Hear from The Cheesecake Shop’s Newest Franchisee’s
We sat down with one of our newest franchisees Lakshani Wadumesthralage and talked all things cake, passion and business!
How did your love for decorating start?
From 2010, I knew I really wanted to be a cake decorator, so I completed a retail baking course at TAFE. Keen to get into the industry, I applied for a cake decorating job at The Cheesecake Shop Endeavour Hills. Though unsuccessful, this didn’t deter me from cake decorating so I decided to start up my own home cake business in WA. I then moved back to Melbourne in 2016 and applied for a job at The Cheesecake Shop Berwick as a cake decorator and was immediately hired.
What do you love most about cake decorating?
I can show off my skills and creativity which makes customers happy. I really love how their faces light up with joy when they come to pick up the cake that I created for them.
Why did you decide to apply for a job at TCS?
Mainly because I hadn’t worked in a store before and I wanted to learn new things. Also, back of mind I had the idea to purchase a franchise one day so I thought that would give me some background and an idea about the business.
What made you decide to take the leap into owning you own The Cheesecake Shop?
This has always been my dream to have my very own shop. I know I could not have done this without the support of my husband Gayan who is a chef.
Has owning your own store been something that you had always discussed with your husband?
Gayan always knew I wanted to own a cake shop, but he wanted to open a restaurant. When the Mornington store went up for sale, which was also owned by my boss, I thought this is the perfect opportunity. Gayan and I spoke to my boss and took a look at the store. Gayan said “if you’re confident, let’s do it.”
We’re pretty confident we will take it [the store] to the next level. I believe in him and he believes in me. It’s a challenge for us, but we are looking forward to it.
What roles will you both be doing in the business?
I will be doing the decorating and delighting our customers while Gayan does the baking and we will both do management. I will be there full time and he will be there a couple of times a week. Gayan will continue working part time as a chef.
What do you both see as your main strengths?
We’ve worked together before so we know each other’s strengths. I know he is good at baking and I know I’m good at decorating. So I think we are bringing a lot to the table. Also, working at The Cheesecake Shop has that add-on advantage as well.
What are you most looking forward to about owning your own franchise?
Taking it to the next level at the moment, and making money of course.
What made you choose The Cheesecake Shop over other brands?
I’m the biggest cake fan ever and it’s The Cheesecake Shop! It’s a well-known brand and my favourite brand even before I took the decorator job at Berwick. I’m honoured to be a part of this franchise. It’s like a dream come true!
How did you find the New Franchise Training?
Excellent! Before I was a bit nervous about decorating tortes but now I’m much more confident. Reita (Training and Test Kitchen Assistant) is excellent and very friendly. Everyone has given us a boost of confidence and has prepared us and now we are ready.
What’s you next goal?
After we master our first store, opening a second store of course!
Any final comments?
We are really excited!
Gayan and Lakshani commence instore at Mornington on 11 September 2017.