Have you ever worked at a place where there was someone who liked baking cakes too but they felt you were their competition? I'm a store associate, been at my job for like 3 months now. I like to bring cakes in for parties b/c I like being known as the one who can do decorative cakes. Ever heard that expression read between the lines? There's this woman who likes to bake but she doesn't do decorative think outside of the box kind of cakes. I brought in a cake for a thanksgiving party for the produce section and this woman was like is that suppose to be what you call a specialty cake. The way she said it was like I can do better than that. I don't have a problem with her but I can tell when it comes to cakes she feels I'm her competiton. There's gonna be another Thanksgiving party for just the store associates and she said I wanna know what you're bringing b/c I'm gonna bring a cake too. To me that said I wanna know what you're bringing so I can outshine you. Nobody knows what I'm bringing, all they know is I will do a good job b/c they're always impressed with what I do. Not saying I'm the best in the world its just to them they don't see cakes like what I have done. I always get why are you even here? you need to work in a bakery. Ever had someone who felt you were they're competition?
Yes, I have. It was back when I had only been doing this for 2-3 years, but was doing very well, decorative and business wise. I worked in a building of 300+ women, so I got lots of orders from work. A couple of others began doing some decorated cakes and we happily shared stories, tips, ideas ... much like we do on CC.
Then a new girl got hired. She was the kind who was 'nice' but tried too hard at it. She decided to start doing cakes too. no problem. We other cake people included her in "our group", but she was just a little different.
First she was really bad at cakes. I mean, she could have her own cake wrecks site. She made some cupcakes for a co-worker, who took one look at them and said, "I can't take these into my daughter's class!", threw them out and walked 6 blocks to the one bakery in town and bought some.
We cake girls tried to help her along with some ideas, but she had an arrogance about her (I'm sure you all know someone like this!).
So one day she brings in a cake, tells me how much she's selling it for and asked me what did I think. I said, "I think you should charge more than that." She sneered and said, "You're just afraid of me being your competition with better pricing!"
And this is where I came up with my famous line of "Honey, you keep charging prices like that and pretty soon I won't have to worry about you being my competion at all."
It didn't take long for her interest in cakes to fade away when she stopped getting cake orders.
Ha! you guys are cracking my up... that is my SIL in a nut shell. I started making cakes, very amateur. canned colored frosting, everything from a box but i was having fun. I started making the birthday cakes for my very large family. My SIL was keeping dibs on me. Always tried to bring a dessert to one up me. so finally my nephews birthday came around and she asked me if I wanted to make him a cake with a treasure chest on it. Well I decided to make an actual treasure chest and since it was also my brothers birthday she asked me to make him a small cake... so I made him a golf themed cake. I believe she thought she was setting me up for disaster, I showed up with the cakes and she didn't even let anyone see them including the birthday boys. She put them straight down in the basement of all places?!? She said it was cooler down there. So she pulls them out just in time to sing happy birthday, everybody was impressed. She was so pissed when people kept asking her if she made them and she had to say nope, my SIL did. The next year, she called me and leaves a msg about wanting to talk to me about making the guys birthday cakes, I call her back and she wants to make them but she wants to borrow all my stuff and for me to tell her how to make them and can I come over and help her... well I let her borrow my stuff but that was about it, after all she is family. After that, she tried making cakes for other people. She had a few orders from friends and neighbors and always shoved them in my face about how busy she was, but when I saw pics it took all my strength to not laugh out loud. she eventually gave up but it still bugs her that I get to make the birthday cakes for the family.
I had sort of that type of thing happen, but it was worse... it's my mom!
She is the one that got me interested in it... she never did it for money, just did it for us kids growing up. She did a few family wedding cakes, all of us kids when we got married of course! Then she got me interested in it almost by accident. Pretty soon I was excelling, and getting into techniques she doesn't do. (She's never touched fondant, etc.) Well, of course she was happy for me, I mean she loves me, but there were a couple of situations where I could feel a little tenseness. Fortunately, it passed quickly, and she is pretty much over it. She brags me up to any and every one who will listen! Gotta love that. But, it's a good thing because I know I can trust her for the truth. If I can do better, she will tell me. She is my toughest critic after "ME", you know? And, when I take her breath away, I know I've accomplished something. And she is such a good cook/baker that I know when she says something tastes awesome, it absolutely tastes like it was made for a greek God!! I can rely on her for the truth, even when I don't like it!!
So, long story short (har har) I can totally empathize!
Creative Girl, personally I'd pass on making a cake for the next event and let this needy woman have her moment. Everyone there will compare her cake to your work regardless of what you bring. Take the high road and don't say a negative thing no matter what. If people ask why you didn't bring a cake, just say, "Because I also make these killer meatballs that I've been dying to make for everyone."
It takes two to make a fight. Once she sees that you're not going to play, she might give it up. Even if she doesn't, who cares? I'm sure everyone there has her "number."
Even if she doesn't, who cares? I'm sure everyone there has her "number."
and at that point, she becomes a fun show to watch! (one of my favorite hobbies is sitting back and letting people hang themselves! Yeah ... I'm evil! )
Do I sense a Throwdown coming on at your job?
Go for it, and blow her doors in!
Indydebi - I agree! Not only are you a fabulous cake decorator, but you are wise beyond your years. No wonder you are being spotlighted this month!
Unfortunately, I don't have this problem. I do work with a girl who makes cakes, but she is way out of my league. So, she has nothing to fear from me!
I'm not tryin to show her up its just something I noticed about her. I feel like thats her problem not mine and I don't have nothing against her. I'm the one who was the first one on the list to say I'm bringing a cake. People noticed and are actually wondering what kind of cake it is, what is she gonna do now. Like last time we had a going away party for someone. I knew she was bringing a cake so I made a purse out of rice krispies so it wouldn't be like a competiton and I gave it to the person who was going away. Well its kind of funny b/c she went on about this cake and for me to do this Dooney and Bourke inspired purse out of rice krispies, everyone was going on about it days later and not about her cake she was bragging about.
This cracks me up....both of my brother's wives are baking cakes now! So far, I just laugh about it and think they must think it's neat what I can do. But, when they catch up to my skill level, I'm probably gonna get a little irritated!
Ya, I can maybe be a little competitive--my poor SIL's!
I truly think it sounds like a fun throw down! You are both competitive. You can have fun and learn from it!
I've had the opposite problem...I have scared off my own sister from making cakes. I am known as the family cake decorator. I have made the birthday cakes for all of my sisters children's birthdays. So for my nephew's last birthday she got all keen and decided she was going to give it a go. I helped her find the right colouring paste, gave her advice on crumbcoating, suggestions on how to do it. She made a big Squidward cake, and when she sent pics to me I couldn't believe it. You would never know it was a first attempt, it was fantastic.
But you guessed it...she went on about how bad it was, picked holes in everything, compared her cake to mine, which have taken me 5 years of practice, she said there is no way I am ever attempting that again and I don't know how you do it. All she could see were the flaws, which were IMO very small. Anyway she vowed that I am on my own as the family cake person, she is going back to scrapbooking and chalking it up to experience. I offered to post her cake on CC and she said she would be humiliated and threw a fit! I would have loved to finally find someone who I can tow around kitchen shops and swap equipment with. She can't understand that we all start somewhere. Its awful to think my own sister has no confidence because of me!
there is someone on the fringe of our circle of friends who was interested in cakes, so i helped them out. now when i'm around them, i can feel this weird sort of tension, and i suspect it may be because all our friends always talk about my cakes...it's not that i'm an expert, but because they've never seen anything different from grocery store cakes. i really hate this, and try my best to be friendly with this person...overall, i'm not especially competitive in that particular area. strangers yes, friends, not so much!