Really Need Advice....... Please!

Business By PaulineG Updated 22 Mar 2010 , 1:10am by IceMaidenUK

PaulineG Posted 21 Mar 2010 , 5:41pm
post #1 of 11

Hi There,

For those of you who have shops/ bakeries or pretty much do cakes for a living, I was hoping for some advice.
My business partner and I opened a cake shop 5 weeks ago, and we have been inundated with business. This is a wonderful complaint, but we are struggling to cope. It's only the 2 of us in the shop, and we feel that the max amount of cakes we can do in a week is 10, as well as cupcake orders etc. Can I ask (particularly to any UK bakers) how many cakes you take on per week?

Also, at the moment we are struggling with a work routine. We currently bake at the beginning of each week, and freeze a batch of cakes. Then we defrost and buttercream & ice the day before the order is due to go out. However, w feel that freezing the cakes is not ideal, as they are not as fresh as could be. How do you all plan your week? Do you bake every order the day before? How do you run your shop on a day to day basis?

The other thing is that we are inspired by Hummingbird bakery, Primrose and places like that. We want to get known for our cupcakes. Do you think it's possible to achieve this ourselves, or do we need to take on staff?

Sorry for all the questions, but my head is all over the place, and I am just looking for ideas and advice.

Thanks a lot
Pauline

10 replies
catlharper Posted 21 Mar 2010 , 5:49pm
post #2 of 11

I freeze all of my cakes and they taste wonderfully fresh so I wouldn't worry about that. Yes, I bake the first part of the week and decorate, in order of delivery, the second part of the week. Good luck with your shop, sounds like you have a success on your hands!

KarmaStew Posted 21 Mar 2010 , 5:54pm
post #3 of 11

Five weeks is not a long time. It might take several months before you get your routines down pat. Look for time-savers..... 10-20 QT mixer, commercial dishwasher, more pans, large oven. You can easily cover and decorate two-three days before the cake is due.

Bakingangel Posted 21 Mar 2010 , 6:21pm
post #4 of 11

I freeze all my cakes because they are definately more moist that way. The secret is in the wrapping. I've experimented and found that if I wrap it with wax paper, then clear food wrap, and then with foil they are wonderfully moist. I have a dedicated upright freezer for cakes. The best cake I ever tasted was one that I had frozen for 4 months (an extra for emergencies).

LuvLyrics Posted 21 Mar 2010 , 6:37pm
post #5 of 11

I have never frozen any cakes, but I agree with bakingangel, if you wraped it air tight then you should be ok. Also have you considered hiring people in as needed basis?, also check if there is a pastry or culinary school were students needs to do their intership or practice their skills, this can be a great help to you at a lower cost than hiring full time, and students are the most willing to work and learn.... I know I was an intern once too...

On a side note, I have a friend from Scotland and he just came to miami for a week, our temp was 75 degrees yesterday and he told me that would be really hot for Scotland...so there go my chances of visiting Scotland LOl... the good thing is you don't have to worry about humidity for your cakes !!!

Good luck and wish you continue success..

leah_s Posted 21 Mar 2010 , 7:02pm
post #6 of 11

I also bake early in the week so that I CAN freeze every cake. If you know how to wrap and ave a good freezer (non-defrosting and cakes only is best) the result is a MUCH better cake.

cakesdivine Posted 21 Mar 2010 , 7:47pm
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulineG

Also, at the moment we are struggling with a work routine. We currently bake at the beginning of each week, and freeze a batch of cakes. Then we defrost and buttercream & ice the day before the order is due to go out. However, w feel that freezing the cakes is not ideal, as they are not as fresh as could be. How do you all plan your week? Do you bake every order the day before? How do you run your shop on a day to day basis?


Thanks a lot
Pauline




Actually freezing is your best friend. Freeze only once, it will help with the moistness of your cakes and not hurt the freshness. It is the constant defrosting and refreezing that will compromise the freshness so only freeze once. You can refrigerate the crumb coated cakes until you need to decorate them. Once covered in fondant the freshness will seal in the flavor and moisture so the cake will be fresh tasting when served.

Kims_cakes Posted 21 Mar 2010 , 7:54pm
post #8 of 11

I think a cake tastes better when it's been frozen. I'm glad to see it's not just me. icon_biggrin.gif

1234me Posted 21 Mar 2010 , 8:33pm
post #9 of 11

I know you are trying to save on costs but I think you need to hire someone to work the counter for you. You can be back decorating and baking while someone else is making the sales. You may just break even on being able to paay this person but you will be able to free yourself up more to do what you really want!

marknelliesmum Posted 21 Mar 2010 , 11:24pm
post #10 of 11

Pauline, its lovely to hear a fellow Scot doing so well - good for you!

leahs wrote:

Quote:
Quote:

If you know how to wrap




What do you advise? Similar to bakingangel or something different? I have read on here that so many people freeze but i'm sure i also read that scratch cakes don't freeze too well - is this a lot of rubbish or does it matter what kind of cake you are making - so I have never frozen any which is fine coz i'm a hobby baker and not inundated with orders like you guys but I have two cakes due the day after I get back from holiday in a few weeks time and I thought i might give it a try to save time.

As for the weather here in Scotland icon_cry.gif me and the kids went for a walk in our t-shirts yesterday to celebrate the lovely warm spring weather ( it was 11 degrees icon_redface.gif so yes 75 is tropical to us but hey it was -21 in some places a few weeks back so above freezing is a bonus!)

IceMaidenUK Posted 22 Mar 2010 , 1:10am
post #11 of 11

Congrats on your success, it gives me hope for my long term plan of opening a cake shop down here in Somerset. thumbs_up.gif

I too freeze my cakes quite regularly and don't find that it compromises the quality. If you are really concerned about this try baking a batch of small cakes, freezing them then defrosting and tasting them yourself over a period of weeks. This will reassure you that they still taste great. The other thing to bare in mind is that, sadly, the vast majority of people have never made a cake themselves and so are used to eating mass produced cake. You could leave your homemade cake in the freezer for a year and it would still taste better than Mr Kiplings!

Good luck, I hope business remains brisk.

Julie

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