I have a strange situation. A few months ago, I talked to a women who is a parent at my daughters school about cakes. She works at a nursing home and I told her that I wanted to practice making some cakes and would they be interested in having any of them, because I want to make them, I just don't want to eat them or throw them away. Well she did say they would be interested, but I haven't gotten around to doing any because I have just been busy with life. Well, the other day, she asked if I was still interested in doing that and I said I was, when I have the time and she said that the lady in charge at the nursing home was wondering because she has a daughter who is in cheerleading and needs to have cakes for various occasions and wondered when I was going to start bringing her cakes. Does that seem strange? I just wanted a place for these cakes to end up, not supply cakes at no charge to someone for the daughter's activities.
And then the same women, who is the mother of one of my daughter's best friends asked if I would make the cake for her father's memorial service next week. I haven't responded yet. I don't know if she wants me to do it for free, because I had already told her that I wanted to make "practice" cakes. I also don't quite know what to do for a memorial service. I don't know how to make flowers or much of anything else. I have never made a sheet cake and they terrify me.
What should I do??
I would simply tell her that my offer is for cakes to be donated to the nursing home when and "only when" I have time to make them and drop them off. If that isn't acceptable then I will find another outlet for them. I would also inform her that I don't do custom orders for free.
I don't think you should just "give" to anyone. I think that people will take advantage of any situation. She fully took what you told her and ran with it. Offering your services when she had no right.
I would definitely put your foot down. you offered to give the nursing home cakes not every one and their dog!
I would also add in there that the cakes you bring to the nursing home are for the residents, not the employees, and their relatives.
I have a feeling that no matter who you intend the cake for at the nursing home, it will find its way home with that cheerleader's mother. Don't become a cake-factory for her events.
As for the cake for the memorial service, if this woman is your friend and you plan to attend, it would be a nice gesture if you want to make something...for practice.
If you want to charge her, call her and say "I can do a quarter sheet (or whatever size) to serve X people for $XX. I'll need the $ by this date. "
But if you are wanting to set a standard to stop this free cake scramble...practice one simple rule: If you offer a cake, it's free...if they ask for a cake, they pay.
I agree with SugarFrosted on this one.
If you offer the cake it's free- if they ask they pay.
One other thing to look at too with taking cakes to a nursing home. Most elderly residents in nursing homes already have diabetes. So these cakes that you take won't make it past the nurses stations. Just be prepared that your cakes will either go to this cheerleader mom or go to some other member of the staff that needs a cake at that moment. So unless you are going to start making cakes for diabetics and taking those then rest assured your cakes are going to the staff not the residents.
I only say this because I work in a nephrology office (kidney/dialysis) a lot of patients in our office are also residents in nursing homes. More than 75% of our patients are diabetic.
So don't let this discouraged you from taking cakes to the nursing homes just be aware that you are treating the staff not the residents when you do.
I really hate being a buzzkill but wanted to give you this information.