- Pathum Weerasinghe on The Purfect Baker
Having always had a passion for baking, Pathum Weerasinghe turned a hobby into a thriving business venture and opened up an online bakery. Weerasinghe is a teacher by profession, who tries her hardest to find time for her hobbies and serve her customers with delights that they can’t get enough of.
In conversation with her, she told Brunch that during the first lockdown was when she opened up The Purfect Baker, which actually started off as her and the family just whipping up certain food that wasn’t available at the time. She just so happened to share some of her goodies with her friends and family, who immediately pushed her to begin selling them and thus, The Purfect Baker was born.
Weerasinghe tends to focus more on vegan and keto-based goods, so we asked her what prompted her to cater towards this market. “It’s mainly because I’m quite conscious about what I consume. I’m also aware that there is still a gap in the market for vegan and keto products as they are either hard to come by or too pricey for the average consumer,” she told us, so her brand aims to cater to this niche market on a more affordable scale as well. She also added that when making vegan and keto items, the process of acquiring the right ingredients is very time consuming since they are all specialised food items. “I personally consume these foods and so do my friends, so that’s how I began catering specially to that market.”
She explained that she caters to some diverse food options to those who have specific dietary requirements such as keto and vegan. So, if you’re conscious of carbs, there’s keto rotis, cheese crackers and multi seed crackers. For those who are vegans there’s the classic gingerbread granola and multi seed crackers. “Some of the popular decadent options are the range of artisan chocolates, cinnamon rolls with three different glazes and festive bread and loaves. The best sellers essentially vary according to the season but to name a few, the classic granola, rum milk cinnamon rolls and the chocolates,” she added.
She also does artisanal chocolates, and we asked her how she ventured from baking into chocolatiering. “I’m a huge chocoholic! The chocolates are mainly inspired by my travels; I’ve visited France, Switzerland and Belgium where I tasted some of the best chocolates,” she told us. She is also quite creative when it comes to her creations; she makes an interesting nai miris chocolate which was inspired by her wanting to use local products. She truly believes food doesn’t have to be boring and loves to experiment with various and unconventional flavours.
When talking about her journey so far, she told us that she doesn’t bake on a large scale but she thoroughly enjoys what she does. “I believe it’s been quite good for us; it was a journey of discoveries for me in terms of baking.” Her biggest challenge so far was time, and adapting to all the changes that came with the pandemic and the rising cost of ingredients. “I’m a very small scale baker; I don’t purchase large scale ingredients and I buy as I get orders. My main goal is to provide freshly prepared food with fresh ingredients so the travel and import restrictions are major challenges to me but I’m soldiering on,” she added.
She hopes to focus more on seasonal goodies from now on and she also is trying to include as many local and home grown ingredients in her products. As for what’s coming up, she will be promoting food for the season and create more awareness for her brand by meeting with some interesting people.