What Would You Do?

Decorating By psurrette Updated 3 Mar 2009 , 4:45am by BlakesCakes

psurrette Posted 2 Mar 2009 , 10:10pm
post #1 of 18

I have a friend who took cake decorating classes from me in the past and now she is trying to do cakes out of her home. (not licensed) We talk a lot about cakes and things. She recently asked me to to help her price a cake for a wedding and get some ideas on how to make it better than the picture that was shown to her. Today I get a call from another person that took my classes and its her sister in law wanting a wedding cake and would you know it the same person that I helped my friend with. They want to come for a tasting and get a price. What should I do?
My friend thinks she has the order..... obviously she doesn't if they are still looking.
What would you do?

17 replies
cheferyn Posted 2 Mar 2009 , 10:23pm
post #2 of 18

Money is money. If they want you then that's what they should get. Your friend will figure it out.

SugaredUp Posted 2 Mar 2009 , 10:24pm
post #3 of 18

Hmm. Tough one. I guess I would tell my friend. I'm not one to hold back, though. I guess when it comes down to it, I would do the tasting and let them decide. As much as I hate to say it... I mean... I guess you could make something up and get out of it. Maybe say you're booked for that date. But that's up to you. I don't think I would.

indydebi Posted 2 Mar 2009 , 10:27pm
post #4 of 18

business is business .. it's not personal.

You think Target is going to turn down my check if they know I've price shopped it at Walmart?

If this person wants to talk to you about a wedding cake, then talk to them about a wedding cake. It's not like you went after "her" business. They approached you.

aligotmatt Posted 2 Mar 2009 , 10:30pm
post #5 of 18

That's really tough.

I would probably treat the bride like I knew nothing about her. Have the consultation, give your regular prices like you would with anyone else.

I know a lot of cake decorators in my area. We get together on Saturday evenings after deliveries and have margaritas. We call each other and talk about local brides, vendors, venues... So, I encounter similar situations fairly often. So, if I knew one of my cake decorator friends had met with a bride, and then she called me, I would call or email my cake friend and tell him/her that the bride we were just talking about called me for a consult. So far we've all been very adult about it. It's also really nice to know who someone books with! It used to drive me crazy when I would meet with someone and then have no idea what happened to them. Now I just call around and can normally find the order.

For you, at one point, your friend may get licensed and could be 'competition' so I think you have to establish how your cake relationship will be from the very beginning...

pastryjen Posted 2 Mar 2009 , 10:33pm
post #6 of 18

I think the right thing to do is to tell her that you just realized that these are the same people and they want a tasting with you.

How are you going to hide it if you actually get chosen to make the cake? or if they say to your friend, we tried some other places, like Paula's, but we decided to go with you.

doughdough Posted 2 Mar 2009 , 10:37pm
post #7 of 18

I would do the tasting and let the cards fall where they may. You don't owe it to your friend to hand over the order, especially when she isn't even licensed!

all4cake Posted 2 Mar 2009 , 10:39pm
post #8 of 18

That is a tough spot to be. Do the tasting....if your friend wants to do this as a business she has to realize she'll have competitors....she chose the same business you're in...correct? Maybe the sister in law just wants to see what her options are...maybe she would rather have your friend as part of the wedding and not tied down doing the cake.

If she's your friend and you'd rather not risk her feelings being hurt, tell the SIL that 'Suzie' is hoping to create the cake for her and and to ensure her feelings didn't get hurt, you'd prefer it if she got first opportunity at the tasting.

Seriously, though....your friend must be aware that brides consider several bakeries before making the final decision...and she shouldn't assume that just because it's family, the deal is done.

indydebi Posted 2 Mar 2009 , 10:39pm
post #9 of 18

Why would she want to "hide" it? icon_confused.gif

Anntee Posted 2 Mar 2009 , 10:41pm
post #10 of 18

Definitely you should be up front with your friend. If you're the chosen baker, so be it. That's the customer's choice. OR - think about how you would feel if the tables were turned. Would you like your friend to tell you? Good luck in making the best decision for you both! icon_smile.gif

wildflower Posted 2 Mar 2009 , 11:00pm
post #11 of 18

i think that if you would otherwise have gone ahead with the tasting and the quote then you shouldnt stop that on account of your friend
just let her know that they did approach you and that you have set up a time for them etc.and that ultimately its their choice
i think a true friend is happy for their friend no matter what and seeing as how you helped her with so many things even regarding this specific cake,you can only hope that she be just as understanding and supportive of you
i dont know if thats worth much but thats what i would do in a situation[where say i was really interested in the order in the first place]
and if you arent really interested in the order to start off with then just tell them you are unable
hth and good luck!

j-pal Posted 2 Mar 2009 , 11:00pm
post #12 of 18

It may be the first time this happened, but it probably won't be the last, so you just need to be open with your friend. You don't "owe" her anything, you're not stealing the customer, and it's only by chance that you even know they went to her. Do the tasting... even if you were to turn it down it doesn't mean they'll go with your friend.

I'm friends with a ton of other decorators and we compare notes all the time. Several were students of mine and we even refer customers to one another. It shouldn't come as a surprise to her that this is going to happen from time to time. The only way there may start to be a problem is if one or the other of you start bad-mouthing the other to the customers, or purposely undercutting prices or something like that. Just give the bride your normal tasting and prices and your friend has nothing to be upset about. Good luck with this!

cylstrial Posted 2 Mar 2009 , 11:04pm
post #13 of 18

I would establish a "cake business relationship" with your friend. Tell her what's going on with this tasting and that the bride is still shopping around. You could also let her know that if you can't do an order that you'll pass her name along etc. But honestly, it might be good for you all to sit down and openly discuss the situation since you're going to be competitors now.

Good luck.

pastryjen Posted 2 Mar 2009 , 11:08pm
post #14 of 18
Originally Posted by indydebi

Why would she want to "hide" it? icon_confused.gif

I didn't mean she would intentionally hide it but being open from the beginning would be easier.

FromScratch Posted 2 Mar 2009 , 11:12pm
post #15 of 18

I agree with most... set up the tasting and let your friend know that she called you to set up a tasting. It's not like you found out and e-mailed the bride to set up a tasting. Brides are free to make their own choices and it would be bad for business to turn her away because they had a tasting with your friend first. Business is business after all.

If you friend gets pissy about it that's her beef. You are established in your area so of course brides are going to call you. Why wouldn't they? She needs to get herself licensed though. It's not like it's super hard to do in MA.

indydebi Posted 2 Mar 2009 , 11:21pm
post #16 of 18
Originally Posted by psurrette

My friend thinks she has the order..... obviously she doesn't if they are still looking.

Unless she has a check from them, she doesn't have the order. Sounds like she needs a business lesson on this aspect of "booking" a cake.

To be honest, I'm a little confused on why this is an issue. Does everyone out there call every other bakery or cake maker in their area just to check and make sure you're all not talking to the same brides? icon_confused.gif Being friends does not cloud my question ... I'm friends with a number of cake makers, and we just do not have this issue between us.

Don't mountain this molehill. The bigger deal you make of it, the bigger deal it becomes.

Business. Personal. Two different things.

psurrette Posted 3 Mar 2009 , 3:35am
post #17 of 18

Well, I am going to just do the consultation and let the cards fall.
We have a good friendship and cake relationship so I think it will all work out.
Thank you for your suggestions.

BlakesCakes Posted 3 Mar 2009 , 4:45am
post #18 of 18

I think if this were someone that I have pretty regular conversations with, I'd be inclined to call her and tell her something like, "You know, it's a small world. I'm pretty sure that the couple needing the wedding cake you were discussing with me the other day has actually called me for a tasting & consult, too. I didn't realize it until I thought about it after I gave them an appointment. Would you like me to call you and let you know if it does turn out to be the same people (or, if they make a deposit to hold the date)?"

This would give her some insight and perhaps save her some $ so that she doesn't go out and buy pans or supplies that she may not need.

Just my .02

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