Sweet success

Thirteen-year-old Vinusha MK of Chennai owns Four Seasons Pastry and has been baking cakes since she was nine


Vinusha MK fell in love with baking when she tried to make a cake for her mother’s birthday. “I wanted to surprise my mother by baking her a cake. With my friend’s help and online videos, I made the cake and it turned out quite well though the consistency was not what I wanted,” she recalls.

Not one to give up easily, she attempted making the next cake with her mother’s help and it was a success. “This not only lifted my spirits but encouraged me to take a keener interest in the field,” she shares. Seeing their daughter’s interest in baking, her parents enrolled her in a few baking workshops which helped her learn the basic skills. “My parents also took me to meet a few entrepreneurs when they realised I was passionate about baking and even wanted to start my own business. These meetings helped me tremendously as I realised how much there was to learn,” she says. In addition to these workshops and meetings, she also interned at the Savera Hotel, a five-star property and some cafes. Besides teaching her a lot, the internships cemented her resolve to become an entrepreneur.

Her pastry business Four Seasons Pastry started on September 15, 2019 when she was just 10 years old. This is an online venture and she devotes time to her business when she is free.

“I named it Four Seasons based on the four seasons, namely, summer, winter, autumn, and spring. I started out by baking two different flavoured cupcakes — vanilla and chocolate. But it’s the icing on these that represent the different seasons,” she says. For winter, the cupcakes come with a snowflake made out of fondant, orange reflects summer, flowers herald spring, and scattered orange leaves depict autumn. Apart from cupcakes, she also makes chocolates, brownies, and sandwiches. She has also put together a baking kit for young children like her, who are keen on baking.

The journey so far has been a rollercoaster ride. “Right from learning the basics to starting my company there have been many challenges. Being under 18, I cannot even open my own bank account nor can I attend a few events or be the legal founder of my company. There are times when I can’t even understand a few terms in some contracts, but I have persisted. The challenges have made me stronger,” she says.

She believes persistence and focus are key when you want to be an entrepreneur and are starting your business. “With all the problems I faced, I would have given up if it were not for my parents and mentors. They have stood by me and encouraged me every step of the way. For someone as young as I was then, it was so important that I had them. I owe so much to them,” she states.

Another important aspect of the success of her business, she says, is branding and marketing. “I did not know much about this part but with time and inputs from professionals around me, I have understood the importance of it in selling my products,” she says.

At present, Vinusha wears a couple of other hats too. A motivational speaker, she has given talks in a few colleges in Chennai. She also conducts baking classes online and truly enjoys her teaching role. “Most of my students are children who are as young as I am. Sometimes, they are surprised to see that I am their teacher,” she says.

Vinusha has learned to balance academics with her business and dreams of becoming a professional chef when she grows up. Her goal is for Four Seasons Pastry to be the number 1 dessert company as well as set up a baking institute for those who cannot afford to study abroad.