Owner and founder, of Kanta’s Kakes ,Kanta Temba was born in Lusaka, Zambia and later emigrated with her family to Hertfordshire, England; when she was six years old. From an early age Kanta expressed a keen interest in culinary arts. She enjoyed baking cupcakes and birthday cakes for friends and family and spent time observing her mother doing the same.
However, it was during her study of Biomedical Science at Queen Mary University of London, that a young Kanta Temba realised her passion for baking and decorating cakes. Kanta’s interest in sugar craft grew rapidly, as she taught herself new skills. She further honed her skills by attaining four diplomas, including a Masters diploma from the world-renowned PME Sugar Craft Limited; and in 2012 Kanta Kakes, was born. Kanta Kakes specialises in creating luxurious, contemporary cakes; fusing exceptional designs, exquisite craftsmanship and the finest ingredients. providing Cakes and Dessert tables for Weddings, Kitchen Parties, Corporate events and Baby Showers. Kanta quickly amassed an impressive list of clients including companies; Glaxo Smith Kline and Lawrence Dean, and she went on to design and create several beautiful and exciting bespoke cakes
In 2015 Kanta became the official food columnist for Lusaka Times Online; her column In the Kitchen with Kanta proved to be very popular, with her delicious recipes going down a treat with readers.
Kanta is busier than ever, expanding her business and hosting her own Cooking Television show Kanta’s Kitchen, which airs on Zambezi Magic DStv channel 160 and Fresh TV Topstar channel 108. Kanta’s Kitchen is a food lifestyle program produced by British film maker and producer, Nathan Codrington. The show sees Kanta making popular world dishes, and demonstrating how to put your own spin on them. Kanta offers recipes for quick and easy feel-good food; and provides ideas for fun recipes to prepare whilst relaxing or entertaining.
Kanta has had a lot of success with her Cake Company, television show and numerous other projects. Her creativity and talent transcends. By adding Wedding cakes and Dessert tables to her repertoire Kanta has quickly become the go to cake maker for extravagant and exquisite cakes. With the relocation of Kanta Kakes to Lusaka, Zambia she aims to continue expanding and producing exceptional cakes for her clients; and gain even more publicity for her work and creations.
KAPA: What was your inspiration to establish your own cake business?
KANTA: My inspiration to establish my own cake business came from the passion and interest that I have in cake making and decorating. I realised that I was talented at it and I knew that I would be happiest running my own cake business. The fact that cake making brought me, and still brings me so much joy and happiness confirms that it was the right choice for me.
KAPA: What made you decide to relocate to your home country of Zambia to setup your business as opposed to staying in the UK?
KANTA: My decision to relocate to Zambia has been long and coming, it was something that I wanted to do for a while. However, I think a lack of confidence delayed my move. Though I was doing well in the UK, I always felt that there was more that I was supposed to do with myself and with Kanta Kakes. Following the end of a toxic relationship I took a very long hiatus from cake making; because I lost a lot of self-belief. I needed to give myself time to heal and time to decide what I wanted to do with my life, so that’s what I did. I took a break from cake making, for two years, and in that time I filmed my TV show ‘Kanta’s Kitchen’, I continued to write my food column ‘In the Kitchen with Kanta’, and I accomplished a lot of other personal goals and dreams. I also allowed myself to enjoy life as a young woman – I spent time with friends and family, travelled and rebuilt my strength, and it was amazing.
Following my two year break I asked God what I should do, and my answer came to me – “Open Kanta Kakes in Zambia”- said a voice. I’m joking, there was no deep voice from the sky, but more of a feeling of peace in my mind and soul, so I knew it was the right time to finally relocate.
KAPA: What would you say separates Kanta’s Kakes from other cake makers?
KANTA: I think that all cake makers are great in their own way. However, I think that what separates Kanta Kakes from other cake makers is the fact that at Kanta Kakes we are truly passionate about cakes. Our goal is to make your dream cake a reality and we are happy to go above and beyond to ensure that our customers get their hearts desire. We specialize in Wedding Cakes because other than the brides dress – the cake is the most important part of a wedding. We also create exquisite Dessert tables which are perfect for any celebration including; Bridal showers, Kitchen Parties, Birthday parties, Baby showers and Corporate events. We use the finest ingredients to make show stopping cakes, with wonderful designs, and we do not rest until our customers are happy. At Kanta Kakes we pay attention to detail and with trendy new styles we can transform your celebration into something magical. So, that’s what sets us apart from other cake makers.
KAPA: What challenges did you face when starting up your business, and how did you overcome them?
KANTA: On a personal level, some of the challenges that I faced when I started Kanta Kakes were from people, who doubted me or thought that I had made the wrong decision by pursuing a career in confectionery art. A few more challenges that I faced were; how to price my cakes, competing with other well established cake makers, advertising my business effectively, and building my client list. I overcame most of these challenges through trial and error. For example, overtime I had to change my advertisement methods and figure out which ones were effective, and which ones were not.
KAPA: What is the most rewarding part of owning your own business?
KANTA: There are several things that are rewarding when you own your own business. For example, the fact that I am my own boss means that I get to call the shots. I also get to do what I actually love which makes me happy. Having a dream and actually living it, regardless of what the naysayers think and say, getting to prove people wrong, making good money, not answering to anyone else but myself, growing, expanding and being independent – it’s all so fulfilling and this is what makes it so rewarding. I get to live my best life, be financially free, happy and healthy and keep growing and expanding. I have always had big dreams, and this is just the beginning; and I am excited for what the future holds.
KAPA: Where do you get the inspiration for the design of your cakes and what is the process for creating your cakes?
KANTA: I get inspired by so many different things. Sometimes my inspiration is from other cake makers – I find myself spending a lot of time looking at wedding cakes and new and different flavours, techniques and designs. I also get inspired by life, people and things. I might see something beautiful or abstract or something in nature, and I suddenly think I could incorporate that into a cake, or use that somehow. Of course sometimes it’s my customers who inspire me, by telling me what they like, their hobbies, passions and favourite colours etc and then I have to find a way of combining all of those ideas together, into one cohesive piece of art. I think the fact that I look at cake making as art – which it is – helps me to better myself and keeps me searching for the next best idea or design.
KAPA: Do you feel the current economic climate in Zambia is favourable to entrepreneurs such as yourself?
KANTA: I would say that now is as good a time as any for entrepreneurs to start their businesses in Zambia. There is so much potential here, and I think that it’s worth taking the chance. If we sit and wait for the perfect time, that time will never come, because nothing in life is perfect. What I love about Zambia is its potential to grow and develop, and the potential for the Zambian economy to do better.
KAPA: We’ve all had a baking fail, or in my case, several. Can you describe your worst baking disaster?
KANTA: Oh my God, yes I have definitely had one or two baking fails. One that was particularly bad for me was a cake that I made for a family friend some years back, when I first started making cakes. They had quite a few requirements; the cake needed to be egg free, dairy free and gluten free. It was quite overwhelming, but I thought I was up for the challenge. Everything went well, or so I thought. I did a taste test and the cake tasted fine, I decorated it as usual, and delivered the cake. An hour later, I got a call from my family friend saying that when the cake was sliced it was uncooked. However, I knew that it was definitely cooked because I had made sure of it when I tasted it, and I had carved it into the shape that they requested, so I definitely would have noticed if the cake was uncooked. Anyway, to cut a long story short I apologised to the family friend, assured her that the cake was cooked, but asked her to bring it back to me to see what she meant. What I came to realise was that the cake was cooked. However, it required the correct and accurate substitutions because there were so many ingredients missing from it. The fact that I used gluten free flour with no eggs or ‘real’ butter meant that the cake did not bind together properly and it became overly moist and thus soggy in the middle – giving the impression that it was uncooked.
The thing about baking is that it is a chemical reaction, there really is a science to it, every ingredient has its purpose and if those ingredients are removed they need to be substituted correctly. I definitely learnt my lesson.
KAPA: What is a typical day like for you?
KANTA: A typical day for me starts quite early. I usually begin by doing personal things like prayer which helps me to start my day well. I then have breakfast and get on with responding to emails and enquiries. After this I finish off any cake orders or decorating that need to be completed including; any that need advance preparation e.g. making sugar flowers which need to be made days/weeks in advance. I usually have to plan my time carefully, but find myself multitasking between, baking/decorating, replying to customers and dealing with collections/deliveries. I am also constantly in the creative process, always thinking of new ideas and ways to improve Kanta Kakes. I try to work to specific hours, but I am a perfectionist so even though I may close for business at a certain time, I continue working through the night, most of the time.
KAPA: How can our readers stay connected with you as well as Kanta Kakes?
KANTA: You can stay connected with me & Kanta Kakes by following us on:
Facebook @KantaKakes | Twitter @KantaKakes | Instagram @KantaKakes
Make orders & enquiries via our website www.KantaKakes.net
You can also follow me on Instagram @KantaTemba
KAPA: Any last words?
KANTA: Thank you for all of the love and support so far, I am excited for this new chapter in my life, and excited to make some of my best creations for Zambia.
Kanta Kakes in opening in Lusaka mid-September 2018, so make your orders and enquiries now!!
BY KAPA KAUMBA