Shontae Iro was an inquisitive child who loved to be in the kitchen.
She watched her family bake and learnt the tricks of the trade and continued her love of baking being surrounded by her families,
“ I love food in general, so being around food and with my family was just great.”
Anticipating the birth of her first child, Iro weighed up the costs and concerns of finding a babysitter. “For me it was a bit too much,” she says.
“Being a first time Mum, I wanted to be with my daughter Roimata and raise her rather than paying someone else and I wanted to stay home and make the most of it.”
Her homegrown baking skills were helpful and useful.
And was encouraged by relatives to get on with it and do it, “there is money out there to be made, you have to akamaroiroi.”
She started out in 2018 selling sweet delights at Super Brown and Kaps.
Her determination paid off: Iro’s lamingtons, brownies, sticky dates and banoffee pies are available at Kaps in Matavera.
Word of mouth, an effective form of advertising on the island, got around, and Iro saw a bigger opportunity arise. She started a Facebook page to promote her baking.
“Shontae’s Sugar Pot” kicked off, and she caters for any occasion, baking popular sweet goodies such as cakes, lamingtons and brownies and more.
“I do have a soft spot for sweets, I do love being at home,” she says.
Iro loves to create and looks for new things to have a shot at.
“With Covid, you have to be different, you have to try and be creative and I think this is the best time to do it. Making use of what there is and what you have available.”
She admits there are things that can go wrong with baking, but shook off naming the details.
A big challenge Iro does face is the lack of equipment in her kitchen for the amount of baking she does, but she is optimistic and manages.
Another, is the limited space in her small kitchen to cater for large orders.
However, she is thankful and appreciative for the orders that keep her busy.
Her favourite cake? Carrot cake.
· Go Local and visit ‘Shontae’s Sugar Pot’ Facebook page