Ok. Here I go on a rant. One I know I am going to have to get over as it is not going to stop. But I'm going to ask all my cake central friends for their best help.....
I have a home based bakery. The bakery is built on to my home and completely separate with 3 doors between here and the main house. I have met people for consultations in the coffee shop as well as here in the bakery. I prefer to do it here as all the stands, dummy cakes, sugar flowers, books of pictures, awards, degrees, press coverage etc.... is right here. Plus I do not have to drive somewhere and sit around waiting on people.
However, when I meet people in a coffee shop they keep the conversation totally focused on cake. When they come here for a tasting 90% of the time they ask if I have children. I have had 3 miscarriages. I HATE THIS QUESTION. It is absolutely none of their business and is a sensitive issue for me.
I know I am going to have to learn to shrug it off. But it is so frustrating that I can't seem to host a tasting here without it coming up. And what is the point anyway? What if I did have children? Would they not want to order a cake from me? Why ask? Is everyone else getting asked this?
Those of you who have children and a home cake business when you say yes do they ask more questions or give you a more difficult time? Do you meet clients in a coffee shop? Do you meet them in your home bakery?
Thanks for all the insight you can offer.
Ugh, I am so sorry Katiebelle74. What a rotten position to be stuck in. I have a little one but I have yet to deal with customers at my house. My sister just had a miscarriage recently and I saw how traumatic it was and still is for her. I can only imagine how that question must rub an already raw nerve every stinkin' time. Hopefully someone can give you more experienced advice, but my suggestion would be to try and blow off the question with maybe a cheery "Oh not yet." and leave it at that. I do agree, it seems a rather nosy question. If someone got pushy about it I personally would have no problem informing them that my personal life is private and has no bearing on my business. Some people need to be told they are being impolite. Good luck!
Awww I'm so sorry this is happening!!!
I am a home baker and have children and because of that have started meeting at a coffee shop. (I had the tastings in my home for awhile but one day, while upstairs supposedly napping, my toddler filled a diaper with some AWFUL smelling stuff and soon the odor wafted down to where we are supposed to be eating cake. That's the last tasting I ever did at my home. Humiliating!!!!)
You sound like you have a lovely setup though, and of course it is awesome that you can have cake tastings there!!!!!
I wonder if you could put up pictures of your husband and yourself in your shop...if you have any pets at all (probably not, but just sayin') maybe a picture of you, your hub, and a dog or cat....that is a pretty obvious statement "we don't have kids". Maybe borrow somebody's dog or something haha for a nice photo, blow it up 11x14, and hang it proudly on the wall. Then they will just say "Oh do you have a dog?" and you can say "Well no, but its my sister's and we love to visit it" or something dumb like that and then they can finish the consult and be on their way. LOL.
But seriously...if you don't already, I wonder if putting up several family photos, making it pretty obvious there are no pictures of kids up there...would help stem the questions a little bit? It would be a shame to have to move tastings to a coffee shop because of it.
Katiebelle, I'm so sorry for you. I think that people just want to make conversation with you and that's a "safe" question to ask. big hugs,
Always have tastings/open house in my home... even when kids were little (now teenagers :0). I do however also provide a take out box of samples for some clients who can't make it to our home due to scheduling conflicts (theirs or mine). This gives them a chance to sample in the privacy of their own home & with whom ever they wish (as I limit the tasting to 5 people).
I am sorry for your repeated loss and understand the constant pain. My grandmother (back in the day) had several miscarriages and then went on to have 5 strapping boys in 7 years time!! My father was the middle one ;0)
& Recently a very dear sweet friend who had several miscarriages had her 1st healthy baby, a wonderful boy!! Your dream is still there, don't let it get lost in despair. I am sure people don't mean to pry... I like Kitagrl's idea of the pet photos or those of you & your hubby... gives conversations a different course..
Soooo sorry for your loss and pain. I can only imagine.
I doubt anyone is purposely being insensitive--- it is a somewhat "normal" question for most people. I think being in a "homey" atmosphere just lends itself to a personal question. Again, I doubt anyone understands that it is a painful question for you.
I just think a "not yet", or a "we haven't yet been so blessed", or even a "maybe someday", or even a "from your lips to God's ears" would be fine--- and move on.
Let's just try to give the customer the benefit of the doubt, and make the tasting a positive and pleasant experience.... so you can make the sale. Sounds like a great set up, and the coffee shop options seems to waste too much of your time.
Yep think you're right - its just one of those questions that seem to fall out of people's mouth's - they aren't meaning to hurt you.
It's a bit like when you are still single and every wedding you go to - all the old dears come up to you and say..... "you'll be next!"
Lucky we don't do that at funerals eh???? LOL
....I doubt anyone is purposely being insensitive--- .....
I think its an age thing too. a few months ago one of the ladies in my bootcamp basically asked/demanded the trainer "so when is your wife having another one?" . my instant response was to cringe and say "you dont ask people that sort of stuff, you dont know whats going on in their lives" and the guy agreed and said 'dont ever ask my wife that question'... yep, fertility issues, miscarriage and IVF for baby #1
as this person is 23 i guess they just dont realize there is a world of pain out there when it comes to children - i hope it gets easier for you
Thank you all for the kind words. It helps. It is a lot to adjust to for me. I was an Executive Pastry Chef for many years.... 80 hour work weeks and high stress were the norm, which is also part of what I believe led to the miscarriages. Which is why I gave up my Exec. Pastry Chef hat and have opted for my own home based biz where I have control over my schedule and more control over the stress level. I however was always the talent and not the front of the house/ catering sales/ book keeping etc.etc. as you become with your own biz and I am really not used to people asking me personal stuff. I know they don't mean to ask a sensitive question. Sometimes the way they ask makes me wonder if they would have an issue ordering a cake from me if I had children. I even had one lady say "oh good no kids running in sticking their fingers in the cake". Which would not be happening if I did have children. You know if they meet me with my chef uniform on in a Country Club or Resort they don't ask this stuff. Even in a coffee shop they don't ask. But let them come over here.......
I can honestly say that I know how you feel. While I have 2 girls, I have recently (over the past 3 years) had 5 miscarriages. Everyone.... and I mean EVERYONE always asks if we are going to have more. I have just learned to smile and say we are trying. I think when people ask questions like that, they are just making polite conversation or trying to find common ground. I don't think that it has anything to do with whether or not they will pick you.
on a little side note: I read a little book called "I'll Hold You In Heaven" by Jack Hayford. It really helped me out a lot.
Thanks. I feel for you 3 is bad enough but 5 that would be extra horrible. I love my bakery and the space I have is wonderful. It is really nice to meet people here instead of a coffee shop. I have everything I need at my fingertips and it is less of a hassle. I have gotten better about just saying "no" and asking a question about thier cake or wedding. Once in awhile I get one that doesn't know when to quit but I am getting more refined and prepared for answering them.
Its a question that has to be asked with extreme care even to a friend..it should not be asked to a stranger...
I guess people just try to make conversation though. We have four boys and everyone always wants to know if we are going to "try for a girl"...