Kenya: Cake City voted East Africa’s leading cake shop

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  • Kenya’s Cake City has been named East Africa’s leading cake shop in this year’s Pacesetters Awards 
  • The Pacesetters Awards is an annual industry leadership recognition programme organised by the Jubilant Stewards of Africa (JSA), a Non-Governmental Organisation
  • Cake City emerged as the winner of the hotly contested Pacesetter in Cake Shop of the Year 2022, following an intensive survey conducted by JSA across East Africa 

Kenya’s Cake City has been named East Africa’s leading cake shop in this year’s Pacesetters Awards (PSA).

The Pacesetters Awards is an annual industry leadership recognition programme organised by the Jubilant Stewards of Africa (JSA), a Non-Governmental Organisation.

The awards celebrate SMEs and mid-sized companies across ten African countries, leading in innovation, quality products, and service delivery. It also recognises companies creating jobs and contributing significantly towards an economy.

Cake City emerged as the winner of the hotly contested Pacesetter in Cake Shop of the Year 2022, following an intensive survey conducted by JSA across East Africa between August and October 2022.

Cake City awarded

According to JSA, Cake City was selected through a competitive and thorough process involving public votes and a panel of judges.

“The awards are based on the Performance Index (OPI) where processes and systems are scrutinised and benchmarked against globally acceptable standards,” JSA CEO Mary Boniface said.

She added that the Pacesetter Award committee ranks the companies using a growth index formula to level the playing field among businesses of all sizes.

Cake City founder and serial entrepreneur Hasnain Noorani said the award is a testament to the company’s commitment to going beyond the call of duty in their service to humanity.

“It is a pleasure to be awarded alongside some of East Africa’s leading companies. To get regional recognition and have the public vote for us is a sign that we are doing something significant,” Noorani said.

Cake City Founder Hasnain Noorani. Photo: PrideInn Hotels, Resorts & Camps.

Commenting on the same, Mohammed Zahir, the CEO of Cake City said the recognition is highly appreciated, as it comes when the company is marking ten years in operations.

Read more: SME development drives economic growth of African economies: A Kenyan example

“We are extremely pleased to receive this award. Since we opened doors ten years ago, we have steadily grown the business and now have eight branches in Nairobi, in areas including Westlands, Gigiri, Langata, Kilimani and so on. We remain committed to offering the highest-quality products to our customers and contributing positively to the Kenyan economy,” Zahir said

How Cake City was founded

Cake City was started in 2012 in Westlands, Nairobi by Noorani, the founder and owner of PrideInn Hotels, Resorts and Camps.

Noorani told Kenya’s Business Daily that he sampled various foods, desserts and cake flavours while travelling across the world for business. This is when the idea of a business focusing on cakes hit.

The new cake flavours he had spotted include Milky Caramel, Chocochip, Fresh fruit cake, American Fruit cake, which are now signature products. The businessman did not want to focus on the common brands such as Black Forest and buttercream chocolate cakes.

The first branch in Westlands is now operating as Cake City’s flagship branch.

“We identified a gap in luxury cakes. Bakers were only making basic cakes, and their flavours were very singular. We wanted to change that,” said Zahir.

The company started with KSh 5 million and has since grown to eight branches in Nairobi, with plans to open more branches around the country.

The company has about 60 workers spread across all its branches. When it opened its doors, it had eight employees.

Optimism among SMEs

In a separate story, business confidence for Small and Medium enterprises (SMEs) across most sectors is on the rise, according to the latest research by Mastercard.

The inaugural Mastercard Middle East and Africa (MEA) SME Confidence Index found that 76% of food, beverage and entertainment SMEs are optimistic about the next 12 months.

Confidence levels were highest among businesses in retail, closely followed by food, beverage and entertainment.

Forecasts in this sector are also positive, with 72% of SMEs projecting revenues that will either grow or hold steady. Almost half 47% are projecting an increase.

Wanjiku Njuguna is a Kenyan-based business reporter with experience of more than eight years.

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