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Our Story So Far

Only 3% of women in India work in commercial kitchens, and even then, the majority of them are migrant workers. This is why we determined that Dream a Dozen would stand out as one of the few to have an all-women kitchen in this male-dominated industry. Our all-women kitchen consists of an army of hustlers who bake and decorate high-quality and beautiful-looking eggless cakes, cupcakes, brownies, cheesecakes and many more desserts for all our customers across Bangalore. We really prioritize customer satisfaction and work very hard to achieve your smiles.  In order to have the least possible wastage at the end of consumption, we take multiple small decisions on a daily basis.

You might have also noticed that we make sure to give a wooden knife instead of a plastic knife. We also give candles and knife only if it is asked for, so it encourages our customers to use their own steel cutlery at home.

For our hampers, we choose to include notebooks with seeded paper and seeded pens—which means they can be planted after use. After all, we want to bake this world a happier place and being a part of your special occasions and creating a unique order, just for you, genuinely makes our hearts swell! Nevertheless, there are a few instances in our journey that resulted due to our values that keeps us going. 

1. Being Inclusive And An All-Women Kitchen

Once, while running a recruitment drive to hire chefs for our kitchen, we advertised on Google. During this time, we received a lot of enquiry calls —many from chefs working in reputed bakery chains around Bangalore, looking for a change. Every applicant was a male chef with an existing opportunity elsewhere. There was not a single female candidate who had already had training and refined their skills. 

Five chefs from the kitchen wearing Dream a Dozen apron and posing for the camera in masks

This interaction just cemented our values further. Just like how all of our products are made from scratch, most of our chefs learn from scratch as well. It is a rewarding and empowering process. It is amazing to witness the change and confidence a newly acquired skill provides, especially to girls who come from lesser privileged backgrounds. 

It is difficult to make this choice from a business perspective because training from scratch is not only time-consuming but also expensive. On top of that, for multiple reasons like early marriage, early pregnancies, unsupportive families, long hours etc., many people leave sooner than they learn. 

Every chef in our team might not stay with us forever but we feel glad to have contributed to their growth while they are here. We are also proud to know that their families feel safe allowing our team to work long hours since it is an all-women kitchen. Recently, we’ve also welcomed our newest trainee who is a trans-woman into the team. Before her arrival, we held gender sensitisation sessions and made everyone on the team realise the importance of using the right pronouns for each person. There have been controversial statements in the news by famous chefs. This is when we realised that while we plan to grow taller, we hope we become an example for people who think female chefs do not belong in the kitchen. In 2019, celebrity chef Marco Pierre White made a controversial statement indicating men are better in the kitchen because they don't get emotional and can carry heavy pots and pans. As we expand, we’re going to be the change we wish to see. 

2. Being Honest in Business 

Chef wearing Dream a Dozen t-shirt manning a stall for Pride month for Goldman Sachs event

As we’re still a growing brand, we work very hard to build a reputation for ourselves and establish trust in the other party of our B2B deals. It is a commonplace practice in corporates to give extra perks to the decision-maker in order to seal the deal. Although we’ve been at such a crossroads in the past, we’ve always stuck to our number #1 value of doing an honest business. If we had entertained any such offers, we would have had more business with B2B clients than we already do but we believe that our unwavering faith in honesty has given us more loyal clients than we would have had any other way.

3. Moving Towards Sustainability

With the world’s ozone holes largening by the day, we must do our best to contribute and stop it from worsening. So, at Dream a Dozen, we do our best to keep wastage from our side to a minimum. Here are some practices we follow, some of which are implementable, even at home. 

  • Reusable Boxes for Hampers 

Daity Delight Box from the website containing packets of dry fruits, gourmet chocolates, handmade scented candle, cashews, plantable notebooks and reusable cardboard box

For our goodie hampers that can be shipped across the country, we make sure to only use sustainable merch like plantable notebooks and handcrafted masks enclosed in rigid reusable gift boxes. Moreover, for our brand-tagged boxes that contain cupcakes, we specifically request the manufacturer to skip the lamination process. Skipping the laminate means we are skipping a full plastic film on the box, which makes it less shiny and more prone to fingerprints, but we still feel it’s a better option in the long run. 

  • Reusable Containers 

Box of almond, peanut butter, choco-chip, oreo cookies, along with cheese crackers, greeting card and a reusable rigid box.

We minimise using cling wrap in the kitchen and are constantly looking for ways to replace it. Commercial kitchens heavily use cling wrap, in fact, even premium baking institutes put this habit into their students to store every small or big ingredient in the kitchen.

Instead, we encourage the use of reusable airtight containers to store and preserve our products for the future. On a daily basis, we are given the choice of plastic cups versus paper cups, transparent cookie pouches versus paper pouches, and plastic cans versus glass jars. Although the alternative is always more expensive and sometimes that means turning away a customer, we know it’s the right thing to do.  

  • Implementable at Home! 

A woman wearing a recyclable white Bouffant cap

In our kitchen, we do not encourage the use of plastic. Thus, we only use paper cups instead of plastic cups and glass jars instead of plastic jars. Even our hair caps are made from reusable Bouffant instead of plastic. Moreover, whenever we order ingredients from outside, we wash them and reuse the same in the kitchen as storage boxes.

 

4. Being Approachable, To Our Customers And Our Team

Heart shaped pinata cake with caption "Uma, I love you" for an 83-year-old man who ordered cake for his wedding anniversary for his wife

Amongst every value we’ve discussed till now, human connection and approachability are ones we live by most frequently. We also value our customers' feedback and let it influence our choices largely like you might have already seen in the poll deciding the final theme cake for Father’s Day this year. Even in our B2B deals, we choose to have the clients we’ve closed on a foundation of trust and friendship. However, in all of these rewarding interactions too, there are a few that stand out to us, the same ones that have impacted us immensely in the past four years of our journey.

Cake symbolising the end of brain cancer for a young female patient after a long and hard battle. Has a grey ribbon with the caption "No Mo Chemo" along with the date of 2nd April, 2018

When we first started, about three months into the journey, and when it was just Megna who baked and delivered all the cakes, we received an order for same-day delivery. They knew our policy of no same-day delivery then but had still sent a reference picture of a cake with a grey ribbon that symbolised the end of chemotherapy on WhatsApp and marked the order as urgent. We later realised that this was for the customer’s sister who had won her battle against cancer. This was a crucial moment for us since it made us realise that our cakes also had a hand in celebrating life. This was one of those moments where we truly realised why we loved doing what we were doing. Another such moment was when an 85-year-old man called us and enquired if we could bake a heart-shaped cake for his wife since he realised that it was his wedding anniversary that day. He mentioned he couldn’t use the website to place the order and requested us to simply take it on call. He later called back with such appreciation of the cake, it absolutely made our day. 

When it comes to our team in itself, we have a very open-door culture. Anyone can walk into anyone’s office for a small chat. Everyone on the team, from the kitchen staff to the interns, housekeeping staff to delivery people is given equal importance and time. Sometimes, we also mess around by making mango popsicles and frozen lemon iced tea on ice-cream sticks we share with everyone present in the office then. It’s a very relaxed and friendly atmosphere, where people with a shared passion get together, bake and chat simultaneously. 

Post Script

To be honest, this post was just meant to be us expanding on our brand values but it somehow turned into us describing instances that revitalised our passions and dreams for the days up ahead. 

Yours Dessertfully, 

Adithi Kashyap

Content Writer, Dream a Dozen

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