The story of Cakes and Bakes dates back to 1954, when Hafiz Abdur Rasheed, father of present CEO and grandfather of present MD, started off bakery business in the name of Ajmair Confectioners in the posh locality of Gulberg, Lahore. The business excelled as Hafiz Abdur Rasheed had the expertise and experience in bakery, but luck was not on his side; he was sidelined by his business partner and was forced to leave Ajmair Confectioners. Instead of going into litigation, Hafiz Abdur Rasheed once again made a humble start by setting up small bakery in Riwaz Gardens, Lahore with a meager investment of Rs. 1500/-.
This time he called up his son Riaz-ul-Hasan, who just turned 16, to run business. Young Riaz-ul-Hasan knew that tough times were ahead and he had to sacrifice his youth but he had no choice; sense of duty and responsibility prevailed. It was autumn, 1972. Riaz-ul-Hasan toiled for next 17 years, day-in and day-out, working straight 15-16 hours a day with just two day offs in these years. For a young lad of 16 years, it was a period of sheer hard work, dedication, and commitment where there was no room for recreation or entertainment. Riaz-ul-Hasan, determined he was, stuck to his guns and moved on against all odds and never compromised on quality and self integrity. Riaz-ul-Hasan got married in 1978, thus adding on to his over-burdening responsibilities of raising his own family as well as supporting six brothers and five sisters. Tons of responsibilities and financial constraints could not stagger the feet of Riaz-ul-Hasan, neither could dwindle his vision; self determination, commitment and will to survive gave impetus to his business. Belonging to a staunch religious family, he performed Hajj through his first ever savings of Rs. 22000 in 1982 and since then he is known as Haji Riaz-ul-Hasan. Haji Sahib sacrificed his youth, desires, ambitions, friends, and entertainments to establish business. Business started paying dividends as Haji Sahib’s tri-cycle on which he supplied bakery products to his valued customers was soon replaced by automobiles.
Haji Riaz-ul-Hasan fathered Cakes and Bakes in 1995 by opening an outlet of high ambience and décor in the locality of Samnabad, Lahore. People thought that some jewelry shop is being opened but later came to know that a top class bakery is being opened in their area. The opening of Cakes and Bakes was a thumping success. Customers thronged the shop and Haji Sahib knew that his dream was coming true. But deep down his heart he was missing his father Hafiz Abdur Rasheed who died just two years back; he wished his father could live long enough to witness establishment of Cakes and Bakes.
These long 17 years trained him enough to never let his emotional-self surmount his professional-self. Haji Riaz-ul-Hasan was ready to brace new challenges of business; he had a clear vision about business; he knew his success lied in high quality product and delightful customer service. There was no looking back from first opening; Cakes and Bakes kept on growing and excelling year after year. Franchise model was followed by company operated outlets to establish and build brand image of Cakes and Bakes. Haji Sahib made sure that his sons and daughters got top class education; and he also made sure that educated professionals joined his business. So he was judicious with his family as well as with his profession. Time came when his eldest son Muhammad Usman finished off his Masters in Business from UK with another Masters degree in Computer Science already under his belt, and was ready to shoulder business responsibilities with his proud father. It was September 2005, exactly 33 years after the opening of small shop in Riwaz Gardens, Lahore, history was repeating itself when Haji Sahib practically handed over reins of Cakes and Bakes to his son Muhammad Usman, the Managing Director of company. Such was the trust and sense of delegation in Haji Riaz-ul-Hasan, the life-long Chief Executive Officer of Cakes and Bakes. Muhammad Usman bowed to the responsibility just like his father bowed before his father; however hard work of Haji Riaz made life much easier for his son compared to what it was in 1972 when he started off. At last there was someone to shoulder the responsibilities which Haji Sahib carried alone for so many years and it was his own son. Haji Riaz-ul-Hasan and Muhammad Usman brought much-needed innovations in business, learning new concepts of modern management and always eager to adopt new technologies. Cakes and Bakes pioneered in inducting qualified Food Technologists and professional management in bakery business. Credit of introducing concept of ‘instant baking’, where customers can enjoy freshly baked snacks and pizzas, also goes to Cakes and Bakes. Qualified food technologists are constantly doing research and development to bring innovations and diversifying product range. The company has a Quality Assurance department which is involved in conducting quality checks right from raw material, in-process checks to finished products. Haji Riaz-ul-Hasan and Muhammad Usman brought much-needed innovations in business, learning new concepts of modern management and always eager to adopt new technologies. ___Cakes & Bakes Forty two years of long and eventful association with Cakes and Bakes, Haji Riaz-ul-Hasan, the founder and life-long CEO wishes to see the company develop into a multi-national company in the years to come. With this notion, he and his son have vigorously pursued induction of professional management and then empowering them in the best interests of company. CEO and MD are strong believers of team development and working through professional systems. As a result, Cakes and Bakes is the first ever bakery in Pakistan to have gotten ISO 9001:2008 certification. The notion behind this certification is to have a structured way of management, listen to the voices of internal as well as external customers. The crux of forty two years of hard work is summarized by Haji Sahib when he smilingly pulls up his sleeves and shows up his veins to say, “bakery flows in these veins”; what else! The gentleman has given his blood to water this plant which has grown from sapling to a strong tree! May Allah Grant success and glory to the company in the years to come and May Allah Grant Company’s CEO, MD and employees the courage to revive lost pride and glory of this nation in particular and Muslim Ummah in general.