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

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

Loucinda Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 3:47pm
post #121 of 220

There is a lot to be said for marketing, and for reviews. It is all out there - you just have to look for it.

IMO - if I am going to spend $500. + for a cake, I am going to look for whatever info I can on that business. And you can bet that if there are more negative than positive, that is going to make an impression on my decision.

I don't think I would ever want to be "big enough" that I need to send out spies and sell my product by putting others (and/or their way of doing things) down. It just isn't me, and again, I know what my personal opinion is of people who do choose that direction.

I have never once posted something that would embarass me if a client were to read it.

It is like anything else though - to each their own! icon_smile.gif

snarkybaker Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 3:48pm
post #122 of 220

Here is the fun thing you learn if you really have a public business. There are a lot of people who really stink. Fire someone for stealing from you....guess what, a negative review shows up on Citysearch in the next day or so.
Or maybe, have an article in the local paper that shows your gelato only has 130 calories per serving and Coldstone has over 300...You enlarge it and put it on your sidewalk sign. The owner of the Coldstone across the street calls you, threatens you, and guess what...a whole slew of negative reviews show up within a day.

Or better still, some little dumpling steals your trademarked name, you bring it to her attention very nicely. In the end you end up having to sue her and Vistaprint to shut down her website.....you guessed it...bad reviews on Citysearch.

And those are the ones that don't have anything to do with business... try, for example refusing to give a mother of a one year old a cake because her check bounced when she has 50 people showing up in an hour for a party.

The trouble with with anonymous review sites is that anybody with a bug up for any reason can post anything they want. Once again, when asked, I point them to yelp...which has the advantage of being like facebook, meaning they will shut people down for abusing the site...the reviewers have to stand by their reviews..


http://www.yelp.com/biz/sugarland-chapel-hill

amazing how different the picture looks when you know the reviewers have actually been in the store, isn't it ?

Michele01 Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 3:52pm
post #123 of 220

Debi - I love the way you conduct your business. I don't dislike Snarky's, and she may very well conduct her's they way you do. It's just not how she worded it in her very first post. It sounded more like she talked more about what her competition did, instead of what she offered. I am sure she does, but that's not the idea I got when reading the post. (I am sure that is where others are mistaken as well) Hey, if everyone is still thriving in their business, obviously it's working for you. Mine is working for me as well, I just had a simple questions.

-K8memphis Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 3:59pm
post #124 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michele01

Quote:
Originally Posted by K8memphis-

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michele01

Quote:
Originally Posted by snarkybaker

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.



Ok, I never thought this thread would blow up like it did. All I wanted to know was A. Is there an article saying that home bakeries are not good?, and B. Do you think it's possible that store front bakeries could be bashing home bakeries? I think a lot of Snarky's ideas are great, except the printing of people's posts. I think the way that you word things comes off as "my way is best", and it makes people want to lash back. Not saying you should sugar coat your posts, just maybe suggest that this is what works for you, and suggest it could work for someone else as well.



Like she did in her first post quoted above?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Michele01



I just don't know if I personally would book with someone who spends 30 minutes explaining why everyone else sucks.




Yeah for sure --and not that Snark suggested that either right?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And in general in this thread is a ton of naivety. Y'all just now figured out this is the world wide web. Please.



That wasn't her first quote. I think we all realize that our posts are not sacred secrets, it's just that people would use them in such a way.




Which one came before?

Edited to say--wait--I mean the one I just copied upthread a few posts which is actually now on the previous page.

costumeczar Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 6:07pm
post #125 of 220

Yeah, I didn't see anything wrong with Snarky's first post. Debi's right about learning from brides, too. I had two people come for consults yesterday (I mentioned this before inthis thread, I think) and both of them started spilling to me about other vendors. You learn how other people do things from many sources, whether CC, clients, or the other vendors themselves.

I definitely tell brides what to look for on my website FAQ page, and it's what I think is important. Another business would have different things to look for on their FAQ page, and the brides may or may not agree with me that what I think is important is also important to them. I've had people tell me "You were right, they did this or that when I asked them this question," and they just got that info because I felt that it was important to ask and wrote about it. Showing people pages of printouts really isn't any different than telling them "this is what they'll tell you" and sending them on their merry way, actually.

And yes, the online reviews can stink. I've had people who have never had tasting appointments post about how they had an appointment and didn't like my cake, so people DO post whatever they want online regardless of if it's true or not.

I love this thread, I don't think it's gotten nasty, and I think it's been very interesting. A couple of other vendors and I have recently been talking about something similar, though, so I've enjoyed seeing the different perspectives.

Deb_ Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 6:36pm
post #126 of 220

I never believe negative online reviews....whenever possible I judge the business for myself and then decide.

For example....my DH and I love to cruise and use the cruise critic site quite often. I always write a review and it's intriguing to me to read other member's reviews that are completely opposite of mine for the same exact cruise, ship and date.

I often read them and think what the heck ship were you on because I didn't see "run down" and "dirty", "rude staff", "terrible food" and "horrible service" at all.

I take those reviews with a grain of salt and I figure you just cannot please some people. If I believed every negative cruise ship review I'd never cruise again and that would be stupid.

So take the negative reviews for what they're worth.....usually they're a result of vindictiveness and any one of us could be the target.

ccr03 Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 6:44pm
post #127 of 220

So many things to address here, so I'm gonna try to remember them all.

1. I definitely use information about my competitors to help improve my business. I just had a consult where the bride told me a BIG competitor in my market was rude to her. This reminds me just how important customer service is.

2. I don't like the idea of printing off CC pages and showing them to customers, especially if they are not part of the business forums. Something about that just doesn't sit right with me. But that is just me.

3. I don't think have my links and stuff on here anymore, but you can so trace me. I think the photos I have posted on here have my watermark. Those are OLD pics. I don't feel the need to post my stuff.

4. As evidence has shown, what is on the internet stays on the internet. Check out this article http://www.inc.com/magazine/20081101/a-cold-call-a-blog-and-a-20-million-lawsuit.html

5. As for the bashing, I know people bash me as a home baker, but in the privacy of my home I bash the storefront. That's the nature of competition. But I know that even though we are in the same market, no one is doing what I am. Simple fact.

7yyrt Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 6:45pm
post #128 of 220

This forum is for businesses, the rest of the site is not.
Where is the necessity to print out threads filled with posts by amateurs like the 'gourmet thread' and make fun of them in front of your customers?
That is the part I don't understand.
How does is help one's business to make fun of amateurs in front of customers?
Am I misunderstanding what was posted?

Deb_ Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 6:50pm
post #129 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by 7yyrt

This forum is for businesses, the rest of the site is not.
Where is the necessity to print out threads filled with posts by amateurs like the 'gourmet thread' and make fun of them in front of your customers?
That is the part I don't understand.
How does is help one's business to make fun of amateurs in front of customers?
Am I misunderstanding what was posted?





Not defending her actions at all but there are a number of business owners in that thread that do in fact use those recipes. (I finally got a chance to look at it after learning about it here.)

As a scratch only baker (mmf from marshmallows, just want to disclose that) but ALL of my baked goods are from scratch, I can definitely see the benefit of showing potential clients that do care about scratch baking, how other bakers start with a "cake mix" and "add" stuff to it.....as opposed to not "starting from a mix"

indydebi Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 6:51pm
post #130 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkelly

I often read them and think what the heck ship were you on because I didn't see "run down" and "dirty", "rude staff", "terrible food" and "horrible service" at all.



Gosh I so know what you mean! I believe it's sometimes tied to what a person expects AND what their life experiences are.

I went with hubby to his Christmas luncheon one year. We sat at a table with a bunch of ladies who didnt' know how to eat in a fine restaurant. They complained because there were "too many" forks on the table, so I explained which fork was the cocktail fork, the salad fork and the meal fork.

They almost got up and chased him down when the waiter removed their dinner plates and took the charger plate with it, because they thought they weren't getting any dessert. I explained the difference between a charger plate and a cake plate.

They ran the waiter ragged getting more salad dressing because "this isn't enough dressing! You can barely see it!" I guess they didnt' know that salad is supposed to be ENHANCED by the dressing ... it's not suppose to be SWIMMING in it. It's salad ... not salad soup.

I also explained to them that "no, the pudding isn't warm and melty. It's mousse. It's SUPPOSE to be that way."

Had thse ladies written a review about this restaurant, I'm sure it would have been full of super negative comments. But it wasn't the restaurant ...... It was their lack of exposure to fine dining.

Deb_ Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 6:59pm
post #131 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi


Gosh I so know what you mean! I believe it's sometimes tied to what a person expects AND what their life experiences are.


They ran the waiter ragged getting more salad dressing because "this isn't enough dressing! You can barely see it!" I guess they didnt' know that salad is supposed to be ENHANCED by the dressing ... it's not suppose to be SWIMMING in it. It's salad ... not salad soup.


Had thse ladies written a review about this restaurant, I'm sure it would have been full of super negative comments. But it wasn't the restaurant ...... It was their lack of exposure to fine dining.




Oh brother! You're right can you imagine what their review would look like.

I hate to admit it Debi, but as an American I have to say that I was embarrassed at how poorly fellow Americans were treating the crew on this last cruise we went on.

Cruise lines employ people from all over the world.....all of whom have always been warm and hard working in my experience with them, and I hate the way some passengers treat these poor souls.

One woman in particular at dinner one night told the waiter that he should speak "better English" if he expected a tip from her. I wanted to pour my soup on her lap. Our poor waiter was visibly shaken by this woman's comments, so much so that after dinner my DH pulled him aside and promised him that we would give him a positive review.

Their jobs depend on it and they take it very seriously.

Some Americans are very very spoiled. thumbsdown.gif and mean

costumeczar Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 7:00pm
post #132 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by 7yyrt

This forum is for businesses, the rest of the site is not.
Where is the necessity to print out threads filled with posts by amateurs like the 'gourmet thread' and make fun of them in front of your customers?
That is the part I don't understand.
How does is help one's business to make fun of amateurs in front of customers?
Am I misunderstanding what was posted?




I don't know if it's making fun of people or not, it's just showing that your version of "gourmet" might actually include ingredients other than coffee creamer for the flavoring.

I tell people all the time that my cakes have natural flavorings, if it's banana cake it has bananas, if it's almond cake it has almonds, etc. I also tell them that a lot of bakeries just use a yellow cake and add extracts to make the different flavors. It's not making fun of them, it's just pointing out the different approach. Of course, I feel that my way is better, which is why I bring it up! If a customer likes yellow cake with flavorings in it, or doesn't care, she can choose to go somewhere else.

It's more of educating the customer to what is out there. The more that people know, the more questions they can ask when they talk to bakers, and the better choice they can make. I don't know if it would be accurate to tell people that the competition in your area uses the coffee creamer method to flavor their cakes unless you knew it for sure, but it gives the bride a point of reference as to why my cakes are different. They can ask the other bakeries how they handle it, then make a decision.

Loucinda Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 7:03pm
post #133 of 220

I think the reviews are like scoring......you look at them all, toss out the really low ones and the really high ones (several places I have checked - people I KNOW, have reviews from their family, etc. those are just as off as the ones that are really bad IMO)

There is a middle ground there - and again, if you look at a business, and there are a mess of not good reviews going back to when they opened - that is a red flag.

Each person is going to look at it from their own perspective - this one is just mine.

7yyrt Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 7:13pm
post #134 of 220

Thank you, costumeczar.
I had hoped that I was misunderstanding the post, as it makes little sense for a business to bash amateurs.
As a decorator, I myself am an amateur. My people want their things to look like Grandmother made them (in her old wood stove or something.) icon_biggrin.gif
Frustrating at times - I want to make giant towers of fondant beauty!

tx_cupcake Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 7:26pm
post #135 of 220

I agree that a lot of times, people will leave negative reviews out of spite, but usually where there's smoke there's fire. One bad review? Happens to everyone. Two? No hard feelings. I can even look past three. More than three icon_confused.gif , and I'm going to raise an eyebrow and wonder what the common thread is. More times than not, the common thread is the business itself.

As a business owner, I also know that Yelp will remove any negative comments if I contact them with a justification for removing it. They are extremely helpful in that regard. Other review sites... not so much. You'll be lucky to get an auto response.

And P.S I really hope that noone here feels the need to bash MacsMom's gormet flavors thread, because that is beyond tacky. She is one of the most helpful and creative people on this site, and using her "inferior" recipes to help bolster your own shows demonstrably poor character. thumbsdown.gif

costumeczar Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 7:37pm
post #136 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by you_say_like_too_much


And P.S I really hope that noone here feels the need to bash MacsMom's gormet flavors thread, because that is beyond tacky. She is one of the most helpful and creative people on this site, and using her "inferior" recipes to help bolster your own shows demonstrably poor character. thumbsdown.gif




I've never even seen the gourmet flavors thread, so I'm not bashing it, but I also don't think that putting coffee creamer in a cake mix consitutes a gourmet cake. My opinion. I'd definitely look at the thread to get ideas about different flavor combinations, not necessarily just for the recipes.

KHalstead Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 7:42pm
post #137 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitagrl

The people who do order seem like they are shocked (and happy) that their cake that they pick up actually looks professional (like the ones on my website, some say...well REALLY? haha) because I'm doing it from home.




So funny, this happens to me a LOT. One lady recently ordered a cake (mind you I have 3 of these exact cakes on my website to show how even though they're 3 different sizes they're identical), well she kept saying "it's going to look exactlly like the picture right?...I mean, just like it right?? No differences right??" I was like.......yes, this photo is the EXACT size your cake will be and the same design...and I pointed out that even the 3 different sized cakes ALL looked the same in the photos because you can't tell a half sheet from a quarter sheet from a full sheet in the photos really unless you're told. When she picked it up...she was like "wow, it looks EXACTLLY like the photo...that's so cool"

LOL

snarkybaker Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 7:47pm
post #138 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Quote:
Originally Posted by you_say_like_too_much


And P.S I really hope that noone here feels the need to bash MacsMom's gormet flavors thread, because that is beyond tacky. She is one of the most helpful and creative people on this site, and using her "inferior" recipes to help bolster your own shows demonstrably poor character. thumbsdown.gif



I've never even seen the gourmet flavors thread, so I'm not bashing it, but I also don't think that putting coffee creamer in a cake mix consitutes a gourmet cake. My opinion. I'd definitely look at the thread to get ideas about different flavor combinations, not necessarily just for the recipes.




How, for the love of all that is holy, is it bashing by printing something out, putting it in a binder, and saying " When you are looking at other bakers, you might want to ask them what they mean by phrases like gourmet or use only the finest ingredients because in our experience about 95% of bakers use cake mix. Here is a collection of recipes I pulled off a website visited by more than 20,000 cake decorators on a daily basis."

tx_cupcake Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 7:47pm
post #139 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Quote:
Originally Posted by you_say_like_too_much


And P.S I really hope that noone here feels the need to bash MacsMom's gormet flavors thread, because that is beyond tacky. She is one of the most helpful and creative people on this site, and using her "inferior" recipes to help bolster your own shows demonstrably poor character. thumbsdown.gif



I've never even seen the gourmet flavors thread, so I'm not bashing it, but I also don't think that putting coffee creamer in a cake mix consitutes a gourmet cake. My opinion. I'd definitely look at the thread to get ideas about different flavor combinations, not necessarily just for the recipes.




I was making a general statement in regard to the printing out of threads to "help" potential clients make up their minds. However, I'm glad that you don't feel that way. thumbs_up.gif

rosiecast Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 7:50pm
post #140 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Quote:
Originally Posted by you_say_like_too_much


And P.S I really hope that noone here feels the need to bash MacsMom's gormet flavors thread, because that is beyond tacky. She is one of the most helpful and creative people on this site, and using her "inferior" recipes to help bolster your own shows demonstrably poor character. thumbsdown.gif



I've never even seen the gourmet flavors thread, so I'm not bashing it, but I also don't think that putting coffee creamer in a cake mix consitutes a gourmet cake. My opinion. I'd definitely look at the thread to get ideas about different flavor combinations, not necessarily just for the recipes.




Hey Costume, I just realized you're in VA. Are you close to Ashburn? and if so, do you deliver there? My FIL and his wife live there and I would love to order them a cake for their anniversary. Let me know, thanks,

tx_cupcake Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 7:53pm
post #141 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by snarkybaker

Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Quote:
Originally Posted by you_say_like_too_much


And P.S I really hope that noone here feels the need to bash MacsMom's gormet flavors thread, because that is beyond tacky. She is one of the most helpful and creative people on this site, and using her "inferior" recipes to help bolster your own shows demonstrably poor character. thumbsdown.gif



I've never even seen the gourmet flavors thread, so I'm not bashing it, but I also don't think that putting coffee creamer in a cake mix consitutes a gourmet cake. My opinion. I'd definitely look at the thread to get ideas about different flavor combinations, not necessarily just for the recipes.



How, for the love of all that is holy, is it bashing by printing something out, putting it in a binder, and saying " When you are looking at other bakers, you might want to ask them what they mean by phrases like gourmet or use only the finest ingredients because in our experience about 95% of bakers use cake mix. Here is a collection of recipes I pulled off a website visited by more than 20,000 cake decorators on a daily basis."




Because you're taking something created by hobbyists (as this particular thread is not in the Business forum), and in so many words, pinning it on professionals. Do you tell your customers that the recipes they are reading come from non-professional, non-business owners who are brainstorming for fun?

__Jamie__ Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 7:55pm
post #142 of 220

Mmmmmmm....my gourmet corner: http://www.leswiss.com/

Kaytecake Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 8:13pm
post #143 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkelly

Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi


Gosh I so know what you mean! I believe it's sometimes tied to what a person expects AND what their life experiences are.


They ran the waiter ragged getting more salad dressing because "this isn't enough dressing! You can barely see it!" I guess they didnt' know that salad is supposed to be ENHANCED by the dressing ... it's not suppose to be SWIMMING in it. It's salad ... not salad soup.


Had thse ladies written a review about this restaurant, I'm sure it would have been full of super negative comments. But it wasn't the restaurant ...... It was their lack of exposure to fine dining.



Oh brother! You're right can you imagine what their review would look like.

I hate to admit it Debi, but as an American I have to say that I was embarrassed at how poorly fellow Americans were treating the crew on this last cruise we went on.

Cruise lines employ people from all over the world.....all of whom have always been warm and hard working in my experience with them, and I hate the way some passengers treat these poor souls.

One woman in particular at dinner one night told the waiter that he should speak "better English" if he expected a tip from her. I wanted to pour my soup on her lap. Our poor waiter was visibly shaken by this woman's comments, so much so that after dinner my DH pulled him aside and promised him that we would give him a positive review.

Their jobs depend on it and they take it very seriously.

Some Americans are very very spoiled. thumbsdown.gif and mean




I have to agree with the above. Something has happened to many people. It seems that some people view being mean or a cutthroat as a sign of strength and that kindness or principle is weak. They will go after anyone they feel has crossed them or has gotten in their way. The internet offers yet another vehicle to badmouth someone. Others may give bad reviews because it gives them a sense of power and they like it. Really sad.
I'll take someone with integrity anyday. I'm sorry if I went too far off topic.

Kayte

snarkybaker Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 8:19pm
post #144 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by you_say_like_too_much

Quote:
Originally Posted by snarkybaker

Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Quote:
Originally Posted by you_say_like_too_much


And P.S I really hope that noone here feels the need to bash MacsMom's gormet flavors thread, because that is beyond tacky. She is one of the most helpful and creative people on this site, and using her "inferior" recipes to help bolster your own shows demonstrably poor character. thumbsdown.gif



I've never even seen the gourmet flavors thread, so I'm not bashing it, but I also don't think that putting coffee creamer in a cake mix consitutes a gourmet cake. My opinion. I'd definitely look at the thread to get ideas about different flavor combinations, not necessarily just for the recipes.



How, for the love of all that is holy, is it bashing by printing something out, putting it in a binder, and saying " When you are looking at other bakers, you might want to ask them what they mean by phrases like gourmet or use only the finest ingredients because in our experience about 95% of bakers use cake mix. Here is a collection of recipes I pulled off a website visited by more than 20,000 cake decorators on a daily basis."



Because you're taking something created by hobbyists (as this particular thread is not in the Business forum), and in so many words, pinning it on professionals. Do you tell your customers that the recipes they are reading come from non-professional, non-business owners who are brainstorming for fun?




If someone is selling cake, doesn't that make them a professional ?

tx_cupcake Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 8:25pm
post #145 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by snarkybaker

If someone is selling cake, doesn't that make them a professional ?




icon_lol.gif
Way to answer my question with another question! Let the evasive maneuvers begin! icon_rolleyes.gif

FullHouse Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 8:32pm
post #146 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by you_say_like_too_much

And P.S I really hope that noone here feels the need to bash MacsMom's gormet flavors thread, because that is beyond tacky. She is one of the most helpful and creative people on this site, and using her "inferior" recipes to help bolster your own shows demonstrably poor character. thumbsdown.gif




Thanks for pointing that out, whether or not you agree with or appreciate MacsMom's recipes, it is very generous of her to share with others. If you like it, great, if you don't, don't use those recipes but no need to make negative comments towards someone who is sharing.

snarkybaker Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 8:55pm
post #147 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by you_say_like_too_much

Quote:
Originally Posted by snarkybaker

If someone is selling cake, doesn't that make them a professional ?



icon_lol.gif
Way to answer my question with another question! Let the evasive maneuvers begin! icon_rolleyes.gif




Okay, rather than a question how about this ? The definition of professional is undertaken or engaged in as a means of livelihood or for gain, so as soon as you gain ie: take money for a cake you are a de facto professional, and that is certainly the case in my state. It is ABSOLUTELY FAIR GAME to compare the methods we use and compare them, without derisive adjective, to methods used by other people who take money in exchange for baked goods.

7yyrt Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 9:10pm
post #148 of 220

The people posting in that thread do not all sell cakes.
The implication that all those people are selling those recipes, not just making them for family; is, I believe, where some are having problem.

costumeczar Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 9:10pm
post #149 of 220

I think we're veering into the scratch vs. mix territory...Whoa! And yes, I do use that as a selling point.

__Jamie__ Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 9:13pm
post #150 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

I think we're veering into the scratch vs. mix territory...Whoa! And yes, I do use that as a selling point.


thumbs_up.gif

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