Does Anybody Own A Successful Cake Shop With Employees?

Business By Katied75 Updated 13 May 2008 , 3:31am by snarkybaker

Katied75 Posted 11 May 2008 , 1:33am
post #1 of 11

I mean an actual retail shop in their own commercial space, and not an in home shop.

If so, do you get a lot of wedding business?

How many cakes do you make per week?

What is your normal work schedule (for you and your employees)?

I'm not sure if we have anybody on cakecentral like that and that's one reason I'm wondering. I know they exist... actually emailed a few near me today to find out if they have any part time internships or beginner jobs available. It got me wondering if any of them ever come to cakecentral, or if we have shop owners here that are bigger and have been successful.

Thanks!

Katie

10 replies
indydebi Posted 11 May 2008 , 1:48am
post #2 of 11

There are a few on CC. I'm not near as big as some of them, but I'll share what we've done so far.

I have a commercial space in a strip mall. The front part is not yet open for retail (my hours-sign says by appointment only, but when I"m in there, I flip the "open" sign around). I will be converting that to full retail next mpnth for cookie and cake sales.

I currently have 6 high school girls on payroll coming in 2-3 days a week to make cookie dough balls for me to stock in the freezer (these girls are in addition to the 5-10 part time catering staffers who work the weddings and catering events). These girls will be working the front retail and keeping the cookie dough stocked during the summer, when school is out. My hours will then be 10-5. Right now, the dough balls they make just keeps me above water on the weekly cookie orders.

I'm actually turning away business right now as people become educated on "I'm not walmart .... I dont' have cakes stocked up in the freezer .... you have to order ahead of time."

I've had a young lady from Purdue Univ inquire about an internship. I said I would be very interested in this arrangement with her, but haven't heard back.

Katied75 Posted 11 May 2008 , 1:54am
post #3 of 11

indydebi thanks for the great information. I realize that you do catering as well... when I think of catering I think full dinners, salads, sandwiches, etc. Do you do just pastry catering? Other than weddings, what do you get calls to cater?

Also, since you make a lot of cookies, are they mostly for catering orders or do you get a lot of cookie orders? You do all of the cookie and cake decorating yourself, correct?

Thanks!

Katie

indydebi Posted 11 May 2008 , 3:46am
post #4 of 11

My catering is full buffet (best selling item is my CHicken Rosemary in lemon/wine/butter sauce). I have a standing cookie order of 300 cookies every day for a car dealership, plus the onesie-twosie ones that come in randomly. These are drop cookies ... choc chip, peanut butter, etc. My strip mall neighbors are wonderful about promoting me to their customers, so the push for me to get the front-retail established is going strong! (those freebie boxes of cookies work every time!)

Non-weddign caterings: I have a standing order for a monthly board meeting (catering). I've done events for Boy Scouts, political party fundraisers, and for the Governor's office. Lunches for local businesses, graduation and birthday parties (food and cake), appetizer-type things for workshops and seminars that are put on by companies (example would be a financial advisor who has a workshop on retirement ... he hired me for veggie trays, meatballs, etc., since the workshop was in the evening during the dinner hour), employee apprecation days (did a 3-day gig for one bank ... one day at 3 different branches).

My biggest non-wedding catering is the fraternities who found me via the internet. I'm now working my 3rd year with 5 different fraternities, feeding them breakfast/lunch/dinner for 3-5 days as they fly in frat members from all over the country for their leadership conferences.

Katied75 Posted 11 May 2008 , 4:05am
post #5 of 11

Wow, you sound extremely busy. I hope you love it as it sound very successful. And I want to try that chicken, lol.

Katie

cakesondemand Posted 11 May 2008 , 5:33am
post #6 of 11

I have a commercial building on a busy street in town. I have a Cake Studio with dummy cake displays in the front room , a seperate consultation room, a play room for children and a commercial kitchen. My hours are Sun, Mon, Closed haha when ever possible Wed - Fri 10am to 4pm Tues and Sat by appt only but also turn my sign around to Open when I'm there. My daughter has been working with me when she can, she's had a full time job. Starting next week she cut her hrs to 1-2 days per week so she can work with me and I have a high school student that is on call when I need her to help bake, wash dishes, cover cookies in fondant. All we do are cakes for Weddings, all occasions and decorated cookies. We do specialize in Wedding cakes and have 100 weddings booked until the end of Aug. We just opened the shop July 07. I have no intentions of going retail. Everything is by pre orders. We do refuse orders when we are too booked. Most seem to know my hrs now and I have at least 2 walk ins per week that order wedding cakes. Right now I charge $5 per serving.
I have had several 15 hr days in a row but can't do that anymore it took me almost 2 weeks to get back to myself. Thats when you know its time for help. Raise prices hire staff. Its kind of scary to know that someone depends on you for there bread and butter.

xstitcher Posted 11 May 2008 , 5:47am
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

My catering is full buffet (best selling item is my CHicken Rosemary in lemon/wine/butter sauce). I have a standing cookie order of 300 cookies every day for a car dealership, plus the onesie-twosie ones that come in randomly. These are drop cookies ... choc chip, peanut butter, etc. My strip mall neighbors are wonderful about promoting me to their customers, so the push for me to get the front-retail established is going strong! (those freebie boxes of cookies work every time!)

Non-weddign caterings: I have a standing order for a monthly board meeting (catering). I've done events for Boy Scouts, political party fundraisers, and for the Governor's office. Lunches for local businesses, graduation and birthday parties (food and cake), appetizer-type things for workshops and seminars that are put on by companies (example would be a financial advisor who has a workshop on retirement ... he hired me for veggie trays, meatballs, etc., since the workshop was in the evening during the dinner hour), employee apprecation days (did a 3-day gig for one bank ... one day at 3 different branches).

My biggest non-wedding catering is the fraternities who found me via the internet. I'm now working my 3rd year with 5 different fraternities, feeding them breakfast/lunch/dinner for 3-5 days as they fly in frat members from all over the country for their leadership conferences.




indydebi,

Wow, you do sound very busy!!!

I don't know how you find the time to give us all advice here and for that I am truly grateful. Thanks!!! icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif

indydebi Posted 11 May 2008 , 6:12am
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by xstitcher

I don't know how you find the time to give us all advice here and for that I am truly grateful. Thanks!!! icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif



CC is my rest-n-relax time! I stretch out on my couch, with laptop on my lap and I'm done for the day!

snarkybaker Posted 13 May 2008 , 2:54am
post #9 of 11

I own a 2100 sq ft retail bakery/gelateria, and I have about 25 employees, most of whom are college students ( 6 are in the kitchen).

We do between 30 and 50 cakes a week, but limit weddings to three per weekend ( for delivery timings sake ).

We do about $75,000 in sales volume per month.

I work form oh-my- G-d oclock in the morning until midnight on busy days, and on slower days I get by with working abou 8-9 hours. ( I haven't had a day off since Easter, and my previous day off was New Years Day). All of my staff have regular schedules within reason, working from 16 to about 30 hours a week.

I have two interns from Johston and Wales coming to work with me this summer and I just had to fire an intern from the local junior college culinary program who nearly injured two of her coworkers by not following safety procedures. I like working with interns, since they haven't developed an "attitude" yet, and I can train them to do things exactly the way I like them done.

Katied75 Posted 13 May 2008 , 3:08am
post #10 of 11

Thanks Txkat! I love your website, btw. If you don't mind me asking, what types of jobs do your interns do?

Katie

snarkybaker Posted 13 May 2008 , 3:31am
post #11 of 11

My interns do everything, and they are welcome to try anything. The one conditon I have if they want to try something new ( like decorating when they have only baked before) then if it doesn't meet Sugarland standards, they have to punch out and do it again on their own time. I try to vary everyone's workload, since an internship is supposed to be a learning experience. If they come in late, it becomes their job to clean out the fridge.

Everybody starts by mastering our core recipes. So you may make the chocolate cake batter three or four days in a row until I am happy with your cakes and cupcakes, then the house buttercream, the bars etc...then frost cupcakes, then learn to base ice a cake, then borders etc...some people get all the way to ganche covered decorated cakes in a week or two, some it takes months.

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%