As a crazy cake fanatic, the amount of bakeries, cake shops & home-bakers I follow on my social media, are endless. From these, there is this one local home-baker who have stood out for me from the very start, not exactly out of any extravagancy, but due to the fact that he was man. By no means am I being sexist; needless to say, it is a common fact that male home-bakers are almost never seen in the Maldives mainly due to the stereotyping.
Mohamed Ageel (Geelu), famed for owning Cakes by Geel, has been proudly breaking the said stereotypical belief since 2011. Away from the mainland, Geelu, grew up in his beloved island, Makunudhoo in Haa Dhaalu Atoll, where baking was not a norm. Despite so, his neighbor, was renowned in the island for baking cakes, hence, starting from a young age, Geelu, had observed the baking process on various occasion and noticed the joy it bought upon him. However, the very first time he and baking had truly intertwined was at the end of 10th grade when he, along with classmates worked together to bake a cake for another classmate’s birthday.
With zero idea from where to begin, they turned to his neighbor, who happily instructed them and even let them borrow the required baking tools. Afterwards, the neighbor often sought help from Geelu in frosting cakes as his talent already stood out back then. As a result, he retained the borrowed baking tools.
Eventually, Geelu started working at small shop in his island. However, his love for baking followed with him. During spare time at work, he continued to work on cakes which consequently led to a number of people noticing his work. Following this, he started getting more and more orders which officially kicked off his baking story. Note that baking at an island at that time was construed to limited ingredients and tools which also limited Geelu’s works to just buttercream cakes.
Around in 2012, Geelu, moved to the capital Male’ City to pursue his education. It was also an opportunity to him to experience a wider range of baking products and tools in addition to having more exposure to enhance his skills further. From the skills taught to him by his neighbor, YouTube tutorials, recipe guides etc. Geelu, taught himself to be competent baker and continued bake goodies for orders. It was one of his friends who eventually suggested that he start up a Facebook page for more exposure. This is the beginning of ‘Cakes by Geel’.