My Doormat Days Are Over!

Baking By JGMB Updated 8 Mar 2010 , 2:08am by luv2bake6

JGMB Posted 6 Mar 2010 , 11:09pm
post #1 of 17

I've finally grown a spine!!! An acquaintance today told me that she'd been volunteered to make the purse cookies for an upcoming shower. She asked if I had an icing recipe she could have, then she said, "Or, maybe I could come over to your house one day and you could show me how to make them." I shot back, in a nice tone of voice, "Or maybe you could have me make them and write a check to my favorite charity." (This is what I do, since I'm not a licensed baker.) So, I sent her this awesome photo from robinscakes http://www.cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1272400 and she responded, saying that she'd pay $30 for 30 cookies. I told her that there's no way I'd do them for a dollar apiece with all the work, ingredients and individual cellophane bags. Then, I sweetly offered her my icing recipe. Yep, I've definitely grown a spine, and it feels good!!!

(Aren't people bold? I ran into this same thing a few weeks ago when I made 48 Valentine cupcakes for a lady at church and she handed me a check made out to the charity for $30!!! I wanted to cry -- that's 62 cents a cupcake. The ingredients alone had cost me over $20!! She called me later that day, RAVING over the cupcakes, and asked if she could come over. The optimist in me thought she was coming to bring a bigger check. But, no, she said she'd like to learn how to bake from scratch and do that beautiful cupcake swirl. People never cease to amaze me. . . )

16 replies
noahsmummy Posted 6 Mar 2010 , 11:23pm
post #2 of 17

i need to get me one of those.. i only "charge" for ingredients, but most of the time; the amount of money people give me isnt even enough to cover ingridients.. then they come back raving about how i should start a business ra ra. teach me how to grow this back bone you speak of....lol

BlakesCakes Posted 7 Mar 2010 , 5:11am
post #3 of 17

All of my work is done for donations to charity (or directly for charities at no cost to them), but I DETERMINE THE AMOUNT OF THE DONATION!!!!!

I even go so far as to give the donor a money order for the amount and they give me the donation amount back in cash. They make a copy of the money order and retain the receipt for their taxes and then mail off the donation to the charity in the addressed, stamped envelope that I provide.

Not everyone would be so presumptuous as to pay just .62/cupcake, but ..........heck, some would even pay LESS!

If anyone argues with me about the value I set on the items, then I just tell them NO.

Rae

luv2bake6 Posted 7 Mar 2010 , 2:34pm
post #4 of 17

That's EXACTLY what i get all the time. I mostly make cookies or bouquets as gifts with the occasional few orders from word of mouth, but i'm trying to build up a small customer base, and everyone calls to tell me i should open up an official biz.....blah, blah, blah. But then when these same people want to order something and ask what i'd charge, they make lame excuses and go onto the next topic. Don't you wish people would just keep their comments to themselves? I know they are trying to be nice by praising my work but they don't need to go as far as to say i should open a biz when they themselves wouldn't pay the price.

I just recently got 2 calls from 2 different people raving about my cookies and asking if i could give one my cookie recipe, and the other my icing recipe. Are you kidding me? Do people go into bakeries and ask for their recipes? I agree, JG, tell them to buy the cookies instead. But i hear your frustration as well.

TracyLH Posted 7 Mar 2010 , 4:08pm
post #5 of 17

From personal experience, I would be careful about giving out original recipes and teaching people the techniques that you have spent hours teaching yourself and developing. I taught someone how to do something a while ago and she turned around and tried to undersell me, using the techniques I taught her that were supposed to have been only done as gifts for her mother. Luckily, this was not cookie related, but it gives me pause now. It just depends on what you want to end up doing in the long run. Just be careful. Not paranoid. icon_smile.gif Just careful. I do help out friends and teach them, but I am cautious otherwise. Just my two cents worth.

disneygirl44 Posted 7 Mar 2010 , 5:41pm
post #6 of 17

I know what you all mean...I have been doing cakes for fun for yrs...the last few yrs I have taken some classes to learn more. I have paid for the classes and have enjoyed them very much! While I do not do the cakes as a profession, I do charge for the cakes. For family I only charge for the ingredients and for all others I do charge more...depending on the cake. I made a cake for my advanced cake class last month, brought it to work and someone offered to buy it. When I told them the price of it they laughed at me and walked away. I was kind of ticked...granted i did not make the cake for someone, but I did put alot of hours in to it and the ingriendents cost...Then in talking with some people who saw a picture of the cake 1 person said she would never pay alot for a cake like that....Then most people say, you should open your own shop your so talented. I am not that good...I just do it for fun...Do not let those cheapies take advantage of you...If you show teach on how to do the cake decorating, then you should charge....that will keep people from trying to take advantage!!

luv2bake6 Posted 7 Mar 2010 , 6:05pm
post #7 of 17

Absolutely, i completely agree. If you show anything, it should be in a class setting where you are getting paid to show them. And of course, you don't show or teach what is making you stand out as a cookie or cake decorator.

Just this morning, i got a call from an acquaintance who also decorates cookies. She wanted to borrow a cookie cutter that she knew i had. No problem with that. But then she said she saw a cookie platter i had made for someone and wanted to know how i did it. (she didn't come right out and ask, but was hinting around it) I pretended i had to run cuz someone was at my door and quickly hung up. I know, bad bad. But, it's more comfortable doing that than telling her that i cannot share my techniques with a competitor. I'm just surprised that people out there have the nerve to do this. I guess i'm naive and way too nice.

Delynn Posted 7 Mar 2010 , 9:00pm
post #8 of 17

Yep, count me in. I came up with this awesome chicken salad recipe. A co-worker wanted the recipe, so I said sorry, it's my secret recipe. She kept trying to guess what was in it... I still didn't give in. My sister has also tasted it and wanted the recipe. Sorry... it's my secret recipe. My mom, months later, wanted to know if I had a chicken salad recipe... "Yep, my secret recipe", figuring she was asking for it to then give it to my sister?

Same thing with my cookie recipe and my BC icing recipe. I've been asked for the recipe, to which I politely respond "I'd love to share it with you but it's taken me a long time to come up with these and I've spent money taking classes to learn what I have". It may be mean but I won't even give my own sister or mother the recipes! I tell them "a magician never reveals his tricks either".

Case in point, using "process of elimination", I made 11 different sugar cookie recipes (using the same cutter), layed each cookie on a cake board, tasted them, rated them and wrote notes next to each one. Yep very time consuming and expensive but it was worth it because I discovered the best cookie recipe for my needs.

icon_biggrin.gif

AngelaM Posted 7 Mar 2010 , 9:05pm
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by JGMB

that's 62 cents a cupcake.




Even PUBLIX sells their cupcakes for more than that!

indydebi Posted 7 Mar 2010 , 9:15pm
post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by noahsmummy

i need to get me one of those.. i only "charge" for ingredients, but most of the time; the amount of money people give me isnt even enough to cover ingridients.. then they come back raving about how i should start a business ra ra. teach me how to grow this back bone you speak of....lol



Easy way to fix that. you give them a list of what you need, right down to roll of paper towels and bottle of dishsoap for cleanup, and make THEM run all over town to get the stuff. Be sure to mark it "No substitutions allowed" (I won't accept walmart brand shortening instead of crisco!) AND that you get to keep the excess for your trouble (i.e. you need 4 eggs, they have to buy a whole dozen, you keep the extra 8. And no, they DON'T get to put the extra 8 in "an account to be used later" because you can't save those 8 eggs for 9 weeks in case they might sorta maybe kinda might want more cookies later!)

Anyone who complains about "why do I have to buy a bottle of soap?" can be told (a) "why should *I* pay for the soap to make YOUR cookies?" or (b) "no problem .... I'm sure you'll have a great time making them yourself."

luv2bake6 Posted 7 Mar 2010 , 10:25pm
post #11 of 17

You are too funny debi, and so very right.

delynn, i'm with you. I won't give my mom my recipe, especially since she doesn't give me any of hers!
And i've also spent a long time trying to find a good recipe. I tried almost every recipe that i came across, which took forever, and am finally happy with the NFSC i got here, as well as the glace.

I find that the more i practice, and the more time i spend on this forum, i learn various techniques. Why should i just give that over to anyone when they can just do all the same research i did themselves? The info is all out there, they're just too lazy to do the work.

BlakesCakes Posted 7 Mar 2010 , 10:32pm
post #12 of 17

I've just told people, "Sorry, that's not something I can really share." and left it at that.

I was surprised awhile back when I got a PM from a CC member asking for some super detailed instructions on something I'd made in a class. I like to be helpful, but I'd spent $150 and 2 days in that class, so........I wasn't about to spill the beans. I wrote back explaining that nicely, but I really thought that it should have been pretty obvious that it wasn't something that could be explained in a quick PM.

People don't want to hear it, but sometimes you have to spend the time and $$ to figure out things for yourself. Actually, for me, that's a lot of the fun. I guess I was some sort of investigator in another life icon_lol.gif

Rae

noahsmummy Posted 7 Mar 2010 , 10:56pm
post #13 of 17

lol debi; i have considered sending a list, but most of the epeople i bake for dont even know what copha is.. so id be frightened of what would turn up in the bags of ingredients.. haha.

and with the teaching thing.. i DO have a backbone there. i have phtotos of some of my stuff on fb and i always have people asking how i did stuff. Well; you see theres this wonderful thing called "google" that may lead you to an even more wonderful place called cc. it really annoys me. i am totally self taught; im not going to give you a totally detailed instruction set of everything ive done. i do give them some extremely vague directions along with my no fail excuse of "i dont really know how i did it.. i kinda just winged it..."

grrr if you really want to do something, put the time and effort into learning it; alot of people seem to think cake decorating is something you can perfect in 5 mins.. oh gosh no. you gotta work for it! as with anything else in life.

newmansmom2004 Posted 7 Mar 2010 , 10:58pm
post #14 of 17

Good for you, JGMB! A spine is good for all kinds of things, but mostly for being able to stand up straight, hold your head high, look these people in the eye and say, "Thank you for the compliment. I'm glad you like my (cakes, cookies, whatever), but you'll get my recipes and techniques right after monkeys fly out my a**."

icon_lol.gif

luv2bake6 Posted 8 Mar 2010 , 1:12am
post #15 of 17

icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif OMG, thanks for the laugh!!

Like i said, i've learned so much here but it took hours and hours of keeping up with the posts, and asking questions, and reading other people's advice, etc. It takes a tremendous amount of time and effort but because i like it, i keep at it. Why any of the people around me would think i'd just give it away, is beyond me.

noahsmummy Posted 8 Mar 2010 , 1:29am
post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by luv2bake6

icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif OMG, thanks for the laugh!!

Like i said, i've learned so much here but it took hours and hours of keeping up with the posts, and asking questions, and reading other people's advice, etc. It takes a tremendous amount of time and effort but because i like it, i keep at it. Why any of the people around me would think i'd just give it away, is beyond me.




totally agree! gosh i check cc hourly! yes yes ive already admitted i am a severe cc-a-holic. but i like it that way. icon_biggrin.gif

luv2bake6 Posted 8 Mar 2010 , 2:08am
post #17 of 17

Me too, i love cc!!

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