karensjustdessert Posted 8 Jun 2006 , 3:31pm
post #1 of

I will try to make a long story short. Last week, I delivered a wedding cake (unassembled) to the next island. You go by ferry, and a tram takes you where you need to go (there are no cars allowed on the island). The boxes and I made it intact, and I go inside to use the restaurant's kitchen to finish and assemble the cake.

The bride and wedding planner had made arrangements for me to deliver the cake two days early, since I would be going out of state (for a Colette Peters class! yay!). Everyone in the restaurant's office looked at me like I was crazy and totally inconveniencing them. Finally, someone brings me to the kitchen. I find there has been no air in the restaurant or kitchen for almost a week (but they've been using fans!). Having a cake decorated with buttercream, I am a little more than worried.

I assemble and decorate the cake as quickly as I could in the horrendous humidity and heat. When I was done, I gave it several smoothings and made it look pretty darn wonderful. One of the employees helped me carry the cake (which was on the cake stand) into the walk-in, which was fortunately working very well. She cleared a safe corner for me and we deposited the cake there for the safekeeping.

Fast forward to today, 5 days after the wedding. The florist calls me to tell me something, he did not want me to hear it from the island's club. He said when he brought the flowers to the site, all he heard about was how ugly the cake was, and that person should not be doing cakes!

The florist had recommended me to the bride, so he was a little upset, to say the least. The catering manager and the wedding planner showed him my cake, which had fingerprint smears and gouges all over it! And a crack, too (which I can't explain, honestly, but I have my suspicions).

Now, really, would I leave a cake in that condition? Am I a high school freshman in Home Ec? He told me that the manager said the cake was like that when I left (he was not even there when I was working on the cake, nor was the wedding planner). I assured the florist, who I work with frequently, this cake was perfect when I left. And the design was exactly as the bride had drawn (she previously had another baker, who couldn't do it at the last minute, and asked me to copy the design and colors).

Anyway, as I am working on a huge cake right now, my confidence and nerves are shot. This is my reputatation, and it's being smeared all over the place because restaurant employees sabotaged my cake (the place has their own pastry chef).

The florist said he was able to make the cake just fine with the flowers (thank God!), and he's sure the couple did not know about the drama. Of course, when I called the restaurant this morning, I get the answering machine. Sigh.

46 replies
kelleyinco Posted 25 Mar 2010 , 11:33pm
post #2 of

I dropped off a cake once and they made me put it in the walk-in because the room wasn't ready. Flash forward six months later and I get an irate call from the groom who wants his money back and said the cake was a mess. He said it didn't look anything like the design and was crooked and had dig marks in it. I ask for a picture and he emails me one--- It's not my cake at all! Like maybe it might have been underneath the icing, but it looked like they had tried to replace it? I dropped off an Irish themed cake with greens and golds and they had done it over in lime green and bright yellow. And they said nothing to the couple and never called me that day to report a problem. The facility refuses to return my call and told the couple they have no idea what I'm talking about. I didn't take pictures because it was in a walk-in icon_mad.gif

mamawrobin Posted 25 Mar 2010 , 11:43pm
post #3 of

I would NEVER leave my cake without first taking a picture of it AT THE VENUE or place of delivery or whatever. That way I have solid proof that when I delivered it everything was as it was suppose to be. I am not responsible for what happens to my cake once I've left it but I would certainly want to be able to prove that when I delivered it I had NOTHING to hide. I'm sorry this happened to you. ALWAYS take your camera with you...ALWAYS.. icon_wink.gif

leah_s Posted 25 Mar 2010 , 11:50pm
post #4 of

I do forget my camera occasionally. And then I go home and get it and return to the venue. You can always throw a cheap disposable into your "go bag" that should stay packed with spatulas, edible glitter, pearls, etc. Kind of like the "hospital bag" that you packed before you went to the hospital (if you have kids you know what I'm talking about.)

But here's the second issue. Why oh why in heaven's name would you ever, under any circumstances put a wedding cake in the walk in?
1. It's the wrong humidity.
2. ALL walk-ins have a unique smell and it's the same smell everywhere and it doesn't smell like cake.
3. Of course your cake will get damaged by people putting trays and boxes of stuff into the walk in. Absolutely. Count on it.

dalis4joe Posted 25 Mar 2010 , 11:54pm
post #5 of

I agree.... I always take a picture the day of delivery... because those two stories.... hummmm THEY SCARE ME! people will do something and then it's easy to blame the cake artist when they are trying to alter the cake or when they mess it up... I hope all turns out well for you...

PS.... Even with your cell phone..BUT TAKE A PICTURES! walk-in or not! icon_smile.gif

mamawrobin Posted 25 Mar 2010 , 11:59pm
post #6 of

I have to agree with Leah on the walk-in.

kelleyinco Posted 26 Mar 2010 , 4:14am
post #7 of

I put mine in the walk in because I had no choice. They wouldn't let me set it anywhere else and told me I could put it on the shelf or they would. The kitchen manager said they always did it that way because the golf club was still open to the public up until an hour before the wedding party arrives and they "didn't want wedding vendors wandering in and out". I learned my lesson after that one!

LKing12 Posted 26 Mar 2010 , 4:50am
post #8 of

I do not let anyone carry or set my cake. And, I have had volunteers. If I can't set it on the cake table-then I refuse the date. Too much can happen when a cake is stored and moved. I agree with Leah-I would never put it in a walk-in! My cake bag includes a camera.

karensjustdessert Posted 8 Apr 2010 , 12:12am
post #9 of

Holy cow, I completely forgot about this post...this was such a long long time ago!

As for leaving the cake in the walk-in, I'm afraid I was still pretty green and not knowing any better about a detail like that.

mamawrobin Posted 8 Apr 2010 , 1:11am

I wouldn't deliver a cake 2 days early. If I can't deliver on the date needed I don't take the order.

KHalstead Posted 29 Apr 2010 , 6:21pm

I take it your business is still intact karen??? lol

funny that this post is like 4 years old!! Still relevant though

greenwichwitch Posted 30 Apr 2010 , 7:38am

i always take a picture even if its only with my phone which i presume everyone has now adays
no one is doing this to me
I go one further and message them the picture always do when i set up

Katiebelle74 Posted 4 May 2010 , 6:54pm

I take pictures of the cake from many angles. I also have a printed sheet which says "Cake was delivered and set up by Katiebelle's on time and in Good condition
signed _________________"
and have prearranged with the bride a person who will be available and allowed to sing off on the cake. Typically it has been the wedding coordinator, mother of bride, or on rare and dreaded occasion a venue staff member - they are the worst as they are usually anxious about it and not in the loop enough with the bride to be calm.

idgalpal Posted 4 May 2010 , 7:11pm

I can't tell you how many times I forget to take a camera - that's just plain stupid. I will be adding a disposable camera to my emergency kit TODAY!
I haven't done enough cakes that I've ever had someone tell me to put it in a walk-in, but now I'll know not to do it under any circumstances. Even if this thread is four years old I"m glad it re-appeared icon_smile.gif

idgalpal Posted 4 May 2010 , 7:11pm

I can't tell you how many times I forget to take a camera - that's just plain stupid. I will be adding a disposable camera to my emergency kit TODAY!
I haven't done enough cakes that I've ever had someone tell me to put it in a walk-in, but now I'll know not to do it under any circumstances. Even if this thread is four years old I"m glad it re-appeared icon_smile.gif

idgalpal Posted 4 May 2010 , 7:12pm

I can't tell you how many times I forget to take a camera - that's just plain stupid. I will be adding a disposable camera to my emergency kit TODAY!
I haven't done enough cakes that I've ever had someone tell me to put it in a walk-in, but now I'll know not to do it under any circumstances. Even if this thread is four years old I"m glad it re-appeared icon_smile.gif

pursuing_perfection Posted 3 Jun 2010 , 11:13pm

Wow! A 4-year-old thread! I guess I shouldn't be discouraged when no one repsonds to a post within a week!

Timely reading for me. I always take lots of pictures. However, my camera just died, and I am in the process of making a cake to be delivered in 2 days. I guess I will be borrowing my hubby's cell to take a picture!

cocoasensations Posted 9 Jun 2010 , 7:34am
Quote:
Originally Posted by karensjustdessert

I will try to make a long story short. Last week, I delivered a wedding cake (unassembled) to the next island. You go by ferry, and a tram takes you where you need to go (there are no cars allowed on the island). The boxes and I made it intact, and I go inside to use the restaurant's kitchen to finish and assemble the cake.

The bride and wedding planner had made arrangements for me to deliver the cake two days early, since I would be going out of state (for a Colette Peters class! yay!). Everyone in the restaurant's office looked at me like I was crazy and totally inconveniencing them. Finally, someone brings me to the kitchen. I find there has been no air in the restaurant or kitchen for almost a week (but they've been using fans!). Having a cake decorated with buttercream, I am a little more than worried.

I assemble and decorate the cake as quickly as I could in the horrendous humidity and heat. When I was done, I gave it several smoothings and made it look pretty darn wonderful. One of the employees helped me carry the cake (which was on the cake stand) into the walk-in, which was fortunately working very well. She cleared a safe corner for me and we deposited the cake there for the safekeeping.

Fast forward to today, 5 days after the wedding. The florist calls me to tell me something, he did not want me to hear it from the island's club. He said when he brought the flowers to the site, all he heard about was how ugly the cake was, and that person should not be doing cakes!

The florist had recommended me to the bride, so he was a little upset, to say the least. The catering manager and the wedding planner showed him my cake, which had fingerprint smears and gouges all over it! And a crack, too (which I can't explain, honestly, but I have my suspicions).

Now, really, would I leave a cake in that condition? Am I a high school freshman in Home Ec? He told me that the manager said the cake was like that when I left (he was not even there when I was working on the cake, nor was the wedding planner). I assured the florist, who I work with frequently, this cake was perfect when I left. And the design was exactly as the bride had drawn (she previously had another baker, who couldn't do it at the last minute, and asked me to copy the design and colors).

Anyway, as I am working on a huge cake right now, my confidence and nerves are shot. This is my reputatation, and it's being smeared all over the place because restaurant employees sabotaged my cake (the place has their own pastry chef).

The florist said he was able to make the cake just fine with the flowers (thank God!), and he's sure the couple did not know about the drama. Of course, when I called the restaurant this morning, I get the answering machine. Sigh.





I feel sorry for you but I know you're fine now..I know that the people who sabotaged you just envied you for being a good chef...Really, camera is very important; as what others say, a picture is worth a thousand words..

Jemoiselle Posted 9 Jun 2010 , 11:57pm

[quote="cocoasensations"]

Quote:
Originally Posted by karensjustdessert

I..Really, camera is very important; as what others say, a picture is worth a thousand words..




Or a thousand dollars in the right situation! I am so sorry this happened, glad it was a long time ago and you are doing well still! Funny how old threads keep benefiting others, kind of like little cake prayers hehe.

tokazodo Posted 20 Jun 2010 , 1:09am

I too refuse to set up a cake unless it's the day of the wedding. Then, there is always Murphy's Law.

I too live on the Outer Banks of N.C. I had a wedding cake order a few years ago for a cake to feed 150 people. There was a wedding planner involved.

I went to the rental cottage to deliver the cake, and the 'wedding' planner asked me to set it out on the deck for an outside wedding.
My gut wrenched.
It was 97 degrees (August!) outside and I had a cake covered in butter cream icing, setting out on a deck in the 4:00 p.m sun with a stiff, humid, salt air, sea breeze blowing over my cake.

After my husband and I moved the cake table into the shade, I called the wedding planner aside. I told her there was a mis-communication on the cake. I told her I would not guarantee the cake to be standing for more the 2 hours. She didn't get it. I told her, "Look, that cake is half butter! Half softened butter! I'm taking a photo of it now and I would have refused the entire cake order had I known you were going to sit this cake in the hot sun. "
She still didn't get it.

I don't like wedding planners!
I always ask if the cake will be sitting outside.
I always take a photo before I leave.

dawnell Posted 18 Jul 2010 , 9:25pm

I've forgotten my camera a few times. In that case I use my phone to take a picture, a small picture is better than no picture. This is probably a dumb question but don't all phones have cameras in them now days?

auntyjo Posted 14 Aug 2010 , 9:14pm

i'm very new to making cakes for people outside of the family but i'm glad i've found this thread. i will always take a photo of my cakes at the delivery adress and insist that a prior appointed person signs for the cake once it's been set up, thankyou for starting this thread even if it is 4yrs old

grouchlen Posted 28 Sep 2010 , 4:18pm

My first "paying customer" I learned all of this the hard way. I took pictures of it the night before and put it in the frig for her to pick it up the next day. I looked at it that morning and it looked fine. I come home and there is NO money left for me. I call her that night and ask her how the cake went. She said it tasted horrible and was cracky. The next day she tells me she is only paying me for the cake mixes and decorations. Of course I was like um, don't think so.
I'm having her give the money to a friend of mine (mutual) and she told my friend she would pay her on payday, a week from Wednesday. hmmm

Coral3 Posted 8 Oct 2010 , 1:55am
Quote:
Originally Posted by grouchlen

My first "paying customer" I learned all of this the hard way. I took pictures of it the night before and put it in the frig for her to pick it up the next day. I looked at it that morning and it looked fine. I come home and there is NO money left for me. I call her that night and ask her how the cake went. She said it tasted horrible and was cracky. The next day she tells me she is only paying me for the cake mixes and decorations. Of course I was like um, don't think so.
I'm having her give the money to a friend of mine (mutual) and she told my friend she would pay her on payday, a week from Wednesday. hmmm




Strange...wasn't there anyone there when she collected the cake?

grouchlen Posted 9 Oct 2010 , 1:54am

No one was home. She knew I had to be somewhere that day so I stayed home (missed date night) and finished it just for her to pick it up the next day.

PrivateNameHere Posted 20 Oct 2010 , 4:44pm

So this is a close friend who has a key to your house? And she's pulling this crap with you? Ugh! I'm sorry!

cake_architect Posted 14 Mar 2011 , 3:13am

oh no! i'm so sorry for all of ya'll that have gone through that. i'm def taking pics of every cake from now on!

Noura80 Posted 16 Mar 2011 , 12:35pm

Thank you Karen for starting up a thread like this. Definitely worth reading. And thank you all for providing such valuable information.

Njercio Posted 8 Apr 2011 , 7:24am

I expected to see some pictures here. hihih

kjaonline Posted 3 May 2011 , 12:29pm

Definitely never leaving a cake without taking pictures before hand. I will (sadly) have to learn from your mistake.

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