Today we’d like to introduce you to Kemi Sanni.
Hi Kemi, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I’m Kemi Sanni and I grew up in Nigeria watching my mom bake cakes and cookies. Her favorite cake to bake was chiffon cake! I was responsible for separating the egg whites from the yolk. And I was so intrigued with it all. She didn’t make anything fancy or even decorate the cakes or cookies and only baked for family and friends. I would always help her bake in the kitchen and so naturally, during the gap period between the completion of high school and waiting to start college, I picked up decorating cakes along with baking and loved it! My mom was excited and nurtured this passion by buying decorating tools and telling all her friends I was a bonafide baker! And the “pressure” of this being more than a hobby with people’s money and expectations on the line scared me and so I quit! It took 20 long years later and the passing of my mother to go back to baking and decorating cakes as a therapeutic outlet and to make me feel that connection of baking with my mom years back. This also led to the birth of my business in 2018 called “Tessa’s Cakes”, named after my mom. I feel my mom in every cake and treat I make. My desire is to make every cake as unique as possible to every single individual. I do not replicate even my own designs! I love the creative autonomy to interpret a person’s interests, favorite colors and personality into a cake. The opportunities are endless and it has been quite the journey. I juggle “caking” with my full-time job as a court mediator, wife, and mom to 2 extremely active boys aged 6 and 4.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The road has been quite bumpy. The biggest challenge is juggling and balancing a full-time job, running a business and being a wife and mom who is present and not missing out on the big and small family moments. It does get overwhelming from time to time and I keep striving to find the best balance.
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I specialize in custom cakes for all occasions and fancy treats-cupcakes, chocolate-covered oreos and sugar cookies.
I’m most proud of bringing to life – in cake form, the imaginations or combinations of ideas and interests that each client might have. Most recently, I’m being more conscious about sharing my culture (born in Nigeria, now residing in America) and how this shows up in my everyday life, raising my young sons , having a full-time day job while also running a business. I feel many people can relate to wearing many hats and hope to share and learn from other mompreneurs out there!
Can you tell us more about what you were like growing up?
I was and still am more of an introvert. Ironically, I prefer my cake designs to be colorful and bold – to make a statement totally opposite of my personality. I’m passionate and determined about whatever I set my mind to accomplish even if it will take a zillion tries to get it right. I’m a trained attorney and used to structure, but I’m learning that my best cake designs are the ones that are not carefully planned out and where I can truly just let the cake “speak to me.” I used to love to read books but now I relax by watching reality tv shows or a good period drama series or movie.
Judah Avenue For personal picture only.