Give Omphile Magasa a brief to create a cake of any description and she immediately gets to work, researching and designing the most stunning creations. Her dedication to her craft and her hard work have meant that her business, Baked by Opy, has grown to such an extent that she is now contemplating hiring extra team members, getting more baking equipment and moving to a bigger unit at Riversands Incubation Hub.
The Baked by Opy Instagram feed is a study in creativity and the business’s reputation has been the driving force behind the growth in the business. “Lockdown actually helped me focus and grow my business,” said Magasa.
“The turning point for my business came when I was in danger of not having my lease renewed. My grandmother always taught me to give credit where it’s due, so I would like to thank the Riversands Incubation Hub team for giving me the chance to prove myself at that renewal meeting two years ago,” she explained.
Magasa also has praise for her service co-ordinator, Reshma Sewraj, who sends motivational messages each morning. “Some mornings, it’s those messages that get me going!” remarked Magasa.
The finance coach for Riversands Incubation Hub has also helped Magasa get to grips with the admin associated with running a flourishing baking business, which has now reached the point where its turnover qualifies it for a VAT certificate.
Magasa believes in empowering her staff. She trains them to do the cake decorating that is such an important part of the business. Two of her permanent staff members started off as cleaners in the business and have now doubled their salaries as part of the creative team.
“I only get involved in more complicated decorating because I have these team members who are highly skilled. They, in turn, have interns job-shadowing them as part of their work experience.”
When asked where she goes for inspiration, Magasa is quick to say that Instagram is the place where creative cakes can be found. “Funnily enough, I source many ideas from Russian bakers, who are the forefront of trends such as fault line cakes and figurines.”
Another area of growth for Baked by Opy is making fine desserts. One of the Riversands Incubation Hub graduates, Why Cook, orders desserts from the business for its catered functions.
“The sky is the limit for creativity as far as baking and sugar art is concerned. I’m pumped about the future, which looks bright,” concluded Magasa.