Possible Solution To My Commercial Kitchen Drama...

Business By CakeDiva73 Updated 19 Oct 2009 , 1:17pm by jewelsq

CakeDiva73 Posted 18 Oct 2009 , 12:32am
post #1 of 22

Ok, so I have been thinking non-stop about a solution to the nightmare I am having with my commercial kitchen owner. (Sorry about the long novel last night, btw... icon_smile.gif ) and here is what I have come up with. I would like to hear what you think, if I am leaving anything out or potential pit-falls I should be aware of.

Since she wants to sell my stuff and make bank, I am thinking instead of working as rent, I will give her a credit each week (or month) and she can then choose from my flyer or webisite what she wants. Then she can sell it at whatever price she wants, they are not mine, they are hers. I will no longer have a presence in her cafe.

In my mind I was thinking $50 a week (my price) and then if utilities go up as I get other orders, we can always add a bit on. She can look at my holiday flyer and pick out $50 worth of Christmas cookies, a cookie bouquet and something else, cheesecake, etc.

She is so hell-bent on selling and profiting from my stuff and clearly there will be no compromise for me selling my stuff from her shop (and I have no desire to become a wholesale baker) so this was my compromise....what do you think? thanks in advance icon_smile.gif

21 replies
-K8memphis Posted 18 Oct 2009 , 12:37am
post #2 of 22

I mean how long will you be using her place?

By your price do you mean your cost or your retail price?

step0nmi Posted 18 Oct 2009 , 12:52am
post #3 of 22

ummm...why would you sell her something you are also trying to market to the area? then either you are not going to sell it or they are going to go to her first and then go "why is yours cheaper?"

this just sounds like a really bad business partnership icon_sad.gif (read the other post) She is undermining you, your business, and your product. You ARE trying to make a name for yourself but she obviously doesn't want that or else she would let you prosper.

You have to do what's right for you though. What are you comfortable with doing? Do you have this stuff in writing? Any type of deal should be in writing and then she can't go back on the deal icon_wink.gif

step0nmi Posted 18 Oct 2009 , 12:55am
post #4 of 22

wait..I'm reading your post again and am confused...

are you using kitchen space of hers or do you have your own kitchen?

why would you let her pick stuff from your fliers AND not be a presence in her cafe? isn't the point to get the word out there about your service??

sadsmile Posted 18 Oct 2009 , 12:56am
post #5 of 22

No presence in her cafe? Does that mean you won't display or sell from there? Because if you do still sell from their you will basically be in competition with your own goods at her prices. That doesn't make any sense to me. And allowing her to reprice your goods still puts you in the position of a wholesale baker and you can bet she won't want to pay retail or even cost plus 10% which is wholesale I believe. She is going to push you to take a loss so she can profit. Honestly I don't see any no hassle way but straight rent. There are other issues with allowing her re-sell your goods. Like expiration dates and such. What if she doesn't abide by dates and sells something that is stale or bad and then blames you. Your reputation is still on the line.

CakeDiva73 Posted 18 Oct 2009 , 2:49am
post #6 of 22

Sorry, let me clarify. It is a terrible partnership, this is simply something to get me by until I find a suitable kitchen to rent. As for having no presence, I don't want any since if I do, she wants a cut of all the orders I get.

If I provide the items to her to sell in her cafe, they are hers - not mine. I will not have any branding, etc. I would make it clear that I am not to be "credited" for any of it.

And as for competing with her, quite frankly, I do not want any of "her" customers. She has made it clear that any money I make somehow should partially be hers, so I do not want to sell ANYTHING from her shop.

In my mind, the trade of my items for use of her kitchen is simply an ends to a mean. I would rather trade the food then pay her $200 per month cash. I don't see it as competing with myself since I can't sell my stuff there anyway and if I did, I would end up making about $2 per hr after my ingredient cost.

As soon as I find another cafe, I am GONE!!!!

so gone.

step0nmi Posted 18 Oct 2009 , 2:57am
post #7 of 22

either way nothing sounds good to me icon_sad.gif I feel like you are going to be hurting yourself in the end with this woman. if you feel comfortable making that offer then see if she will bite. but....put it in writing.

jlynnw Posted 18 Oct 2009 , 3:03am
post #8 of 22

I really hate to say it, cut your losses now. This situation is not going to get better any time soon. She does not sound like she wants to work with you to get your name out their. She wants and employee to pay for, manufacture, and sell her a$$ for nothing, get paid nearly nothing and make the bucks herself. This is like voluntary servitute. I see nothing good will ever come of this. I am sorry to be so blunt but I feel you are being taken to the cleaner's as she goes to the bank.

CakeDiva73 Posted 18 Oct 2009 , 3:08am
post #9 of 22

Taken to the cleaners as she goes to the bank.....that is a GOOD one!!! I am totally using that icon_lol.gificon_razz.gif

Yes, you are all probably right but I just ordered a TON of holiday flyers so if I walk now, what do if I can't find another kitchen before Christmas? I spend a bunch of money on those flyers. Which is ironic, lol, because the look on her face when I told her about them was hilarious.

*sigh* - I know I need to get out. No solution is good. I'm in denial. icon_cry.gif

step0nmi Posted 18 Oct 2009 , 3:12am
post #10 of 22

The solution is market your a$$ off right now to switch to a new kitchen! anywhere!

-Tubbs Posted 18 Oct 2009 , 2:41pm
post #11 of 22
Originally Posted by jlynnw

I really hate to say it, cut your losses now. This situation is not going to get better any time soon. She does not sound like she wants to work with you to get your name out their. She wants and employee to pay for, manufacture, and sell her a$$ for nothing, get paid nearly nothing and make the bucks herself. This is like voluntary servitute. I see nothing good will ever come of this. I am sorry to be so blunt but I feel you are being taken to the cleaner's as she goes to the bank.

Agree. This isn't going to improve. Walk now, and spend the time over the next few weeks that you'd be making money for her, looking for a new place for YOU!

jlynnw Posted 18 Oct 2009 , 2:50pm
post #12 of 22

Please let us know how things go. Get you another kitchen. You have too much in skill, determination, and planning to go down this road. I really feel your pain as I went thru something similar a year ago. My holidays were wrecked and my family suffered. The money I had invested, the rent, and the hard work all went in another's account. When someone plans on "helping" you and they have it they need to profit in doing so, you are going to lose. I wish you were closer and we could work it out but the commute to Cali is a bit more than I want. icon_lol.gif

sadsmile Posted 18 Oct 2009 , 2:58pm
post #13 of 22

I still don't get it! You want to give her $200.00 of product instead of just $200.00. And you spend time making the stuff too...where as if you just gave her $200.00 you could spend your time on your actual orders. time is money too. You are still letting her burn your candle at both ends.

newmansmom2004 Posted 18 Oct 2009 , 3:08pm
post #14 of 22

I don't like the way this sounds and I don't understand why you wouldn't want any credit for her selling your items. If I'm doing cookies or cakes or dog clothes, I want credit for it! That way when you do get into your own place one day people won't be going, "Oh look - she copied the cookies from so-and-so's bakery."

I think you'd be better off ending this one-sided relationship now and looking for another alternative. I know it's hard when you realize you won't be putting things out there for a while, but for your own good and the good of your future business I think that would be best.

CakeDiva73 Posted 19 Oct 2009 , 12:04am
post #15 of 22

Excellent points....that is why I came here first to run it past to see what I was missing.

I think I have decided to approach some other kitchens who may be willing to RENT icon_smile.gif space to me instead of trying to make it work with her. Sadly, I think that ship has sailed.

I still have to go in and work on Tues and Wed and I anticipate drama, as alway.....drama is why I watch reality television. So I don't have to live it, I can simply get my fill thru someone else, lol. This must stop!~!

I had pondered the idea of asking what she would charge on a cash only rental basis with me having no presence in her cafe but I am fairly sure this will not fly (at any kind of reasonable price, anyway) since for whatever reason, she feels as if she genuinly deserves a $ of what I make, regardless of the fact that I have been doing this for 4 years and advertise independantly.

It's almost as if she feels she discovered me.....kinda weird. I will definitely come back and post (if you are interested, lol) how things go on Tuesday.

Since she pitched a fit when I refused to leave my truffle box samples on Friday, I can only imagine what she is going to do when I walk in without the Halloween Cookie Bouquet that used to sit atop her case. (I took it back to take better pics).

CutiePieCakes-Ontario Posted 19 Oct 2009 , 12:28am
post #16 of 22

I think you're doing the right thing. End it with her. It won't get any better, by the sounds of it. You need to look out for No. 1 here, and that's NOT her!

I had a similar issue many years ago with a placement agent. I contacted a former employer and they hired me on a temp basis, and then the agent tried to tell me that she referred me to them and she should get a commission. Huh? When I disagreed, she 'kindly' removed me from her employee books. No probs. I found another full time job on my own very quickly.

I'm sure you'll do the same ... you'll find something much better for you very soon, now that you've decided to make the break. And as for the flyers, unless they're 'time sensitive' (ie have a specific date on them), you can always use them next year.

newmansmom2004 Posted 19 Oct 2009 , 12:37am
post #17 of 22

Cutting ties will be better for you in the long run. Sounds like way too much tension and drama.

I haven't read all the posts, so someone may have suggested this, but consider asking a church if you can rent their kitchen. Most large churches who do luncheons and so forth will have an inspected commercial kitchen. That's a great way for you to have a kitchen for your baking and for them to make some easy extra money...and who's turning that down these days??? icon_lol.gif

cakesbycathy Posted 19 Oct 2009 , 1:12am
post #18 of 22

You have been given some good advice and have a lot to think about.

It does totally suck that you just had those fliers printed up. Hopefully you can use them next year as a PP suggested.

I would go in and tell her that your current arrangement is no longer working for you. Tell her you are willing to negotiate a rental fee for her kitchen (offer $xx amount) and that's it.
If she is willing to do that then INSIST on a contract written up by an attorney and signed by both of you. Make sure there is some sort of "escape clause." Otherwise tell her you will finish up the week and won't be returning.

If she wants your product she can buy it from you at the regular price and resell it for whatever she wants.

If she wants the money that badly then she'll have to accept a rental fee and you can stop getting screwed.

In the meantime, definitely look for another kitchen.
Good luck

Ursula40 Posted 19 Oct 2009 , 1:29am
post #19 of 22

I agree, can't you just use the flyers for next year? Holiday season comes around every year. You just have to tell her, that you are not budging, it sounds as if SHE really wants Your products to market HER cafe, but not let anyone know, that they are your creations. By having your products there, she is getting a lot of customers coming into her cafe and ultimately also buying her products. Tell her you are going the "money for rent" way, but what products are sold by you, all profits go to you. She is profitting in any case, she is getting a stable amount per month to help offset her costs. If she were to employ you, she would have to pay you a salary, buy all the ingredients and pay the rent and utilities. Then of course, she gets all the profit. I sell my products in a deli as well, I use my own kitchen and just take what i want to sell over there. I set the price I want to have, what they tack on, is their business. I have my name and number on every cookie I sell there and they don't get to take them off.

MustloveDogs Posted 19 Oct 2009 , 10:19am
post #20 of 22

Yes, you might be out for the flyers, but I would put it down to business education and LEAVE!
You know deep down what you need to do, do it quickly like ripping off a bandaid.
What I don't understand is why you need her kitchen so badly?
If you get cake orders from your own flyers and not through her, then do you bake/decorate them in her kitchen and then walk past her with them on the way home or what?

You have been more than agreeable to her terms, I would simply say to her that your business is headed in a different direction to her desires and you need to elsewhere.

jlynnw Posted 19 Oct 2009 , 12:42pm
post #21 of 22

Best wishes. Yes please do post. Just remember to be the professional person you are and not a childish, petty individual. She seems like the type that would be willing to let you go there, encourage it, and then let you have that reputation for yourself. Hold you head high, deep breath and Suvivor is on Thursday night!

jewelsq Posted 19 Oct 2009 , 1:17pm
post #22 of 22

Why can't you sell to her at wholesale prices and then set the retail price? Many manufacturer's do that to 'fix' the price. Wilton does it, for example. The hobby store down the street doesn't sell the Wilton items for any more than Wilton does.

So, if you decided to wholesale in her cafe, the cafe around the block, the corner store, they'd all be your products at a fixed price. No price wars, no gouging.

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