Embarrassing Experience (Long)

Business By Kitagrl Updated 22 Mar 2009 , 9:55pm by KookieKris

Kitagrl Posted 20 Mar 2009 , 10:14pm
post #1 of 22

So I was contacted by a museum in Philly to bring tasting cakes (along with several other decorators) so that they could locate a new wedding cake baker...because their other one evidently did not work out and they do not have a pastry chef on-site.

I was so excited!

She said to bring a few flavors of cake for tasting and then a packet of information including pricing and etc.

So I cut some squares out of a sheet cake (three flavors) and filled and iced them homestyle. (I always do my tasting cakes homestyle iced, with little "waves" of icing and then sprinkle something on top to go with the flavor inside). I had to include whole (small) cakes since they had several people who were going to be tasting them. One of them was poured in ganache.

I arranged them on a large sheet board, wrapped in gold, with the flavors neatly typed in script taped next to each one...my business card...and I brought some packets of info with me.

So I found the museum in my GPS and left. Turns out the museum had moved last year...so I totally ended up in the wrong place. Called my husband to get online and help me out while I drove around trying to find a place in the city to just pull over and get my bearings. As I was looking around and waiting for my husband to find an address, I almost missed a red stop light in a large open intersection (stoplights at the corners) and slammed on the brakes...of course my briefcase flew forward and landed on my cakes on the floorboard. (Murphy's Law...I never put cakes on the floorboard in the front! At least not usually!)

By then I'm almost in tears but decide to carry on, I already spent all this time and effort. Husband found the new address, which actually the road had actually been changed too so it was hard to even find a road name the GPS recognized. Got the new address and went several more miles down the highway to get to it. Arrived 15 minutes late (after originally would have been 15 minutes early had the GPS been correct) and then couldn't figure out how to pull back to the loading dock as instructed...the parking lot didn't go that way. So walked all the way from the car to the dock, found out what to do, walked back to get my stuff, and returned.

Took my poor cakes (not smashed completely, but the corners were mushed and the one cake lost half its icing to the box window on top) up there and explained the fiasco with the GPS....fully realizing if I could not deliver a tasting cake safely, they'd never in a zillion years trust me with a wedding cake!

To add insult to injury, I saw on the table before me dozens of beautifully decorated 8" cakes!!!! My jaw dropped and I said "Oh my, was I supposed to decorate these?" The lady assured me that no, they used my information for decorating skills and the tasting was primarily that...a tasting. Well yeah, that's what I thought...but...evidently I didn't know the unwritten rule!!!! I just felt like slinking out with my cakes and letting my kids and hubby dive in at home!


So....oh well. Hubby said to chalk it up to a learning experience. At least I didn't wreck on the way home as I was on the interstate surrounded by trucks and my eyes burning so badly with tears I was literally blinded for a good 30 seconds!!!!

So...back to my regular old party cakes....

21 replies
enoid Posted 20 Mar 2009 , 11:09pm
post #2 of 22

So sorry you had such trouble. The museum should have included an address especially since they had moved. You just never know what to expect when people are competing for a job. Either the others have competed against each other before or they each thought they would have a leg up if the decorated their cakes. Your cakes may still win out in the taste department. Hope the rest of your day goes better.

pastryjen Posted 20 Mar 2009 , 11:20pm
post #3 of 22

Oh man, what a crappy day! Hope you feel better soon. Just so you know, I probably would have iced the cakes the same way you did.

Hope you are feeling better soon.

pipe-dreams Posted 20 Mar 2009 , 11:32pm
post #4 of 22

Oh...I'm SO sorry to hear thaticon_sad.gif

I probably would have done the same thing. You never know, maybe they'll still pick yours. And if not, like your husband said, it's a learning experience. I'm glad you made it home okay, and at least you made it to the museum to explain what happened. I think it would have been even worse if you just didn't show up at all! Take care!

CakeForte Posted 20 Mar 2009 , 11:34pm
post #5 of 22

I'm sorry that happened. Once you recover...I think you should follow up and request a private meeting and do a personal tasting and appointment and take your portfolio...and let them meet you and get to know you as well. Everyone has bad days...so I don't think all is lost.

bakery_chick Posted 20 Mar 2009 , 11:36pm
post #6 of 22

I am so sorry!
I would have brought tasting cakes the same way as well.

Good luck on your next venture!
There is always a next one!

patticakesnc Posted 20 Mar 2009 , 11:45pm
post #7 of 22

Oh honey. I just looked at your website and there is such a huge reason that they contacted you. I would not worry about the fact that the others brought decorated cakes. Doesn't mean they taste as good as yours just because they are decorated. Your cakes are gorgeous and if they pass you up they are fools.

Kitagrl Posted 20 Mar 2009 , 11:46pm
post #8 of 22

Thanks all! I did leave information about a cake competition/show I"ll be attending next month so if they are curious, they can come and taste/see my work at that time as well.

Yeah..right..the lady who about wrecked on the way to the city? haha....

Terri05 Posted 20 Mar 2009 , 11:56pm
post #9 of 22

Murphey had your phone number that day....but all is not lost. You can still do a professional follow-up. They know your work from your website and taste is just as important as beauty. Don't give up until they directly tell you too.

lynda-bob Posted 21 Mar 2009 , 12:00am
post #10 of 22

Sorry this happened but if they get a chance to see your work, they will be WOWed. They already got to taste, so I'm sure you're half way there thumbs_up.gif

Off topic, I was just looking at your cakes and I love your LV purse cake (brown and gold). I'm to make one next week and I'd love some tips from an expert. icon_smile.gif How did you do the print on the cake? Did you make a stencil or do it by hand? It's soooo neat. Help please, sensei? icon_biggrin.gif


CakeForte Posted 21 Mar 2009 , 12:01am
post #11 of 22

That's the thing w/ marketing. YOU have to make them look at you despite your mishap. They won't bother to go to other shows where you will be. They already sought you out once...and probably won't do it again anytime soon. I've had your site in my favorites for awhile...you are definitely capable and have the talent. Don't give them a reason to not consider you.

I mean if you really don't want to pursue the opportunity right now period...then I understand...but if youre just a bit discouraged because of today...then you just need to take some time to regroup. Just don't give up until they tell you "no" is all I'm saying. =)

summernoelle Posted 21 Mar 2009 , 12:03am
post #12 of 22

icon_sad.gif Sorry this happened to you. When one thing goes wrong, everything else seems to. Keep your chin up-you are wonderful at what you do.

Kitagrl Posted 21 Mar 2009 , 12:08am
post #13 of 22
Originally Posted by lynda-bob

Sorry this happened but if they get a chance to see your work, they will be WOWed. They already got to taste, so I'm sure you're half way there thumbs_up.gif

Off topic, I was just looking at your cakes and I love your LV purse cake (brown and gold). I'm to make one next week and I'd love some tips from an expert. icon_smile.gif How did you do the print on the cake? Did you make a stencil or do it by hand? It's soooo neat. Help please, sensei? icon_biggrin.gif


Awww thanks, its just hand done with a paintbrush and gold dust...

marisanovy Posted 21 Mar 2009 , 12:09am
post #14 of 22

Sooo sorry for what happened to you. I can almost feel your pain.

But girl, I was looking at your cakes... wow. They are gorgeous! You are so talented!

Hope they will see your cakes. They already tasted them.

(hugs) Good luck. Keep your spirit high. icon_smile.gif

Kitagrl Posted 21 Mar 2009 , 12:12am
post #15 of 22

My other drawback is that I do not have alot of weddings in my portfolio. Did alot of weddings when I worked at a caterer's for a year, but most of them were iced and scrolled or whatever in the back, and then the florist would do the flowers on the weekend so never got the photos.

I haven't had time to make up dummy cakes, nor have I been ready to pay for the fondant for dummy cakes either...but I do need to do that maybe if I get a slow weekend someday.

Kitagrl Posted 21 Mar 2009 , 12:16am
post #16 of 22

BTW thanks for all your support!!!! I so appreciate it.

They told me they will followup with a phone call if they are interested so I guess I won't call them back.... my big thing is just that I slammed on the brakes to begin with....anyone who can't bring in an unharmed taster cake shouldn't be trusted to bring an unharmed wedding cake??? haha.

Its okay though....like my hub said....learning experience.

sweetcakes Posted 21 Mar 2009 , 4:10am
post #17 of 22

To be totally honest would you really like to be delivery wedding cakes into the city every weekend (im sure they keep pretty busy) the driving alone would be stressfull beyond belief and to do it with a wedding cake on board would just be ten times worse. Perhaps its fate that that happened to you, im sure you willhave other doors open, your cakes are awesome ( i remember when you first posted on Dots yahoo group, youve come a long way!!!) chalk it up as experience!!

cylstrial Posted 22 Mar 2009 , 7:12pm
post #18 of 22

That's no fun! But the good thing is, next year you'll be prepared. And you'll know what to do if something similar every comes along too.

Butterpatty Posted 22 Mar 2009 , 9:29pm
post #19 of 22

Well, I do not know what the outcome of this will be obviously, but I did want to say that your photos reveal that you are a very talented person who seems to be adept at a variety of styles and different cake mediums. It is so hard to prepare for something like this and then have something go wrong icon_cry.gif . But hold your head up high because you gave it a grand effort and have nothing to be ashamed of.

-K8memphis Posted 22 Mar 2009 , 9:34pm
post #20 of 22

(((big hug)))

Niliquely Posted 22 Mar 2009 , 9:43pm
post #21 of 22

I think that it says something about your character that you went ahead and took your samples in even after the mishap. If I were looking to hire people, I would hire you because that incident shows you are tenacious - something that is important in this business! Sometimes cake goes wrong and it is the person who doesn't quit or give up that I remember and do business with again! I applaud you for your effort!!!

KookieKris Posted 22 Mar 2009 , 9:55pm
post #22 of 22

Just read your post and I wanted to say how sorry I am and how much I feel for you!
When I had my first super large order of edible image cookies for a wedding shower my printer broke, green ink was everywhere, I stayed up all night to try and complete the order and in the end I wound up delivering less than half of the cookies ordered (with green pictures on them by the way) and I was practically in tears. I think I was all cried out from the night before. I dropped them off and refused to take any money from her because the cookies were awful!
Anyway, when I look back now, my husband and I laugh about the night of the "Big Green Cookies."

Live and Learn!

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