I know I have been somewhat scarce since last summer. I opened a cake supply shop and have been of course super busy. I also teach cake decorating and do some kid's activity classes. My main issue has been publicity...I really need to get the word out that I am here.
I have a great opportunity to participate in a local winery's Valentine's Day Event, mainly b/c I have a friend who works there. The winery is pretty popular here and it would be great exposure.
My issue is that I do not have a commercial kitchen and do not DO cakes...I just sell and teach. I DO have a health permit signed off by a local bakery saying that I can use her commisary. There will already be a booth present doing chocolates, with a fountain, etc.
I don't know what to present. My original thought was chocolate dipped berries next to a chocolate dipped wine bottle. Now I am not sure what to do.
Does anyone have any ideas?
Congrats on opening your shop! That's awesome!
I think I would make a cake because cakes always draw interest. Once you get people over to your table with the cake, then you can explain that you sell supplies. In addition, showing off your cake will be a great way to advertise the cake lessons that you teach. So I would definitely do the cake, IMO.
You could do a few other things as well such as the chocolate dipped berries. That's cute and goes well with the wine-theme. In fact, maybe you could do a wine cake. Just make sure that you have lots of handouts and business card to advertise.
do you sell dummies and all the "stuff" to set up cakes and the supplies to do them (that's what i understand?) i might have some dummies on hand using separators and showing different ways to display the cake(s) you know the fountain/lights, stairs, tulle (am i on the right track?) you also said that you do classes- i might bake some cookies (simple hearts and circles being a valentine's day event) and have a small set up for the kids to try decorating (some sprinkles would be handy too)-my SIL did that at a craft show style place and the kids loved it though she did have a sign set up with a per child time limit (that way kids weren't being babysat) mind you if it's only adults at the winery you could let them try too
OMG! What an amazing opportunity
Personally, I would love to have someone sign off on me so I could be legal. My state allows them but by county I would have to have a seperate kitchen that I can't afford
Enough about me...
1. Definately do a cake.
a. Valentines to me means romance and intimacy so I would think on those lines. Having a wine friend myself and I really like cylstrial's wine cake idea. I'm dying to make my friend the wine bottle in the crate cake. See Elisa Strauss Confetti Cakes. I would incoporate the wineries label on edible paper and your label on the crate or something
b. Grapes! A cake with romantic flowing grapes and vines, beautiful swags in gorgeous deep jewel tones might be another idea. Again, use a label with your info.
c. Hearts are nice and not too difficult but I'd really play it up for a full size cake at a winery, lots of flowers bows.
2. Demonstrate. If you aren't afraid of being the side show, make some bc/gumpaste roses. Bring every tool you used to make the cake with and have your full color glossy flyers readily available. I'd consider size because I might not take one if I was holding a glass of wine and had no place to put it. Maybe you can have the edge cut so it hangs from a wine glass
3. Have fun Showing off some of the children's activites at your shop is another draw. Who doesn't want their child be the first to have their party at the next 'it' place and that sounds like yours...
I'm going to have to disagree a bit with the other posters (sorry0 don't fling cake batter at me )
If you don't DO cakes, having a cake may be misleading.
Since you probably want to get as many people as you can in, I'd say it would be time to do some demostrations. Make roses (buttercream, fondant, chocoalte, whichever you'd like) Decorate a few cookies on site, go for quick things that people can see while they are there.
Be sure to have photos of cakes that your students have done with a "look at what you can do too!"-type of sign.
Are you having a special "Make a parent a valentine cookie" class or anything like that? It might be a great idea to have a kids class where the kids can make mom and/or dad a cookie as a present.
Have supplies on hand to sell right then and there. Maybe have a small portable register (I saw a handheld credit card reader at a bridal show, it was AWESOME!!)Maybe have "kits" to sell to let people take home and finish a project, like 6 cookies, icing, bags and a tip or two.
If you really want to have a cake, I'd suggest decorating the cake at the event. If you are trying to show off your supplies and teaching abilities, the best way is to show them right then and there.
Heck, you could even get one of those cool headsets like the SHAM-WOW guy!!!( sorry, had to throw that in there )
I definitely think demos are great - people love to watch. You could set up, ice and decorate a couple of dummies throughout the day. My friend is a mosaic artist who also teaches classes and this works well for her - people see her working and think "Oh wow, that's so great!" and then she says "I can teach you to do this", and they get so excited. (She creates amazing 6ft tall works of art and they create a stepping stone for their backyard, but they love the process anyway!!)
Sounds like a great opportunity.
You guys are great...thanks for all the feedback!
I am really leaning towards the candy more, with maybe little mini-cupcakes that I can demo on.
Also, this is a pretty upscale crowd. I am wondering if I could present something like, "Keep the *sweet* going all year", with a list of couple's classes. (The theme of the event is "Sweets for your Sweetie"). A couple's class could be alot of fun, especially if it was a "romantic" class. I was thinking of making the body chocolate in class, but my husband thinks it's tacky. I think it's not if it's done correctly. Opinions? What else could I teach in the class? When you think "romance and chocolate", what do you think of besides berries and wine?
Also, this is a pretty upscale crowd. I am wondering if I could present something like, "Keep the *sweet* going all year", with a list of couple's classes. (The theme of the event is "Sweets for your Sweetie"). A couple's class could be alot of fun, especially if it was a "romantic" class.
This is exactly the kind of thing I was thinking would be best to market to a winery crowd. I'm not really a fan of chocolate (or working with chocolate) so I don't have any suggestions there, but I do like the idea of a cupcake decorating class for couples. Try googling cooking parties + san francisco for ideas.