JEDDAH: There had been a dramatic increase in the number of entrepreneurs in the food business section on Instagram in the past five to six years.
The social media application was always famous for the pictures people took of their meals and uploaded to their accounts. This paved the way for the many talented bakers who had the potential to sell their goods.
They would upload the pictures and interested users of the application would order their required delicacy. The account owners usually take the responsibility of delivering it to their addresses.
These foods are unique, have a better variety and a reasonable pricing scheme. Also, these are perfect for people looking for “the taste of home.”
There are all sorts of varieties from savory to sweets. From having an account dedicated to just one item to an account with a range of products.
As time passes there are more and more accounts appearing, each one introducing a newer, more innovative idea.
There are thousands of such accounts based in Jeddah only, and those accounts have tens of thousands of followers.
@biscotti_ksa, who makes all the varieties of cookies and brownies, makes her own creations and has a following of 93,400, whereas Dareen Shakir, a 29-year-old Saudi with an American mother, who runs the account @dees_cakesnbakes, started five years ago in 2013. She fuses Middle Eastern-style sweets with Western ones and has 23,000 followers.
“I like doing this because I have freedom, I don’t have to stick to work hours, I can take off whenever I want, and I can travel whenever I want,” Dareen said.
“The competition is high, so I can’t linger on just one type of product for too long. I have to keep renewing my products.”
Walaa Al-Sharif, 23, the Saudi girl behind the account @passionbakety.sa, has 10,200 followers. She has also collaborated with Manuel supermarkets and has a permanent spot on the supermarket’s shelves.
“I started in 2014. At that time there weren’t so many bakers, specializing in cookies,” she said.
“When I started it took me five to eight months to have clients. Also I was a student, so I took many days off, but now I am focusing on this and I hope to have a shop soon.”
The hardest part of starting the business is surely the beginning, to convince people about your product. This was properly defined by Jeddah-based Pakistani Hamna Khan, who specializes in cinnamon rolls. She is just starting out on Instagram with the name @thesugarloop.
She said: “The most difficult part is conveying the quality of my products to the people, especially because it is food. It’s not something I can write features about.
“I strongly believe that baking for people should be done with love and commitment, and I am looking forward to whatever the future holds.”