In 2012, mother and daughter duo Tabbasum and Sheeba Hassan came together to launch Guilt Trip, a dessert brand which offers cupcakes, cakes, macaroons, pasties, cheesecakes, cake pops, cookies, brownies, breads, pies and tarts.
Since its inception, its expanded into Hyderabad and Bangalore and has now launched gluten and sugar free desserts as well as vegan treats.
On the occasion of the new launches, we caught up with the duo about the Guilt Trip journey. Here’s what they had to say.
How has Guilt Trip evolved from its inception in 2012?
From a small set up in Carter road, we are a bakery cum cafe chain now. While Mumbai is yet to get a Guilt Trip cafe of its own, Hyderabad & Bangalore already have a Guilt Trip cafe. From selling just desserts, we are now offering food & beverages as well and very soon planning to set it up in Mumbai as well. In terms of the bakery itself, we’ve kept innovating with new products & ideas and bringing more to the table by adding sugar/gluten free desserts, vegan desserts and the likes.
How do Guilt Trip’s products cater to the Indian palate?
Indians lately have become more experimental when it comes to their desserts. They no longer want the typical sweets but something new. Hence the cupcake trend really caught on with them and is still going strong. At the same time, their love for chocolate based desserts is eternal and never changing and hence we stock a wide variety of chocolate based desserts. Even in terms of sweetness, we realized indians prefer less sugar in western desserts and hence we created a different version of the buttercream which is not as sweet as the regular buttercream available everywhere. During the festive season, we come up with fusion desserts like gulab jamun cheesecakes to cater to the typical indian palate.
Can you share any anecdotes about how customers responded to Guilt Trip’s products?
The one that comes to my mind is of our youngest client Myrah who first came to us when she was all of 3 and fell in love with our cupcakes. She gave us a card made by her thanking us for making the best red velvet cupcakes in town. The icing on the cake was when her father told us that she wakes up at odd hours craving for our cupcakes and once when she was made to have cupcakes from another store, she remarked – not like Sheeba Aunty’s cupcakes. That was and is the sweetest and our most precious review ever.
Describe the experience of working with family for the venture.
Its a blessing in disguise for us. Because we are a mother daughter duo, we understand each other personally and professionally extremely well. Our working styles complement each other which works very well for the business. Even if we have differences and some arguments, it never goes out of hand because she is my mother after all and i am her daughter & vice versa. So all issues are resolved amicably no matter what and theres no bitterness whatsoever.
What are some of the most popular items on the menu?
Red velvet & original sin cupcakes; Caramel & chocolate baked cheesecakes; Chocolate Ganache pastry; Belgian chocolate macaron; customized cakes.
What are some of the most unique items Guilt Trip offers?
Custom made cookies; custom made macarons; cupcake bouquets; macaron pops.
Explain why you decided to venture into gluten free, sugar free and vegan products. What are some of the products in these categories?
As people are getting more health conscious, we thought there is definitely a market for these products. Plus there were many clients who wanted sugar free and gluten free products because they were diabetic or were allergic to gluten & milk. Hence, we decided to venture into these to cater to this growing segment. Red Velvet vegan cake; Gluten free Chocolate cake; Sugar free cheesecakes.
Where do you hope to see Guilt Trip going in the future?
We want to take it international. Simple. We want to be an international brand.