Anybody Suffering From The Economy Yet?

Lounge By cakesbydesiree Updated 10 Oct 2008 , 2:20pm by loriemoms

cakesbydesiree Posted 1 Oct 2008 , 2:52am
post #1 of 137

I am starting to look more seriously into making my fun cake decorating hobby into a business. I just completed my third successful wedding cake with many pleased people especially at this last wedding.

I am only concerned with the economy. Should I be concerned with stepping out into this venture? I know people will get married regardless of the economy. However, the economy may dictate there wedding budget. How many people could actually pay for the 5 tier wedding cake I just did?

Thanks for any input.

Desiree

136 replies
littlecake Posted 1 Oct 2008 , 2:57am
post #2 of 137

i'm having more business than last year.

i went out to lunch with my son today, i told him last year when the tulsa fair came to town...i had crickets chirping and tumbleweeds blowing thru...

this year i sold every crumb i had in the shop, and had to turn people away.

he thinks since people are trying to save money this year, they skipped the fair, and decided to have fun at home, hence the big sales in cakes this year....makes sense to me.

indydebi Posted 1 Oct 2008 , 3:19am
post #3 of 137

My wedding-cake-only sales have tripled over last year's numbers. Last year, cake-only was about 5.7% ... this year it's over 17% of total sales.

Overall cake and catering combined is up 14% over last year. This shows me that not only is my cake-only sales up, but so is my catering sales.

When I add in the cookies, my grand total sales are up 40% over last year.

When I say "over last year", that means sales are higher at this point in time, than what I did in ALL of last year ... and I have 3 months to go in the current year.

About 3 weeks ago, I booked one of my biggest wedding caterings .... almost $8000.... and it's in a month that is usually a big zero-sales month for me, so that's pretty exciting!

It's not because I live in a large city ... the $8000 bride is from a small town that's over an hour away.

I think people will put off buying that bigger house or that new car (hubby works in a car dealership, so I know the part about the car seems to be ringing pretty true!), but a special occasion celebration is SPECIAL ... they may cut back a little on what they were going to spend ... but they're still having the wedding, the reception, the wedding cake. Their kid will still turn 5 ... they may forego the $800 bouncy castle, but they'll still have a cake.

holoien003 Posted 1 Oct 2008 , 3:26am
post #4 of 137

If I were you guys I would be careful....do a little extra thinking before starting a business. Things down in the U.S. are probably going to get worse before they get better. Watch....see where economy goes in the next few months.

GI Posted 1 Oct 2008 , 3:31am
post #5 of 137

You ROCK indeydeb!

I can see people everywhere cutting back on a lot. However, special occasions and big-ticket once-in-a-lifetime events are still big $penders!

indydebi Posted 1 Oct 2008 , 3:35am
post #6 of 137

Here's another similar thread: http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-604672-baby.html

(Crickets and tumbleweeds! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif )

Gefion Posted 1 Oct 2008 , 4:07am
post #7 of 137

I would not be too worried. It's not uncommon for sales to rise during hard times.
During the Great Depression, chocolate and confectionary sales went through the roof. It's an affordable luxury compared to so many other things. "I can afford a new car, but I can afford this box of artisan chocolate!"

indydebi Posted 1 Oct 2008 , 11:28am
post #8 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gefion

I would not be too worried. It's not uncommon for sales to rise during hard times.
During the Great Depression, chocolate and confectionary sales went through the roof. It's an affordable luxury compared to so many other things. "I can afford a new car, but I can afford this box of artisan chocolate!"




True. Those who sell cosmetics also see spikes in sales..... we can't afford to get our hair done or buy that new dress, but we can afford a new lipstick to make us look pretty!

littlecake Posted 1 Oct 2008 , 1:04pm
post #9 of 137

A lot of people made their fortune during the depression.

whimsette Posted 1 Oct 2008 , 2:58pm
post #10 of 137

This year has been very good for me. However, I am worried about what's coming for 2009.

While I've booked just over 20 events for next year, I've received 2 cancellations and 3 change-of-orders (all downsizing) in the last 3 or so months. (I had 1 cancellation this year and 1 last by comparison.)

I think wedding budgets in particular will change for 2009 - in some cases pretty dramatically. While most people who plan on getting married will continue to do so, they will be downsizing their celebrations.

I'm anxiously waiting for December, when the crop of newly engaged starts planning their weddings to see how the bridal community is really responding to the economy.

Cakery Posted 2 Oct 2008 , 12:34am
post #11 of 137

I'm in the same boat as IndyDeb....my sales have about tripled this year from last year. I have RAISED my prices 2 times this past year with the cost of my ingredients....and none of my customers have blinked an eye and the orders continue to come in each week.....with new customers all the time. It has just blown me away at how busy it's been. I know it can be scary with starting out a new business....but do the homework and check out your competition and market in your area. Some of us have had our business for a number of years and have established our customer base as well. But for now....I have already almost booked completely full for April, May, June of 2009.

Cakebelle Posted 2 Oct 2008 , 10:03pm
post #12 of 137

Not worried yet, I guess just wait and watch.

southernbelle Posted 4 Oct 2008 , 3:11am
post #13 of 137

My business has gone through the roof the last couple of months, I interviewed 3 people today to hire part time. Can only hire one of the 3 unfortunatly but this is in addition to my regular assistant. I have 2 weddings this weekend, 3 the weekend after...........and hold onto you spatulas everyone becuase the holidays are right around the corner. My feet hurt so bad tonight I can't even tell you icon_cry.gif Even my Nike Shocks didn't help me today

poshcakedesigns Posted 4 Oct 2008 , 11:04pm
post #14 of 137

My special occasion orders are a lot higher than my wedding orders right now. Business is staying pretty consistant for me. Some weeks are better than others but I'm not without orders every week.

Carolynlovescake Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 3:19am
post #15 of 137

My student counts are through the roof this month.

I am teaching 7 courses and all of them are almost full or already full with registrations defaulting to November courses. October is usually a very slow month for classes at our store too.

I asked both classes today what made them want to take the class and they all said "the economy! We want to do this so we don't have to pay baker costs!" That's been the trend the last 2 months for the reason as well.

If you think about it I have almost 70 students this month! That's a HUGE amount of students in a single month for me to be teaching.

My business has been put on hold for a few years so I've been referring them to other places around town.

Deb_ Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 4:46am
post #16 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolynGwen

My student counts are through the roof this month.

I asked both classes today what made them want to take the class and they all said "the economy! We want to do this so we don't have to pay baker costs!" That's been the trend the last 2 months for the reason as well.





Not exactly a comfort for bakers is it? icon_rolleyes.gif

indydebi Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 11:54am
post #17 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkelly27

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolynGwen

My student counts are through the roof this month.

I asked both classes today what made them want to take the class and they all said "the economy! We want to do this so we don't have to pay baker costs!" That's been the trend the last 2 months for the reason as well.




Not exactly a comfort for bakers is it? icon_rolleyes.gif




Actually it is. I had a friend who ran a cake supply store and she gave cake decorating lessons. She told me most people took the class to learn how to decorate for their kids birthday but it stopped there. 1 out of 10 will actually continue with it as a business. About 3 out of 10 will do more than one cake .... maybe 2 or 3 .... before they decide they dont' want to spend all that money on supplies and equipment. Granted, these are stats from one person's store, but she and I looked at it as a positive thing .... these folks found out what was involved in making a cake and they HAPPILY paid our price for us to make the elaborate cakes for them! thumbs_up.gif

countrycakes Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 11:54am
post #18 of 137

thumbsdown.gificon_cool.gif It kinda sucks here......rofl.....

I have them all going to WM, 15miles from me......they will pay for their frozen slabs, but not a fresh one from me. Oh, well......

I am just doing whatever......I have one, 1 cupcake order for October. That is it. Sigh....can not compete with the grocery store bakeries....am not going to! thumbsdown.gif

Mac Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 12:32pm
post #19 of 137

I had a horribly slow summer...I think I donated more than I made--and I mean to rent, advertising...Ha! I seem to get my orders on Mondays for the next weekend. I have about 3 weddings booked--one in December and 2 for next year.

We have a wedding showcase in January so I am renting a booth.

moxey2000 Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 12:33pm
post #20 of 137

I'm just as busy as ever, but people are ordering cakes within a lower price range. I quote $80 and they ask what I can do for $60. Not unexpected, we're all tightening our belts. I think things will ease up though, once everyone adjusts to living a little more frugally. We've been through these sorts of times before (remember the 70s!!).

There was a segment on Fox on Sunday about the surge in business in the U.S. for fast food and comfort foods. They say it happens during tough economic times. We all seek a little comfort, even if it is from a piece of cake (lucky us!) thumbs_up.gif .

Deb_ Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 1:45pm
post #21 of 137

I think the people that buy high end cakes on a regular basis will continue to do so.

I heard a staggering number on Friday............for the Month of Sept. 159,000 people lost their jobs in the US icon_eek.gificon_sad.gif Highest number in years for one month. That's pretty scary, it's hard to ignore that statistic.

woodthi32 Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 1:57pm
post #22 of 137

This hasn't even BEGUN to hit us yet.
This is nothing compared to the fuel shortage of the 70s. This is a different animal, no matter what FOX news tells youicon_smile.gif

mandifrye Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 2:19pm
post #23 of 137

I am going to let you all in on a little insight that I have received from my husband (he can be a little extreme and reads hours on end about what is going on here and elsewhere). The economy is going to pot. The question is not if we WILL crash, it is when and how hard!

We have already started the downward trend and it is going to get worse. However, there is good news for us...as stated before, goodies and comfort foods sell out the wazoo during hard times. The trick will be finding our ingredients and supplies. If you make it, you will be able to sell it (or trade for other needed things). During the Depression, there was no shortage on what a few baked goods could do for a family! I am hoping that things don't get as bad as they seem, but it is a scary path that this country has been following. All we can do is prepare for the worst and hope for the best!

Keep Baking - sorry to be so negative, but really, is there anything positive about our economy?

icon_biggrin.gif
[/quote]

woodthi32 Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 2:28pm
post #24 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by mandifrye

I am going to let you all in on a little insight that I have received from my husband (he can be a little extreme and reads hours on end about what is going on here and elsewhere). The economy is going to pot. The question is not if we WILL crash, it is when and how hard!

We have already started the downward trend and it is going to get worse. However, there is good news for us...as stated before, goodies and comfort foods sell out the wazoo during hard times. The trick will be finding our ingredients and supplies. If you make it, you will be able to sell it (or trade for other needed things). During the Depression, there was no shortage on what a few baked goods could do for a family! I am hoping that things don't get as bad as they seem, but it is a scary path that this country has been following. All we can do is prepare for the worst and hope for the best!

Keep Baking - sorry to be so negative, but really, is there anything positive about our economy?

icon_biggrin.gif


[/quote]

My thought on that is there is a difference between "baked goods" and high end cakes.
If your clientele is the super wealthy, you may be fine..........
Yes, in the Depression, when people managed to have some money, they bought milk and bread...I don't think they bought cakeicon_smile.gif

seagoat Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 2:31pm
post #25 of 137

It has been a bad couple of months for me. Americans aren't traveling here like before. The tourism has been very slow this year. I'm just trying to make it through this month, then things should get better in Nov. then in December will be tourist season once again. Thank goodness for Halloween, my money maker for this month!

Anyone want to come to CR?

deb12g Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 6:39pm
post #26 of 137

Well, I'm in south central Louisiana. My business this year has skyrocketed. The only slow down I had was during hurricanes Gustav & Ike. But, once that was over, things got back to normal and business is booming. The housing market here is good, and people are building new homes, etc. In my area, new businesses are sprouting up. The only thing I've heard that slowed down is the car industry here.

woodthi32 Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 7:12pm
post #27 of 137
woodthi32 Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 7:12pm
post #28 of 137
Deb_ Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 8:57pm
post #29 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by deb12g

Well, I'm in south central Louisiana. The housing market here is good, and people are building new homes, etc. In my area, new businesses are sprouting up..




Really, because this is the exact opposite of news reports we've heard about LA here in the Northeast. What we're hearing is that more than half of the people that were displaced by hurricane Katrina have not returned to LA. And that there are thousands of houses that are still inhabitable.
How far are you from New Orleans? I guess far enough that Katrina wasn't as big an impact on your area, that's good.

bobwonderbuns Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 9:14pm
post #30 of 137

Summer was slow for me but it's picked up quite a bit -- my classes are full and taking waiting lists and I'm booked until Thanksgiving with orders.

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