Raveena shares with DRISHTI how her passion for baking not only has allowed her to run a successful business but how it helped her overcome shyness and insecurity.
Raveena was born and raised in Abbotsford and recalls being quite shy and insecure during her formative years. “I was really down on myself a lot of the time,” she recalls, “and over time, that really kind of mentally took a toll on me.” While baking had always been a big part of her life – having had regular exposure to it while growing up, through her mom and aunts – it really took off for her in her later teen years. And the more she baked, the more comfortable she became with herself. “And it was awesome because that’s where I started to build my confidence. I realize I was good at it, and I wanted to keep going with it.”
Raveena completed her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology at the University of British Columbia. Soon after that, an opportunity presented itself that she could not pass up: a chance to learn from baking masters in Paris, France. After a four-month intensive study in Paris, she returned to Canada, and in 2017, opened up Just Cakes Bakeshop.
Raveena credits one of her psychology professors, who suggested she could ultimately pursue both of her passions. “I enjoyed psychology and working with others and myself. I loved baking, and I was not sure how to proceed going forward in my life as I was graduating, and it was this professor who suggested, ‘why not do both?’ Baking is “cathartic for me. To make something out of nothing. To create, while being genuine and true to myself,” she notes. She encourages others to find their passion. It’s not just to find something they enjoy doing, but because it ultimately can help them grow and develop as a person. Raveena was also grateful for the support she received from her family. “My parents always told me to go for your dreams, whatever it is,” she recalls, “just master it, be the best that you can be.”
A typical day at the bakeshop starts at 5 or 6 am. Raveena continues to bake herself, while also overseeing the business side of things. In addition to selling to customers, baked goods are shipped out to restaurants and grocery chains across the region. “Our team consists of a pastry team, a custom cakes team, our customer service team, our marketing team,” she explains. “And it’s gratifying when you have a company culture where you can really feed off each other’s energy and motivation.”
Just Cakes has undergone considerable growth since opening in 2017. Raveena plans on spending the foreseeable future less focused on growth and expansion and more on continuing to strengthen the business and the brand. “So, I want to be really cautious, there’s no point of rushing when it’s great what we have. I feel like I’m okay with where we are and perfecting that and making sure we’re the best that we can be.”
Raveena’s Just Cakes team was featured this past Fall on Food Network Canada’s The Big Bake show, where they won the competition for best Halloween-themed cake. In 2016, she was named among Surrey’s Top 25 Under 25 award winners, and in 2017 she won the Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award at the Surrey Board of Trade’s Business Excellence Awards. Raveena has also written a cookbook and has plans to write more in the coming years. She is also working on a podcast where she can continue to speak about her passions as well as support others by showcasing inspirational stories within the community.
“I feel like I am fortunate to have been given a gift,” Raveena advises, “that I found my passion and can bring it forward.”
“We all have this amazing potential. It’s about jumping into it, and it starts with how you feel about yourself, your actions, your words, the feelings and beliefs that you surround yourself with. I’m a huge believer in the law of attraction. So if your vibration and your energy are positive, that’s going to come to you.”