"bargain" Cakes--Gail Watson's New Site

Business By costumeczar Updated 3 Aug 2009 , 5:22am by ButtercupMama

costumeczar Posted 1 Aug 2009 , 1:26am
post #1 of 25

I saw in a magazine that Gail Watson has a new "affordable" line of cakes, I assume for the bargain bride. I went to see what it was and it's basically the idea of doing simple cakes that are pretty, but with no tasting appointment. All of the options are laid out on the website www.asimplecake.com and you choose what you want. It looks like her flavors are the same or similar to the custom cakes, maybe she left out one or two.

Anyway, the bargain prices start at $6.50 and go to $8 a serving! Dang, I wish I could charge that for my regular prices! I know it's the New York area, but wow! I say go for it, Gail, if people will pay it have at it!

I'm also wondering if other "celebrity" bakers are going to be doing anything similar. Interesting....

24 replies
costumeczar Posted 1 Aug 2009 , 1:37am
post #2 of 25

Duff and Colette are still holding steady at $1000 minimum,and Ron Ben-Israel says that most brides choose cakes that run from $12 to $15 per serving, so they haven't changed their pricing.

Maybe Gail Watson just hates doing tastings as much as I do! icon_lol.gif

southaustingirl Posted 1 Aug 2009 , 1:47am
post #3 of 25

This sounds like a good idea....having a 'pre designed' cake for brides to choose from might make it easier to work with someone that can't decide what they want.

Sox-n-Pats Posted 1 Aug 2009 , 2:33am
post #4 of 25

we have a 'famous' bakery here in Vegas that's been doing "Brides on a budget" for a few years now.

here's the link to their page
http://www.freedsbakery.com/bride_on_a_budget

__Jamie__ Posted 1 Aug 2009 , 2:40am
post #5 of 25

My goodness. And aren't all of those designs just flawless and look like a million bucks?

__Jamie__ Posted 1 Aug 2009 , 2:42am
post #6 of 25

tapedshut.gif OMG. $20 french wired satin ribbon bow. tapedshut.gif

Mensch Posted 1 Aug 2009 , 5:25am
post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by __Jamie__

tapedshut.gif OMG. $20 french wired satin ribbon bow. tapedshut.gif




hahaha..... my thought exactly!

cylstrial Posted 1 Aug 2009 , 12:37pm
post #8 of 25

Her cakes are absolutely gorgeous though!

littlecake Posted 1 Aug 2009 , 12:42pm
post #9 of 25

wow even the fancy pants have a version of the budget cake!

after my budget cakes paid for my new roof, i took them off the market, i started resenting my own customers ha ha...guess thats when you know it's time to quit!

costumeczar Posted 1 Aug 2009 , 12:59pm
post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by cylstrial

Her cakes are absolutely gorgeous though!




To me that's the strange thing about her offering the lower-cost option. The cakes are all still beautiful, some are plain but some have a decent amount of surface detail. It doesn't look like the flavor options are different, so the only real difference is less decoration and no tasting appointment.

But I guess if you can bang out three of the more basic cakes in the time it takes you to do one custom one, they'd have to be charging at least $27 a serving for the custom ones to make the same amount of money, which is unlikely!

I'd do a "basic" line like that if I had the ability to do the volume, but I'm not that big an operation, I work alone and I'm lazy icon_lol.gif I'd rather do one custom cake for a decent price than two little boring ones for cheaper.

tracy1977 Posted 1 Aug 2009 , 1:15pm
post #11 of 25

Those cakes are gorgeous. I am still scared to do wedding cakes. If you do wedding cakes do you have to go and cut them for the brides too?

littlejewel Posted 1 Aug 2009 , 1:23pm
post #12 of 25

The cakes are pretty. I'm just surprised that brides would go for simple designs. Thanks for the links

leah_s Posted 1 Aug 2009 , 2:06pm
post #13 of 25

I'm totally liking this. Also it looks like the cake has to be a single flavor. I'll be thinking about this a little more and probably offering something similar. But unfortunately, not at those prices. icon_sad.gif

shooterstrigger Posted 1 Aug 2009 , 7:37pm
post #14 of 25

the cakes are beautiful. There is only one picture in the client area. By the time she was done with her "budget" cake, it cost her $1000. I guess if I were going to spend that kind of money I would want something more creative and personalized.

cylstrial Posted 1 Aug 2009 , 7:39pm
post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by leahs

I'm totally liking this. Also it looks like the cake has to be a single flavor. I'll be thinking about this a little more and probably offering something similar. But unfortunately, not at those prices. icon_sad.gif




You already do something similar to this right? Where you pick the flavor and they get a very basic 3 tier cake?

And wouldn't it be nice to charge that kind of money for a basic cake. LOL. When I get a shop, I highly doubt that I'll ever get to that.

costumeczar Posted 1 Aug 2009 , 8:39pm
post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by leahs

I'm totally liking this. Also it looks like the cake has to be a single flavor. I'll be thinking about this a little more and probably offering something similar. But unfortunately, not at those prices. icon_sad.gif




I already do a lot of very basic cakes, but that's what people order AT MY REGULAR PRICES. For me it wouldn't be worth it to drop my prices to do a bargain line, since I'm already turning away business all the time. If I was scrambling for customers I might think about it. But if I could get away with charging those prices for my regular cakes I would too! icon_lol.gif

CakeRx Posted 1 Aug 2009 , 9:03pm
post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by littlejewel

The cakes are pretty. I'm just surprised that brides would go for simple designs. Thanks for the links




Simple designs and quirky seem to be all the rage now. We recently attended a wedding where the cake was simply 5 tiers of white fondant with a simple black ribbon around the bottom of each tier. No flowers, no adornment, no bows! Elegant but a bit too simple, especially since the reception was EXTRAVAGANT.

ButtercupMama Posted 2 Aug 2009 , 6:45am
post #18 of 25

This is a really cool idea, and so well done.
I also really stress about meeting with brides. You just never know who is going to walk thru that door, and some people really annoy the crap out of me. Wow, that was blunt. icon_confused.gif
But true I guess! icon_lol.gif

My prices are quite low, especially in comparison to my local competitors. But I feel like many of my brides and grooms are still hesitant to spend that much on a cake.
This has my wheels turning; I could really stand to pump out simple but pretty wedding cakes without all the hand-holding. Hmmmmm.
I wonder if this could be done in store, on a walk-in basis rather than having to create a whole site. I betcha it could!

brincess_b Posted 2 Aug 2009 , 10:10am
post #19 of 25

is it that much of a cheap chake if the minimum order is $325? which only feeds about 50!
xx

sweetlayers Posted 2 Aug 2009 , 1:39pm
post #20 of 25

save

xstitcher Posted 2 Aug 2009 , 9:17pm
post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by brincess_b

is it that much of a cheap chake if the minimum order is $325? which only feeds about 50!
xx




I guess it is for her.


I looked at the pic from one of the clients and I'm guessing that it a $1000 cake. It had 10 sets of a anemones (sp??) which I think cost $35 a set and I believe it says that a 4 tier feeds 100.

10 * 35 = $350 - flowers
100 * 6.5 = $650 - cake

I do like the cakes she has on there and maybe for NY that is a bargain.

cakesdivine Posted 2 Aug 2009 , 10:45pm
post #22 of 25

I do a bargain basement line for $99. there are 4 designs to choose from, very basic. All are vanilla buttercream, 3 round tiers (6"8"10"), choose chocolate or fr. vanilla only. delivery is extra. everything is disposable. Only change you can make is color of decor on cake. I can whip one of these cakes out in about 40 minutes icing & dec time. There are other stipulations of course, but what I have found is the brides end up wanting something more custom and trying to change something that isn't changable on this line of cakes so they end up paying normal price. I have only sold 2 actual $99 cakes, one with delivery and one without. Since I started this program I have increased my sales dramatically. The brides come in wanting to pay $99 but then realize (even though I advertise plainly that the line is very limited in design and flavor choices) they really want some other flavor or each tier a different flavor, or want to change something other than color on the cake and then I tell them they are no longer choosing a cake from the econo line, they are choosing a custom cake and the price is higher.

IsaSW Posted 3 Aug 2009 , 1:44am
post #23 of 25

cakesdivine:
I like your input, maybe I should get busy and prepare some samples for my new line, and start a new section in my website. Great idea! thanks for sharing.

Ladiesofthehouse Posted 3 Aug 2009 , 2:18am
post #24 of 25
Quote:
Quote:

Simple designs and quirky seem to be all the rage now. We recently attended a wedding where the cake was simply 5 tiers of white fondant with a simple black ribbon around the bottom of each tier. No flowers, no adornment, no bows! Elegant but a bit too simple, especially since the reception was EXTRAVAGANT.





Here I thought I was the only one that didn't like this current trend of minimalism on wedding cakes...I just don't get it. thumbsdown.gif

ButtercupMama Posted 3 Aug 2009 , 5:22am
post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesdivine

Since I started this program I have increased my sales dramatically. The brides come in wanting to pay $99 but then realize (even though I advertise plainly that the line is very limited in design and flavor choices) they really want some other flavor or each tier a different flavor, or want to change something other than color on the cake and then I tell them they are no longer choosing a cake from the econo line, they are choosing a custom cake and the price is higher.




Yeah, thanks for that input; I can imagine that just offering the budget line would really bring people in the door!

And as for the minimalist decor that tends to be popular now, I was just mentioning to someone this afternoon how much I love doing 50th wedding anniversary replica cakes! Because after so much smoothing and perfection-type work, I just love whooping it up with my pastry bags...all those fluffs and puffs of the 1950's frosting, (now approaching the 60's). Fun-fun!!

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