in the head in one day. sorry a bit long.., I was asked by the school PTA to donate a cake to the quizz night as a prize and they would use it an an opportunity to put my name out there etc etc.... I was told one of the PTA was making a cake but just an average joe cake iykwim. Today spoke to one of the organizers and said I would be happy to but can they buy me the ingredients as I can't keep giving away cakes its costing me too much. She said what if someone makes the cakes (another one of my pet peeves) as she is making a cake to which another decorator is cutting into 4 and icing (the quiz teams are 4 peeps) In the end I said I did not want to step on anyones toes and said no I won't do a cake - unless they do ingredients only. Never got to finish the conversation but I have been dwelling on this - is it a compliment as they rave about my baking or they wanting freebees or what ?? I have done several for them off my own back at no charge and this is the first time they have asked so thats why I asked for something this time.
Next thing is I spoke to the lady who organises a local market which I went to in the weekend to see as they want more stalls. Long story short they liked what they saw in my folio and ideas and I made sure they understood my stuff was different than theirs as they had baking also. Anyway I rang her tonight and the local community outfit say they won't take me as a stall as they don't want 3 stalls with baking. But I bet you next time she will have the cookies I had a photo of - she was very interested in those - asked lots of questions I was happy to answer. I was not going to just sell baking either but plants crafts and promote made to order cakes etc.
Next thing was a conversation with a local mum who said I just have to accept that people will want me to ice a cake they have made as its cheaper and as long as it looks good who cares about the taste.....trying to get her to understand that just coz someone else will do that does not mean I will is not easy.
Thanks cc friends for listening - I am trying to see all sides but can't help feeling bit demoralised.
"Who care's about the taste?" Are you kidding . That's what a cake is about..looking good and tasting even better>
I would be a little peeved,but the way i see it is . . People just dont get it . .
I come from a very low income area, And people know if they want a cake, they can go to asda, and get one for less than £10 .. They dont see any point in paying extra for they work I do . . Because hey, its just a cake right? any one can make a cake, People just dont realise the skill, the time, the effort and the cost involved. What makes me forget the peevedness, is when the one out of maybes ten potential customers, pays my price, because they know i am worth it, they understand the product they are getting and want that quality . . That makes my head swell up much more than having 10 people 'interested, but not willing to part with there cash' because those people arent interested in the real deal! Not everyone is going to understand how it is for you, but dont let them beat you down, you know in your heart the truth of what you can do, And those who apreciate that, Will make your day !
To comment on your last point, Strathmore...
I've made the mistake of allowing clients to bring me their pre-baked cakes before. A few "claimed" they wanted to bake them themselves from "secret family recipes", but a few smelled/felt like cake mixes to me.
The other aspect of this problem was that NOBODY brought me nice even cakes. They were uneven, far too domed in the middle, impossible to torte evenly, different heights, underbaked/overbaked, etc.
One person even pre-planned the entire cake with me for weeks, only to switch from round layers to square layers the night before dropping them off because she didn't have enough round pans.....thinking that wouldn't be a problem at all for ME the day before the wedding!! (Umm, I'd pre-purchased all the round cake boards/drum and ribbons to fit those measurements exactly, thanks! )
You just can't expect the average layman to be able to provide you with quality cakes that will work for you. I never agreed to it again after those problems.
1. Don't give away anything unless you want to, and don't expect any publicity to come from it if you do. PTAs have notoriously low budgets for everything that they can get people to donate, so they'll go for free over quality evry time.
2. Keep applying at the market and when a stall opens up they'll let you in.
3. Tell her to go pound sand. She doesn't know what she's talking about, or she has a palate of lead herself and doesn't know the difference between good food and dog food.
Lesson #1: Once you start giving away FREE cakes, expect it to be requested after that. It's like feeding a stray cat.
Lesson #2: You bake, but someone else frosts? No. Hell to the no. It's your reputation and name on the line. You visit your doctor, but you don't want your mechanic to perform the surgery, right?