Why Would Another Baker Want To Move In Next Door?

Business By tcakes65 Updated 1 Feb 2010 , 3:35pm by cakesweetiecake

tcakes65 Posted 1 Feb 2010 , 12:09am
post #1 of 29

I opened my storefront 2 years ago. There are 7 other commercial spaces with 3 of them currently vacant. There have been at least 5 people that have stopped by my shop over the past two months wanting to "talk" cakes with me and to let me know they wanted to rent the space next door. I actually had a gal stop by yesterday to inform me that she was probably going to move in and will be selling cakes and other pastries. My lease was to have a non-compete clause incorporated into it, but somehow that didn't happen. It seems the landlord did not include it in the official file although it was in the final draft.

Anyway, what would possess another baker to think it appropriate to rent a space right next door to another baker? The area I'm located in is somewhat isolated. The development of the area stopped when the economy went south. We have invested a lot of time, effort, and money into getting our name out there and to let people know where we are located.

Am I wrong to think that these bakers are attempting to reap the benefits of the work we've done to establish a clientele there? I live in a big city, and there are so many other areas where these bakers could set up shop. I don't understand what the draw is and why they would want to jeopardize someone else's business.

It annoys me to no end that the bakers have the nerve to come into my shop and act as if it is no big deal. They have the nerve to act as if we're best friends and that I should help them out with advice on how to set up the business and attract foot traffic.

I'm at a loss on how to exactly handle this. I don't want to seem like a witch, but at the same time I have to protect my business.

28 replies
TheDomesticDiva Posted 1 Feb 2010 , 12:15am
post #2 of 29

I think I would talk to the landlord, asap!!

icer101 Posted 1 Feb 2010 , 12:16am
post #3 of 29

i am sorry this may happen.. i do feel ... like i would feel the same as you. i am hoping that it will never come to be..

mkolmar Posted 1 Feb 2010 , 12:28am
post #4 of 29

whoa....stop the horses! Go and talk to the landlord, this is crazy! If he goes through with this it could kill both businesses and then he will have more vacant spots.
This person is trying to piggy back off of you. This just make no business sense to me. Who would be stupid enough to do something like this. I would NEVER set up shot right next door to another cake/baker.
Hopefully, when they go to get a loan they will say no simply because of the location. Then again, I hope it doesn't get that far in the first place.

Time to lift up your spatula and prepare for war.

ayerim979 Posted 1 Feb 2010 , 12:38am
post #5 of 29

Wow Im with you, it is pretty low that someone who even try to do something like that. Morally its just wrong but not illegal .


Where my mom has her business this lady decided to open a shop right across the street from my mom. pretty much the selling the same things, she only lasted 6 months. My mom went down to the city and complained because she was told (when she 1st open he business) that they had to make sure there wasn't another coffee shop located near her, she could not open her business till they came and inspected.

But apparently I guess laws changed because the city did nothing.

Now another couple opened something similar a block away but, that no problem they have a right to I think as long as its not across the street not next door.

Sorry to make this so long icon_redface.gif

I wish you the best and good luck.

meegz Posted 1 Feb 2010 , 12:55am
post #6 of 29

First off; I totally agree, it sounds like a dodgy idea to me, I couldn't move in right next to a competitor...

BUT, there are plenty of other reasons why someone would pick a certain location, other than to steal business. Maybe it is conveniently close to their home, or childs school... Or, the only thing they can find that suits them and their price range??

Having said that - you are probably exactly right and they figure some of your customers will walk through their door by accident!

costumeczar Posted 1 Feb 2010 , 1:01am
post #7 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by MCC


I don't understand what the draw is and why they would want to jeopardize someone else's business. It annoys me to no end that the bakers have the nerve to come into my shop and act as if it is no big deal. They have the nerve to act as if we're best friends and that I should help them out with advice on how to set up the business and attract foot traffic. I'm at a loss on how to exactly this. I don't want to seem like a witch, but at the same time I have to protect my business.




That's exactly what the draw is, they want to use the work that you've done and capitalize on the fact that people come to that area to get cakes. If anyone asks you for advice, just tell them that you can't imagine why they would think you, as a business owner, would want to help them be your competition, and that it's something you're going to be talking to the landlord about. If that doesn't scare them away then they're dumber than I think.

julzs71 Posted 1 Feb 2010 , 1:11am
post #8 of 29

Which agreement did you sign? Do you have a copy of the draft?
I would talk to the landlord.
This sucks! I think it is down right rotten of someone to do this.

LaBellaFlor Posted 1 Feb 2010 , 1:15am
post #9 of 29

I would be talking to a lawyer with the final signed draft of your lease. Let him tell you what all your options are as far as dealing with landlord, cause it sound slike he is double dipping.

ljdills Posted 1 Feb 2010 , 1:31am
post #10 of 29

It really doesn't matter what the draft says, it is the final signed lease that matters and if the no compete clause was left out then there are not many legal options available. People are crazy, I don't understand why someone would want to locate next door to a competitor. Sorry this is happening to you.

mommyle Posted 1 Feb 2010 , 1:39am
post #11 of 29

So sorry for you. Some people have no class. or brains.

I would, also, beneath your name on your store-front, have "Est. 2006" or whenever, so that people REALLY realize that you are the original, and she is the Johnny-come-lately.

tcakes65 Posted 1 Feb 2010 , 2:14am
post #12 of 29

Thanks to everyone for your support. The final signed lease had the non-compete clause in it. Somehow the landlord did not put the final, signed copy in our file. I've asked numerous times for this to be addressed, but they have been ignored. I agree this won't bode well for either of our businesses. Thanks for the suggestion, mommyle. I was going to put up some new window vinyls soon anyway so this would be the perfect addition. icon_biggrin.gif

ShopGrl1128 Posted 1 Feb 2010 , 2:16am
post #13 of 29

I feel so sorry for you, I'm going through a similiar situation, TWO cake shops are opening a block away from me and I just find out today that ANOTHER cake place opened 5 miles in town.

The saddest thing is that one of the girls thinks is the greatest idea for all our businesses to be so close together and wanted to be BFF with this lady who is opening her shop 5 places away from her, of course this lady gave her the cold shoulder; and then she sends one of her friends to MY business to snoop around (pretending to be a customer) and ask all kind of questions, this woman had the [email protected] to take notes about my business in the back of my own business card icon_mad.gif , when I asked what's up with that she got all nervous and left and THEN she calls me and ask me even more questions!...I flipped out on her, so I'm guessing she won't be calling again icon_twisted.gif

I don't mind other business owners to professionally introduce themselves and play a fair game, but when people do this kind of stuff it drives me nuts! thumbsdown.gif

mkolmar Posted 1 Feb 2010 , 2:23am
post #14 of 29

My DH said next time they come in asking for advice tell them "Yeah, I have some advice, get the F tapedshut.gif out the door."

DebBTX Posted 1 Feb 2010 , 2:35am
post #15 of 29

I would be upset as well. It sounds like it has the potential to cause a lot of confusion and hard-feelings.

I hope that customers in your area don't expect to reap the benefits of a price war if the others move next door. I am amazed the landlord would think this would be a good thing.

I like the idea of making your door and windows stand out. Something special.

-Debbie B.

mamawrobin Posted 1 Feb 2010 , 2:38am
post #16 of 29

Talk to an attorney and your landlord a.s.a.p.

weirkd Posted 1 Feb 2010 , 2:41am
post #17 of 29

Its funny but Ive seen this in so many other industries. I worked for a food broker and the competitors were all on the same street. I worked for an arcitectural aluminum company and their competitors were with a mile a way also.

You also see it with supermarkets. You will see one down the road from the other. I dont understand it. To me its cutting their own throat! I guess they think if their prices are competitive that they will attract more customers or something. I dont get it myself.

But have you seen the commercial lately for Office Depot? If not let me fill you in....A guy is a barber and see's this huge hair cuttery type place move in across the street with big signs advertising $6 hair cuts. The the man goes to Office Depot and has a sign made that reads.....We Fix $6 Hair Cuts! Need I say more?

Just because she opens a shop next door doesnt mean your business is dead. Just make sure your customers know that your the better choice!

And also check into your zoning board. Some states make it illegal to have something like that happen depending the business, etc. And good luck!

julzs71 Posted 1 Feb 2010 , 3:07am
post #18 of 29

The signed copy takes presedence over a file copy. Nicely ask him what is going on and if he confirms that a cake shop is coming in show him the signed copy and if he insist, tell him you will be talking to a lawyer.

Now don't take this as legal advice, you should really speak to a lawyer.
I might even speak to the other girl and tell her that if she continues, you will take them to court and she may not be able to open months or years, and if you win she won't be able to open at all.

Maybe she will reconsider and you won't have to worry about it at all.

JanJess Posted 1 Feb 2010 , 3:34am
post #19 of 29

Since your attempts have gone unanswered, I would just go to a lawyer, have them write a letter to the landlord and let them know if they can't come up with the original there will be more legal problems and this is just the start. With some people, you just can't get their attention unless it comes on a letterhead from an attorney. It would be money well spent IMO.

saffronica Posted 1 Feb 2010 , 4:02am
post #20 of 29

It's not always a bad thing to have competitors close by. For example, my mom does a lot of quilting. There's an area of the city where there are three different fabric stores all in close proximity, and when she needs fabric, she ALWAYS goes there first. That way, if one store doesn't have what she's looking for, she can check out the other two without having to drive all over town.

I realize that it's different for a custom cake shop, but it might not be as bad as you think. Plus, if this other girls' stuff is not as good as yours, you come across looking even better and might end up stealing HER customers.

tcakes65 Posted 1 Feb 2010 , 4:22am
post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by saffronica

It's not always a bad thing to have competitors close by. For example, my mom does a lot of quilting. There's an area of the city where there are three different fabric stores all in close proximity, and when she needs fabric, she ALWAYS goes there first. That way, if one store doesn't have what she's looking for, she can check out the other two without having to drive all over town.

I realize that it's different for a custom cake shop, but it might not be as bad as you think. Plus, if this other girls' stuff is not as good as yours, you come across looking even better and might end up stealing HER customers.




The shops are right next to each other...no streets or gaps in between. The only thing separating the spaces is a wall; kind of like walking from store to store in a mall or a downtown square. We could actually converse through the walls...lol. With that being said, there is nothing ethical about what she's wanting to do and doesn't benefit anyone, including the client.

RachieRach Posted 1 Feb 2010 , 5:20am
post #22 of 29

Have you actually spoken to your landlord about potential bakeries moving in to get his/her POV? I would be shocked if both businesses were able to be successful. A good landlord would want to stick with the business with a solid track record vs. the new kid on the block. If your landlord is considering leasing space to another competitor figure out why.

Good Luck!!

Stumptowncakes Posted 1 Feb 2010 , 9:55am
post #23 of 29

Playing devils advocate here. I have had a licensed home cake decorating business now for 2 years and a bakery just moved in down the street a few months ago. I went in and introduced myself, gave my business card and offered my services and or collaboration on future projects. I wouldn't automatically assume this person has ill intent. S/he does not sound like they have good business sense wanting to move in next door. In which case they won't be in business long anyway. I firmly believe that if you have a great product you will keep and win over more clients than she could take away.

With that, take your contract to a lawyer asap....a letter or even a phone call from a lawyer will light a fire under your landlords behind to behave. He may be able to get more rent from this new person and may be trying to push you out....I repeat, contact a lawyer so you can protect your business.

Good Luck and keep us posted!

Mike1394 Posted 1 Feb 2010 , 10:51am
post #24 of 29

I disagree. If they are confident in thier product why shouldn't they. I don't see anything wrong in targetting your competition.

Mike

tcakes65 Posted 1 Feb 2010 , 1:00pm
post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stumptowncakes

Playing devils advocate here. I have had a licensed home cake decorating business now for 2 years and a bakery just moved in down the street a few months ago. I went in and introduced myself, gave my business card and offered my services and or collaboration on future projects. I wouldn't automatically assume this person has ill intent. S/he does not sound like they have good business sense wanting to move in next door. In which case they won't be in business long anyway. I firmly believe that if you have a great product you will keep and win over more clients than she could take away.

With that, take your contract to a lawyer asap....a letter or even a phone call from a lawyer will light a fire under your landlords behind to behave. He may be able to get more rent from this new person and may be trying to push you out....I repeat, contact a lawyer so you can protect your business.

Good Luck and keep us posted!




She isn't down the street! She will be 15 feet away from my shop!!!! I am amazed that anyone would think this is ok. If this woman was down the street in another shopping area, she frankly wouldn't be on my radar. There is a lot of competition in my city with at least 30 cake businesses, if not more, along with the unlicensed bakers, Publix and Walmart. I welcome competition. However, NOT 15 FEET AWAY.

costumeczar Posted 1 Feb 2010 , 1:36pm
post #26 of 29

Anyone who would be stupid enough to think it's okay to open a shop RIGHT NEXT DOOR would also not be above undercutting your prices all day long. She'd probably wait to see what you were doing that day, then do the same thing but 50 cents cheaper. Even if all you do is custom cakes, you can be sure that after a few days the same designs that you have in your shop would be showing up in hers.

MalibuBakinBarbie Posted 1 Feb 2010 , 1:58pm
post #27 of 29

As others have suggested, talk to your landlord. I would also suggest talking to representatives in your town/county. As I am a business owner, one of the steps we had to go through for approval was making sure we were not within "x" distance of another "competing" business. (And even though we own the property, I doubt it would've been any different if we were renting space.) So this may not be allowed, and if it's not, it can be handled easily, without anyone looking like the "bad guy".

I'm sorry to hear your dealing with this. I hope it all works out for you.

tcakes65 Posted 1 Feb 2010 , 2:01pm
post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalibuBakinBarbie

As others have suggested, talk to your landlord. I would also suggest talking to representatives in your town/county. As I am a business owner, one of the steps we had to go through for approval was making sure we were not within "x" distance of another "competing" business. (And even though we own the property, I doubt it would've been any different if we were renting space.) So this may not be allowed, and if it's not, it can be handled easily, without anyone looking like the "bad guy".

I'm sorry to hear your dealing with this. I hope it all works out for you.




Thanks, and I'll check into it. I may have to sidestep the landlord in this situation. I sent correspondence to one of the landlord's reps and look forward to the response. That is unless they ignore me. icon_lol.gif

cakesweetiecake Posted 1 Feb 2010 , 3:35pm
post #29 of 29

I think if I was in your shoes I would be a little upset, especially considering that you discussed this with the landlord in the past.
Aside from the landord issue, it's business. I have a friend who recently opened a shop in walking distance from another cake shop in the area. For the most part, they do different stuff. However, they do some of the same stuff. This was not the place she initially wanted to move in. After coming across a few places that didnt work out, she found this one. It happened to meet her needs and simply work for her. So, she took it. I know she didnt have any ill motives for moving so close to the other shop. In talking to her, I found that the previous tenants (in her building) were actually going to do custom cakes like the shop down the street from her.

I also agree that if you have a great product, you wont have anything to worry about.

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%