Ive Been Had I Think

Decorating By cakebaker1957 Updated 6 Dec 2008 , 6:22am by xstitcher

cakebaker1957 Posted 5 Dec 2008 , 3:12pm
post #1 of 21

Didnt quit know where to post this just needed some ideals and a couple of shoulders to not really cry but need to get off my chest. I have a friend that i go to church with and my husbands knows her dad , And ive done a couple of cakes for her daughters 16 and 17 birthdays, I think at one time she may have taken cake classes cause she has all the stuff you would have if you took a class she even has the wedding cake pans. But ive noticed that she always wants to know how i do this and how i do that, Mind you i like this girl but this is going to be my Retirement job baking cakes getting legal and all that stuff Well she asked me to do a stacked cake for Christmas for her a 12 in and a 6in and use the funky greens and golds and reds , and it was to have something shooting out of the top, like curley Q;s and such I priced it at a really good deal $75.00 but before i gave her a price she asked me how to level cakes? i told her about the cake leveler , So i called her after we talked and left her a mess on her cell phone and told her how much it would be and that i was really given her a good deal on it , and that i needed her to call me back and let me know if she wanted me to do lthe cake since i had to find the stuff to go on tops and around the cake well Guess what no return call as of yet , How do you all handle friends and just strangers wanting to know how you do this and do that, This is going to be my Retirment fun job one day ?? Help

20 replies
CreationsByCaryl Posted 5 Dec 2008 , 4:06pm
post #2 of 21

First, I wouldn't worry about her being competition. Sounds like she's still learning. It does sound like she's scoping you out to see if it's something she might be able to handle herself. Still, I wouldn't worry. THere's enough cake to go around.

Second, ask her. Come out and and nicely ask in passing, "I've noticed your supplies and your interest in caking. Are you planning on doing it for hobby and friends?" She'll have to reply and you can base your judgement on not only her reply but her attitude when she does.

Still wouldn't worry.

cakebaker1957 Posted 5 Dec 2008 , 4:28pm
post #3 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by CreationsByCaryl

First, I wouldn't worry about her being competition. Sounds like she's still learning. It does sound like she's scoping you out to see if it's something she might be able to handle herself. Still, I wouldn't worry. THere's enough cake to go around.

Second, ask her. Come out and and nicely ask in passing, "I've noticed your supplies and your interest in caking. Are you planning on doing it for hobby and friends?" She'll have to reply and you can base your judgement on not only her reply but her attitude when she does.

Still wouldn't worry.




thanks CreationsByCary, im not worried about her, im just thinking if she did do cake classes i did all that was offered and paid for them then why doesnt she remember how to do some of this ?? and its not like she really needs the money but i know some do this for fun, I just dont understand sometimes i guess she wants to do some cakes for her and thats fine , But i do alot of researching and taste testing and so forth to get my cakes great and some people just want you to hand over your secrets ive work hard on all my cakes, and really theres some times i cant tell you why my cakes are moist and taste good i just love baking and maybe that shows But thank you for your reply , Just wondered how some CCers handle some questions

CreationsByCaryl Posted 5 Dec 2008 , 4:43pm
post #4 of 21

Basics I'll share; Recipes, and little tricks I won't.

Most of the classes I've seen aren't worth remembering. Besides, learning it once doesn't give you the talent.

cakebaker1957 Posted 5 Dec 2008 , 4:46pm
post #5 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by CreationsByCaryl

Basics I'll share; Recipes, and little tricks I won't.

Most of the classes I've seen aren't worth remembering. Besides, learning it once doesn't give you the talent.




I just took the classes to learn how to level and so on really i think you learn your self by digging in and baking and so forth Like you said the Recipes little tricks nope keep my mouth closed(: Except for here then i share
thanks

KHalstead Posted 5 Dec 2008 , 5:01pm
post #6 of 21

I'm teaching (yes I know, I'm not nearly qualified to teach....but the people at the local cake deco. store asked me to help them bring in some revenue so they don't close down) a cake decorating class THIS SATURDAY and I'm dealing with the same dilemma..........my only competition in town (who doesn't do cakes very well) was the FIRST person to sign up for MY CLASS!!! So not only am I having to show how I do stuff.......but I"m teaching it to my competition (I work legally from my home and she and her husband own a restaurant!) anyhow...........I've decided to supply the class with a buttercream recipe (from CC) I use a different icing personally......and as far as smoothing a cake, I'm not saying a word about the Melvira method lol I'm showing them the viva method. I think it will satisfy them and show them something they didn't know (making them happy) without allowing them to achieve the look I can achieve with my other methods! The fact of the matter is a ton of what I know (besides Cc) comes from trial and error......so when people ask....wow, how did you do that??? I say.........I dunno.........just trial and error and lots of practice.....most of them drop it at that and order a cake from me LOL .
There IS some level of talent to cake decorating even a basic cake and not everyone has it. You can show people YOUR techniques and it's not necessarily going to work for THEM and vice versa.

When people want my cookie recipe, I give it to them the way I got it initially.....if they want to tweek it like I did then they can! If they ask, do you use boxed mixes I tell them yes, but in addition to flour, sugar, eggs, vanilla, etc. because a cake mix has stabilizers and it helps the cakes to come out the same everytime (consistency in my cakes, meaning the one they tasted at so and so's party is the same way it will taste when they order one for THEIR party)..........so basically I'm using a scratch cake with some stabilizers to ensure my product is consistent. Nobody has ever been like.......oh wow, you charge THAT for a cake mix cake?? My customer's rave about my cakes and only a handfull have ever asked if they were completely scratch or not and all that asked have ordered more than once from me!

Share the info as it was presented to you, there is nothing wrong with hanging onto trade secrets you discovered yourself!

sweet_teeth Posted 5 Dec 2008 , 5:21pm
post #7 of 21

Here is my opinion on it all: take her asking for your tips as a complete compliment. I know most learning is done through trial and error, but just think how much we all learn from CC and others giving us their tips and tricks! How would we know the Melvira method or the Viva method.. or even some of these amazing doctored cake mixes without the help of people here at CC and the wonderful internet.

Also, you have to remember that cake decorating takes talent and if she doesn't have as much talent as you, she will never be able to come close to your cakes.

Tita9499 Posted 5 Dec 2008 , 5:37pm
post #8 of 21

I completely agree with alexandrabill's post. Where would we be if a lot of the people on CC hoarded their recipes or secrets?

Some people, no matter how many tips, tricks or secrets you give them, just don't have the skill to create cakes. I think you should just be straightforward with people instead of leaving out key elements to success, I personally believe it shows a lack of confidence in yourself. If I have a recipe that I've worked super hard on to perfect and someone asks me for it, I flat out tell them I don't give out that particular recipe. I would hate to give them a recipe that's missing something essential only to have them use it on their mother-in-law and completely bomb...that end up making me look bad.

You never know what her intentions are, don't automatically assume the worst. If you help guide her, think of it as your paying it forward from when someone helped you. If she takes advantage of your kindness, pray for her and know that your skills will bring you success no matter what.

Hope I didn't offend anyone, these are just my personal opinions.

God bless

all4cake Posted 5 Dec 2008 , 5:43pm
post #9 of 21

A lot of people around here will buy the kits and supplies for classes and try to teach themselves in their spare time because classes are not at a convenient time for their schedule. She may not have had the benefit of hands on classes. I would give her a list of books or other reference material that she could get info from. Refer her here...someone will help her.

Ask her...just say you noticed her 'stuff' and ask what her area of interest is...weddings, 3-D....

nickshalfpint Posted 5 Dec 2008 , 5:44pm
post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by KHalstead

I'm teaching (yes I know, I'm not nearly qualified to teach....but the people at the local cake deco. store asked me to help them bring in some revenue so they don't close down) a cake decorating class THIS SATURDAY and I'm dealing with the same dilema...




icon_eek.gif Are you crazy? Have you seen your cakes? You are definately qualified to teach cake decorating! Now if I was teaching a class....................that would be an unqualified teacher icon_lol.gif


Back to the topic.......... Just don't give her any of your top secret tricks to cake decorating(i.e. CC icon_biggrin.gif ) and you won't have anything to worry about icon_lol.gif

cakebaker1957 Posted 5 Dec 2008 , 6:06pm
post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by KHalstead

I'm teaching (yes I know, I'm not nearly qualified to teach....but the people at the local cake deco. store asked me to help them bring in some revenue so they don't close down) a cake decorating class THIS SATURDAY and I'm dealing with the same dilemma..........my only competition in town (who doesn't do cakes very well) was the FIRST person to sign up for MY CLASS!!! So not only am I having to show how I do stuff.......but I"m teaching it to my competition (I work legally from my home and she and her husband own a restaurant!) anyhow...........I've decided to supply the class with a buttercream recipe (from CC) I use a different icing personally......and as far as smoothing a cake, I'm not saying a word about the Melvira method lol I'm showing them the viva method. I think it will satisfy them and show them something they didn't know (making them happy) without allowing them to achieve the look I can achieve with my other methods! The fact of the matter is a ton of what I know (besides Cc) comes from trial and error......so when people ask....wow, how did you do that??? I say.........I dunno.........just trial and error and lots of practice.....most of them drop it at that and order a cake from me LOL .
There IS some level of talent to cake decorating even a basic cake and not everyone has it. You can show people YOUR techniques and it's not necessarily going to work for THEM and vice versa.

When people want my cookie recipe, I give it to them the way I got it initially.....if they want to tweek it like I did then they can! If they ask, do you use boxed mixes I tell them yes, but in addition to flour, sugar, eggs, vanilla, etc. because a cake mix has stabilizers and it helps the cakes to come out the same everytime (consistency in my cakes, meaning the one they tasted at so and so's party is the same way it will taste when they order one for THEIR party)..........so basically I'm using a scratch cake with some stabilizers to ensure my product is consistent. Nobody has ever been like.......oh wow, you charge THAT for a cake mix cake?? My customer's rave about my cakes and only a handfull have ever asked if they were completely scratch or not and all that asked have ordered more than once from me!

Share the info as it was presented to you, there is nothing wrong with hanging onto trade secrets you discovered yourself!





Hey you do better than my teacher, she stuck with the Wiltons Bc and went straight from the book nothing else i got so frustrated and when i made the Wiltons bc i asked her if theres was anything else better tasting she said Oh dont you like the taste duh no why did i ask after that she wouldnt help me with anything she wouldnt share how to make your bc smooth or anything ive learned a lot here and want to Thank everyone from the bottom of my ever cake baking heart

FullHouse Posted 5 Dec 2008 , 6:18pm
post #12 of 21

I am fairly new to decorating, I've just completed the Wilton classes and am so grateful to my instructor for all she showed me (above and beyond the course outlines) and for directing me here icon_smile.gif. I have learned so much from others who have more expreience than I do, I just hope I learn enough to "pay it forward". I've been baking since high school and am pretty good at that (can always learn more) and I had tried a few times to just wing it with decorating my kids' cakes over the years, and had no idea how to even smooth frosting. Last winter, a good friend of mine sent home a few pieces of a fondant cake she made, my son begged me to make him a fondant cake for his upcoming b-day. I mentioned this to her and she very happily spent an afternoon making his cake with me, which is what got me started. We then wound up taking the Wilton classes together and have discovered that we each have a talent for caking, but with different areas of strength (she is fabulous with fondant). We will be working together to learn new things (i.e. doing a topsy-turvy cake together while our kids are playing). Sharing is benefiting both of us and has enhanced our friendship. If my friend had just said, "no, I can't show you, that's my thing" or even done it but made me feel that it cost her to do so, I would have tried to cover a cake in fondant and probably had a disaster. There are plenty of cake customers, unless someone is outright trying to poach your customers, I wouldn't worry about sharing basic info and at some point learning together, she could become a good friend.

Thanks so much to all the CCers who geneourously share their techniques, I've learned more in a few months on here than I have in years of decorating on my own.

indydebi Posted 5 Dec 2008 , 7:42pm
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tita9499

Some people, no matter how many tips, tricks or secrets you give them, just don't have the skill to create cakes. ..... If I have a recipe that I've worked super hard on to perfect and someone asks me for it, I flat out tell them I don't give out that particular recipe..... If you help guide her, think of it as your paying it forward from when someone helped you.




Totally agree with these statements. I've said it before ... I can have someone standing right next to me, making the same cookie recipe using the same recipe in the same equipment and I guarantee you that mine will come out better. It's the skills, the love, the passion, the knowing "until it looks right" factor, the years of doing it, the experience and the expertise. I freely share my tips and techniques because I know most people are not going to invest what I've invested to get this going as a business.

Plus I ALSO give them information overload and it kinda intimidates them! My neighbor came over to borrow a cake pan. She left with 2 pans, 3 cooling racks, a leveler, bake-even strips, a box of parchment paper, an icing spatula, some bags and tips. She's standing in my kitchen with her arms overloaded saying, "I was just going to bake a simple cake!" I put an evil grin in my face and said, "Yeah, but doing it RIGHT takes work!" icon_twisted.gif heh heh heh heh hehhhhhhhh!

Trixyinaz Posted 5 Dec 2008 , 8:02pm
post #14 of 21

Debi - you crack me UP! I want to be you when I grow up..hehehehe.

I have no problem telling people that I don't give out certain recipes - ones that I've worked on perfecting to make it my special cake. People understand. My friends mom who lives in another state does cakes and I really liked her BC. I asked my friend if her mom would be willing to share with me her recipe --- after all, we don't live in the same state so I wouldn't be competeing with her --- and her mom said NOPE! Don't share that recipe with anyone. I understood....there are just some things you can't/shouldn't part with. Her mom is a baker where I am the decorator so even if we lived in the same state, we'd have two totally different styles of cakes being offered to people so I don't think we'd be a direct competition. But even still, she wouldn't part with that recipe if her life depended on.

As for techniques, I don't mind sharing those kind of things. If I don't show someone, they will just do what I did and find a place like CC or take a class or two. It's not hard to find out how to do these things.....if you really think about it. But even if they find out, it doesn't mean they will do things exactly like you. Over time I find that people develop their own sense of style and so forth.

Feel honored that she wants to learn from you, but don't share the things that mean the most to you, like some of your recipes.

shelly-101 Posted 5 Dec 2008 , 8:33pm
post #15 of 21

I also agree with these statments. I am new to cake decorating only been doing it for 7 monts or so and everything that i have learnd comes from this site or from books. if someone askes me how i do something or were i took classes i just tell tham that i am self tought and if they want to learn that the wilton books are a good place to start. I remember when i first got interested it cake decorating i thought makeing my dad a fathers day cake would be nice and at the time my mom was makeing all of the family birthday cakes and getting all the complements on how great her cakes were i called her to ask her how she got her iceing so smooth and she did't want to tell me she just changed the subject and this is my mom for goodness sakes she still wont tell me but guess who gets to make all the family birthday cakes he he he. I think it botherd her at first but i think she is ok with it now. You just have to remember that it really does come down to your talent some people have it naturally and some people don't. icon_smile.gif

Uniqueask Posted 5 Dec 2008 , 9:07pm
post #16 of 21

I would not worry about any competition, as long as you do quality work that is all you have to worry about, I took Wilton classes from course 1 to 4 and still had to learn a lot of things on my Own and and I still cannot do Fondant very well, and the Instructor went by the Book also she is Good though she gives us little tidbits here and there, but I think she thought us what she wanted us to know because she has a cake Business and Maybe Don't want us to outdo her. And I also learned a lot from this site thanks to all of you. So put GOD first and everything will be fine.

By the way what is the Melvacake Method Please share I missed that one

Uniqueask Posted 5 Dec 2008 , 9:26pm
post #17 of 21

I would not worry about any competition, as long as you do quality work that is all you have to worry about, I took Wilton classes from course 1 to 4 and still had to learn a lot of things on my Own and and I still cannot do Fondant very well, and the Instructor went by the Book also she is Good though she gives us little tidbits here and there, but I think she thought us what she wanted us to know because she has a cake Business and Maybe Don't want us to outdo her. And I also learned a lot from this site thanks to all of you. So put GOD first and everything will be fine.

By the way what is the Melvacake Method Please share I missed that one

emrldsky Posted 5 Dec 2008 , 9:28pm
post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tita9499

Some people, no matter how many tips, tricks or secrets you give them, just don't have the skill to create cakes. ..... If I have a recipe that I've worked super hard on to perfect and someone asks me for it, I flat out tell them I don't give out that particular recipe..... If you help guide her, think of it as your paying it forward from when someone helped you.



Totally agree with these statements. I've said it before ... I can have someone standing right next to me, making the same cookie recipe using the same recipe in the same equipment and I guarantee you that mine will come out better. It's the skills, the love, the passion, the knowing "until it looks right" factor, the years of doing it, the experience and the expertise. I freely share my tips and techniques because I know most people are not going to invest what I've invested to get this going as a business.

Plus I ALSO give them information overload and it kinda intimidates them! My neighbor came over to borrow a cake pan. She left with 2 pans, 3 cooling racks, a leveler, bake-even strips, a box of parchment paper, an icing spatula, some bags and tips. She's standing in my kitchen with her arms overloaded saying, "I was just going to bake a simple cake!" I put an evil grin in my face and said, "Yeah, but doing it RIGHT takes work!" icon_twisted.gif heh heh heh heh hehhhhhhhh!




Debi, will you be my third mom (I'd say second, but my MIL is actually really great and loving)? icon_wink.gif I live close enough to spend a day, but far enough that I'd have to call ahead! lol

weirkd Posted 5 Dec 2008 , 9:33pm
post #19 of 21

Yep, agree with Debi as usual! There are some people that just have it in them to do certain things. You could stand next to a brain surgeon and watch but not be able to do what they can do. The same goes for artistic talent. You either have it or you dont. You can buy cutters and go to every class that is out there and unless its in you, its not going to come out the same way. You also have to have a passion for it. Lord knows that this is not an easy business to get into, between the time and money you invest and no one can really appreciate your creation without knowing that you give a little piece of yourself into your work. Just like an artist.
So what if she didnt come back for the cake. You were giving her too good of a deal to begin with. And she wouldnt be able to put the passion into it as you can. And definetly not the talent! So dont beat yourself up over it. We all go through these little trials with different people. But as Debi has said in the past, and the present, that there is enough cake to go around! You do amazing work and no one can take that away from you!...stepping off my potidium and dropping my two cents!

Deb_ Posted 5 Dec 2008 , 9:40pm
post #20 of 21

I agree with most of the responses before me. Consider it a complement when someone thinks so highly of you and your abilities that they ask you for help or advice. Just because you tell or even show someone how you do something, doesn't mean they will be able to replicate it exactly. It takes many many years of practice.

I get this in my full time profession as well. I'm a hairdresser as I've told you guys many times. It always cracks me up when I get a new client from out of the area that comes in and says to me..........."I asked my stylist for my color formula and she said she owns it and won't give it out". How freakin insecure can you be? You're losing this client anyway, they are moving out of your area, and you won't give them "your" formula? I always laugh and say if they're that insecure about keeping clients they can keep their formula, I'll figure it out myself.

I think the important thing to remember is.......none of us were born "knowing it all", we all had to learn somewhere or from someone. I'm honored when one of my younger employees asks me how I do a certain haircut or style. If my former boss hadn't taught me, I wouldn't be where I am today. Paying it forward is a good thing and I'm more than confident in my own work to know that teaching them is not going to hurt my business.

xstitcher Posted 6 Dec 2008 , 6:22am
post #21 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uniqueask



By the way what is the Melvacake Method Please share I missed that one




Here you go:

http://cakecentral.com/article83-Quick--Easy-Smooth-Icing-Using-a-Roller-Melvira-Method.html

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