Burning Brownie is the latest addition to the bakery and cafe scene in Islamabad. However, this is not your conventional bakery. How so? You should go and check out their mud cake to find the answer to that.
I’ve been a regular customer of Burning Brownie for almost a year now and I’ve seen this brand grow from a work-from-home business to a cafe in Beverley Center before my eyes. Since I have a keen interest in young ‘treps, I decided to meet with the owner and have a chat with him about his journey.
Ammar’s a very congenial guy and when you sit down to discuss the food business and baking with him, you’ll find in him, an ardent follower. Harboring an interest for having his own business, Ammar didn’t want to waste time doing a conventional job. In the process he ended up converting what he’d explored as a hobby temporarily, into Burning Brownie.
He started off by selling his brownies on Shell Select service station in F7. As the sales from the kiosk grew, Ammar expanded his work force to supply to local restaurants like Table Talk and Eclipse (now Xinhua). That’s the point from where the business grew to reach where it is today.
When I asked him if he has any formal training in baking, he told me that he does not. He has learned all that he has through extensive research and continuous experimentation. It is this research that has enabled him to make a niche for his business in the local market. Nowhere else in the local market, will you find cakes, cup-cakes and brownies made from imported chocolate (used by Michelin starred restaurants abroad), other than at Burning Brownie.
His other field of interest is molecular gastronomy and while he’s working on his cafe’s menu, we’re likely to see more items that are an outcome of his interest in this area.
When asked how things are going for Burning Brownie so far, Ammar admitted that he’d underestimated the response. He hasn’t properly marketed the cafe and yet the response is not short of overwhelming for him. Especially since he’s still supplying to restaurants and his kiosk’s still running, finding time to manage the kitchen and cafe and training the staff along side, is taking up most of his time these days.
The best selling items at Burning Brownie according to Ammar are his cakes, cup-cakes and brownies. I’ve tried them all and they’re definitely worth their value. The first time I had a Ferrero Rocher cake, it was from Burning Brownie and it was delectable!
Ammar’s three pieces of advice for entrepreneurs starting out in this business today:
- Never compromise on quality. According to him, local bakeries want to sell cheap products out of fear that people won’t buy expensive items and end up compromising on quality. “In my experience that’s not the case. Our prices are super-high but people still buy our products”, says Ammar.
- If you think you’ll become a Tehzeeb or Bakewell overnight, think again. The money will come after you’ve persevered and your business has reached stability.
- Think seriously before starting off in this business, because it takes a lot of investment in terms of money, time and patience.
You can visit the official Facebook page of Burning Brownie here.