Competition

Business By Kitagrl Updated 13 Jul 2009 , 5:38pm by nannie

Kitagrl Posted 12 Jul 2009 , 1:12am
post #1 of 21

Anyone who bakes at home finding their competition is rising?

Seems like all the cake tv shows and stuff is really making cake a big business...not complaining at all, but wow I just can't believe all the cake people around here nowadays...from home bakers to medium bakeries to large fancy cake places. WOW!

20 replies
LaBellaFlor Posted 12 Jul 2009 , 1:34am
post #2 of 21

Personally, this is what I've noticed, people watch cake shows, people say "I want to do that!", people take a Wilton course at Michael's and say "I'm an expert decorator, I'm going in business"! In my humble opinion, I don't get it. I have seen some people take the classes & do great work, but they are the exception, not the rule. I remember when I was lookig for someone to do my wedding cake, (cause as busy as I was I certainly wasn't going to make my own cake), I called someone (Mother/daughter team) and I asked what type of buttercream they use, they said, "The delicious Wilton's buttercream" and "We just finished the course". Uh, PUKE! I consider shortening based frostings, exactly that frosting, and that buttercream is made out of actual butter. I asked if they did any type of SMBC, they didn't know what I was talking about. And I guess thats my pet peeve, learn your craft. I don't think taking the Wilton courses warrents you an expert and automatically going into business. Thats just my opinion. This is a constant learning profession, get a little know all. In the 19 years I've been at this, I've seen a lot of great things and a lot of changes and have learned a lot. I just wish for a little effort into learning yout craft. Anf for those who may wonder, I'm self taught.

bisbqueenb Posted 12 Jul 2009 , 2:04am
post #3 of 21

I always have to chuckle when someone says they finished the classes and were asked to TEACH the next one! If I take a class, I want the teacher who has been a decorator, has faced the challenges of things going wrong....knowing how to fix things....all the things that come with EXPERIENCE! Taking a class is not experience!

Kitagrl Posted 12 Jul 2009 , 2:11am
post #4 of 21

I've actually seen several home bakers with some pretty nice work...one I know of with outstanding work who is moving (has moved?) and trained someone to take it over for her.

I don't know what their pricing is but I'm trying to put my pricing up relatively close (but not quite, as I don't know exact numbers) with the high end bakeries...but still I"m a legal home baker. So I suppose alot of the home bakers could undercut me.

No big deal...just seems like there are more and more cake people popping up everywhere.

LaBellaFlor Posted 12 Jul 2009 , 2:15am
post #5 of 21

Now THAT I did not know! I would be really upset if I paid for a class that was not taught by an experienced individual, but by someone who just completed the class the week before the one I'm taking.

indydebi Posted 12 Jul 2009 , 2:21am
post #6 of 21

what labella said. thumbs_up.gif

Yes, you may see a lot of start ups, but you want to watch and see how many actually last.

I've seen a thread or two on here where the poster pretty much said "I've taken one wilton class and am ready to open a full service bakery ... how do I do that?" I applaud their enthusiasm, but I'm thinking, "you do that by spending a few years honing your craft and developing your skill before you sink $50,000-$100,000 into a business venture."

I figure that the more start ups with folks like labella described, then the more customers I'll end up with over the long term. icon_biggrin.gif

Kitagrl Posted 12 Jul 2009 , 2:25am
post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

what labella said. thumbs_up.gif

Yes, you may see a lot of start ups, but you want to watch and see how many actually last.

I've seen a thread or two on here where the poster pretty much said "I've taken one wilton class and am ready to open a full service bakery ... how do I do that?" I applaud their enthusiasm, but I'm thinking, "you do that by spending a few years honing your craft and developing your skill before you sink $50,000-$100,000 into a business venture."

I figure that the more start ups with folks like labella described, then the more customers I'll end up with over the long term. icon_biggrin.gif




Its really easy and cheap to become a legal home baker here....so lots of startups...I'm one! haha. But I've been doing it for awhile, building very VERY slowly. And I'm trying to compete with the bakeries (quality wise).

LaBellaFlor Posted 12 Jul 2009 , 2:28am
post #8 of 21

I'm a home baker and I know of another who is like THE cake person (she did my wedding cake). So fresh and so reasonably priced (at leat I think so). She is booked for the entire year of 2009. There is someone around here (very professional place, and pricey) that decorates his butt off, absolutely beautiful, been doing it for decades, cakes taste so bad, I wouldn't feed them to a dog. But people pay him BIG money, cause he has the "REPUTATION". Got another high end baker, (french guy who says he's french who could do it better then him), cakes & baked goods are PUKE! I swear they taste like a regular grocery store, people pay him BIG money, he has the "REPUTATION". New cupcake shop in town, pretty pricey, avge. $4.00 a cupcake, I WISH I COULD LIVE THERE! So fresh and so real tasting. What I do know people will pay for what they want regardless of cost. Be it quality or the name of someone. I wouldn't worry about being undercut, cause your still gonna get the customers that want YOU, what ever the reasdon may be.

LaBellaFlor Posted 12 Jul 2009 , 2:31am
post #9 of 21

Indy once again you have me LMAOROTF! icon_wink.gif

Kitagrl Posted 12 Jul 2009 , 2:35am
post #10 of 21

I know about that reputation thing! There are a TON of caterers here who include cakes with their packages and I'm always like "Awww I coulda done that cake!" esp when I am doing a groom's cake for someone, and they get their cake from their caterer. That, or there's a few big names in Philly that people automatically want to get their cake from, if budget is no issue.

LaBellaFlor Posted 12 Jul 2009 , 2:39am
post #11 of 21

ANd by the way Kitagrl, you can charge WHATEVER you want for your cakes (yes, highend prices included). Your work is AWESOME! How many of these "start-ups" are at your level of skill?

indydebi Posted 12 Jul 2009 , 2:43am
post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaBellaFlor

ANd by the way Kitagrl, you can charge WHATEVER you want for your cakes (yes, highend prices included). Your work is AWESOME! How many of these "start-ups" are at your level of skill?


exactly what I was thinking! After the dust settles and the auctioneers are gone, kita will still be up to her elbows in sugar and frosting! thumbs_up.gif

Kitagrl Posted 12 Jul 2009 , 2:48am
post #13 of 21

Haha you guys are so nice! Believe me, I could send you to SEVERAL websites of big time talent in my area!!!!

My phones have actually been relatively quiet lately. Busy week this coming week though....I'm sure things will kick back up this fall.

__Jamie__ Posted 12 Jul 2009 , 2:55am
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaBellaFlor

Personally, this is what I've noticed, people watch cake shows, people say "I want to do that!", people take a Wilton course at Michael's and say "I'm an expert decorator, I'm going in business"! In my humble opinion, I don't get it. I have seen some people take the classes & do great work, but they are the exception, not the rule. I remember when I was lookig for someone to do my wedding cake, (cause as busy as I was I certainly wasn't going to make my own cake), I called someone (Mother/daughter team) and I asked what type of buttercream they use, they said, "The delicious Wilton's buttercream" and "We just finished the course". Uh, PUKE! I consider shortening based frostings, exactly that frosting, and that buttercream is made out of actual butter. I asked if they did any type of SMBC, they didn't know what I was talking about. And I guess thats my pet peeve, learn your craft. I don't think taking the Wilton courses warrents you an expert and automatically going into business. Thats just my opinion. This is a constant learning profession, get a little know all. In the 19 years I've been at this, I've seen a lot of great things and a lot of changes and have learned a lot. I just wish for a little effort into learning yout craft. Anf for those who may wonder, I'm self taught.





Oh I could hug you! thumbs_up.gif

__Jamie__ Posted 12 Jul 2009 , 2:57am
post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by LaBellaFlor

ANd by the way Kitagrl, you can charge WHATEVER you want for your cakes (yes, highend prices included). Your work is AWESOME! How many of these "start-ups" are at your level of skill?

exactly what I was thinking! After the dust settles and the auctioneers are gone, kita will still be up to her elbows in sugar and frosting! thumbs_up.gif




Exactly! Awesome work. And that's not the result of one or two classes! icon_wink.gif

LaBellaFlor Posted 12 Jul 2009 , 3:17am
post #16 of 21

Jaime I could hug you too! Why? cause I absolutely LOOOOOOOOOOVE your work. I swear I have half your photos in my favorites! Your interpretations of ideas are just CRAZY! And I'm so glad other people get what I mean. I thought maybe I was being a bit snobby, but then I was like no, I wouldn't take a Mercedes in too someone who just learned how to fix riding lawn mowers. Now I know I'm not the only one! icon_smile.gif

__Jamie__ Posted 12 Jul 2009 , 3:56am
post #17 of 21

Thanks LaBella....you are a fantastic decorator yourself! And it doesn't just happen, does it?

Mindy1975 Posted 13 Jul 2009 , 12:58pm
post #18 of 21

yes, I agree, it does take time to learn it all. And we really never stop learning do we? I think sometimes, you can be almost forced into starting a legitimate business. I was doing cakes from my home for about 6 years, and started getting wedding cake orders, and bigger quantity of orders a month, and so when we bought our house last fall, we decided we could finally get liscensed. ( you have to own your home, not rent it, to be able to have a legal kitchen in Illinois) I don't claim to be a cake decorating expert, I just know what I can and can't do. I am also self taught, I have tons and tons of cake decorating books that I have pretty much learned from, and believe it or not, my carpentry background has played a major role in my carved cakes. ( I have worked the last 12 years in construction, building log homes with my dad.) Most of the competition around me is grocery stores. My health inspector informed me that they all get their cakes in frozen, so I always try to improve on my cake tastes. And always try to do things that they don't do. There is only one cake shop about 25 minutes from me, and I know they do some good work too. I agree that the cake shows on t.v. is really helping us out. People want extreme cakes now, and that is just a great thing, and if you can pull it off, then that's just great! I don't worry too much about competiton. I just keep doing what I'm doing and focus on my business, not the other businesses. I tackled a giant Chevy truck cake last weekend and I was really proud of myself. I had a 4 tier cake and a double decker sheet cake. All of those went to the same venue, and it was even raining. lol Like I said, you never stop learning. Always a tip from someone, somewhere, that will help you the next time, and perfect that next cake even more.

Loucinda Posted 13 Jul 2009 , 3:30pm
post #19 of 21

I think all of us benefit from the cake shows now. One thing I always tell my customers (that are looking for a decorator) It is VERY important to see the work of the person you are wanting to get your cake from. Take a good look at their work - what you see is what you get.

I have had several students who (In THEIR minds) are exceptional decorators - and they are not. You can try to help them see how to improve, but in their minds.......it is already perfection.

Do your homework, go to tastings, and make sure you see the quality of work that person does. Then we'll talk! thumbs_up.gif

I agree with Mindy - I am constantly learning as I go......

LaBellaFlor Posted 13 Jul 2009 , 5:22pm
post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loucinda

I think all of us benefit from the cake shows now. One thing I always tell my customers (that are looking for a decorator) It is VERY important to see the work of the person you are wanting to get your cake from. Take a good look at their work - what you see is what you get.

I have had several students who (In THEIR minds) are exceptional decorators - and they are not. You can try to help them see how to improve, but in their minds.......it is already perfection.

Do your homework, go to tastings, and make sure you see the quality of work that person does. Then we'll talk! thumbs_up.gif

I agree with Mindy - I am constantly learning as I go......


"In their minds", LMAO! Yeah, that makes sense. I always tell people its hard to get perfect, but the overall is what gives the effect. I have seen somecakes on here that are absolutely perfect (which I hope to achieve one day, cause even after all this time, I STILL need practice), and I've seen some cakes on here that don't even have the overall going for them...and they sell cakes.

nannie Posted 13 Jul 2009 , 5:38pm
post #21 of 21

Hey, Mindy1975

were are you in Illinois?

I'm around Chicago. I sure couldn't compete with all the bakeries here icon_lol.gif

did you have to build a separate kitchen or could you use you own.

I'm in a condo so I don't think I can sell from home but I'm just curious.

Thanks

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%