Ok, here is the situation... I made a cake for a lady two weeks ago, and she took it to a reunion two hours away. (it was small, 8" round) She called me last night and said everyone loved the cake, and she wanted to book me for her daughter's bridal shower (weekend of Thanksgiving) and for her wedding (first weekend in 2009). The kicker is, the wedding is 3 hours away!!!
Do you let someone else transport your cake? (They wedding is small, 80 people, and they want a chocolate wedding cake)
I don't know if I am comfortable letting someone else transport my cake, (even if it just a cake-on-cake)
What would I charge if I delivered the cake? In the possible snow? From Indy to Chicago? Help!!!
Thanks in advance for your advice...This lady is asking for a "tasting" cake for her daughters birthday in Wisconsin next weekend, and I'm supposed to have a "plan" for her by then!!!
Please help me!!!
I think it would be fine, provided they can guarantee either a van or a clean, EMPTY trunk. If you have concerns about stacked cake, the give her a design with hidden dowels or separations of some sort.
I gave a bride a cake (in January) to drive 6 hours, and everything was fine.
Bump---Any others who can help???
I do let customers pick up tiered cakes, but it can not be over 3 tiers. I prefer that they order enough to justify a 6/9/12 (100 servings) or a 6/10/14 (130 servings). Those cakes are "bottom heavy" and quite stable.
Of course, I'd use SPS for construction, as it was actually designed for customers who pick up their own tiered cakes.
"just a cake on cake" to me is more dangerous than the "assemble it when they get there" cakes.
I had a lady come in who wanted to take the wedding cake to Kentucky and I said it would be easier for her if she went with a design that included push in pillars or something (sorry, leahs, I didn't have SPS then!). Hidden pillars can give the cake-on-cake look, but the borders need to be considered when they get there to assemble it.
I believe it's our job to steer them toward a design that best fits their situation. Similar to Sylvia Weinstock who has a bride with a HUGE reception room ... and she'll steer them toward a tall cake so it doesnt' look lost in that huge room. Or telling a bride "No, you cannot have cream cheese icing at an outdoor wedding."
Does it have to be stacked? I love the Wilton floating tiers stand. You have 3 cakes, which you just set on the stand, when you get there. You can use round or heart shaped, or whatever. Here are a couple I've done, using them:
It makes it so that anyone can set the cake up for you! Good luck!
I had my daughter drive a small 3-tier stacked wedding cake from PA to Kentucky (she was in the wedding party) with no problem.
Definately use an sps, and maybe give them some non-skid material and show them how to put in on a back seat as level as possible. I'm the kind of person that doesn't like the trunk idea...I want to be able to see that cake the whole time! A van or SUV would be best.
I'd agree with using the sps or hidden pillars that would be cut to just a bit above the icing-just enough so that the customer could easily place the footed plate of the cake above into position. If you use plates that are 1 size bigger than the cake (10" on a 11" plate), it will look just fine. There will be just a smidge of space between the tiers and you will see a small rim of cake plate....but hey...it looks fine(I've done this a number of times) and the cake will arrive safely! Also...tell them that the space separation will make it easier to take apart and serve!
If this idea scares you - or them. Then I would give them another option of doing separate cakes (boxed for transport) and a cake stand: Wilton's Garden Stand, the Floating Tier stand, or one of those acrylic stands with the individual pieces.
If they go on transporting it themselves, I'd make sure they'd sign something off that indicates the condition of the cake when they picked it up and that you are not responsible for any damage that may incurr during transport. (the last cake I had that was picked up they had their van as suggested, but when they got here it was loaded full of folding chairs for the event and 4 people and the lady said she'd hold the cake while her teenage son drove ... I said "good luck with that" making it clear that I thought she was crazy and told her son he better well drive like his great grandma! I also stressed no quick starts, no quick stops, no hard turns and avoid potholes.)
If they aren't comfortable with that, I'd tell them I'd deliver it for the standard government mileage rate (both ways) plus a $amount/hour amount for my time.
edited to add "amount" to $/hour as I wouldn't actually charge just $1/hour
Haven't read all the responses so i don't know if this has been suggested but I'd have them sign a waiver that once the cake is out of your hands, if anything should happen it's their responsibility completely.
Indy to Chicago, or Chicago to Indy is spent on I-65 and then one of the few choices of expressway in Northern Indiana, so SPS, please.
I wouldn't be so concerned about the snow, but rather the potholes that WILL be there from the plows. Not to mention possible stop-and-go traffic...go past dowels, don't collect $200, and head straight for SPS and it should be fine.
Once they pay for the cake and take possession of it whether it be after you deliver or they pick-up it's NOT your cake anymore...it's theirs. I've sent many stacked cakes with customers. I use wooden dowels (including one completely thru the cake), a cake drum, refrigerate them overnight, & give the customer a piece of non-skid mat. I send directions on how to cut the cake and I always put it in their vehicle. I also tell them when they order it that the cake must set on the floor...NO LAPS. I've had cakes travel 3 hours thru Houston rush hour traffic and 6 hours North. I've never had a problem.
what is sps construction?
Oh thank you all!!!
I'm still nervous, and due to the holidays and DH vacation, may or may not decide to do this, but it's good to know others have sent cakes on their way with no drama!
Thanks for all of the words of wisdom!!!
A thought...you might want to write in big letters on the cake box....LIFT FROM BOTTOM, NOT FROM SIDES!! That way, anyone along the way will get a warning, as others might end up handling it. Although I've told him 100x, my DH still grabs the sides of my boxes to this day. I now predict it, so it's never an issue.
It seems you can be so specific about directions and STILL people do not pay attention!!!
Thanks for the reminder!!!