No Guilt Bakes is the sweet and innocent treat brand that you have been looking for and it comes to us thanks to the persistence and grit of two best friends/cousins Maya Harunna and Taeya Abel-Majeed.
It turns out we really can have our cake and eat it. Who hasn’t felt that familiar pang of guilt while making a grab for a stack of pancakes or a gooey cake? And it’s no lie to say that it’s become even harder to say no to sweet treats as we struggle through all the challenges of the pandemic, I mean, not everyday diet and exercise, right?
Helping us to keep that halo firmly fixed above our heads is No Guilt Bakes, a new range of everyday keto (very low-carb, high-fat diet) treats. Think cakes, pizza bases, bread, pancake and waffle mixes; all yummy treats that are a million miles away from the usual dreary procession of ketogenic energy bars and liquid breakfast drinks.
Bringing us these tasty alternatives are life-long friends Maya Harunna and Taeya Abel-Majeed who in less than two years have crossed over from East London food stall holders to become online pioneers, generating in excess of £200,000 revenue along the way.
The vision behind No Guilt Bakes, a fully ‘bootstrapped’ business venture, is simple. To create a genuinely indulgent range that doesn’t taste like diet offerings. Speaking to Melan Magazine about the inspiration for their business, Co-founder Taeya said: “Having sampled a number of underwhelming ketogenic cake offerings and noted the shortage of real choice that existed online, we knew we had to turn our hands to baking, having experienced first-hand just how hard it is to give up sugar if there were no permissible treats to quell our FOMO urges and suppressed sweet tooth tendencies.”
It’s not been smooth sailing for the ladies. The co-founders have been splitting their time between the business and full-time careers as an investment manager and a law student. They have also been grappling with the logistical effects of the pandemic. Having launched No Guilt Bakes in November 2019, they were just getting started and, in their stride, settling into a stall in a food market in East London before the lockdowns hit. However, this seemingly huge challenge turned out to be a step up for the duo. It turns out the pandemic only served to fan a blossoming consumer enthusiasm for moreish ‘me-time’ treats that supported a growing appetite for credible, high fibre/sugar-free convictions.
On this, Maya said: “We became convinced that the last few years working at home has given growing numbers of workers a new-found appreciation of small permissible treats, because managing one’s dietary needs and recognizing that great taste and healthier living are no longer deemed mutually exclusive goals.”
Moving quickly in recognition of this, the brand has recently introduced to their growing portfolio a three-strong portfolio of mug mixes (inspired by Taeya’s happy US university memories) that reflected a growing appetite for return-to-work treats.
Maya said: “Our young business’s ‘minimum effort, maximum joy’ mantra meant we wanted to offer the perfect self-contained, ‘me-time’ cake moment to any desk-bound worker who might not have access to a well-stocked canteen or a healthier living vending machine, but who could find his or her way to a microwave and a fridge full of milk OR milk alternative.”
No Guilt Bakes is now flourishing online (with prominent retail listings imminent), tapping into a growing movement for health and wellbeing offerings sought by growing swathes of well-informed snackers hoping to reduce their sugar intake, lose weight or simply discover, tasty, less processed treats.
The co-founders are thrilled to have No Guilt Bakes accepted on to Add PSALT, a purpose-built, retail brand accelerator which pro-actively mentors historically under-represented Black-owned brands.
While they have come a long way in a short time, both Taeya and Maya will be the first to agree that they are just getting started. A familiar chorus among the people we interview in Melan-In Business, the duo urge other budding entrepreneurs to waste no time setting up a business as soon as they have a great idea to champion, because despite looking back with pride at all they’ve achieved, both Maya and Taeya wish they’d started earlier.