really, but I did my 6-months internship at the Nigerian Institute of Management (Chartered) at Victoria Island. I worked in management service department though it was an eye-opener for me, and it pushed me towards putting more effort in my cake business, because I saw something different from what I perceived white collar job to be.

The six months internship gave you insight into white collar job, what is it?
It's quite funny though, I was thinking white collar job doesn't need stress, god-fatherism etc... I found out that I can actually use some years to be an employer of labour other than white collar job that will take me ages to get promoted. Moreso, I wouldn't want to do anything out of my will/belief to be promoted.

How has it been since you ventured into entrepreneurship as a baker?
Sincerely, it hasn't been that easy. I started the business fully in 2020; venturing into baking business is not an easy one. It's a capital-intensive business. 

There are days I wet my bed with tears due to lack of financial support. Actually, I started by making free cakes and using every little opportunity to advertise my business but I never give-up.
Cake business is just like fashion; the tools and training are never ending, and one need to keep upgrading both in cake taste and design, else you will be left behind. The truth is that things are getting better now by God's grace.

Has your choice paid off?
Not yet but, we're getting there by God's grace. It's just a journey. We're taking one step at a time.

Your educational background?
I graduated from Federal Polytechnic Nekede, Owerri, Imo State in 2017/18. I have HND in Business Administration and Management. I did my National Youth Service in Bayelsa State 2018/19 where I worked as an Assistant Secretary to the Director of Works in Isaac Jasper Boro College of Education, Sagbama in Bayelsa State. However, during my service year, I was the Community Development Service (CDS) Coordinator.
a cake product from Riribliss
How would you describe the baking industry?
The baking industry is very versatile with different talented bakers. Once you have a niche and you're good on it, you will definitely scale through.

Any challenge(s) in the industry and how did you overcome it?
We only have financial challenge, trying to meet up with trending designs, and social media visibility. We're heading there regardless of these.

How do you manage stress when handling back-to-back orders?
Smiles, not easy at all but we plan our orders, from the point of receiving the order down to delivery.
Infact, we practically make use of primary functions of Management: planning, organizing, leading and controlling this makes it easier.
Then, we make sure we eat healthy foods and drink a lot of water. Cake business is very stressful.

Your best working tools?
Turn-table, pailet/craft knife and smoothers.

Your daily routine?
I wake up by 4:30am or 5:00am, say my prayers, off to my cake studio then get to work.

Clients' relationship, any trick in retaining & getting them?
Sure, I listen to them first to know exactly what they want, suggest designs, give prompt delivery and add maybe one thing that they requested during placement of order which I said no to because of price just to wow them.
Also, I work with their budget once it's realistic, and give them value for their pay.
Most importantly, I call/send messages across to them after cake delivery to educate them on how to preserve their left-over cakes.

Your memorable day in the industry?
Dewdrops uncut learning event.

You mentioned 'Dewdrops uncut-learning as your memorable day.' What made it so?
Learning from my celebrity baker crush and meeting with my baker friends.

How do you unwind?
I do relax by sleeping.

Your hobbies?
My job, quiet time, single and dancing.

Your favourite food?
Jollof rice with salad and fruits.


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What is your view about mentors?
Mentors are good if you're able to get a very sincere person.

What are the qualities of a good baker?
Ability to bake healthy cakes, bring clients design into reality, flexibility and being able to impact knowledge effectively.

Your advice to newcomers in the cake industry?
They should hang in there, work hard and be smart, keep learning, unlearn and re-learn, invest more in their baking tools and trainings.

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