Best Cake Flavors For Samples? Presentation?

Business By kellertur Updated 23 Feb 2009 , 5:17am by cserwa

kellertur Posted 13 Feb 2009 , 3:32am
post #1 of 29

Yes, another samples question... icon_rolleyes.gif

What are the "best" flavors for dropping off cake samples. I figure chocolate is one of them... This week I've been dropping off mini cupcakes. I've "swirl" iced them and boxed them in 1 lb candy boxes. I did chocolate minis and orange dreamsicle minis with vanilla icing... ??? I am feeling like my "presentation" was lacking. Is there a better way to do this?

Also~ How do you all dress when you drop off samples? I'm a pretty casual person, (I'm well kempt) but am I expected to be dressing up??? icon_confused.gif For some reason, wearing a suit seemed rediculous to me, but I don't know. What's professional dress in the cake world?

Thank you... icon_smile.gif

WARNING: I'm sure I'll have more questions after this. icon_wink.gif

28 replies
cakesdivine Posted 13 Feb 2009 , 4:08am
post #2 of 29

I do Chocolate, French Vanilla, and one other flavor of their choice cut into 2x2x1 inch slices 3 of each on the plate. I pipe a swirl of vanilla bc, cream cheese icing, and chocolate buttercream in chocolate cups. I use the wooden flat spoons that you see with the little individual icecream cups you buy at the store. You can get them at Hobby lobby.

kellertur Posted 13 Feb 2009 , 4:20am
post #3 of 29

Thanks Cakesdivine! icon_smile.gif

Oh, how I pine for a "Hobby Lobby", whatever that is... I'm guessing it's a fantasticly huge craft store with wall to wall cake stuff... with spinning cakes suspended from the ceiling that go up and down, and a Giant Spatula that greets you at the door. (one can dream... icon_rolleyes.gif )

The best we have is a Micheal's about an hour away... there's a small craft store and Joanne's but they don't sell many cake supplies. icon_sad.gif

I'm going to see if I can find them at the party store. icon_smile.gif

2508s42 Posted 13 Feb 2009 , 4:29am
post #4 of 29

As far as the dress goes, I would definately dress for success. Probably nice slacks and a blouse or sweater. Like business casual. Rule of thumb though, dress one step above who you are visiting.... just like a job interview. If you are taking samples to a florist, they are more than likely going to be wearing jeans. Above all, make sure you are clean, not faded, and well pressed. Make sure your hair is done and your make-up and jewelry is not overdone. You only get one chance to make a first impression.

As for the flavors...take the most popular ones and drop off a menu of the others. Take a rich one (chocolate), a mild one(white or vanilla) and a wild one (fruity or seasonal).

Presentation... I might make a little flower for each set of samples. Better would be to have a brochure of your past work made up and drop it off with the sample and the menu.

Good luck.

Wildrose6633 Posted 13 Feb 2009 , 4:29am
post #5 of 29

Well they say a picture paints a thousand words and so does your apperance. You are also presenting and selling yourself besides your cake. You said you are casual. Well when you approach potential customers do you wear business casual, a nice pair of dress slacks and a blouse perhaps a scarf and a pretty pair of earrings? This would promote yourself as a business person. I have found that it helps so much it takes you out of the kitchen and into the business world of cakes. thumbs_up.gif

__Jamie__ Posted 13 Feb 2009 , 4:34am
post #6 of 29

I wear my chef coat. Doesn't get any better than that. Hair pulled back, nails trimmed and tidy. Samples: vanilla bean pound cake and two of whatever they want, or whatever I know "the other people" can't pull off. icon_biggrin.gif

Wildrose6633 Posted 13 Feb 2009 , 4:41am
post #7 of 29

If I am Making samples for a wedding cake / anniversary I prepare what they are intrested in including the frostings. If I were to bring samples to sell them. I would bring One chocolate, one vanilla cake and probably one red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting.

kellertur Posted 13 Feb 2009 , 4:41am
post #8 of 29

Thank you for the help.

Well, I'm a SAHM and a sculptor, so my clothing is pretty simple as I'm used to having my clothing ruined (be it welding or finger paint.)
That said, I do wear clean jeans and nice shirts, soft makeup, etc.
I still struggle with "social/stranger shyness" so my clothing doesn't exactly scream "look at me". I'm working on it... icon_rolleyes.gif

I have one fancy pair of black pants and a few dress shirts. I will start wearing them for drop-offs. Shopping is my kryptonite, so I avoid it at all cost until I need something. (short and petite, everything too long, etc. )

I do drop off brochures, but the flowers are a great idea. I'm glad I asked this, because I am very stubborn. On one hand, I hate how our society judges us based on our appearance, yet I want to make a living... Thanks for the great answers!!! icon_smile.gif

mkolmar Posted 13 Feb 2009 , 5:25am
post #9 of 29

2 words .....CHEF JACKET!!!!
Get yourself a well fitted jacket with your name and business name embroidered on it.
Wear your hair pulled back.
Nice slacks will work fine with a jacket.
I use to deliver items in nice regular clothes like slacks and a sweater, the one time I didn't have time to change out of my chef jacket for a drop off there was a difference. A jacket commands attention and basically you get taken more seriously right off the bat.
I know you feel a little funny about wearing one K2 (since we've had this talk before I think) since you have not went to school. I'm telling you (as someone who is a culinary grad) that it's fine to wear one. They are meant to protect the body while cooking, that's their purpose.
The white jacket represents cleanliness and respect for the culinary field as well as your work. I prefer to wear white for this reason. I use to deliver only in a white jacket. However, there are some really pretty colors that would work great also for delivery.

kellertur Posted 13 Feb 2009 , 2:24pm
post #10 of 29

Thanks Mk ~ No one else is going to train me to be a "vegan pastry chef"... so I've got to do that myself... right? icon_wink.gif

I saw that link you PM'd me last week, but wasn't sure what Small meant. Usually adult shirts are Nightgowns on me, so I want to get one that fits like a glove. Maybe I'll contact them and ask about measurements. It would be great not to keep ruining all my sweaters with bleach stains, etc. icon_sad.gif

Thank you for all the helpful comments. icon_smile.gif

-Tubbs Posted 13 Feb 2009 , 2:29pm
post #11 of 29

Regarding samples -- I keep a bunch of simple little cut-out fondant flowers, hearts and stars on hand in a variety of colours. These make such a difference to the appearance of a cupcake. People might expect sprinkles, but a little cut-out really dresses it up and makes it 'different' from the grocery store offering.

cakesbykitty Posted 15 Feb 2009 , 2:29am
post #12 of 29

presentation is more than half the battle... get a CHEF'S COAT! when i make deliveries i get many compliments on how "professional" i look. we are a new business in a small town and word spreads fast. You can get a coat fairly cheap, check out KNG.com they are wonderful, customer service is amazing. i will try and attach a pic of me in it from our website... really, i can't tell you what a difference it makes
LL

cakesbykitty Posted 15 Feb 2009 , 2:30am
post #13 of 29

presentation is more than half the battle... get a CHEF'S COAT! when i make deliveries i get many compliments on how "professional" i look. we are a new business in a small town and word spreads fast. You can get a coat fairly cheap, check out KNG.com they are wonderful, customer service is amazing. i will try and attach a pic of me in it from our website... really, i can't tell you what a difference it makes
LL

cakesbykitty Posted 15 Feb 2009 , 2:32am
post #14 of 29

presentation is more than half the battle... get a CHEF'S COAT! when i make deliveries i get many compliments on how "professional" i look. we are a new business in a small town and word spreads fast. You can get a coat fairly cheap, check out KNG.com they are wonderful, customer service is amazing. i will try and attach a pic of me in it from our website... really, i can't tell you what a difference it makes
LL

kellertur Posted 15 Feb 2009 , 2:46am
post #15 of 29

Thanks, I'm going to order one tomorrow. icon_smile.gif

cakesbykitty Posted 15 Feb 2009 , 2:26pm
post #16 of 29

oh man... how embarrassing is that? 3 pics of my mug splashed up there!!! Obviously i tried posting last night during the sites updates and had a LITTLE trouble LOL!!! oh well, life goes on...

cakesbykitty Posted 15 Feb 2009 , 2:28pm
post #17 of 29

oh man... how embarrassing is that? 3 pics of my mug splashed up there!!! Obviously i tried posting last night during the sites updates and had a LITTLE trouble LOL!!! oh well, life goes on...

cakesbykitty Posted 15 Feb 2009 , 2:44pm
post #18 of 29

cripes icon_confused.gif

-Tubbs Posted 15 Feb 2009 , 5:02pm
post #19 of 29

Lol! icon_lol.gif

kellertur Posted 15 Feb 2009 , 6:02pm
post #20 of 29

I think that it is a lovely photograph. icon_smile.gif Thanks for sharing.

__Jamie__ Posted 22 Feb 2009 , 5:16pm
post #21 of 29

I couldn't find any of the other threads about tastings, so I'd figure I would post my latest experience here, in case anyone was interested. I held a tasting event yesterday with a local event planner. She brought 3 brides and their hubbies to be and/ or maids of honor. I prepared three cakes, one of which was a 6" iced and smoothed so they could get an idead of what it would like when you cut into it, and how big the servings really were. The other two were cut into squares and arranged on another cake stand so they could pluck them off for their plates.

I had bottles of water at each place setting, several forks so they could scoop up different frostings and not use the same utensils. Two blank templates, one with a stacked square cakes, the other with stacked round cakes for them to doodle on and take home with them. A printout of sites to find inspirations for their cake design, and a general workup of who I am, how I am very insistent upon using scratch recipes, and what they can expect from me as their designer.

I got a lot inspiration from JKalman right here in CC, as far as how she presents her fillings/frostings. I used a small ice cream scoop to portion out "balls" of the different frostings, each lined up neatly on a large platter.

I began by describing each flavor, what goes with each cake, which is most popular, how this can be flavored with that, and how each could be used as fillings and/or frostings.

I think the bill at the grocery store for all the ingredients was around $60, and that included some utensils that wouldn't be on the bill next time. I definitely already had some ingredients, but divided by 3, it cost me about $20 for each couple, and I still baked wayyyyyy more than necessary. Everyone was full, they left with take home samples, and made plans for a future consult on design and price.

The planner has 6 more brides ready to go for another tasting the month after next, and I couldn't be happier. Doing a group tasting is much more cost effective, as I'm not making cakes for one couple and having waste. I prefer to send the girls home with samples when it is just them by themselves, but this was certainly a great way to do it as well, and they seemed to enjoy talking to each other, saying "try this cake with that frosting!" and comparing their plans to each other.
LL

__Jamie__ Posted 22 Feb 2009 , 5:22pm
post #22 of 29

Cakes were Vanilla pound cake, Red Velvet, and Chocolate with shaved Valrhona chocolate. Also, cream cheese buttercream and regular buttercreams were presented as well. I can tell you, once everyone tried the SMBC, there was literally no interest in standard BC. None. I am on a mission to do away with regular BC all together! icon_biggrin.gif

If you haven't tried SMBC, please do. There is a thread started by JKalman on here about making it, how to alter it, what to add for different flavorings....it is a great thread.
LL

kellertur Posted 22 Feb 2009 , 6:25pm
post #23 of 29

Thank you - those are great photos, which I appreciate.


Oh, I did order a chef coat last night... in a beautiful shade of green.
It should be here next week. icon_smile.gif

Lori17201 Posted 22 Feb 2009 , 8:00pm
post #24 of 29

I sent the bride and groom a list of cake flavors and fillings. We discussed what fondant was in regards to covering the cake. When they came over I had a table set up with the filling flavors in pots de cream (cups with covers), the 8" single layer cakes in the flavors they asked for and a 8" layered cake covered in fondant.

Then they sat down and tried different combinations and were able to try the fondant before deciding if it's what they wanted.

It turned out really well that way. There were some combinations they already had in mind that changed once they were about to step outside the box.

cserwa Posted 23 Feb 2009 , 12:23am
post #25 of 29

What does the acronym SBC stand for? YEs, I'm a total newbie! Thanks!

__Jamie__ Posted 23 Feb 2009 , 12:33am
post #26 of 29

SMBC...Swiss Meringue Buttercream. Totally different from regular buttercreams, no shortening...no powders. It's cooked whipped egg whites with granulated sugar, and butter beaten into it. The smoothest lightest, not too sweet glossy icing you'll ever have. I don't have time to link to a recipe, but just search it out, it's awesome!

Lori17201 Posted 23 Feb 2009 , 12:43am
post #27 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie85364

SMBC...Swiss Meringue Buttercream. Totally different from regular buttercreams, no shortening...no powders. It's cooked whipped egg whites with granulated sugar, and butter beaten into it. The smoothest lightest, not too sweet glossy icing you'll ever have. I don't have time to link to a recipe, but just search it out, it's awesome!




http://www.cakecentral.com/cake_recipe-5453-the-well-dressed-cake-swiss.html

kellertur Posted 23 Feb 2009 , 2:11am
post #28 of 29

I just baked a batch of mini Green Tea cupcakes... awww they are so cute!!! The color is very striking.

Thank you to whoever invented the mini-cupcake pan...

cserwa Posted 23 Feb 2009 , 5:17am
post #29 of 29

Ah! Thank you all so much for the help/links!

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