Customers Who Become Friends

Decorating By Kitagrl Updated 16 Apr 2010 , 11:06pm by KHalstead

Kitagrl Posted 15 Apr 2010 , 6:57pm
post #1 of 32

I just thought it might be a pleasant topic...any of you have customers who started out strangers and then become friends, at least to an extent?

I have a couple...one is a lady who has been buying cakes for her kids for several years now...very sweet...and one of her kids goes to the same specialists as my son...my son has chronic hives and her son has chronic eczema...so anyway whenever she comes to buy a cake we chat about it a bit. I haven't done anything special for her yet but one of these days I'll probably add in something extra, like maybe some cookies!

Another one is a lady who has bought birthday cakes from me for a few years as well....however her 3 year old son has struggled with heart surgeries and a stroke all in his little young life. He is cute as a button, too! They recently picked up birthday cakes for both kids about a month ago and lately I've been following them on facebook...the little guy has been having struggle after struggle and soon he will be facing another MAJOR heart surgery. I decided (and asked the mom) that I would deliver a little cake to the hospital a couple days after his surgery (for free of course) in whatever character he likes best. (I think I am going to do a little cookie monster!) Anyway I just am happy to be able to do something special for this little guy...and it is neat that a few years ago they were strangers looking around for a birthday cake.

Any other stories of customers that have turned "special" to you?

(The only bad thing is the more you like your customer, the more you hate charging them full price for cake haha)

31 replies
Rosa2745 Posted 15 Apr 2010 , 7:04pm
post #2 of 32

Wow you have a very big heart. Most people would never think to do something extra for someone unless they were family or close friends. I think that is great that you are willing to do something like that. Your generosity will be returned ten times over. icon_smile.gif

KHalstead Posted 15 Apr 2010 , 7:09pm
post #3 of 32

I actually think I just had one made yesterday LOL. A girl ordered a wedding cake for her sister a WEEK before her wedding because their baker cancelled and her sister was too upset to even bother finding a cake after Wal-Mart turned her down.

The sister of the bride calls and sounded kinda desperate, I had set aside the date as "booked" because I had a lot of family/church things going on that weekend and was getting burned out a little on the cakes.

Anyhow, I agreed to take the order understanding their situtation....that was the week before Easter. She returned plates/pillars and I emailed for an address to send the deposit money back and never got a reply. So I called her yesterday and we got to talking.
She thanked me profusely for coming to their rescue with the cake telling me how wonderful it looked and tasted! I told her I really felt God had me set aside that date so that I would be available to help them (if I hadn't set it aside I would have had potentially 10 other cakes and NEVER would have been physically able to do their cake).......so then we started talking about faith.

She loves kids and used to be involved in a kids ministry at her church, her husband plays guitar, bass, and drums........I invite her to come to church with met this weekend, she agrees and says "we've been looking for a church to begin attending"...........you'll never believe it, but our church has been praying for someone to lead the worship services (someone musically inclined) so the pastor doesn't have to do it anymore (he'd like to just sit and worship instead of handling the music) and they are also looking for someone to help out with the children's church service!

We talked for 4 1/2 hrs. before I had to cut her off to go do a tasting, but I really think her and I would/could become very good friends!

Kitagrl Posted 15 Apr 2010 , 7:10pm
post #4 of 32

KH, I love that!!!

indydebi Posted 15 Apr 2010 , 7:14pm
post #5 of 32

yes. one lady would pop in the shop just to chat. She and I are alot alike....blunt, brash and to the point (no wonder I luv her!). She not only became a friend, but worked for me on a few wedding caterings, and came down to help me move some things when I closed the shop.

She's the one wedding cake I will be doing post-shop-closing. And I'm giving her the cake as a friend!

pat-a-cakes Posted 15 Apr 2010 , 7:16pm
post #6 of 32

I am pretty new to this but my very first official customer (the mom of one of my son's friends) has bought cakes for her kids birthdays and other special occassions. When I found out it was her birthday I made her a mini-cake just for her and sent it home from school with her son. She was thrilled and I'm sure she will be a very loyal customer for years to come.

momma28 Posted 15 Apr 2010 , 7:19pm
post #7 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

yes. one lady would pop in the shop just to chat. She and I are alot alike....blunt, brash and to the point (no wonder I luv her!). She not only became a friend, but worked for me on a few wedding caterings, and came down to help me move some things when I closed the shop.

She's the one wedding cake I will be doing post-shop-closing. And I'm giving her the cake as a friend!





im sorry, im not on as much as I used to be, your closing????

Joybeth Posted 15 Apr 2010 , 7:22pm
post #8 of 32

I have just written a book called Godly Christian Drama...It was completely edited and published by a local church, the head lady at the print shop donated all her time to help me..She is a really great friend who has had me make wedding cakes for several of her ladies in church...So she is getting married again after 37 years of widowhood...and I am doing the cake..this weekend for saturday, I am also leaving for texas for a week on friday so my Mom is having to make the delivery for me. KH I know exactly what you mean, I had planned on leaving for texas, thursday, but plans changed and I would have not been able to do the cake, and now I can! I am so thankful for good friends!

indydebi Posted 15 Apr 2010 , 7:31pm
post #9 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by momma28

im sorry, im not on as much as I used to be, your closing????


I closed last november. Am now in school full time pursuing a history teaching degree. It was a health issue. I have arthritis in my neck and catering is hard, hot, heavy work. It came down to "take care of it now or pay SEVERELY for it later." A hard, but no-brainer decision.

Loucinda Posted 15 Apr 2010 , 7:57pm
post #10 of 32

I love this posting! I have a few clients that have become special friends. One family I have done the wedding cake, then baby shower, and now the children's birthdays. Money was tight for them this year, and I know their little girl is so used to having my cake for her birthday (she starts as soon as one birthday is over planning her next one and she is only 5!!) They had already told me that they would not be able to get her birthday cake from me this year due to money issues, so 2 weeks before her birthday I called to ask what Catie wanted, this years cake is a gift from me. Her mom cried when I told her. I have the kindest thank you note that I have ever recieved from them. There are some folks that just find their way into your heart!

Kitagrl Posted 15 Apr 2010 , 8:15pm
post #11 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loucinda

I love this posting! I have a few clients that have become special friends. One family I have done the wedding cake, then baby shower, and now the children's birthdays. Money was tight for them this year, and I know their little girl is so used to having my cake for her birthday (she starts as soon as one birthday is over planning her next one and she is only 5!!) They had already told me that they would not be able to get her birthday cake from me this year due to money issues, so 2 weeks before her birthday I called to ask what Catie wanted, this years cake is a gift from me. Her mom cried when I told her. I have the kindest thank you note that I have ever recieved from them. There are some folks that just find their way into your heart!




Awww! Its so sweet watching a family "grow" through caking!!!! I love that. Unfortunately some of the customers I got when I was starting out around here are no longer able to get my cakes since I've had to dramatically raise prices (well, dramatically compared to 5 years ago, for those who only buy once per year or so). But I still have several faithful regulars!!!

Uniqueask Posted 15 Apr 2010 , 8:49pm
post #12 of 32

These stories are so touching, I have been licensed and everything, but not selling cakes yet, I always give away mine, and am always willing to help people, so these stories brought tears to my eyes and joys to my heart, you go girls, I am taking a week off my work starting april 28 to may 5th, to take care of my friend's kids she has 5 three of them are my God kids, including the twins which are five months old, and one w of the twins were born with two holes in her heart, and has down syndrome, so she is having surgery on the 29th and I have to take care of the other twin, and the older kids for her until she comes back from the Hospital in Albany, I am also making their christening cake this wekend. Happy to do it. Kita girl I just became a fan of your face book ,and did I say my time off is without pay, because I only work part time at my kids school.

momma28 Posted 15 Apr 2010 , 10:27pm
post #13 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by momma28

im sorry, im not on as much as I used to be, your closing????

I closed last november. Am now in school full time pursuing a history teaching degree. It was a health issue. I have arthritis in my neck and catering is hard, hot, heavy work. It came down to "take care of it now or pay SEVERELY for it later." A hard, but no-brainer decision.




I am sorry to hear about your health issues icon_sad.gif I hope you will not leave cc icon_smile.gif

indydebi Posted 16 Apr 2010 , 12:31am
post #14 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by momma28

I am sorry to hear about your health issues icon_sad.gif I hope you will not leave cc icon_smile.gif


Oh you are SO not getting rid of me THAT easy! icon_biggrin.gif

tarheelgirl Posted 16 Apr 2010 , 12:50am
post #15 of 32

Yes! I have made a couple friends from cakes! I've had my business running for almost 4 years.. I have gone from making the baby shower cake to making their child's 1st, 2nd, 3rd birthday cakes. I think that is pretty awesome! thumbs_up.gif

KHalstead Posted 16 Apr 2010 , 12:20pm
post #16 of 32

by the way, just as an FYI..........I too have been through certain family's milestones over the last 3 yrs. and something that I always do when I take an order is put "notes" on their personal info in my cake boss program

For instance: a lady calls for a cake for her DD Lilly, mentions they just had a cake from wal-mart for her DS Mark's bday on March 24th that was terrible (I put in notes, DD name is LIlly- Lilly's BDAY is May 29th, DS name is Mark-BDay is March 24th).

then at the beginning of March the NEXT year, I send out a postcard (get them at vista print) to the lady's address that says "Happy Birthday Mark!!" from Tina's Sugar Shack.......along with a coupon for 10% off all orders over $100.

Then a little later, beginning of May "happy 3rd birthday (since I knew her age) LIlly!!" again 10% off orders over $100.00.

works like a charm everytime!

Kitagrl Posted 16 Apr 2010 , 12:53pm
post #17 of 32

That's a great idea! I have thought about doing that but don't have my notes organized enough for that yet....

tarheelgirl Posted 16 Apr 2010 , 1:10pm
post #18 of 32

Great idea KHalstead! thumbs_up.gif

KHalstead Posted 16 Apr 2010 , 3:12pm
post #19 of 32

I also send $.50 "Congratulations on your Engagement" cards from the $ store out to everyone in the newspaper that has applied for a marriage license or has an engagement announcement (DH's idea)........so far I have about an 80% booking rate from those cards!

I write a little handwritten message inside that says:

"congratulations on your engagement and your upcoming wedding, I hope that your wedding is amazing and that your marriage is even better!"


Warmest Wishes,
Tina Halstead

Tina's Sugar Shack
address of business
phone number, etc.

Then I include a business card........sometimes I will jot down a little note saying, "call today for your wedding cake tasting appt. and I'll waive the $20.00 fee"

They feel like it's a nice and personal note (or so they tell me) and for a lot of the bride's they say it's the first REAL card they receive wishing them luck for their upcoming wedding. Makes an impression.

tarheelgirl Posted 16 Apr 2010 , 5:15pm
post #20 of 32

icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gifthumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif

Butterpatty Posted 16 Apr 2010 , 5:43pm
post #21 of 32

KHalstead, you sound like the kind of person I LOVE to do business with! Isn't it amazing how a little personalization goes a long way icon_smile.gif ? When I go into our local cake store, they always remember things I have bought before and recommend things along that line. Makes me feel "special"

ttehan4 Posted 16 Apr 2010 , 5:58pm
post #22 of 32

I love the congrats on engagement idea! I think im gonna have to steal that one! lol

Kitagrl Posted 16 Apr 2010 , 6:01pm
post #23 of 32

I'm going to have to regroup when all my kids are in school. Sometimes I feel like I barely have time to fill my cake orders, besides doing extra communication and networking. *sigh*

I want my business to succeed but on the other hand my kids already are getting a bit "cheated" by my business so I need to just take it as it comes for now....I guess!

ttehan4 Posted 16 Apr 2010 , 6:06pm
post #24 of 32

[/quote]I'm going to have to regroup when all my kids are in school. Sometimes I feel like I barely have time to fill my cake orders, besides doing extra communication and networking. *sigh*

I want my business to succeed but on the other hand my kids already are getting a bit "cheated" by my business so I need to just take it as it comes for now....I guess!


Quote:
Quote:



I try to do all my paperwork, networking, ordering on Monday mornings after the kiddies are at school. And work on cakes Tuesday - Friday. I know what you mean though. With all the orders to feel it seems like there is little time for much else.


Kitagrl Posted 16 Apr 2010 , 6:34pm
post #25 of 32

Mondays are my errands days haha.... I do emails and stuff throughout every day but to actually sit down every week and send out postcards...I would love to do that someday!

I still have a stack of contacts from my Macy's thing I did, that I have been too swamped to follow up on. icon_sad.gif

snocilla Posted 16 Apr 2010 , 7:01pm
post #26 of 32

Khalstead - How do you find the address of people in the engagement announcements? They don't list it in the newspaper, do they?

KHalstead Posted 16 Apr 2010 , 8:11pm
post #27 of 32

they do in our paper! They also have "happy 1st birthday to ....".with a ton of little kids and then their parents names and addresses and sometimes grandparents and their addresses are listed too LOL. I jot them down on a calendar and by the time the next year rolls around I have a whole calendar full of birthdays for sending out cards WITH addresses to the kids' parents. I just include one of the 10% off orders over $100 and mail them out.

The dollar tree has packs of cards that are 10 for $1 some are blank, some say "Congratulations", etc. on them. I buy those a lot or I just send a postcard. I think the card in an envelope makes more of a statement.

I also mail greeting cards to past brides wishing them a happy 1st or 2nd or whatever, anniversary and offering a coupon as well. Sometimes it is just what they need to remember how much they loved your cake and then they start calling for birthday cakes, etc. for people in the family! The whole purpose is to keep your business in their head! lol

Kitagrl: as for sitting down each week, you really don't have to. I sit down 1 day per month and spend an hr. or so filling out cards and addressing them. Then I split them up into 4 piles for each of the 4 weeks that month. I always try to send the cards out about 3 or 4 weeks before the occasion.......this way they have time to order a cake and not have it be "last minute".

So on Monday each week, I grab the stack that needs to go out that week and pop em' over to the post office........takes only 5 minutes out of my normal errands (I do them on Monday too).

Sometimes I'll sit and fill out generic cards with "Congratulations on your upcoming wedding, etc." (and then fill in the names later on) while DH and I are sitting around watching t.v. when the kids are in bed.

I know how you feel about cheating the kids, this is exactly the reason why I don't do anything cake related while they're home or awake........baking, decorating, phone messages, tastings, consultations, etc. all take place while they're at school during the day or after they're in bed at night.

Kitagrl Posted 16 Apr 2010 , 8:15pm
post #28 of 32

So the paper provides their address? Or do you look them up online?

I end up doing alot of work when the kids are home but then two of them are home all day. haha. I don't do well on "not enough sleep" so while sometimes I do end up working at night too, I still try to get as much done during the daytime.

But trying to fit in mom time too when I can. icon_smile.gif Taking my two older boys out tonight for good report card grades! thumbs_up.gif

rosiecast Posted 16 Apr 2010 , 8:15pm
post #29 of 32

Tina love yor siggie. is it ok if I "steal" it and use it on my fb page?

Kitagrl Posted 16 Apr 2010 , 8:19pm
post #30 of 32

Oh good grief I asked a question above that KH answered already. Sorry!!!

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