Ok ladies (and gentlemen)...I have my first wedding consult/tasting with someone I don't know. Most of the cakes I have made before are when I worked at a bakery where someone else did the consult OR for friends.
I do not have a storefront so we are meeting at the fiance's house. For those of you witout a shop (or who have had remote tastings) how did you carry and present your samples? Did you take anything else:plates, utensils, water? I figure it's at their house so no need but then do I look ill prepared?
Also, was planning on taking samples in very small tupperware containers that are brand new. Does that seem cheap or, i don't know, crappy? How else can they all be transported? I am taking pieces of cake and fillings, frostings separately so they can try things how ever they want.
Any help, opinions, or prior experiences are more than welcome!
I am not a business, so I will answer your question from a customer's point of view...
I would find it unprofessional if you showed up without everything you need for the tasting, and that includes plates, utensils, and bottles of water. If your customer has to supply these, then she also has to clean up afterwards, which should not be her responsibility.
As to what containers you use to take the samples, I would want them to look uniform. Tupperware would be fine, new or used, as long as they don't look used. But they should all be the same size/shape or at least coordinate. Don't have it look like you just ransacked your own mish mash tupperware collection grabbing whatever was handy.
I wouldn't go tupperware. It screams "I'm new."
I went to Crate and Barrel and bought sauce cups and flat square plates to present my items. But I host tastings at my home, not theirs.
I would recommend some cake boxes from a cake store. use cardboard rounds if you need to and put a small scoop of icing/filling and label it on the cardboard. You want to look like you are used to using bakery items to transport things.
I don't think water is completely necessary, but it is a nice touch. I would definitely have forks/knives (disposable) and napkins, maybe wrapped together for each taster. Maybe put together a "tasting package" with the fork/knife and napkin wrapped with the water bottle and some ribbon?
Just my two cents.
Since you did not have a shop, as a customer the first question I would ask is where do you bake?
ditto. Since you can't bake from home, you must be renting a commercial kitchen. Is there no space the for consultations?
I have done tastings at other people's homes.
I have a large square plate that I put the cake squares and icings/fillings on. I put the fillings/icings in little portion cups and set up everything on the plate and then use press 'n seal to keep everything in place.
Bring EVERYTHING with you, including little cups for (their) water and something to put all the dirty items in to go home.
If your tupperware looks nice enough to place on the table in front of them, then I think it would be OK to use.
I always bake a sample of 12 cupcakes (in a max combination of 3 combos), so it's easy. I just take them in a cupcake box tied with a ribbon for them to take home and try (we meet at a nice local cafe/restaurant). Even when I've gone to people's homes I've done the same.
I love the idea of cupcakes with multiple combos, presented in a bakery box with a chart like you would find in a box of chocolates. Something that describes the cake, filling and icing combo.
I also LOVE having a plate presented like this one:
If you were able to bring one or two of those plates covered in a cupcake carrier, for example, I think it would show good prepartion on your part.
I think the suggestion of rolling a dinner napking around a plastic fork and knife and tied with ribbon is fabulous.
It's the little touches that would make me as a customer think you are a total pro!
Thank you so much for the replies!
I offered to do the tasting at the kitchen I work in but the customer preferred her home. Plus the kitchen is about 30 minutes from both our homes so I don't really mind, they are right up the street from me. (So, she knows I use a commercial kitchen.)
I think I will make sure to look at from the customer point of view, too.
I do tastings away from my home (where my legal cake business is) quite a bit. I offer that service to my clients, since I am not in the "metro" area where I live. The brides are usually very appreciative that I take the time to do this for them.
I bake tiny cakes (3 - 4") I use small souffle cups with lids for the different fillings and larger ones for the different icings. I put a sticker on the lids showing the contents. I have the nicer heavy paper plates for the cakes to be on for serving, and I supply the disposable silverware/napkins/plates also. I also bring a bag to throw away all the disposable items, and I also carry the handy wipes kind of thing too. Very organized, and very professional.
I get the souffle cups at GFS.