A First...

Business By jules1719 Updated 3 Sep 2008 , 1:21am by SugaredUp

jules1719 Posted 29 Aug 2008 , 9:30pm
post #1 of 47

I have a wedding cake due in two days. We had a tasting months ago where the bride, her sister and the groom tasted 6 cakes and ordered a seventh, untasted, for the bottom tier of the wedding cake. (Marble, Cointreau, ganache)

The bride and her sister have been a PITA since go, but they booked so I tend to overlook such things.

The bride ordered a birthday cake from me a few days ago (T-minus 4 days) same as the bottom tier. I thought, "Oh no, here we go"

Long story short, the SISTER doesn't like the cake.

The wedding cake is a monster. 7 tiers, one double high, lots of detail and handmade flowers. They paid a nice chunk of change for the cake, but where does customer service end and self preservation begin?

The sister is one of those people that needs more; more liqueur, more ganache, more flowers, more curd etc etc. But she's not my client. But that didn't stop her from calling me.

The larger issue is the cake is a marbled butter cake. I wonder where you other scratch bakers stand on this since the low moisture level of a butter cake can cause problems. People are used to hyper-moist.

Butter cakes definitely need to be at room temp to be any good at all. I'm confident the cake I baked is perfect. Seriously. The sister asked if I could bake a different cake. WE'RE TWO DAYS AWAY!!!!!!!!!

I told her no, since I am 100% confident the other 249 guests will like what was baked.

Am I missing something... is there something business wise I should have done different.


After 15 years of baking, this whole situation is a first for me.

46 replies
sari66 Posted 29 Aug 2008 , 10:02pm
post #2 of 47

You did the right thing since she is not your customer she has no say in the flavors of the cake

snarkybaker Posted 29 Aug 2008 , 10:27pm
post #3 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by jules1719

I have a wedding cake due in two days. We had a tasting months ago where the bride, her sister and the groom tasted 6 cakes and ordered a seventh, untasted, for the bottom tier of the wedding cake. (Marble, Cointreau, ganache)

The bride and her sister have been a PITA since go, but they booked so I tend to overlook such things.

The bride ordered a birthday cake from me a few days ago (T-minus 4 days) same as the bottom tier. I thought, "Oh no, here we go"

Long story short, the SISTER doesn't like the cake.

The wedding cake is a monster. 7 tiers, one double high, lots of detail and handmade flowers. They paid a nice chunk of change for the cake, but where does customer service end and self preservation begin?

The sister is one of those people that needs more; more liqueur, more ganache, more flowers, more curd etc etc. But she's not my client. But that didn't stop her from calling me.

The larger issue is the cake is a marbled butter cake. I wonder where you other scratch bakers stand on this since the low moisture level of a butter cake can cause problems. People are used to hyper-moist.

Butter cakes definitely need to be at room temp to be any good at all. I'm confident the cake I baked is perfect. Seriously. The sister asked if I could bake a different cake. WE'RE TWO DAYS AWAY!!!!!!!!!

I told her no, since I am 100% confident the other 249 guests will like what was baked.

Am I missing something... is there something business wise I should have done different.


After 15 years of baking, this whole situation is a first for me.




People aren't used to hyper-moist. People are used to box cakes. Since she sounds like a know-it-all PITA, I would most likely in your nicest possible voice explain that unlike box cakes, butter cake really needs to be consumed at room temperature for the texture to shine. And that unlike cake made with shortening and emulsifiers, scratch cake has a dense, firm crumb, which is actually better for stacking than the artificially tender box mix. Then you can offer to bake the tier with Duncan Hines, if that is what she'd prefer.

My guess is that sister will pipe down after that.

michellenj Posted 29 Aug 2008 , 10:39pm
post #4 of 47

What does the BRIDE want? Why is the sis interfering?

costumeczar Posted 29 Aug 2008 , 11:20pm
post #5 of 47

I agree that people aren't used to "Moist", they're used to "gummy."

You're two days away, no changes, don't worry about your cake. There are apparently six other flavors that the sister can shove in her pie-hole, so she doesn't get a vote.

Or should it be her Cake-hole? icon_twisted.gif I have another idea about where she can shove it, but I don't think you can tell her where it is.

indydebi Posted 29 Aug 2008 , 11:54pm
post #6 of 47

I talked with a lady who does wedding planning as her part time job. She said she institutes a password with her clients. If anyone besides the bride/client calls with changes, they have to give her the password ... otherwise it's 'get outta my face' time. She ran into too many issues with mom, sis, MIL, SIL, friend, little brother, favorite dog, etc., were calling her with changes and the bride knew nothing about it.

jules1719 Posted 30 Aug 2008 , 12:12am
post #7 of 47

It's just so hard. I know I'm not curing disease, but it's infuriating to be told I'm not up to snuff by some blow hard. I think every person knows when they are phoning it in. I am not phoning it in with this cake (if ever). To be treated as if I am is driving me nuts.


The bride called me to say it needed more filling (ganache) and more Cointreau, but other than that it was good. So I agreed to her changes. Why wouldn't I, right? But Sis called me an hour later to tell me she thought the cake "wasn't very good" and the drama ensued.

In my life I've never been told that. I get more compliments on my marble cake than any other. Whatever.

So now, the cake is 2 days away from delivery, and after all the drama, it will be the "cake we spent $xxxx for and it sucks". Yet it doesn't suck.

I can't even wrap my head around being asked to rebake a tier.

BTW, my artsy-fartsy, goth, graphic designer cousin wanted me to name my shop "The Cake Hole"... and I seriously considered it.

Delivery is on Sunday, and I fear I haven't heard the last of it.

jibbies Posted 30 Aug 2008 , 12:37am
post #8 of 47

Jules,
Did the bride sign a contract? Maybe from now on you should include a clause that has to be initialed that reads to the effect that nothing (flavor, design, colors, flowers) can be changed at a certan number of days before the event.
Sorry this is happening to you.

Jibbies

cakedout Posted 30 Aug 2008 , 12:41am
post #9 of 47

As stated before, your contract is with the bride, not her sister. 'nuf said.

I've got my lawn chair out and the popcorn is ready if more drama unfolds! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

jules1719 Posted 30 Aug 2008 , 12:46am
post #10 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by jibbies

Jules,
Did the bride sign a contract? Maybe from now on you should include a clause that has to be initialed that reads to the effect that nothing (flavor, design, colors, flowers) can be changed at a certan number of days before the event.
Sorry this is happening to you.

Jibbies




No pity please icon_smile.gif . Just needing to vent. icon_smile.gif

I do have a contract but it doesn't explicitly state "no changes" etc. I'm not a hard-ass and would probably have rebaked if the bride asked me. Stupid maybe, but I believe in achieving a positive "total experience", which is new- age lingo for ass-kissing.

It's funny to me that I am taken to task over personal preference. There is no "arguing" taste.

jules1719 Posted 30 Aug 2008 , 12:49am
post #11 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakedout

As stated before, your contract is with the bride, not her sister. 'nuf said.

I've got my lawn chair out and the popcorn is ready if more drama unfolds! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif




Get in line. icon_wink.gif

I cannot wait until Sunday. The cake is going to a hotel where the bridal party, including sis, is currently staying. I have a feeling I will see sis during delivery. Just a slight feeling. icon_evil.gif

playingwithsugar Posted 30 Aug 2008 , 1:04am
post #12 of 47

It's going to be sunny and 86 by us on Sunday. I'll bring sunblock and an umbrella.

Just remember, she is not your client, so you do not have to talk to her, nor listen to what she has to say.

This one's gonna be better than waiting for Batman!

Theresa icon_smile.gif

aligotmatt Posted 30 Aug 2008 , 1:06am
post #13 of 47

That is awkward... I don't know what I would've done. I do have in my contract that no changes can be made within 30 days. BUt I do always want people to be happy. I hope you don't hear from them again icon_smile.gif

GenGen Posted 30 Aug 2008 , 1:08am
post #14 of 47

show Sis the hand and tell her "talk to your sister" and if she interfers further; call security.

kcw551 Posted 30 Aug 2008 , 2:27am
post #15 of 47

What's a PITA?

playingwithsugar Posted 30 Aug 2008 , 2:30am
post #16 of 47

A PITA is a Pain In The Ass

Theresa icon_smile.gif

kcw551 Posted 30 Aug 2008 , 2:32am
post #17 of 47

Thanks!

jules1719 Posted 30 Aug 2008 , 9:51am
post #18 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by kcw551

What's a PITA?




Indian flatbread. She's an Indian flatbread. icon_wink.gif

sarahpierce Posted 30 Aug 2008 , 11:35am
post #19 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by jules1719

Quote:
Originally Posted by kcw551

What's a PITA?



Indian flatbread. She's an Indian flatbread. icon_wink.gif





icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif
I like lamb meat and cucumber sauce with my PITA icon_biggrin.gif

SweetConfectionsChef Posted 30 Aug 2008 , 1:52pm
post #20 of 47

I guess I don't understand the problem here. You have a contract with the bride that states what you will provide and what amount she will pay for it. The sister of the bride doesn't factor in anywhere in this situation. Who cares if she doesn't like it....it's not her cake! You can't please everyone. icon_confused.gif

jules1719 Posted 30 Aug 2008 , 2:44pm
post #21 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetConfectionsChef

I guess I don't understand the problem here. You have a contract with the bride that states what you will provide and what amount she will pay for it. The sister of the bride doesn't factor in anywhere in this situation. Who cares if she doesn't like it....it's not her cake! You can't please everyone. icon_confused.gif




You are right, and I need to get that through my head. But the sister claims she is speaking for the bride. The whole thing is twisted and a waste of breath. I didn't change a thing, and am 100% sure this cake rocks. Seriously.

I ultimately don't care what the sister thinks. I talked to the bride once, but apparently there was much discussion on their end after our chat which prompted a call from the sis.

Also, I posted previously that I bend alot for my clients, and would have for this bride had they chosen a different tack. Contract aside, it's not in my best business interest to "not care" what the sister claims the bride wants. Cost is also a factor. I can't "afford" (a pun) to have my reputation dinged at this price point. Sis wouldn't know quality if it shagged her.

Reading the responses to this thread has put the situation in perspective a little.

I can't wait to talk to the florist and the banquet manager. You know they'll have "dirt".

indydebi Posted 30 Aug 2008 , 2:55pm
post #22 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by jules1719

But the sister claims she is speaking for the bride.


Then the bride needs to let you know that Sis is the bride's agent and IS speaking for her. For future brides, you can share this story and explain how if you listened to every relative who "claimed" to be speaking for the bride, there's not one bride in town who would have the wedding she was expecting ... she would have the wedding that OTHER people were expecting!

The more I hear this, the more I like the "password" rule that my wedding planner friend told me about!

CNCS Posted 30 Aug 2008 , 3:12pm
post #23 of 47

Sounds like the sis is a control freak.

-K8memphis Posted 30 Aug 2008 , 3:17pm
post #24 of 47

Wow what a mess. I do the 'no changes after a certain date' thing. I advise that I can add kitchen cakes after a certain date but no changes.

C'mon, within four days? That's just silly.

I mean you not only need to protect/save yourself you need to save them from themselves too. The ultimate in customer service here would be to stop the insanity.

When I book a cake I literally convincingly say, "Worry about the flowers, worry about the out of town guests, worry about whatever you want but don't worry about the cake. I will take care of everything for you."

I make it as done a deal as possible.

newmansmom2004 Posted 30 Aug 2008 , 3:18pm
post #25 of 47

You didn't miss anything. The sister is being a major buttinsky and needs to shut her pie hole...er, cake hole.

OK, now that that's off my chest - LOL - I wouldn't even take anymore phone calls from the sister. The bride is the client, not the sister, and if the bride is happy with what she chose then that's all that matters.

And now you also know that if the sister calls for any orders in the future you can tell her you're booked and refuse the order. There's not enough money in the world to make it worth putting up with people like this.

shellzey Posted 30 Aug 2008 , 3:47pm
post #26 of 47

i would tell the sis that you can only accept changes from the bride. to have her call you

weirkd Posted 30 Aug 2008 , 3:54pm
post #27 of 47

Sounds like you need to add a line in your contract. I have that when the final payment is due that there are no longer changes in the design or cake after this point. They have to understand that your spending money to make this cake and that your not going to be able to just get rid of a seven tiered cake on the spot. You baked to what the bride ordered. End of story. I would in the nicest way possible tell the sister that "your sorry that she doesnt like the cake but this is what the bride and groom ordered and since the wedding is four days away there are no longer any changes allowed to be made." And then end it. Dont talk to her, she isnt your client. And it sounds like you have already earned above and beyond what she paid for it. And with the way today's society is, I wouldnt ass kiss your clients like that. THey are basically walking all over you for it. And your the one that is suffering. They KNOW that no one else would do this so they are taking advantage. Dont let them!
And if you have to, PM Indidebi, she is great with telling people to kiss her asfault in a professional manner!

sandykay Posted 30 Aug 2008 , 3:58pm
post #28 of 47

Jules, I'm really sorry you had to deal wtih someone like that, appearently she doesn't have good taste. Like someones esle said you can't please everyone.

But if she is this envolved I'd make sure when you set the cake up you have plenty of wittness as to what it looked like before you leave, she sounds like the type to come along and mess it up on purpose just to be spitefull.

I have the faith that the Bride and her guest are going to LOVE it.

SweetConfectionsChef Posted 31 Aug 2008 , 12:34am
post #29 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by jules1719

Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetConfectionsChef

I guess I don't understand the problem here. You have a contract with the bride that states what you will provide and what amount she will pay for it. The sister of the bride doesn't factor in anywhere in this situation. Who cares if she doesn't like it....it's not her cake! You can't please everyone. icon_confused.gif



You are right, and I need to get that through my head. But the sister claims she is speaking for the bride. The whole thing is twisted and a waste of breath. I didn't change a thing, and am 100% sure this cake rocks. Seriously.

I ultimately don't care what the sister thinks. I talked to the bride once, but apparently there was much discussion on their end after our chat which prompted a call from the sis.

Also, I posted previously that I bend alot for my clients, and would have for this bride had they chosen a different tack. Contract aside, it's not in my best business interest to "not care" what the sister claims the bride wants. Cost is also a factor. I can't "afford" (a pun) to have my reputation dinged at this price point. Sis wouldn't know quality if it shagged her.

Reading the responses to this thread has put the situation in perspective a little.

I can't wait to talk to the florist and the banquet manager. You know they'll have "dirt".




Actually it would be in your best business interest to not care what the sister claims the bride wants...that's what it is...a claim. I would be totally pissed if I ordered a cake and the person making it made any changes to it without speaking to me personally. I would think your reputation could be in severe jepardy for not following the signed contract and making changes based on a relatives opinion. But that's JMO.

I can't wait to hear how this plays out....

littlecake Posted 31 Aug 2008 , 2:19am
post #30 of 47

i think clients are the worst part of doing business, some of these people (i think) seriously need some medication....or perhaps a real problem....but they give us $$$...so what can you do?

waiting with baited breath...post a pic, when you tell us..."the rest of the story..."

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