Okay, so I am a hobby baker who would someday like to ditch the day job and become a full time cake girl.
That being said, the day job currently pays the bills. I do cakes from my home at night and on weekends. Okay, it's pretty much during every spare moment (and some not so spare moments) of my day.
I saw a "help wanted" ad recently for a cake decorator at a high end cake shop. So I applied and have sat down with the owners to discuss options. They're looking for someone to possibly work towards taking the place of a decorator they'll be losing in a few months.
If I take the position with them, I'd have to either do it very part-time so I could retain my far better paying day job, or I'd need to convince my family that housing and utilities are really overrated.
However, I would like to gain the experience of working in a true bakery setting and perhaps develop my skills even further. I have no formal training...
Of course, I wouldn't be able to market to home-based clientele if I'm working, even part-time, for this established bakery. So I guess my question is, do you folks think the experience I'd gain is worth the autonomy and any semblance of "free time" I'd lose? Has anyone made this transition successfully from corporate world to cake decorator? And what steps did you take? Would I be better off just biting the bullet and opening my own bakery? Or should I try to learn a few things about the business first, from an established, successful bakery?
If you can afford to do it, getting experience at an established business would be invaluable. You might also realize that opening your own bakery might not be everything that you thought it would be.
.However, I would like to gain the experience of working in a true bakery setting and perhaps develop my skills even further. I have no formal training...
...So I guess my question is, do you folks think the experience I'd gain is worth the autonomy and any semblance of "free time" I'd lose? Has anyone made this transition successfully from corporate world to cake decorator? And what steps did you take? Would I be better off just biting the bullet and opening my own bakery? Or should I try to learn a few things about the business first, from an established, successful bakery?
You'll never regret the experience you'll gain from working at a successful business. I would not recommend opening your own bakery without the experience, skills, and training that you're seeking. Yes, learn as much as you can first from the pros, see how you like it or if you can keep up with the pace to be productive and profitable, then spend the time writing a detailed business plan to see if it's really something that would work for you and in your area. You won't regret it... keep learning!
BakedAlaska, I swear, I had to read your post twice. I was in the same situation a few months ago!!!!!!! Crazy!! I also work full time (to pay the bills) and bake from my home on the side. Well, a few months ago, I was in the local cake supply shop (which is also a bakery) when the owner approached me and started questioning me about my skills and asked to see pics of my work...I was freaking out a little, thinking, "OMG, am I doing something illegal or something !" I do have a certified kitchen out of my house, but I consider myself more of a hobbiest really. Anyway, come to find out, her workers in the front of the shop had told her (the owner) about me because I frequent her store so much for supplies. I had shown them some pics here and there because they always are interested in my next project. So she proceeds to offer me a job in her shop. There is NO WAY I could make it finacially if I quit my regular job and just worked for her, plus, as you said also, I would not be able to sell my own cakes either. She also will be retiring and talked about how I could take over the business. It would be great but I already have visions of having my own store. I really don't want to take over her's, you know. But I couldn't help but think how valuable the experience would be. I'm stuck too!!! Would love is someone would chime in and offer more advice!!