Career Profiler: Ginger & Lace

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Ginger & Lace is the creative outcome of two best friends Basma Hamdy and Nora Abdel Salam. Their products are much more than deliciously customized favors they are handcrafted with love and perfection.

Basma has a 2-year-old daughter and a 1-year-old son, and a Master of Fine Arts. She is a university professor who taught Graphic Design and Fine Arts in the UAE. She has only recently moved back to Egypt, and is now focusing on the new business, Ginger & Lace. During her years in the Emirates, Basma became passionate about the idea of having her own pastry business. For two years she researched and worked on the product and started to show her skill in many ways, creating an internet blog to show her talent in baking, taking part in bake-offs, and getting in touch with other baking artists around the world. She is Ginger.

Nora is the mother of two daughters (5 and 3) who, after studying Chinese to pursue her love of languages, worked for a while in the field of IT, as a content manager in an internet business incubator and then as an e-business consultant. For some years she worked a little from home, doing marketing analyses, and pursing various interests in the little free time that she had. Whenever she could, she tested her baking and decorating skills on friends and family, who spurred her on and craved her Crème Brulée, a favored specialty. She is Lace.

 

You are two women who were on the peak of the corporate career ladder, how did you come up with the idea to come back strong with your own business?

Actually, we are life-long best friends who had two separate careers and who have been living in different countries for many years, and after years of separation, have finally ended up in Egypt starting a business together. The idea came from the fact that we both love baking and it was something we had been discussing before in our e-mails to each other for the last two years. We both have kids, which would have made it difficult before to start our own business, since the hours you need to pour into a budding business, in its early stages, would have been near impossible when our children were babies. But now that they’re toddlers at least, our dream became possible.

 

How is working together as best friends?

Working together after being apart for so many years is great! We often laugh and wonder about it, actually. We were always very close, but the years apart left us missing each other and missing out on the developments in our separate lives, despite e-mails and visits. Working together this hard, to launch our project in so little time, has brought us closer than we ever were, and is helping us to reconnect and overcome the effect of the last 9 years, a major time in both our lives.

 

Who handles which department?

We both handle everything together. Either one of us can take on the whole show if the other one isn’t there for any reason. It is a perfect balance which makes it all easier. Of course, we divide the work load among us for efficiency, but we can also swap roles when needed.

 

What about the potential of this business? Is their a need for creative and tasty sweets and favors other than the traditional?

We noticed that there’s a shortage in the variety of pastries available for special events, and what is available, is standardized and unified in style. What we’re offering is a colorful variety of decorated cookies, cupcakes, cakes, macrons and many other desserts and treats, in a whole new and different style that will surprise everyone who sees them for the first time. Our decorated cookies are truly unique because each shape is designed and decorated by hand and are popular with children and adults alike. Now dessert tables can have a unique personalized theme, where all the desserts match the occasion, and taste as good as they look. We are offering customized dessert decoration, where you can choose your colors and shapes. We will also be introducing more lines that will bring new ideas and options for entertaining guests, and for gifts and favors to suit every event, that are not available anywhere currently. We believe our products will present to the public an array of possibilities that did not exist for them before. Also, part of our mission is to let the art of baking shine as a Culinary Art, which we do not feel is the light in which it’s being portrayed in Egypt.

 

Why the name Ginger & Lace?

Our name reflects our philosophy. We chose Ginger, the universal earthy spice with a unique, pungent flavor to represent our focus on ingredients that are truly superior.
Lace, the delicate, luxurious openwork fabric, traditionally made by hand, represents our hand-made qualities, attention to detail and exquisite signature look. Ginger & Lace also represents the duality of our personalities. The Ginger in us is unpredictable, earthy and potent. The lace is feminine, elaborate and refined.

 

There are many women now starting their own catering or patisserie business, how do you see yourself in this market and where does Ginger & Lace stand out from the crowd?

Our struggle as mothers to find sweets that weren’t filled with fake ingredients is one of the forces that drove us to launch Ginger & Lace. We have been – and still are – on a hunt to source the finest ingredients in the market. Part of our mission is that we use only the finest ingredients, including bittersweet Belgian chocolate, real butter and whole vanilla beans. Our decorations are always made with pasteurized egg whites and safe food colors. We do not use margarine, shortening, ready-made mixes, or preservatives of any kind, and we never will.­­This you can actually tell as soon as you taste our products. The finest, all-natural ingredients really make a difference in the taste – and don’t take our word for it! But that is only one area where Ginger & Lace stands out. Our decoration designs are our very own, driven by our strong background in Art and Design, and inspired by world-renowned pastry chefs, whose influence has not yet reached Egypt. That is why we have received a very welcoming response from people who have seen and tasted our products for the first time.

 

What exactly is your product range? What do you offer?

We offer everything, from cookies, cakes, cupcakes, to elaborate, themed dessert tables. You can choose to buy a dozen of our cookies to enjoy at home with your family, or order a variety of themed desserts for your events. We also offer packaged gifts and personalized favors for baby showers and weddings, henna nights, birthdays and parties. One of our most popular products is the seasonal gift basket/box which is perfect to give on special occasions such as Christmas, Ramadan, Valentine’s, Mothers’ Day, Easter or Eid.

Items on our Menu currently include: a variety of decorated cookies in different shapes to suit every season or occasion, flavors are gingerbread, chocolate or vanilla bean, chocolate chip cookies with Belgian chocolate, double chocolate chip cookies with white or dark Belgian chocolate chips, decorated, customized cupcakes, decorated, customized cakes,
macrons (variety of flavors and fillings), gift baskets, standard or customized as well as custom-designed and individually wrapped favors for weddings and baby showers.

 

How can clients place orders?

Call us on 016- 0072210 or e-mail us at info@gingernlace.com. Please tell us the details of your event, colors you want and any theme you’re interested in. For large custom orders we may set-up a meeting and consultation with you to understand what you really need.

 

What are your plans for the coming future?

As well as the corporate line we are currently working on our gourmet line. We are developing a fine collection of macrons and sables, featuring a variety of non-traditional flavors, as well as classic cookies with a twist.

 

 

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