Is There An Article Bashing Home Bakeries Or Something??????

Business By Michele01 Updated 24 Nov 2009 , 9:34am by JanH

CookieMakinMomma Posted 22 Nov 2009 , 3:09am
post #61 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by K8memphis-

CookieMMom, what I meant is we post our guts out sometimes in these threads. It's all public access.

Each one of us is well within our rights to use these threads for whatever gain we can glean. No one that I recall was suggesting that bashing the competition is a good idea.

I mean I agree that bashing other businesses deserves to be in my list of stupid business practices. So...

I mean I actually became vocal on these forums to point out/prevent a train wreck--somebody running their big mouth about a specific someone wanting to do business with them...du-uh.




Aha, gotcha. I agree, you are right that we definitely post our guts out on the internet without a thought to possible repercussions. I guess my concern is that someone would use our offhand comments or naive questions in what could be a malicious manner. It really wasn't about marketing to me at all. It was about ethics, but as many consider that a subjective term I may be spinning my wheels! Anyway, I officially offer my hand in truce! No more grumpiness on a Saturday, says I!

And now off to the kitchen with me! (Yes, I have been hiding from a stack of dishes while we have been bantering icon_wink.gif ) Have a great night ladies!

snarkybaker Posted 22 Nov 2009 , 4:34am
post #62 of 220

I live in a state that pretty much lets anyone who's ever taken a Wilton Class sell cakes to the public. Most customers have absolutely no idea where to begin shopping for a $500 cake, because it really is something that most people only do a few times in a lifetime. Part of what we do is educate customers. Cake Central is a pretty good cross section of decorators, so by looking at some of these threads, someone can get an idea of the cake maker spectrum. I also have the epic thread of " gourmet flavors" printed out... you know the one where white cake mix plus coffee mate equals creme brulee cake.

We are very open with our customers. We walk perspective customers through our kitchen all the time. We SHOW them how we are different. Its not "bashing" other bakers to show their methods and weaknesses. Its doing my job. My job is to sell as many cakes as possible. I have 23 employees who all rely on me to pay their bills. It would irresponsible of me NOT to point out the many reasons that buying a wedding etc... cake from us is the best decision a bride can make.

It is YOUR job, home baker, to convince the bride otherwise. My point to the OP was that if her competition is even a little smart, they are giving her potential customers reasons NOT to choose her. She needs to come up with her reasons, or just continue to lose business.

costumeczar Posted 22 Nov 2009 , 2:44pm
post #63 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by snarkybaker

I also have the epic thread of " gourmet flavors" printed out... you know the one where white cake mix plus coffee mate equals creme brulee cake.


It is YOUR job, home baker, to convince the bride otherwise. My point to the OP was that if her competition is even a little smart, they are giving her potential customers reasons NOT to choose her. She needs to come up with her reasons, or just continue to lose business.




K8-- I don't know if you're incliuding me in the "bashing Snarky" group, but I'm not, I agree with her. I wouldn't print out pages to show people, but if that' how she wants to do it that's fine.

Snarky, I've never looked at the gourmet flavors thread, but I'm with you that coffee creamer does not make a gourmet cake (insert gagging emoticon here)

I'm in total agreement that businesses need to point out how they're different than other businesses, and to point out the value that they can offer a client over another business. That's marketing yourself, and I do definitely point out the advantages to hiring me as opposed to hiring a larger bakery.

When someone asks about freezing cakes, I tell them the story of the cake that was cut into at the cake-cutting ceremony and was still frozen. True story, larger bakery, I don't tell them who it was even though I know. And no, I don't freeze cakes.

When someone tells me that a larger bakery says "this can't be done" (happens all the time around here) I explain that they say that because they have so much production it isn't time-efficient for them to do it, not that it can't be done. I take a limited number of orders, so yes, I can take the time and it can be done.

When someone asks if I'll be the one to decorate and deliver the cake, I tell them yes, and that I've seen cakes from larger bakeries that weren't delivered by the decorator, and which had a lot of damage that the delivery person wasn't trained to fix. That's the emphasis on personal attention that you'll get going with a smaller business.

When someone tells me that a larger bakery told them that you have to start from a round cake and cut the square cake shape out of it, so that's why they charge more for square cakes, I tell them that everyone does things differently, and I use a square cake pan for square cakes icon_rolleyes.gif (I suspect that this means their cakes are baked off-site and shipped in as rounds only, but I don't know that for sure, so I don't bring that up.)

I suspect that a larger business could spin these situations as well, but those are some examples of how you sell the value that you offer to the client. No other business names have to come up, it's just a matter of pointing out what you can do for them that's different from what other businesses can do.

Ha ha ha, and I also warn them against hiring unlicensed and uninspected home-based businesses, too. If that's one of my qualifications, that's going to be part of my sales pitch.

Deb_ Posted 22 Nov 2009 , 3:23pm
post #64 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by snarkybaker

I also have the epic thread of " gourmet flavors" printed out... you know the one where white cake mix plus coffee mate equals creme brulee cake.




LOL you're kidding me right....coffee creamer plus cake mix = creme brule' cake.....now THAT's a good one....oh man I really should look at that thread.


As a scratch baker that is my strongest selling point. The storefront bakers in my area don't bake from scratch.

The difference is in the taste and texture and even though there are people who say "people don't know the difference between a mix and scratch" or "I've done a taste test and they ALWAYS choose MY doctored mix over MY scratch cake" to them I'd say....maybe they prefer YOUR doctored mix to YOUR scratch....they haven't tasted MY scratch cake. icon_wink.gif


I'm with Czar....I also bring up all of those points that she listed.

There is a market for storefront and there is a market for home based...it's like shopping at a boutique vs shopping at Macys....there are strengths and weaknesses with both.

You need to sell yourself and your product.....I've said this hundreds of times on this site, baking and decorating are just a small part of this business. If you don't have a mind for business you won't be around long.

I'm constantly marketing my businesses....my Salon clients are also my cake clients. If I'm making someone's wedding cake, I want to be doing their hair, nails and makeup on their wedding day too. Usually I am. icon_wink.gif

Now if I only had time to do their flower arrangements too. icon_rolleyes.gificon_razz.gif

__Jamie__ Posted 22 Nov 2009 , 3:41pm
post #65 of 220

Now this is getting good. Bwaahahaha! I *heart* snarky!

snarkybaker Posted 22 Nov 2009 , 4:59pm
post #66 of 220

The reason I print out the posts is that instead of me telling clients what kind of baker they may encounter, they can see it for themselves. I don't have to say anything bad about anybody. I can say " We always bake from scratch, using real butter and a vanilla extract that is distilled just for us. And then in contrast they can read a post from a baker in this area who tells everyone that her secret white chocolate cake recipe is cake mix plus jello pudding plus coffeemate.

If nothing else, I have added value to my cake, so if they do book with us, my price seems much more reasonable than if they think all cake makers are pretty much the same.

CakeMommyTX Posted 22 Nov 2009 , 5:43pm
post #67 of 220

Wow, I'm going to be more careful now when I make a post, I wasnt aware that my trials and tribulations were going to be printed out and used against me and every other baker in order to make ones self look better.

kelleym Posted 22 Nov 2009 , 5:51pm
post #68 of 220
Quote:
Quote:

I live in a state that pretty much lets anyone who's ever taken a Wilton Class sell cakes to the public.




NC licenses home bakers, but I'm certain Wilton 1 is not one of the licensing requirements.

costumeczar Posted 22 Nov 2009 , 5:53pm
post #69 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeMommyTX

Wow, I'm going to be more careful now when I make a post, I wasnt aware that my trials and tribulations were going to be printed out and used against me and every other baker in order to make ones self look better.




Anything you write can and will be used against you in a court of cake! icon_wink.gif

That's why I was anonymous on here for so long, I wanted to be able to gripe about clients/business/etc if I wanted to. Turns out I'm reluctant to do it in a public forum anyway, so now I have my info on here. Now my husband is the only one to hear me complain, lucky him!

snarkybaker Posted 22 Nov 2009 , 6:00pm
post #70 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by kelleym

Quote:
Quote:

I live in a state that pretty much lets anyone who's ever taken a Wilton Class sell cakes to the public.



NC licenses home bakers, but I'm certain Wilton 1 is not one of the licensing requirements.




You are absolutely wrong. The state of North Carolina DOES NOT license home bakers. Only individual counties can issue licenses to do business. The state department of agriculture inspects in-home food productions facilities before they open, and that's it. No license...no ongoing inspections.

__Jamie__ Posted 22 Nov 2009 , 6:00pm
post #71 of 220

Where is the line drawn? It's varying degrees of talking yourself up. I do a lot of that. I'm careful not to mention any one else by name, but does anyone in my area do what I do at the level I do it? Not even close. And I'm not afraid to explain that I use better techniques, professional equipment, keep up with trends and attend seminars and classes, bake from scratch, make my own fondant, yada, yada, that's why my prices are so much more than XY&Z.

If this just so happens to be the opposite than what the others do, then....is that talking them down? No, mentioning that they put their fondant on an inch thick, that they use a BC recipe that would gag an already dead horse, and that I know they have had complaints on every wedding cake they've already done would be talking them down. icon_wink.gif

indydebi Posted 22 Nov 2009 , 6:00pm
post #72 of 220

Sometimes I just can't believe how people can be.

Snark is one of our most successful business owners. She has invested more than most of us COMBINED. She gets good press in national publications. She's obviously doing more than "just something" right.

Yet she still takes the time to come on here to share her knowledge and lend to the education of the rest of us.

Goodness, folks, if you have access to the incredible business expertise that a person like snark has, you're an idiot if you don't inhale every bit of it deep into your soul!!!

Maybe you don't need an MBA to do successful marketing. But if I had a choice of heeding the advice of an MBA who does the marketing for his wife's very successful food business ..... or "some cake lady", guess which one I'm going with? icon_confused.gif

SOme are offended that she shows written documentation on how some people run their business? Hmmmm. If the shoe fits.....

I'm really dying to tell so many "either put up ..... " (meaning when you've invested as much and are as successful as snark) "..... or shut up", but since this is a public forum where we learn by sharing our expertise (regardless of what level that expertise may be), then I'll refrain. icon_rolleyes.gif

__Jamie__ Posted 22 Nov 2009 , 6:02pm
post #73 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by snarkybaker

Quote:
Originally Posted by kelleym

Quote:
Quote:

I live in a state that pretty much lets anyone who's ever taken a Wilton Class sell cakes to the public.



NC licenses home bakers, but I'm certain Wilton 1 is not one of the licensing requirements.



You are absolutely wrong. The state of North Carolina DOES NOT license home bakers. Only individual counties can issue licenses to do business. The state department of agriculture inspects in-home food productions facilities before they open, and that's it. No license...no ongoing inspections.




Wait wait wait....was that sarcasm, or being serious? A Wilton class as a requirement for licensing?? Serious? I hope that was sarcasm. icon_lol.gif

kelleym Posted 22 Nov 2009 , 6:08pm
post #74 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by __Jamie__

Wait wait wait....was that sarcasm, or being serious? A Wilton class as a requirement for licensing?? Serious? I hope that was sarcasm. icon_lol.gif




It was sarcasm.

__Jamie__ Posted 22 Nov 2009 , 6:14pm
post #75 of 220

Ok good. I was worried for a second there. I mean I thought it was....but you never know. icon_biggrin.gif

costumeczar Posted 22 Nov 2009 , 6:34pm
post #76 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by __Jamie__

Where is the line drawn? It's varying degrees of talking yourself up. I do a lot of that. I'm careful not to mention any one else by name, but does anyone in my area do what I do at the level I do it? Not even close. And I'm not afraid to explain that I use better techniques, professional equipment, keep up with trends and attend seminars and classes, bake from scratch, make my own fondant, yada, yada, that's why my prices are so much more than XY&Z.

If this just so happens to be the opposite than what the others do, then....is that talking them down? No, mentioning that they put their fondant on an inch thick, that they use a BC recipe that would gag an already dead horse, and that I know they have had complaints on every wedding cake they've already done would be talking them down. icon_wink.gif




I think that if you say "this is what I do, this is what I can do for you," then that's not talking anyone else down. I also think that if you say a general "X type of business (larger or smaller, whichever) sometimes does things a different way" that's fine. It's when you start identifying the bakeries that do the stuff you listed (choke a dead horse, wow!) icon_lol.gif ) that you get into trouble in terms of being unprofessional.

You should definiitely play up what makes you different from the competition, but you can just refer to it as "the competition" or "other bakeries," not call them out by name. If they're foolish enough to publish something that's public record, though, that's their mistake, and they can't expect people to not see it. Whether it's in a magazine or online, if it's in writing people will read it. Just be careful what you write.

costumeczar Posted 22 Nov 2009 , 6:39pm
post #77 of 220

For the OP, I had a client today at a consult who told me that her friends are telling her that you SHOULD use a home-based baker for your wedding cake, not a storefront, because you'll get better service. Apparently public opinion goes both ways.

Deb_ Posted 22 Nov 2009 , 8:12pm
post #78 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Sometimes I just can't believe how people can be.

Snark is one of our most successful business owners. She has invested more than most of us COMBINED. She gets good press in national publications. She's obviously doing more than "just something" right.

Yet she still takes the time to come on here to share her knowledge and lend to the education of the rest of us.

Goodness, folks, if you have access to the incredible business expertise that a person like snark has, you're an idiot if you don't inhale every bit of it deep into your soul!!!

Maybe you don't need an MBA to do successful marketing. But if I had a choice of heeding the advice of an MBA who does the marketing for his wife's very successful food business ..... or "some cake lady", guess which one I'm going with? icon_confused.gif

SOme are offended that she shows written documentation on how some people run their business? Hmmmm. If the shoe fits.....

I'm really dying to tell so many "either put up ..... " (meaning when you've invested as much and are as successful as snark) "..... or shut up", but since this is a public forum where we learn by sharing our expertise (regardless of what level that expertise may be), then I'll refrain. icon_rolleyes.gif




It's been a good debate Indy and now that Snarks has clarified her original post we (licensed home bakers) understand that she is not "bashing" all of us.

At first it sounded like that was the case, so of course our first reaction would be to defend ourselves. But now I understand her position and agree with her marketing techniques and even use some of them myself.

Sometimes I think Snarks is busy and is typing and working at the same time without proofreading. icon_lol.gif

It goes without saying that I respect her business opinion...having said that I also want to be sure she knows that not every "home baker" is unprofessional.

Just because I bake out of a kitchen that happens to be in my home, it doesn't mean that I take what I do any less serious then a storefront owner does. I have over 40k invested in my second kitchen and I'll be damned if I let it fail me now.

I think it's important to remember that we business owners are outnumbered by the hobbyists on this site and obviously our thought process is completely different from theirs.

I mean look at some of the posts here in the forums. We have people selling food to the public and they don't even know if it's safe to not refrigerate that very item they're selling. They come on here and ask instead of enrolling themselves in a Servsafe course so they can learn whats safe and whats not. Scary scary stuff. icon_rolleyes.gif

Makes me shake my head every time a question like that pops up!

edited to fix their with they're.....I hate when I do that icon_rolleyes.gif

Mensch Posted 22 Nov 2009 , 9:24pm
post #79 of 220

And then, when encouraged to take the Servesafe class, they reply with one of the following:

'what is that?'

or

'I don't need that, my house is clean.'

snarkybaker Posted 22 Nov 2009 , 11:05pm
post #80 of 220

I don't insinuate that or say in any way every home baker is this or that. I say that North Carolina is sort of the wild, wild, west of cake bakers. There is virtually no regulation, and the quality and professionalism varies greatly. Then I give my schpeel about why I think we are better, and to then remind them to ask ....and if they ask me why, for example they should ask about ingredients, I'll show them the thread about "gourmet" cake flavors. If they ask me why they should ask about back up plan, I show them the thread on canceling because the kids were sick etc. etc.

We don't use the book everytime, but it works. And my point to the OP was to get her game together. If someone hesitates to book with her because she's not a " real bakery", she should have her responses ready.

And BTW dkelly, thanks for the sweet words. If I have one weakness, it is that I have a tendency to assume everybody knows what I mean when I say/write something, and it has been pointed out to me on more than one occasion, I can be slightly obtuse.

Kaytecake Posted 22 Nov 2009 , 11:25pm
post #81 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by snarkybaker

I live in a state that pretty much lets anyone who's ever taken a Wilton Class sell cakes to the public. Most customers have absolutely no idea where to begin shopping for a $500 cake, because it really is something that most people only do a few times in a lifetime. Part of what we do is educate customers. Cake Central is a pretty good cross section of decorators, so by looking at some of these threads, someone can get an idea of the cake maker spectrum. I also have the epic thread of " gourmet flavors" printed out... you know the one where white cake mix plus coffee mate equals creme brulee cake.

We are very open with our customers. We walk perspective customers through our kitchen all the time. We SHOW them how we are different. Its not "bashing" other bakers to show their methods and weaknesses. Its doing my job. My job is to sell as many cakes as possible. I have 23 employees who all rely on me to pay their bills. It would irresponsible of me NOT to point out the many reasons that buying a wedding etc... cake from us is the best decision a bride can make.

It is YOUR job, home baker, to convince the bride otherwise. My point to the OP was that if her competition is even a little smart, they are giving her potential customers reasons NOT to choose her. She needs to come up with her reasons, or just continue to lose business.




This is an interesting thread. I've never had a cake business but I did have my own business in another field for a few years and I have to agree with snarkybaker's reasoning. A business does have to market itself and point out the advantages of doing business with them as opposed to others
offering the same services. Pointing out generalities is legit, but, I do agree that there is a line that shouldn't be crossed. Personal attacks are out in my book. A business should be able to stand on their own merit without stooping to a targeted, personal attack against a competitor.
I would not do business with someone who indulged in nasty personal attacks or gossip. I would consider them unstrustworthy and unprofessional. Ecomonic downturns will bring out creative marketing ideas in some and the worst in others. I think that a wealth of helpful information is being shared in this thread. icon_smile.gif

Kayte

7yyrt Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 12:10am
post #82 of 220

Excuse me...
I do realize it's posted on the internet, and therefore accessible to many people; but printing out pages of Cake Central without permission, and using them to promote one's business ?
Do you include names and websites etc ? Is the information altered, or left as typed?

I'm quite bothered by someone doing that.
-
Giving someone the URL to read for him/herself, would insure the information is as the OP posted it.

Mike1394 Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 12:20am
post #83 of 220

I'm in the no bashing corner. You let your product stand by it's naked lil self icon_biggrin.gif .

Actually not having one of my better, happy days. They said my Cheescake had a funny taste. I told them it tastes funny cause you have a pallette like cement. LOLOL

Mike

costumeczar Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 12:22am
post #84 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike1394

I'm in the no bashing corner. You let your product stand by it's naked lil self icon_biggrin.gif .

Actually not having one of my better, happy days. They said my Cheescake had a funny taste. I told them it tastes funny cause you have a pallette like cement. LOLOL

Mike




Did you really tell them that, or did you just think it to yourself? icon_lol.gif

Mike1394 Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 12:28am
post #85 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike1394

I'm in the no bashing corner. You let your product stand by it's naked lil self icon_biggrin.gif .

Actually not having one of my better, happy days. They said my Cheescake had a funny taste. I told them it tastes funny cause you have a pallette like cement. LOLOL

Mike



Did you really tell them that, or did you just think it to yourself? icon_lol.gif




Yeah I did. LOLOL I said it wasn't one of my better days. You can say my cake tastes like crap. I'll just look at you like your a caveman. My Cheesecakes though, never say a bad word about them. icon_biggrin.gif Those I defend till the end of the earth.LOL

Mike

Deb_ Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 1:09am
post #86 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike1394

Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike1394

I'm in the no bashing corner. You let your product stand by it's naked lil self icon_biggrin.gif .

Actually not having one of my better, happy days. They said my Cheescake had a funny taste. I told them it tastes funny cause you have a pallette like cement. LOLOL

Mike



Did you really tell them that, or did you just think it to yourself? icon_lol.gif



Yeah I did. LOLOL I said it wasn't one of my better days. You can say my cake tastes like crap. I'll just look at you like your a caveman. My Cheesecakes though, never say a bad word about them. icon_biggrin.gif Those I defend till the end of the earth.LOL

Mike




Ya know whats so sad about this "fast food" "easy way out" world we're living in? Many people don't really know what fine quality food is anymore.

This person is probably in love with Jell-0 brand powdered Cheesecake mix.......poor thing will never know what he/she's missing.

Amia Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 3:15am
post #87 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Sometimes I just can't believe how people can be.

Snark is one of our most successful business owners. She has invested more than most of us COMBINED. She gets good press in national publications. She's obviously doing more than "just something" right.

Yet she still takes the time to come on here to share her knowledge and lend to the education of the rest of us.

Goodness, folks, if you have access to the incredible business expertise that a person like snark has, you're an idiot if you don't inhale every bit of it deep into your soul!!!

Maybe you don't need an MBA to do successful marketing. But if I had a choice of heeding the advice of an MBA who does the marketing for his wife's very successful food business ..... or "some cake lady", guess which one I'm going with? icon_confused.gif

SOme are offended that she shows written documentation on how some people run their business? Hmmmm. If the shoe fits.....

I'm really dying to tell so many "either put up ..... " (meaning when you've invested as much and are as successful as snark) "..... or shut up", but since this is a public forum where we learn by sharing our expertise (regardless of what level that expertise may be), then I'll refrain. icon_rolleyes.gif




Isn't this snarkybaker's shop....? (Mod edited to remove link.)

-K8memphis Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 3:19am
post #88 of 220

There's a print topic button at the top of every page of every thread obviously for the purposes of printing topics.

'Member when I started speaking up on here? Telling a fellow caker to shut up her high pitched high strung whining about working or not working with another vendor.

It's the world wide web--it's an open to the public forum.

-K8memphis Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 3:28am
post #89 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amia

Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Sometimes I just can't believe how people can be.

Snark is one of our most successful business owners. [size=9]She has invested more than most of us COMBINED. She gets good press in national publications. She's obviously doing more than "just something" right.

Yet she still takes the time to come on here to share her knowledge and lend to the education of the rest of us.

Goodness, folks, if you have access to the incredible business expertise that a person like snark has, you're an idiot if you don't inhale every bit of it deep into your soul!!!

Maybe you don't need an MBA to do successful marketing. But if I had a choice of heeding the advice of an MBA who does the marketing for his wife's very successful food business ..... or "some cake lady", guess which one I'm going with? icon_confused.gif

SOme are offended that she shows written documentation on how some people run their business? Hmmmm. If the shoe fits.....

I'm really dying to tell so many "either put up ..... " (meaning when you've invested as much and are as successful as snark) "..... or shut up", but since this is a public forum where we learn by sharing our expertise (regardless of what level that expertise may be), then I'll refrain. icon_rolleyes.gif



Isn't this snarkybaker's shop....? (Mod edited to remove link.)





What is your point in posting this? Please rsvp asap because I like to give the benefit of the doubt and I like to check my understanding of a situation but thou art standing where I'm about to shoot.

rosiecast Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 3:29am
post #90 of 220

Amia, not defending Snarks directly (or I guess I am) but people usually don't post good reviews. The ones that take the time (most of the time) are the ones that either had a bad experience, are just grumpy-pants, or can never be satisfied.

I do try to always either email, leave an online review &/or call the manager when I get great service. So I would take those reviews with a huge grain of salt.

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