Cady Posted 7 Jul 2005 , 9:52pm
post #1 of

I was at the grocery store today and of course had to look at the cakes they had out (always do) anyways I must say after looking at all the beautiful cakes here at cc, IMHO them groery store cakes are just ugly. I guess that way i started doing my kids b-day cakes..lol...

Cady

Sorry if I offend anyone that was not my intention I know you ladies that belong to cc and work decorating cakes at other places can't do what you would like to, and the cakes you post are beautiful. Again i am very sorry if i offened anyone!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was just comparing them to the beautiful cakes posted here.....

57 replies
sheilaattaway Posted 7 Jul 2005 , 9:57pm
post #2 of

I know! When I stated making cakes, I went to Wa**M*** and looked at their cakes. Not only are they not all that, but they dont offer anything but royal or butter cream. You cant get those awesome fondant or MMf cakes anywere but a private bakery.

GinaJuarez Posted 7 Jul 2005 , 10:08pm
post #3 of

DISCLAIMER: Calejo and others who work at grocery stores: Please do not be offended by this thread as I have seen your cakes and they are fantastic.

I have to stick up for the grocer cake decorators before I go on. I know that they are limited to store requirements and quotas, so the decorators are not getting display their best works.

But, I am going to have to agree on the subject of looks. The ones on here are beautiful. Even the ones where the creators are like, "this is the ugliest cake I have ever made", for the most part they are great too! We had an anniversary party a few months back at my work, right after I had started decorating. They went and bought a cake from the grocery store down the street. After knowing how homemade cakes taste, this cake from the store was just so bland and tasteless.

niki_10 Posted 7 Jul 2005 , 10:16pm
post #4 of

I agree with you, I just don't like them at all. Although I have seen some of those woman working and it is impressive!

But the cakes themselves don't taste good and many of them, well, the store just won't let them spend the time or money go do fancy flowers and stuff. It's like with some of the cheapo haircut places, they have to do only certain types of cuts and are not allowed to be creative. icon_eek.gif

cakelady Posted 7 Jul 2005 , 11:10pm
post #5 of

I have kept comments to myself but I no longer can. When I needed jobs in the past I have always fallen back on grocery store bakeries. I have worked for 3 major chains......I have seen things and heard things that we decorators would NEVER do............it's best to stay away from grocery stores. I will never eat those "things" again!!!!!!!!!!


I don't wish to offend anyone here.......

melissablack Posted 7 Jul 2005 , 11:19pm
post #6 of

One of my friends worked in the grocery store bakery up until a few years ago, and she said all their stuff for their cakes was frozen/premade, etc... I know they don't allow much time or variation for their cakes, so I don't think this thread is an insult to the decorators who work in the grocery store bakeries, it is just the company cutting corners, trying to make quick, cheap cakes.

Personally, I cannot even eat grocery store cakes. They just don't taste that good to me, and I made a rule for myself that I will not 'waste' calories... I'll eat sweets, but it's gotta be something that I truly enjoy, not just eating it because it's sitting in front of me.

Cady Posted 7 Jul 2005 , 11:26pm
post #7 of

Sorry if I offend anyone that was not my intention tapedshut.gif I know you ladies that belong to cc and work decorating cakes at other places can't do what you would like to, and the cakes you post are beautiful. Again i am very sorry if i offened anyone!!!!!!!!!!!!

irisinbloom Posted 7 Jul 2005 , 11:33pm
post #8 of

I know a lady that was a supervisor at a large chain grocery store bakery and she was heart broken to have to fire three of her people in the bakery because they were told only three roses per cake and well you can guess the rest of the story.

cakelady Posted 7 Jul 2005 , 11:35pm
post #9 of

I know the grocery stores are in the business to make money........but
the short cuts taken........well, that's why we're here friends.........

MariaLovesCakes Posted 7 Jul 2005 , 11:41pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by irisinbloom

I know a lady that was a supervisor at a large chain grocery store bakery and she was heart broken to have to fire three of her people in the bakery because they were told only three roses per cake and well you can guess the rest of the story.




Oh, men, that's sad...

I do know of one grocery store that a friend told me that they do their cakes in house, and that they are not frozen.. But this is just one I know of...

This other one I heard, has their cakes shipped frozen from their main wharehouse or operations whatever they call it, to their branch stores...

I mean, freezing is not really bad.... I have frozen cakes and defrosted them a couple of months later and then taste fresh... I even did the test with my co workers and they couldn't tell the difference... But then again, those are MY cakes... icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

Moviechick00 Posted 8 Jul 2005 , 12:00am

Hi Everyone

I have several friends that work at WM and other comerical department store bakeries. They have told me different stories from the amount of time that they are allowed to spend on one cake to where the cakes come from. These women wont buy a cake from those stores even though they work there. One of my friends was fired from one of those bakeries because she did cakes on the side. They took it as if she was stealing business from them. She never told any of the customers from the store that she did it on the side. Never took a customer away from the store. Her business spread by word of mouth from friend to friend. The store didnt believe that she never advertised so they fired her. Working for one of those stores is tough. MC

littlebubbieschocolates Posted 8 Jul 2005 , 12:08am

the stores up here dont even do there own cakes. they get them shipped they just write happy birthday or w/e on them..

susanmm23 Posted 8 Jul 2005 , 12:23am

ok some stores have nasty cakes but some down here do not. Our albertsons make the tierd spiderman cakes and a tierd strawberry shortcake cake. so our have a small variety. here and in teh past i have order cakesfrom our local grocesy store adn they did just as i asked. of course now that i make cakes i can taste the differnce but still we cant hatre on all store bought cakes because not allc akes are created equally.

Kristy Posted 8 Jul 2005 , 1:03am

my wilton class instructor used to work for walmart and she said that the bakery gets all of the baked cakes frozen, and then defrost them as they need and then decorate them.
I saw the laziest cake decorating ever the other day there, i started laughing out loud. They had taken a comb or a similar tool and dipped it in food coloring and combed the cake with it, but they used like 6 or 7 different colors....i think it was supposed to look sort of like tye dye, but the colors had mushed together and some parts almost looked brown!

Anyone willing to pay 20 bucks for that?? icon_lol.gif

mjarvis78 Posted 8 Jul 2005 , 1:19am
Quote:
Originally Posted by susanmm23

ok some stores have nasty cakes but some down here do not. Our albertsons make the tierd spiderman cakes and a tierd strawberry shortcake cake. so our have a small variety. here and in teh past i have order cakesfrom our local grocesy store adn they did just as i asked. of course now that i make cakes i can taste the differnce but still we cant hatre on all store bought cakes because not allc akes are created equally.




If you poke around on the sugarcraft site, you can find the kits they use to make the spiderman and strawberry shortcake cakes...

ntertayneme Posted 8 Jul 2005 , 1:23am

I had a lady ask me some questions while I was in Michaels about fondant. I happened to be taking the Wilton Course 3 at the time so told her some of the experiences with fondant that I had .. anyway, she worked at WalMart in the past .. said she quit them.. she tried to do reverse shells for a border and was told not to do it as it took too much time to do .. she said they couldn't be creative at all where she worked.. it was all in how fast you could get the cake out..

susanmm23 Posted 8 Jul 2005 , 1:26am

yes i know i have seen them. but imjust saying some stores are trying when they have a certain amount of cakes to make a day there isnt much the decorator can do. Some grocery store in my area do a lot more elaborate decorations. We have a grocery store called brookshires her and yes a few are basic bakery cakes, however about 3 or 4 of the stores actually do chocolate dipped strawberries and chocolate dipped flowers. they have a huge variety and the cakes arent all that horrible. they arent as good as a home made one but they arent nasty. for the most part i agree that grocery store bakeries should try to make a better product but by no means iss it the decorators fault. unless they just suck then thats a differnt story lol

melodyangel1978 Posted 8 Jul 2005 , 1:39am

Even though I work for Kroger as a cake decorator, I will never purchase one of their cakes. They come in frozen, mishandled, freezer burnt, and the sanitation of some of my coworkers leaves alot to be desired. Like others have said, I do not get the time to really work on a cake, just slap some roses or balloons on it and call it done! I have actually been yelled at for being too slow, and taking too long on a cake! So I save all my good ideas for myself and my personal customers!
I have been threatened with being fired when uppers found out about my side business, even though I have never given my number to any customers to "steal" them away. It's all politics and money making for these corporations. Plain and simple!
icon_mad.gif Ok, i'm done with my rant!

MariaLovesCakes Posted 8 Jul 2005 , 1:50am

This is getting sooo interesting...

The reason I got into cakes was because I wanted this cake done sooo bad and NO ONE could do it ... It was the BIG COMFY COUCH! From the show that had that cute clown Loonete the clown. My daughter loved that show and I asked the lady if she could do the couch and she said that she couldn't. And she made specialty cakes, but couldn't do the couch. I was willing to pay extra, but she still said she couldn't do it... thumbsdown.gif

So, I settled for just a simple cake with the colors of the theme and did a cake topper myself by buying Loonete the Clown and her doll Molly.

After that I said, HECK, I am learning this and I am doing cakes my way!!! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

leily Posted 8 Jul 2005 , 1:53am

I use to work for WM before a major career change. I worked at a few different ones, and in the bakery at all of them. I actually learned cake decorating there.

The last one I was at for a little over a year. I was very very very very lucky. I worked with 3 of the best decoraters I am sure I will ever meet. They all were specialized in different types of cakes, and did everything different. I learned 3 different types of roses (including the stick method) I learned so much from them. One was more specialized in kids cakes, another in fancy cakes (learned a lot of wedding cake techniques with her) and another in imagination from nothing (since we had strict guidlines with what we were suppose to do) And I have to admit I taught them a thing or two about Cupcake cakes when WM started doing these. (These were my favorite, i thought they were the most challenging for what we were allowed to do-I have been trying to get access to a scanner so I can get some posted for you to see)

The great thing from working with these three is that even though we were only to do Certain types of cakes with in the WM policy (only so much icing, a 1/4 sheet in 15 mins... blah blah blah grr that stuff sucked) I still learned so much from them. I didn't like working in that type of bakery at all, although I learned a lot of stuff that I can carry over into my home baking now.

Ok, so I just argued both sides of the story, but over all I think a majority of Grocery Stores are so much about money they don't care about the art of it.

Leily

P.S. Just a side note about the other decorators. When they came to WM to work from other bakeries they actually had customers follow them. Not because of the cost or the taste, but because of there decorating skill. So yes there are still people out there who appreciate it!!

cupcakequeen Posted 8 Jul 2005 , 2:23am

Funny topic. For the summer months I took a job as a cake decorator at a grocery store....something to do. first of all, grocery store cakes are nasty! They are not fresh...the icing is just disgusting...I could go on.
Having said that, I am still having a blast working there. I like to "spice up" the cake decorations that the previous cake decorator made. Although I wouldn't do things the same way (if I were to have a shop), I have still learned a lot. I get to make and decorate pies and pastries also!
I enjoy it very much. But I still can't wait until the fall, when I can get back into the classroom icon_razz.gif

SweetArt Posted 8 Jul 2005 , 3:27am

I worked at a store bakery for quite awhile. Homemade cakes and store cakes are apple and oranges. In the bakery, my boss was all about quantity. One week our weekend decorator got sick and then our night decorator stopped showing up. We were a very busy store and when I showed up on Monday, both display cases where empty. I turned out almost 50 cakes that day (that's less than 10 minutes a cake). Mostly airbrushed color because mixing color takes too long, and then slap on a plastic toy. The one good thing about working there was being able to perfect the basic decorating skills.

The cakes were made there, but they were made with a mix, water, oil, and processed eggs from a bucket. The first time I saw our baker pouring the eggs into the mix, I stared in horror. I almost thought is was vomit, I'd never seen such a horrible thing. icon_surprised.gif

The cakes are frozen and thawed and refrozen many times. When I took a transfer to their other bakery it was even worse. They rolled out an entire rack and left it next to the decorator, and their it sat all day. What was not used was put back into the freezer at the end of the day, and the process was repeated the next day. New cakes are put on the same rack as older cakes, so you don't know which ones need to be used first.

Frosting was made in bowls so big that you could sit in them. The problem with that is when mixing, they had to stop and scrape the shortening off the sides, but there is no spatula big enough for this job, the the baker had to use a hand held scraper and stick his whole arm in there to reach the bottom of the bowl. These bakers do not wash or shave up to their elbows, so we were always pulling hair out of the frosting. We told the baker (also my boss) about the problem, he didn't do anything about it, so we told the store manager, he talked to the baker. Nothing changed and we were told to basically get over it. icon_sad.gif

Sorry, I went a little further than I was planning. Anyways, I now get to do my cakes at home. I love the fact that I can work with fondant, melted chocolates, royal, gumpaste, ect. A bakery is very limiting. Now I give a cake as much time as it needs and I can go beyond just buttercream basics. icon_biggrin.gif

Newbie Posted 8 Jul 2005 , 4:04am

I think I just lost my lunch.......

ump107 Posted 8 Jul 2005 , 4:20am

Cady
I know you didnt have the intention of offending anyone with your post you were posting your opinion/ observation. In defense of all chain store decorators i would have to saw they are generally restricted in what they are allowed to produce and some even have a prohibition on doing anything other than their store bakery list shows. I spoke to a decorator at my local supermarket on day asking how they keep their decorated cakes so low priced $17.00 for a ¼ sheet cake. He told me they only allow him to do specific patterns on the cakes and that varying from those pattern results in a reprimand. He said that for their basic ¼ sheet cake they are decorated in less than 10 min. their cakes come frozen and the icing better cream comes in 5 gallon tubs. So in defense of the underused and most likely underappreciated decorators at those chain stores they do the best that they are allowed. And I am sure that their personal cakes and the ones they do for their families are far better than what you see at the store.

SquirrellyCakes Posted 8 Jul 2005 , 4:37am

Yes, sadly, it isn't the decorator's fault, it is the stores and their policies about production. Most of these folks are better decorators than they are allowed to be, but there is only so much you can do within a 2 minute time limit when your "allowed designs" are so limited.
I am sure many of the older folks, like me, remember a time when you could buy a decent cake at a grocery store, well decorated too. In fact, I remember a grocery store decorating my sister's wedding cake far nicer than the one I had paid hundreds of dollars to a professional decorator.
Sadly, it is like everything else, profit is more important than quality.
My daughter worked for one of these stores and she was just amazing, given the time limits. But the stress was just too much for her and she left the profession. She just didn't feel good about the work she was producing and the constant pressure to produce more in less time. As an assistant manager, she was forced to fire good decorators who couldn't keep up with the time limits imposed.
Over 90% of bakeries use frozen cakes. Nothing wrong with a frozen cake if it was a quality cake to begin with and wasn't frozen for too long. I don't understand why these cakes are so horrid. I have a friend that calls them, "Almost Cakes". They look like cakes and cut like cakes but they surely don't taste like cakes.
Hhmn, interesting comments about the food safety issues, makes you think twice, doesn't it? It would seem that standards are not consistent across the board.
Hugs Squirrelly

Calejo Posted 8 Jul 2005 , 6:13am
Quote:
Originally Posted by GinaJuarez

DISCLAIMER: Calejo and others who work at grocery stores: Please do not be offended by this thread as I have seen your cakes and they are fantastic.




Hee hee.... confession time: I used to walk by the cases of the bakeries and go, "My gosh, what the heck are they doing???" Some of the roses just looked like brightly colored pine cones. icon_eek.gif ! Others looked like they were just barely assembled and slapped on. Sad. Truly, truly sad.

I love my manager! She loves decorating and lights up whenever we talk about it! She has never once hassled me about time constraints (so long as I get the work done), and she allows me creativity. I mean, I did a 1/4 sheet of a red hat lady floating in the water, sunbathing on a raft with a gummi Happy Birthday "floating" next to her, and not a peep. In fact, it sold in less than a day! A good philosophy that I wish all bakeries shared: Trust your decorators to do what it takes (and then some) to make what sells and keep them coming back. We now have people coming by just to check out the cakes we're making.

On a side note, I TOTALLY realize this is not the norm, and I will not be quitting this job ANYtime in the near future. So, trash away. I will consider my grocery store exempt from the conversation. Because, frankly, I have seen some "hideodorous" (if that's not a word, it should be) cakes accompanied with bad tasting everything from bakeries. I am just grateful that mine isn't one of them.

EDIT: When I say bad tasting everything.... I have had cakes that were like eating a cardboard shoebox.... Well, to be fair to Nike... just a plain cardboard box will do. icon_rolleyes.gificon_wink.gif

flayvurdfun Posted 8 Jul 2005 , 6:54am
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheilaattaway

I know! When I stated making cakes, I went to Wa**M*** and looked at their cakes. Not only are they not all that, but they dont offer anything but royal or butter cream.




This depends on the store too!!!! Some of the ones around my hometown also have whipped frosting...and if they dont Sam's Club bakeries do...it's a way that they do so they arent competing with one another... I worked at a Sam's Club with a bakery, and audited a few Walmart stores that used whipped topping. And I must say the appealingness also depends on the store...I have seen some absolutely beautiful cakes there in one area but not so pretty in other areas.

magentaa23 Posted 8 Jul 2005 , 7:01am

iv worked at a bakery at sams club for 3 yrs as decorator when i first started getting into it.... recently iv worked at smaller from scratch bakeries... and i know iv said this before in other posts.. but i absolutely love sam clubs cake.. lol we used to bake every cake at the bakery then freeze them... of course they then changed to getting the cakes in frozen(to cut hours) they were from the same company we got the mixes from and they were just as good.. decorating wise... we didnt have freedom at all.. however the company had cake decorating contest where u were able do lots of different designs they didnt offer....

and to sweetart who was complaining bout mixing with ur arm.... sorry to say this.. must alot of bakeries always make buttercream along with other items in xlarge bowls and scrape the bowl with their hand icon_razz.gif .. i used to make xlarge batches of white chololate mousse at my one bakery i was at.... it called for 24 qts of cream and 22lbs of white cholote and we folded in the chocolate with our arm... up past our elbows to incorporate air .. and i never shaved my arm.. lol then again i dont have a hair problem like the bakers where u were.. lol icon_biggrin.gif

SweetCreations Posted 8 Jul 2005 , 7:04am

Well to be honest I think that the cakes that some of the chains are getting pre made and pre iced are a bit Over cooked. thats why they are so dry(Just a thought). But when I saw all the boxes of the Pre baked/iced cakes I was like OMG!!(also thought, WHAT NERVE,, FRESH my BEEPPPP... )
~Sweet~=0)

SweetCreations Posted 8 Jul 2005 , 7:08am

Magentaa,
Ewwww & How funny (about folding with your arm)
Thankfully your not a "hairy lil Thing" =0)

~Sweet~ =0)

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%