Ashwini is a modern day diligent woman. Based out of Thane, she conducts weekend culinary workshops. Be it cuisines like Mexican, Italian or appetizers and desserts like sizzlers, breads, ice-creams, Modaks, cakes, Ashwini can teach her students any of these. Her major hits are the chocolate-making classes,fresh cream cakes, fondant theme cakes and jar cakes.
‘Aarya’s kitchen’, Ashwini’s official Facebook page took birth about a year ago when Ashwini was herself searching for cooking classes on the internet. It was during one of these searches that she was fascinated by the power of social networking. She uses her page to exhibit her creative works and announce the upcoming workshops. She believes that through this platform she is able to be in constant touch with her students and has strengthened her relationships with her students.
Words about Ashwini’s amalgamation of culinary and teaching skills has spread beyond Thane. Often her classes are attended by students from the nearby districts of Satara, Alandi, Baramati and Solapur. Despite high number of student enrollments only limited number of students are admitted in a workshop so as to maintain a balanced teacher-student ratio.
One of the proud moments for Ashwini is when her students start off their own baking ventures. Being a good teacher is very different from being a likable teacher. If she realizes that some students are not up to the mark she politely sculpts them over time. She does this because she understands how vulnerable these students will become once they enter the competitive commercial market. So according to her doing ones due homework is extremely important.
She regularly updates herself with latest skills and technologies in the market by attending trending workshops by national and international cake artists.
Behind Ashwini’s successful eight hour long classes are her perseverance, management skills, strong bonds with her students and an immense support from her family.
Her husband, Abhijit, whom she married at the age of 20, is her guiding northern star. It was he who noticed that Ashwini has a knack for cooking. At one point of time, Ashwini’s ‘Modaks’, sweet Indian dumplings, were a major hit in Pune. However Abhijit soon realized while Ashwini spends a lot of effort preparing these while its perceived value is very less. So he advised her to not burn herself out despite high demand. Ashwini mentioned that Abhijit himself accompanies her to places where she can’t go alone, be it conducting workshops or buying raw materials. Voila! He was by her side even for this interview. Her cute kids Aarya and Ansh who are eight and five years old respectively are no tantrum throwing kids.
Although the weekends are hectic, the family goes out or simply spends time together on Wednesdays when everyone is at home.
Going ahead, Ashwini aspires to move to a well-equipped baking studio and expand with corporate and wedding cakes.
Ashwini’s greatest motivation comes from the positive feedback from her students and her inner drive for charity. She believes the more she will be able to earn the more she will be able to donate. Her mantra to other entrepreneurs is – “To be a successful enterprise one has to follow their passion and work hard.”