selfconclusion12 Posted 25 Nov 2009 , 10:25pm
post #1 of

and I am really worried about it. They have not seen my cakes, and I honestly do not know if I am good enough for the job. I have to go to a two week training thing and that person will tell my store if I should have the position or not.

I do a lot of fondant work and tiered cakes, and that is really not what grocery stores do.

They do a lot of flowers which I do not do (I think I can do it...I have made roses on a rose nail and they looked nice but I think in the grocery store they do it right on the cake...)

My question to other grocery store cake decorators is what can I expect? What should I practice before my training. Any insight would be great!!

32 replies
korkyo Posted 25 Nov 2009 , 10:59pm
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I think with a 2 week training course they are going to be looking for how well you follow directions and moslty how quickly you learn.

Part of the reason they do a training like that is because it is cheaper to train then to hire a decorator that is already skilled in retial.

Just go in, do your best, be confident and practice at night if needed. Be professional. Simple answers, yes sir no sir, and no apologies for not being good enough. "I can get this right!! " is the best way to look at it.

If you have never iced a sheet with a side icer I suggest you practice with a styorfoam dummie before hand. It will make a big difference.

selfconclusion12 Posted 25 Nov 2009 , 11:15pm
post #3 of

Thanks so much!!! I am not sure if its actually training...I think its just testing? I will most definitely be confidant because I know I can do it. I might not know some things but I can get it right with some practice. I have used the large icers to ice cakes before, but I always put fondant over top so I am not sure what the method is that they use to get the cakes nice and smooth without using fondant. I know the viva paper towel trick and such but I doubt they do that..

11cupcakes Posted 25 Nov 2009 , 11:16pm
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I just looked at your cake photos and I think you are going to do good. You will need to learn to work fast. They do not need to much creativity in the grocery store.Just your basic balloons, flowers, ribbons and cake kits. Holidays are more creative. You will not have time to carve or work with fondant.But you will gain good buttercream skills.And by the way they use nail for flowers.
Good luck!

selfconclusion12 Posted 25 Nov 2009 , 11:24pm
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Oh great!!! Cake nails=me happy! They are not fabulous, but they are good. I can practice and I am sure they will get a lot better...I just have never practiced with flowers.

selfconclusion12 Posted 26 Nov 2009 , 1:51am
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Is anyone else able to give an advise/insight?

korkyo Posted 26 Nov 2009 , 5:04am
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Your pictures are nice. Butter cream in volume is a totally different thing and definatly no paper toweling. No time for that. icon_biggrin.gif

Good luck,
Let us know how it goes.

cakesdivine Posted 26 Nov 2009 , 5:05am
post #8 of

learn how to assembly line your case cakes. line up several, fill all, then ice all, then decorate, Don't be afraid to use the large cake icer tip. It will help with speed on your case cakes. You more than likely won't even deal with fondant. You will do dessert cakes and special order cakes. You can spend a little more time on the special order cakes but no too much more. Just don't panic when they tell you you should be able to do x number of cakes in an hour. It isn't really possible with all you must also deal with. You more than likely will have to mix your own icing so you will learn how to use the large floor mixer. The people that they use to set those guide lines have everything ready for them, bags already filled cakes already sitting on turntables and everything they need ready to go. They basically say go to them and they ice and decorate one cake and time them on how long it takes them to do it. If that decorator that doesn't have to do anything else to prep for that cake decorates it in 2 minutes then they think anyone can do 30 of that style cake in one hour. Speed is important but don't let it freak you out. Use your dough scrapers to smooth your icing, just make sure they are smooth and don't have snags in them.

Relax and enjoy it, and learn as much as you can! Oh and yes you can use a flower nail to do your roses icon_smile.gif

Rose_N_Crantz Posted 26 Nov 2009 , 5:25am
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Be prepared to say no to a lot of people around wedding season. You're going to get so many questions from budget brides that want $500 dollar cakes for grocery store prices.

I worked at a warehouse club in their bakery and I had to help out this lady once who needed a cake for a party. She wasn't sure how much the cakes would serve so I told her. Half sheet feeds 36-48, a full sheet feed 72-96. She thought she would get about 50 people at the party so she thought she would order a full sheet. Then she asked how much it was. A full sheet at this club is $36 and change. She winces and says, "No I can't spend almost 40 dollars on cake. I'll go with the $16 half sheet. Some people just won't get cake." I'm hoping she was on a very tight budget, and not just thought that was a lot for cake.

Just a preview of the customers you will most likely be serving.

selfconclusion12 Posted 26 Nov 2009 , 1:22pm

Yeah I figured I would get customers like that. Guess this weekend I will be practicing my roses!! Its been almost a a year!

prterrell Posted 26 Nov 2009 , 6:09pm

I used to work as a grocery store decorator. Get yourself a very good pair of comfortable supportive shoes. As for icing the cakes, no crumb coats are ever done (no time for that) and the icing is not left to crust before smoothing, it is all done at once. We used think plastic bowl scrapers to smooth the icing. We also did NOT use the cake icer tips. Some things are going to be different depending on the chain you are working for and their specific products. And yes, roses are one of the main decorative elements you'll be using and they are done on the rose nail. Lots of airbrushing, too!

kakeladi Posted 26 Nov 2009 , 11:24pm

If you have or can get your hands on Wilton's Encyclopedia Vol. 3 there are some really easy fun flowers that can be made right on a cake in record time. I think, if I remember right they are on pg 210 or thereabouts icon_smile.gif
That book is a *wealth* of information for b'cream users! Well worth most any priceicon_smile.gif

selfconclusion12 Posted 27 Nov 2009 , 3:37am

So...if I am not good on BC roses they might take this job away from me is what I am thinking icon_sad.gif Hopefully my roses are good enough!

peachcake Posted 27 Nov 2009 , 4:54am

Don't worry, I was a bakery manager for 10 years. My roses looked like cabbages when I started. The more you do, the better you will get. They usually don't require anything to fancy and remember the customers will love it. If they could do it at home they wouldn't order from the bakery. Now I have my own bakery. thumbs_up.gif

mamawrobin Posted 27 Nov 2009 , 5:11am

I am currently employeed as a grocery store cake decorator and I love my job! We do not make our own icing. Our buttercream comes in 5 gallon buckest and our colored icings come in 3 gallon tubs. I do alot of "kit" cakes, and alot of airbrush. We do our roses on a nail. (never heard of anyone doing it right on the cake) anyway....I am very fortunate as that two days a week I get to decorate cakes for our display case. On these days I get to work at my own pace and I get to do whatever I want. I get to design and do MY cakes and I don't have a certain number of cakes that I have to produce. This has really been great for me to improve my bc techniques as I do mostly fondant cakes at home. Plus, alot of our customers now request that I do their cakes! I NEVER design a cake with a rose, party trim or confetti....that is usually what all the "back-up" cakes look like. Our customers like having more options and my cakes usually sell within a couple of days....all of them....nothing wrong with roses but every bc cake dosen't have to have roses....right?

anyway, best of luck to you and I hope you enjoy your new job icon_biggrin.gif

BCJean Posted 27 Nov 2009 , 5:24am

I have a clip on youtube showing how to make 10 different borders using a tip #17. A lot of working with buttercream is knowing just how to twist that bag and use the right pressure control.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfbJI7QdJ0o

SweetPea0613 Posted 27 Nov 2009 , 5:52am

Congratulations! I was excited when I got my grocery store job a year ago. But I quit last month. Nothing against the job...I loved it, It was the witchy supervisor I had.

Anyway, depending on what chain it is, just be prepared to do a lot of kit cakes. It's easy because the design is right in front of you and everything you need is at your disposal. Also be prepared to work faster than you ever worked before. It's all about production and I totally agree about the comfy shoes.

Good luck!!! And hopefully your boss doesn't suck...lol

selfconclusion12 Posted 28 Nov 2009 , 3:56am

Thanks everyone icon_smile.gif The bakery manager is pretty good, and I am pretty good @ working fast once I get the hang of what I am suppose to do. I am going to practice my roses this weekend and see what I come up with, lol.

As far as the kit cakes, that includes airbrushing right? Is that hard?

TIA!!

cakesdivine Posted 28 Nov 2009 , 4:04pm

The airbrushing is very easy on kit cakes. no true detail work. Airbrush is fun, but be warned you will inhale the droplets and if you blow your nose it might be rainbow colored...LOL!

-K8memphis Posted 28 Nov 2009 , 4:07pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by BCJean

I have a clip on youtube showing how to make 10 different borders using a tip #17. A lot of working with buttercream is knowing just how to twist that bag and use the right pressure control.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfbJI7QdJ0o




Nice work, Jean. <highfive>

selfconclusion12 Posted 28 Nov 2009 , 7:41pm

Thanks for that awesome video icon_smile.gif

selfconclusion12 Posted 29 Nov 2009 , 12:35am

Alright...we tonight I practiced my BC roses...the first two came out really nice!! They looked like nice roses...the other two did not look so nice. They started to limp over because I guess the heat from my hands...How do I fix that?? If the BC would have stayed the consistency it was they would have all been really nice!

I practiced my shells, reverse shells, and a few other things and I am really ready to start my training now!!! Not nervous anymore icon_smile.gif

11cupcakes Posted 29 Nov 2009 , 12:47am

My friend had same problem, she says you can put your bags with buttercream in the bowl with ice or keep it in refrigerator for a few minutes, this way it will not melt as fast.

selfconclusion12 Posted 29 Nov 2009 , 1:42am

Okay so here was my practice for the night. I tried reverse shells for the first time, and here is my BC rose...I think it looks nice. I ran out of my regular piping bags for the writing so I had to use parchment and I am not use to it so I could not get the pressure right. I am also having a hard time getting the base for the rose. I am watching youtube vid after vid and I just can't get it right.

(not sure if I can post a picture here so please let me know to remove it if I can't)

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And thanks 11cupcakes!!! Good idea!

korkyo Posted 29 Nov 2009 , 3:12am

corn starch mixed in the icing for roses goes a looooong way!!!

Can't wait to hear how it all goes. Your work is great!! good luck.

selfconclusion12 Posted 29 Nov 2009 , 4:50am
Quote:
Originally Posted by korkyo

corn starch mixed in the icing for roses goes a looooong way!!!

Can't wait to hear how it all goes. Your work is great!! good luck.




Would this be similar to using mirange powder? Does it effect the taste?

Thanks so much icon_smile.gif

peachcake Posted 29 Nov 2009 , 3:04pm

I found out if you're icing is to soft you're roses will definately droop. Just play with the consistency until you get it right. You're work is very nice.

selfconclusion12 Posted 29 Nov 2009 , 5:20pm

Thanks very much!

kakeladi Posted 29 Nov 2009 , 6:14pm

That's fine to play w/the consistency of the icing but........on the job you might not be able to.
Find my "Buttercream icing for air-dried flowers". It basically is royal icing to which you add (*after* it is whipped to right consistency) about 1/2-3/4 Cup Crisco.
NO the royal will NOT turn to soup if done right.
Now if you added some royal to the Crisco it probably will but not if you add the Crisco to the royal in the right quantities.
On the job maybe they will let you make a batch to use.

selfconclusion12 Posted 29 Nov 2009 , 7:35pm

Yeah I am thinking @ work they will have premade buttercream already and I will have to use that...We will see. Tomorrow I go in for my first day of training icon_smile.gif

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