Waterfalls Magazine – When Nicketa Alphonso was interviewed for an airline job several years ago, the interviewer asked where she would be in five years. Her answer was prophetic; she said she would be in “a pretty pastel shop, with flowers selling cakes.”
Today she runs her own cheesecake company, Creamy Creations, a dream she realised, one which she has perfected over the years. “I’m not where I want to be but I’m not where I used to be. I feel like Creamy Creations is a dream realised,” the bubbly Alphonso said.
It’s a business which she created following encouraging words from her relatives and friends, after making tasty, eye-catching and yummy cheese cakes for events.
It was her cousin Renata who suggested that she bake and sell her appetizing cheesecakes on Valentine’s Day four years ago. Although she had cold feet initially, she was convinced to give the cake sale a try at her cousin’s sale of roses event that year. “I was a bit hesitant but she was persistent and reassured me that my cakes tasted great,” Alphonso said.” I did the social media pages and we advertised and we were sold out that year and every year since then,” she added.
Raised in the Pomeroon
Alphonso comes from humble beginnings. She was raised by her grandparents in Region Two and she attended nursery school and spent a part of her primary school years there. At age 9, she relocated to Georgetown to live with her mother and she completed her primary education in the city.
After attending St. John’s College, she went on to study communication and information technology at School of the Nations.
She started life in the world of work in the aviation sector at Trans Guyana Airways; her first job was that of a Flight Operations Officer at the company. She later went on to work at Cheddi Jagan International Airport as a customer service agent for US carrier American Airlines. But one day while she was working at the airport, she felt out of place. “I didn’t feel like I belonged there,” Alphonso said.
Starting a new venture
Alphonso said while she worked with American Airlines, the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country’s health care system. “Along with suspended flights and then the lockdown, I was out of a job,” but there was a silver lining.
She had time to develop her baking skills. “Growing up with my grandparents, I was always in the kitchen helping my grandmother. I have a genuine love for home and family. So I started baking cheesecakes more frequently,” she said. “Now I’m catering to every size of event and holidays,” she added.
Alphonso can be described as a perfectionist who goes out of her reach to ensure her customers are always satisfied. “I message every customer after every order thanking them for purchasing and let them know that a feedback would be welcomed and appreciated.”
She said when she started the business; she experienced a “mix of good and not so good feedback.” In addition, the logistics of the business such as timing, pickup and delivery of the cakes proved difficult. “That is now stable because I opened an outlet at Babe Cave World, where persons can readily pickup cakes during the day without the time constraint I had before,” she added.
Alphonso said she is continuously working to improve her business. “I find customer feedback to be very helpful and important. Most of my customers are family now,” she said.
Baking the cakes
Given the delicate processes involved in making cheesecakes, Alphonso said she can be “very meticulous” in her food preparation. “I prep the ingredients that I can beforehand. All of my sauces are made in house and from scratch,” she said.
The order is baked the day before so it can cool, which is usually four hours at room temperature depending on the size of cake, she said. Then the cake is placed in the refrigerator overnight for it to set. “It’s topped on day of delivery or pickup. A cheesecake is basically a decadent custard type dessert. I have a lot of different flavours and combination of flavours for my customers to choose from,” she added.
Social media’s influence
Social media is said to be an integral forum for marketing a business. For Alphonso, it has been a key factor in the promotion of Creamy Creations. “I was able to reach a larger audience when my recommendations from others, who’ve tried my cheesecakes,” she said.
In addition to her other traits, Alphonso can be described as ambitious, a go-getter and one who thrives on self-belief. “I believe with God all things are possible,” she added.
“I’m extremely grateful for my family and customers that are with me since I started and are still with me. It is my hope that Creamy Creations will continue to be consistent in quality and standard to suit the palates of an ever-changing world,” the ambitious Alphonso said.
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