Sonam Choden – The Rolling Pin Thimphu

“When I was small, our village hardly had any shops: taking the chance, during the archery
matches, ama and I ran food stalls in partnership. After 12th, I went to Sikkim to study BBA.
However, my love for business was only second to baking: even when It wasn’t allowed in the
dorms, friends would buy the ingredients, and I was always the chef.

After college, I couldn’t do well in RSCE, so I interned at my uncle’s hotel in Thimphu. Around
that time, I came across a baking course under MOLHR; I signed up and 3 months later, with
the security deposits we were handed back, I immediately bought some ingredients. I started
baking cakes at home and put them up on my Instagram. It was mostly my cousins who ordered but
their positive feedback made me think bigger.

I started an Instagram page and my cousin suggested the name ‘rolling pin’. I agreed. As a BBA
student, I knew a quirky name is good marketing. Moreover, the name fits well for a bakery.
I never thought about custom designing a cake. At my niece’s birthday, I made her a Barbie-inspired cake from the first kilo of fondant I bought. Slowly, I started receiving orders. At first, I
was scared and had to google for youtube tutorials before saying yes. Slowly, I became confident.
Before I got a loan from the Loden Foundation to open a cafe, ‘rolling pin’ was a home-based
business for 2 years. But running a cafe was a different ball game. There were tons of bills to pay
at the end of the month and I could hardly think of saving. But ‘Rolling Pin’ had become a
milking cow for my family and me. I could help my mother and siblings. Moreover, in the
pandemic, it was taking in staff who were college grads and middle east returnees. I could even
train my siblings and my sister went on to open a branch in Wangdue. Although my degree
classes on entrepreneurship and marketing find some application, mostly it’s outside classroom
lessons that prepare me for life.
My biggest achievement has to be when I got to design a cake to celebrate His Majesty’s birthday
at the flower exhibition in S/Jongkhar; A chance that I’m truly grateful to the Royal Media Office

for bestowing on me. I’d just say that if you have a dream and choose to work hard with determination to pursue it, you’d definitely hit the gold.”

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