The Nairobi 2014 Cake Fest & An Orange Tag Woman

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Krumble’s Cake Stand

All you can eat Cakes @ the Nairobi Cake Festival 2014

This weekend, I got to attend and participate in the Nairobi Cake Festival 2014.  If you love Cake, this is the place you should have been on Saturday, 6/28/2014.  Tickets were Kshs. 600 – Adults and Kshs. 350 for kids for Advance Tickets, but Kshs. 750 for Adults and Kshs. 450 for kids, at the entrance on the day of the festival.  The cost was worth it, as the moment you enter the festival, it was an all you can eat cake buffet.  There are loads of Cake Houses and Bakers in Nairobi, and most of them were present.  If you got in, you got to eat free cake from each cake house…, as much as you wanted.

About the Cake Festival

The festival is a premier industry event in Nairobi! It offers a unique opportunity for industry gurus; home based traders, as well as starters to not only open up their service to thousands of visitors but also establish links in the industry under one forum from hospitality, wedding business, catering, latest cakes, designs and dessert to beverage and kitchen equipment. The festival is enriched with healthy options, education about the industry & wide range of opportunities that draw thousands of visitors.  All this makes it the perfect place to reach the retail or food service.

Positives

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Kate’s Bakers Cakes

1. Eating Free Cake!  The bakers participating had gone all out.  There were cakes with different flavors, small and big, cupcakes, cookies, too sweet, too healthy, just right…if you can think of it, it was there.  My favorite cakes were from the Valentine Cake House.  Those guys really nailed the White Forest, it was amazing!!

2. Of course, I wasn’t there just to eat Cake…, I was also helping out at the Cookswell Jikos Stand.  They were showcasing Charcoal Ovens and Amari Bakery got to use one of them to bake cupcakes.  I met Teddy Kinyanjui from Cookswell and his staff.  Great guys, we ate baked sausages for lunch..lolz.  We gave cake to hundreds of people, at first I stumbled through explanations on the merits of cooking with a Cookswell Charcoal Oven as well as the merits of getting a class from Amari Bakery. Exif_JPEG_420 But, an hour into it, I’d become a pro…”Hello, would you love a taste of our cakes? These tasty treats were baked using a Cookswell Charcoal Oven.  It’s economical, and gives you the same results as an electrical jiko.  Would you like to see how it works?  If you’d like one, here’s a card, call and you’ll get it delivered right at home.  You can call us, Amari Bakery, and we’ll train you/show you how to use one if you’re unsure….”  Yeah, something like that.  I usually have to work at talking to people, so this was good practice.  I got to meet loads of people, some funny, others interesting, others skeptical, all in all, Nairobians Love Cake!!

Negatives

Hmmm…I got there all excited for cake but, my joys were dampened by a woman who was holding an orange Baker’s tag hostage.   We had tickets, bought in advance and everything, but when it was time to get a tag that said I was working at one of the stands, it turned into a mini-struggle.  Mostly, she had the tag, and wouldn’t give it to me.

Photo28560It started with me running into one of the security men called in to keep everyone safe and running smoothly.  He asked me for a tag, and I showed him my ticket.  He directed me to the entrance tent where I was to get an orange tag to say I was also working at the festival.  The guys at the entrance tent were very helpful, telling me to find a woman who was responsible for the tags.  I went back to find her, but she was nowhere to be found.  Suddenly, the field was evacuated for security checks and weighing competing cakes.

On the way back in, I met with her finally, and she refused to give me the tag.  The Cookswell Jikos Rep., Teddy,  kept telling them I’m working with him, but she just wouldn’t listen.  Alas, we’d met with one of those ladies who just want to make the day turn into a nightmare for you.  I’m not sure why she was acting this way, but I thought it was wrong.  I might have been a newbie at the festival, and working for someone else, but I had a valid ticket, paid for in the right channels.  She was treating me like I’d stolen the ticket or something, and if it had gotten worse, I think those G-men in black suits would have G-forced me out while I was still holding my Valid Ticket.  When she finally relented, my mood for cake was seriously in the dumps.

Thankfully, things looked up when I had to concentrate on serving cake and selling Charcoal Ovens.

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View from the Cookswell Jikos Stand

What do I take out of these Festival?

People getting Cake
People getting Cake

1. It is a great opportunity for Bakers.  If you want to open a Bakery or have one and would love exposure, join the Nairobi Cake Festival next year.  Get people to taste your cakes, and know more about you.  There are hundreds of  people who show up for the festival, and if they taste your products and love them, then they’ll want to buy more cakes from you at a later date.

2.  It is a fun opportunity to taste cake for FREE.  Granted the cost of the ticket might be a bit steep, but on the brighter side, you get to eat Cake as much as you want.  Imagine close to one hundred tents, each one serving you up a slice of cake for free.

3. The Cake Festival is also a way to give back.  They sponsor kids to go to school from the proceeds of the festival.  So, joining, and attending, you’re helping a child who needs education.

Elly in Nairobi Thoughts:

I’m Volunteering for the Storymoja Hay Festival in September.  I made a vow not to be what that woman at the Cake Fest was to me.  I’ll seriously work at not becoming the source of negativity for someone coming to enjoy their day at the festival.  It is worse when that person has bought a ticket, and was just hoping for a good time.  This just reminds me that I’ll help anyone who wants to start a movement on Good Customer Service in Kenya.  Anyone interested in starting a Customer Service Training School, Kenya needs you!  This isn’t the first time I’ve been punished for spending money.  It’s like the staff in any given company just takes it out on you if you ask one simple question, or don’t know the rules, they take your head off like you’re bothering them. From Bank Tellers, Phone Company Customer Care, Electricity Company Customer Care, and now Festival Ticketing people….someone help Nairobi.

So, will I go next year?  Maybe, possibly just as a visitor, and not a participant. I’d like to forget my run-in with Orange Tag Woman.

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