How Much For These Cupcakes, And A Moral Dilemma

Business By DoniB Updated 6 May 2008 , 5:40pm by cakeiteasy

DoniB Posted 3 May 2008 , 2:00pm
post #1 of 36

First off, the cupcakes... I made these last night and took them to my parents' house for my oldest brother's birthday dinner. Dad asked how much I'd charge for something like that, and I had no clue! LOL I know how much for cakes, but not for cupcakes. Ingredients weren't much, but it took about 3 hours to make icing, color, and decorate just these 12. Also, does anyone make up large batches of icing and keep various colors on hand, already mixed up, or do you make the colors as the need arises? Just curious! icon_smile.gif

And for the moral dilemma... My dad wouldn't let anyone eat the cupcakes that were decorated. Weird, huh? He said he wanted to give them out to the ladies he knew at the Lions Club, and some of his customers that he knows who like to do large, impressive parties and have already expressed an interest in my cakes, sight unseen. icon_razz.gif

While I LOVE my dad for doing this, there's still the 'legal' issue. Now, I'm not getting anything in return for the 'practice' cakes I've taken over there, but I found out that he's been gifting some of my work to customers. (His goal right now is to give them to the 'right' people in the area, who might have a line on a kitchen I can use to be legal, and to drum up business for me. ARGH!) And while this is the first thing I've ever done in 37 years that my father seems to be completely supportive of, it's still frustrating, since it's the only thing I HAVE to have special accommodations for! LOL Isn't that always the way??

AND he keeps bugging me for a 'portfolio' that he can show people, and a price list. I'm happy to give him the folio, but am worried that if I give him an actual price list, folks will start calling! While I'd be all about that if I were legal, I'm just not. And I don't want to tell people no, when a) they might not call back when I AM legal, and b) we need the money in a big, bad, hairy way. icon_razz.gif (Am I just thinking about this too much??? LOL)

I just can't seem to get across to him that I can't do this right now, without a large cash outlay to get a licensed kitchen set up. Can't do it in my home, so other options have to be explored.

So I guess the dilemma is... do I keep taking my practice cakes to my folks' house, or should I stop doing that? Can I get in trouble for my dad giving stuff out, even if I'm not charging a dime for it? Darn rules and regs... I get so confused! LOL

Any advice on how to handle this?? Thanks for listening. I know I'm such a spaz sometimes... icon_razz.gif
LL
LL

35 replies
HerBoudoir Posted 3 May 2008 , 2:05pm
post #2 of 36

So you'll be posting instructions on how to make these when???

pastryjen Posted 3 May 2008 , 2:10pm
post #3 of 36

Great cupcakes...they're fantastic!

I don't bake all that often but I freeze my crusting buttercream colours so that I can just bring them out. Sometimes all you need is a tiny dot of red and I can't be bothered making up a batch every time.

You just have to keep telling your father it is illegal. Perhaps mention if he'd like to fork over some money to make you legal, you'll be happy to provide a portfolio for him to show off! That would shut my dad up real quick!

Good luck!

chutzpah Posted 3 May 2008 , 2:12pm
post #4 of 36

What great cuppies! Really neat ideas! I would probably charge about 8 or 9 USD apiece.

I would stop taking stuff over there..... you take the cakes to eat, right? Not for your dad to give away to his clients. Next time your dad does something like this I would ask if he wants to pay cash or if you should send him an invoice.

DoniB Posted 3 May 2008 , 2:31pm
post #5 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by chutzpah

What great cuppies! Really neat ideas! I would probably charge about 8 or 9 USD apiece.

I would stop taking stuff over there..... you take the cakes to eat, right? Not for your dad to give away to his clients. Next time your dad does something like this I would ask if he wants to pay cash or if you should send him an invoice.




Yeah... I take them to get rid of them without throwing them away, and since my three brothers still live at home (two are in college, one is on sabatical), I know they'll get eaten. Dad doesn't do it to further HIS business... he's trying to drum up some for me. icon_razz.gif

DoniB Posted 3 May 2008 , 2:45pm
post #6 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by HerBoudoir

So you'll be posting instructions on how to make these when???




*grin* They're really easy... just time consuming. icon_razz.gif

The castles are white chocolate mint, tinted with black powder candy coloring.
1) ice the cupcakes with a thin layer of green.
2) either go ahead and put the castle on the cupcake (I pushed mine in just a bit so they'd stand up) and use a #5 round and gray icing to pipe tiny 'rocks' to form the bailey wall. Be sure to leave room for the moat! icon_smile.gif
3) A #104, with the wide end toward the wall and royal blue icing, creates the 'moat'.
4) Add green 'grass' with the hair or grass tip. Cover any blank spots outside the bailey with the grass.
5) with a #1 tip, pipe tiny vines and leaves up the sides and front of the castle, and over the walls if you like. I wanted to put some 'flowers' on there... just little dots of color, but ran out of time. icon_razz.gif
6) finally, using a little bit of brown and a #46 tip, pipe on the drawbridge and a door through the bailey wall. icon_smile.gif


For the dragons:
1) ice with a thin layer of golden yellow.
2) using a #10 tip, pipe a bunch of dots around the edges of the cupcakes. Let these set just a bit, then flatten them out so that they look vaguely like 'coins'.
3) Using a #12 and lighter green, pipe the dragon's head, body, and legs. I did a bad job of it, but plan to practice so it looks more like a dragon. icon_razz.gif
4) with a large rose tip, pipe a ruffle for the wings on each side of the dragon.
5) Using #2 and black, pipe the claws, eyes, nostrils, and mouth.
6) with a #1 and darker green, draw in the wing details.
7) using a V-cut leaf tip (forgot the number. Sorry!), pull out some spines, starting from the head and going all the way to the tail. Pull out a larger 'leaf' at the end of the tail.

I meant to put some pearl necklaces in with the gold coins, but ran out of time. icon_razz.gif

There ya go! Clear as mud? *grin* Hmmm... maybe I should do a tutorial with pictures? it's a thought...

leily Posted 3 May 2008 , 3:00pm
post #7 of 36

Have you checked in to baking from home?

NC is a state that liceneses home bakeries. Not sure if they have any special items you have to have but it is worth checking out or calling your heath department if you have not already

Check out this thread with a link to NC information
http://forum.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-32550-states.html+licence+license

DoniB Posted 3 May 2008 , 3:11pm
post #8 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by leily

Have you checked in to baking from home?

NC is a state that liceneses home bakeries. Not sure if they have any special items you have to have but it is worth checking out or calling your heath department if you have not already

Check out this thread with a link to NC information
http://forum.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-32550-states.html+licence+license




I've checked. Believe me! LOL There are a couple of main requirements, but the biggest issue is that we have animals in our home, so we can't get it inspected, period. Putting them outside isn't an option... we live on a very busy main road, and our dog is a long-haired dog... he doesn't do well in the summer when we do put him outside for a few hours. Poor baby!

What I'm contemplating is closing in the carport and turning that into a kitchen. The Dept of Ag guy I talked to said that it sounded like it would work, as long as the zoning permits it. So far, that part looks okay, since it owuldn't be a real 'bakery' where folks would come in and buy stuff ready-made. We also have, in my county, a catering clause, and that means that if you offer more than three different items, you're considered a caterer, and can NOT do it from home. You have to have a completely separate building/shop in which to work. So I can do cakes and cookies, and that's pretty much it. icon_razz.gif

I do have to have a three-compartment sink, though. I know that much. And washable walls. The kicker though, is that while I have to have that industrial-type equipment, I CAN'T have a large capacity mixer. Counter-top only. Isn't that strange?? icon_razz.gif

I'm getting estimates on the carport thing, and also working up two separate business plans... one for the carport kitchen, and another for an actual storefront, to take to lenders for a business loan.

But dad just doesn't seem to get that this isn't a business I can just start and run with, like my craft business was. There are permits and licenses to get, etc. He's offered his kitchen for the time being, but that's a whole other state, and I'd have to start the research all over again! LOL And since his house is constantly under construction (he's a semi-retired contractor, so walls are always moving at their house LOL), I'm not sure that it could pass an inspection. Too much dust and stuff in the air.

but I'm working on it... trying to find some options! LOL It's just taking time. icon_razz.gif In the meantime, though, I'm working up a portfolio and collecting all my supplies, pans, etc a little at a time, so that the moment I'm allowed to do so, I can hit the ground running. icon_smile.gif

chutzpah Posted 3 May 2008 , 3:18pm
post #9 of 36

I've seen 10 qt countertop mixers!!!

tenleysmommy Posted 3 May 2008 , 3:32pm
post #10 of 36

Hmmm... maybe I should do a tutorial with pictures? it's a thought...[/quote]

Those are amazing cupcakes,a tutorial would be great!!!Thanks for posting instructions icon_wink.gif

mommyle Posted 3 May 2008 , 3:43pm
post #11 of 36

chutzpah, I have the 6 qt KA 600 pro. Does it have the 10 qt??? Where is this 10 qt??? I think I NEED one!!!

DoniB
Can you fly under the radar for a bit until you make enough money to get legal??? Like Indydebi said it's a catch 22. You need to have enough business to know that you can have your own space, but in order to get the business you are supposed to have your own space. Ugh!

chutzpah Posted 3 May 2008 , 3:45pm
post #12 of 36

I have only seen commercial 10 qt, but countertop! I don't live in the continental US.

CarolAnn Posted 3 May 2008 , 3:46pm
post #13 of 36

Oh it sounds like your dad has the best of intentions for you, that's very sweet. I never had a dad like that. Your cuppies look great, especially the dragons! If it were me I'd have a hard time not taking stuff to my folks. I'd probably just keep telling dad I'm not selling yet and not worry about who he shares stuff with. He's obviously proud of you, and I think that's great!

You do nice work, that's for sure and certain!!

CakesbyKhris Posted 3 May 2008 , 4:01pm
post #14 of 36
Quote:
Quote:

but I'm working on it... trying to find some options! LOL It's just taking time. In the meantime, though, I'm working up a portfolio and collecting all my supplies, pans, etc a little at a time, so that the moment I'm allowed to do so, I can hit the ground running.




Make sure you keep track of the cost of equipment, pans, etc that you buy as these can be included in the business plan as part of what your out-of-pocket investment.

Good Luck.

CupcakeTaylor Posted 3 May 2008 , 4:06pm
post #15 of 36

You know...before you invest all the money into converting a carport, you could do what a friend of mine did. She "rented" time in a licensed kitchen to bake. She used a place (I think it was a donut shop) that closed at 1:00 pm. She rented it like 3 afternoon/nights a week. That way she was meeting all the legalities of preparing food. Now, I know she made some of her things like the candy toppers and royal icing flowers, etc. at home, but she baked and did the major decorating, assembly at the shop. You might want to check into something like that.

By the way...I think the cupcakes are exquisit!!

DoniB Posted 3 May 2008 , 4:07pm
post #16 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakesbyKhris


Make sure you keep track of the cost of equipment, pans, etc that you buy as these can be included in the business plan as part of what your out-of-pocket investment.

Good Luck.




Thanks! I hadn't thought about that. I just assumed I'd be requesting for stuff I didn't have yet... never occurred to me to include the things I already own. icon_razz.gif

DoniB Posted 3 May 2008 , 4:10pm
post #17 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by CupcakeTaylor

You know...before you invest all the money into converting a carport, you could do what a friend of mine did. She "rented" time in a licensed kitchen to bake. She used a place (I think it was a donut shop) that closed at 1:00 pm. She rented it like 3 afternoon/nights a week. That way she was meeting all the legalities of preparing food. Now, I know she made some of her things like the candy toppers and royal icing flowers, etc. at home, but she baked and did the major decorating, assembly at the shop. You might want to check into something like that.

By the way...I think the cupcakes are exquisit!!




Thanks on the cupcakes! icon_smile.gif They were really fun to do. I might have to play around with some more designs along those lines. icon_smile.gif

As to the rental kitchen... I've tried everywhere I could find within a 3-town radius. I haven't been able to find a single kitchen willing to let me rent time or space, even with references to say I'd leave it as pristine as I found it. That's why I'm looking into the other options.

Ya know, if I'd just win the lottery, this wouldn't even be an issue! Darn lottery. Oh... it would help if I'd buy a ticket, huh? icon_smile.gif

CupcakeTaylor Posted 3 May 2008 , 4:15pm
post #18 of 36

That is frustrating! Now...not that I encourage breaking the law...If you read Paula Deen's book, there is a part about how she started cooking in her home on the sly and then she made an arrangement that made her legal. I don't want to say exactly what it was but it is an idea. Read that part next time you are in Walmart or something. You will get the jist of it. I totally understand how you are feeling. I am REALLY new to cake decorating...just finished Wilton 3. I have made some things for friends and family (no charge) and now people are calling me to do cupcakes, small cakes, etc. I am scared to death to charge for anything. What if I do a terrible job? I have a 5 and 3 year old...I just can't see right now committing to a project with a definite deadline. Anyway, I am babbling.

diane Posted 3 May 2008 , 4:55pm
post #19 of 36

wow!!! icon_eek.gif those are jaw-dropping! icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif

DoniB Posted 3 May 2008 , 9:08pm
post #20 of 36

You guys make me feel great. icon_smile.gif Glad folks like the cuppies!

My DH and I just spent a few hours driving around, getting numbers for spaces for rent in strip malls and shopping centers. Hey, it's worth finding out what the going rent is, right? icon_razz.gif And we did some dreaming through Lowe's, looking at stoves and large fridges and bay windows... *Sigh* I like dreaming... icon_smile.gif

littlecake Posted 3 May 2008 , 10:54pm
post #21 of 36

awwww...i think it's sweet!...your dad believes in you....how many people would give their eye teeth for that?

you are very innovative ...did you design those dragons yourself?

maybe you should look into fixing up your carport...is dad handy at all...maybe he could help you.

indydebi Posted 3 May 2008 , 11:03pm
post #22 of 36

It is great that dad thinks so highly of your work. thumbs_up.gif

If you are looking to "shut him up", next time it's mentioned, just tell him, "Dad, as soon as you write me that check for $25,000 to cover my building costs or to cover my fine when I'm busted, then we are good to go!" thumbs_up.gif

DoniB Posted 3 May 2008 , 11:20pm
post #23 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by littlecake

awwww...i think it's sweet!...your dad believes in you....how many people would give their eye teeth for that?

you are very innovative ...did you design those dragons yourself?

maybe you should look into fixing up your carport...is dad handy at all...maybe he could help you.




yup... the dragons were an experiment. I need to work on the execution, but apparently, they're a hit! Who knew? icon_razz.gif But I like them. They'll be gracing many more cupcakes through the years, since we do medieval re-creation. icon_smile.gif

My dad does believe in this. Many things in my life, he hasn't, but this one he's behind all the way. icon_razz.gif He's a semi-retired contractor, so he could help close in the carport. Problem is, as always, cash. But that might also be a problem solved within the next few months. If the cards fall right, that land they invested in 20 years ago might sell, and then I'll probably get the set-up I need. But I'm not counting on it. Still going to work towards the business plan and applying for loans and such. icon_razz.gif

CakeDiva73 Posted 3 May 2008 , 11:22pm
post #24 of 36

Fantastic cupcakes!! WOW!

DoniB Posted 3 May 2008 , 11:23pm
post #25 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

It is great that dad thinks so highly of your work. thumbs_up.gif

If you are looking to "shut him up", next time it's mentioned, just tell him, "Dad, as soon as you write me that check for $25,000 to cover my building costs or to cover my fine when I'm busted, then we are good to go!" thumbs_up.gif




*grin* That's EXACTLY what I did last night! LOL The look on his face was priceless. Then he asked about the REAL cost of it all. I whipped out my list of items needed, construction, permits and tests required (x2, since I won't count on those tests being okay the first time around), all the supplies for starting up and looking professional... he got real quiet. icon_razz.gif Didn't mention it again until we were leaving. Told me to get the portfolio together.

He's a very headstrong man, though, and when he gets it in his head to do something, he does it, and to heck with the consequences. icon_razz.gif Hey, if it means he'll show up on my doorstep with a truck load of lumber and drywall, more power to him. LOL

FromScratch Posted 3 May 2008 , 11:24pm
post #26 of 36

Now if he is just giving them to people.. not selling them.. is that really illegal? If he is just saying here have a cupcake that my daughter made?? I have no idea. Now if he were saying see this cupcake.. for $5 you can have one.. that'd be straght up a no-no, but I am not sure on this one.

Cakebelle Posted 3 May 2008 , 11:30pm
post #27 of 36

OMG! I read through the whole thread! Those cupcakes look so damn good, you're talented for sure! And I wish you all the luck in the world. Things always work out in the end, hang in there. thumbs_up.gif

DoniB Posted 3 May 2008 , 11:32pm
post #28 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkalman

Now if he is just giving them to people.. not selling them.. is that really illegal? If he is just saying here have a cupcake that my daughter made?? I have no idea. Now if he were saying see this cupcake.. for $5 you can have one.. that'd be straght up a no-no, but I am not sure on this one.




Nope. He's not charging for them, and he hasn't paid me for them. (I don't count 20+ years of raising me or the occasional loan in recent months LOL...) I just didn't know he was doing that. And he's not giving out prices. I haven't given him any! I think his idea is just to start getting folks' interest up, so that when I AM up and running, I'll have some people already on the hook. Another possibility is that the folks he's giving them to are from a very wealthy area... I think he might also trying to drum up investment possibilities, which isn't all that far-fetched from that crowd. And if that's the case, woohoo. I wouldn't turn it down if the opportunity dropped in my lap! LOL

Heck, some of those people literally watched me grow up, and have always been interested in our family and what we've been doing. (I used to ride with Dad on service calls, and he has customers that I've known since I was in my early teens. These are the people he's giving things out to. icon_razz.gif )

but no... he's not charging for them, they're not related to his business in any way, and no one's paid me for them, so I guess it's just a case of me to family to friends. Kind of? icon_razz.gif

indydebi Posted 3 May 2008 , 11:33pm
post #29 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoniB

LOL The look on his face was priceless. Then he asked about the REAL cost of it all.


LOL! I know what you mean! Unless you're in the food industry, it's hard to get people to understand that you can't just run out to sears and buy a 4 burner stove with an oven in it to set up a comm'l kitchen! And they've NO Idea on costs!

One of my crew members worked a location for the first time. She'd never seen a comm'l dishwasher in operation before, so we had fun showing her how a load of dishes was done in 55 seconds. She said, "Can I get one of those for my house?" I said, "$15,000 and it's all yours, babe!" She said, "Well, never mind then!" icon_lol.gif

DoniB Posted 3 May 2008 , 11:39pm
post #30 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by DoniB

LOL The look on his face was priceless. Then he asked about the REAL cost of it all.

LOL! I know what you mean! Unless you're in the food industry, it's hard to get people to understand that you can't just run out to sears and buy a 4 burner stove with an oven in it to set up a comm'l kitchen! And they've NO Idea on costs!

One of my crew members worked a location for the first time. She'd never seen a comm'l dishwasher in operation before, so we had fun showing her how a load of dishes was done in 55 seconds. She said, "Can I get one of those for my house?" I said, "$15,000 and it's all yours, babe!" She said, "Well, never mind then!" icon_lol.gif




teehee.. and the cool thing was, I had an actual catalog from a kitchen equipment and supply company that I'd received in the mail the day before. It happened to be in the car! So I was able to show him the exact investment just in equipment. icon_razz.gif I could see the numbers crunching as I pointed out all the things I'd NEED to set up an actual bakery. A kitchen to work out of just for cakes is one thing, but he was suggesting a bakery, and that's a whole other set of numbers, from what I can tell! LOL

Either way, it's at least showing him that I'm doing my homework and that I'm serious. Maybe he'll do some homework himself, and discover that food stuff is a very serious business to the government, and that I can't just go into this willy-nilly if I want to do it right. icon_razz.gif

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