A devoted mum who took up baking at home to fund hospital visits for her poorly toddler has seen the enterprise grow into a successful cake business.
Asmma Zafar, from Accrington, set up Tishy’s Cakes to pay for hospital travel costs for her daughter Tanisha.
The determined mum-of-three began by selling homemade cakes to family and friends, but it proved so successful she was soon receiving orders from all over.
Asmma, who also has sons, Sarosh, five, and Yameen, two, said: “I decided to set up from home. I started in 2010, but the business kicked off mainly in the past three years. To begin with it was a lot of family making orders, but when people I didn’t know were interested I realised I could do this as a business.
“It’s stressful at times and I sometimes work into the night. I have to make time for the kids.”
Tanisha was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis at eight months old, a condition which causes swelling and pain of the joints.
Asmma, 28, had to travel back and forth from the family’s home on Persia Street to Blackburn and Alder Hey hospitals for treatment, and the costs began to mount up.
Tanisha, after whom Tishy’s Cakes is named, still has to go hospital for regular checks, and the immunosuppressants she has to take make her susceptible to illness, but otherwise she is a normal, happy seven-year-old.
Asmma said: “She helps me bake, holds the bowl when I am mixing and she gives me ideas and pointers.
“I take her to events, she’s the reason for the business, after all. The arthritis is normal for her, she does get cranky and she gets aches and pains, but she loves her dresses and shopping.”
Assma, who worked at Accrington Job Centre before she had Tanisha, still runs Tishy’s Cakes from home, preparing all her desserts in her own kitchen.
She added: “Tishy’s Cakes is my baby, I am so proud of it. I use natural produce, even the vanilla I use is homemade. There’s a lot of competition, but whatever work I can get is a blessing.”
Tanisha described her mum’s cakes as “really yummy”.
She said: “I feel happy because mum makes delicious desserts and they make people happy.”
Tishy’s Cakes will be one of more than 55 stalls at the Accrington Food Festival on June 4, featuring chef Richard Fox. Visit www.tishyscakes.co.uk for information.