I went to a different Walmart today than I usually go to and saw some prices at their bakery. There was a large, 3 tier (round) stacked "birthday cake" with a sign next to it that said, "$85, ask for details" and a large, 3 tier (square) stacked wedding cake with a sign that said "$135, ask for details". I don't know if the "details" meant that those specific sizes actually cost more or what but they would have fed at least 150 each. And the kicker was that they didn't look that bad! The bday cake had a fairy/garden theme and was covered with long green leaves, a few flowers and had a fairy (plastic) on top. The wedding cake was white with a simple pattern. I can't compete with those prices! That's the first time I'd ever seen price signs at a Walmart bakery and I wanted to grab them and run!
It's still a cake that was sitting in their freezer for a year and slapped together in 20 minutes.
And-Everyone in the world will have that same cake design!!!
True about the frozen cake and simple, cookie cutter designs...but I wish people realized that!
I still have people comment about how inexpensively they can get a cake at Walmart, but they just don't grasp the taste concept!
I want them to respect the taste.......
(slaps hand over mouth) I ain't touchin this one with a ten foot pole. unh-unh not me, nope.
Here's a thread in which CC'er CarriM came up with a great response! I LUV IT!!! And plan to use it often!
THAT was so great!! Go CarriM!!
Wal-Mart wedding cakes:
I see tons of posts about Walmart...I have never encountered anyone even mention using them to me around here. For birthdays, I hear Costco, Safeway and other bakers. I won't do wedding cakes as I just make cakes for family, friends and friends of friends. Does anyone know much about Safeway cakes, other than they are frozen as well.
You just have to realize that there are all types of people out there in the world. There are those who only want to spend the least amount of money and there are those who are willing to pay for quality. Don't feel like you have to lower your prices to compete with Wal-mart because there is no competition there. They are catering to a specific group of people who don't necessarily care about how the cake looks, and as long as it doesn't taste like cardboard they are happy. You have to focus your attention on those people who want a quality product and they WILL be willing to pay for it. My response to someone who told me that they could get a wal-mart cake for cheaper would be "I wish you the best of luck and hope you are satisfied with what you get" and leave it at that. Nobody walks into Dillards and tells them that they can go to Wal-mart and get a pair of jeans for $15 and they want Dillards to match that price, do they? Dillards doesn't compete with Wal-mart, so why do we feel like we have to compete with them?
It's like comparing H2's to a 1972 corolla. You get what you pay for and you pay what you can afford.
Now as for the Safeway cakes. We have a Safeway here in town but they get the cake orders and then ship the order to Denver where the cakes are made and then the cakes are shipped back to the local store frozen of course. Then the customer picks em up. Where at least at the local Wallymart you can at least order it and get it knowing it's what you wanted (as best as they can do with what they have).
Can I ask a huge favor of all of you wonderful custom cake decorators out there. Could we please refrain from mocking the walmart decorator? They have limited resources. They do what they can with what they have. And while I worked there and ran the bakery I encouraged my decorators to be as creative as possible with what they had. Yes there are the production cakes that have to go in the case and the kit cakes which have to be exactly like the liscenced character pics (copyright reasons). But, I encouraged my decorators to take time on the custom cakes that didn't have to be exactly like kit cakes. Don't mock them though. We sure never ever mocked any bakery decorators or home decorators EVER!!! That is our secret wish is to be like you guys. But if we are relegated to being second class how are we supposed to look up to you ?
The decorators at Walmart for the most part are just regular assoc. Most never had any cake decorating experience before working in the bakery and there are some who have been decorators for a long time.
They work hard at what they do and yes with the time constraints and the material constrainsts as well it's hard to duplicate what you guys are capable of. So don't worry about walmart.
Just remember if you are in the market for an Escalade you pay for the Escalade. But if all you can afford is a beat up Toyota, then that's fine too.
Soo, kudos to anyone that makes sugar an art form whether you are the lowly walmart cake decorator or Bronwyn Weber. It's all good.
O and yes, those Walmart customers do care what their cakes look like it's just that the majority CAN'T afford the wonderful creations that you do.
I agree chaptlps...I thought about getting a part time job at a grocery or comp store to get more experience with piping. I am horrible with the piping bag and that is where you can get the most experience with the amount of cakes you make!
chaptlps, I don't think we are knocking the actual decorators .... it's the overall walmart philosophy. I believe we all understand the people who do the actual work in that bakery are under the store's policy and time restraints.
After working the the wedding business in different capacities over the years I know that for the majority of people PRICE is the most important thing. I understand it and accept it. Heck, I certainly had a budget for my wedding day! I also know that if those same people had unlimited resources that they would probably make different choices, but that's not reality for most of us. I'm not looking down on Walmart or it's customers, nor am I comparing myself to the retail giant. All I'm saying is that for many people, if they had xx number of dollars to spend and a Walmart cake fit their budget and looked decent then I really can't compete for those same customers, kwim?
So sorry if you felt undervalued, chaptlps.
Well said, chocomama, and I couldn't agree more.
I read on another thread, another poster wrote that she worked at a Walmart or grocery store bakery and the women who taught her WERE experienced cake decorators with thier own businesses, they just worked there for the insurance.
I have seen some pretty fancy cakes at WalMart. I went to our newest Super Walmart in my area here a few months ago and I was pleasantly surprised at the designs. It does depend on the experience of the decorator though at the quality of cake you will get. The cake itself will taste fine but it's that dang bland whipped crap they call frosting that they put on the cake that is just gross and will keep me from buying a store cake. Not just WalMart but ANY grocery store. I have had those cakes at other family/friend's functions and UGH!!! I just scrape it off.
One thing I do not like about the grocery store cakes is the disgusting amount of airbrushing they do on the cakes. Friggen color some frosting, don't take the cheap way out and airbrush your grass green! Good grief that's so tacky!!!! Yeah yeah, I know they do color SOME frosting or whipped topping or whatever that tasteless crud is but from an actual bakery/home baker you at least get attention to detail, an original design, not something that is in a "this is all we offer" book. More time is invested in cakes that come out of REAL bakeries and the serious home decorator which is all I assume we have here on CC.
Like Chaptlps stated, we are comparing Apples to Organges when it comes to chain store cakes verse our cakes.
I for one started cake decorating because the last one I purchased from a chain store failed to meet my basic order instructions. For numberous reasons, I got what I paid for...
I believe that the decorators at the chain stores are limited in their supplies, etc. It's not that their hearts are not into producing the best cake they can, I believe it is stores mass production attitude to make the quickest buck they can that prevents their product for tasting good.
Our business is no different than any other business out there... Competition is fierce and price is a factor no matter which way you slice it!
We, as decorators, have to take the High Road and educate our potiental customers with the differences between the Apples (store cakes) and Oranges (our cakes).
If price is the customers driving force, let them be... It is very frustrating and Catty Comments cut deep, but with time they will be back. If not, the next customer will be a loyal customer for cakes to come.