Cake Tastings For Those Without Storefronts...

Business By marag Updated 7 Sep 2010 , 1:26am by careylynn

marag Posted 18 Aug 2010 , 3:09am
post #1 of 31

I am curious to know where you all do your wedding tastings? I rent from a kitchen where I cannot do a tasting. I am not comfortable doing it at my home. For those that do it at a restaurant or coffee place, do you contact them first for permission?


30 replies
The_Caketress Posted 18 Aug 2010 , 3:25am
post #2 of 31

When I started out I partnered with a quality chocolate shop and had my consults there. However it's not that uncommon to meet in a clean area of your home with display cakes and photos brought out. You can always meet at a starbucks or coffee shop. Just as long as your a paying custumer. You may have to pack the tasting cakes togo for the clients to try at home if you do that.

cakesdivine Posted 18 Aug 2010 , 2:23pm
post #3 of 31

I have done this many different ways, but now I offer a monthly free tasting up at my dance studio. But before that, I would go to the person's home, It worked well. I brought cake samples and my computer so they could view my cake photos. I told the customer that I preferred doing consults with them at a location they were comfortable in; their own living room. This made them feel more in control, and not pressured by sales tactics. Didn't mean that I didn't stick to my guns on timelines of booking deposits and such, just made the customer feel more at ease. Seemed to work pretty well. Everytime I used a Starbucks to do a consult, I didn't get the job. I got 95% of the bookings when I went to the person's home, if I didn't get the booking it was due to my prices being out of their budget range.

Loucinda Posted 18 Aug 2010 , 2:33pm
post #4 of 31

I give the client the choice. I either meet them here at my home, or at a coffee shop in the metro area. A lot choose the coffee shop for the convenience factor. (I live outside the metro area) I have no problems with doing it either way. I book 95% of the tastings I do, so I don't think it matters where they are held, as long as it is done professionally.

cakesdivine Posted 18 Aug 2010 , 3:08pm
post #5 of 31

Always professionally handled! If the client chooses the coffee shop then of course it doesn't matter because it was their choice. However, if you dictate where they must do it, then to me a local coffee shop may seem to them an unprofessional choice. It is many times about perception of the client. Since we also rent out our studio for small parties we dress it up and cross market the use for small gatherings and do the cake and/or catering samples (my mom is a caterer).

I do a free sampling once a month, they are welcome to schedule on another date/location for a $40 fee. The fee is credited to the order as payment if they book, if not I am not out any additional funds.

pnnllj Posted 19 Aug 2010 , 8:49pm
post #6 of 31

Just you use cupcakes for your tastings or do you bake 6" cakes or something else?

pinkpiggie78 Posted 19 Aug 2010 , 9:00pm
post #7 of 31

I used to offer to meet at Borders, my home, or their home. Borders worked out well since a lot of folks there were just there to read or use a laptop. However, it took twice as long to hold a tasting appt (15 min there, 15 min until the appt started and then 15 to drive home, not to mention the 45 min consult) so I now just hold them in my home. At least I can still do stuff around the house if they are late or a no-show.

I use 4" pans for my tastings (the little Wilton ones you can get for a few bucks). I prefer to wash them then pull out my cupcake tins for 2 cupcakes. I also want to add that I don't do more than two or three tastings a weekend (sometimes none), if you do a lot, I know a lot of folks bake a 8 or 9" square, cut it up and serve it for tastings.

jason_kraft Posted 19 Aug 2010 , 9:24pm
post #8 of 31
Originally Posted by pnnllj

Just you use cupcakes for your tastings or do you bake 6" cakes or something else?

We bake 6" cakes and use a round cookie cutter to cut bite-size pieces of each flavor. This allows clients to easily mix and match cake flavors with frosting flavors.

Here's a picture (we do tastings out of our home):

SpecialtyCakes Posted 20 Aug 2010 , 4:20pm
post #9 of 31

I'm still newly into wedding cakes and wasn't sure to the best way to do cake testings. The wedding cakes that I've done so far are for good friends who knew what they wanted. I'm based out of my home and had thought about doing cupcakes or small 4" cakes for tastings....but what about all the left over cake? I wasn't sure what do to with all of it. One batch will make a lot more than a 4" cake. I just hate to waste if you make more than one cake flavor...just seems like a lof of left over?!? Is there a good way to do this?? Thanks for any help!!

jason_kraft Posted 20 Aug 2010 , 4:42pm
post #10 of 31
Originally Posted by SpecialtyCakes

One batch will make a lot more than a 4" cake.

Make a half-batch instead. We usually have some leftovers when we do a tasting for 2 people, the couple just takes the leftover cake and frosting home with them.

pinkpiggie78 Posted 20 Aug 2010 , 5:18pm
post #11 of 31

I usually pull some batter out when I am baking other cakes. I freeze the mini cakes for whenever I have tastings. If a bride requests specific flavors I either make a smaller batch or bake the remainder into 6 or 8" rounds and freeze them for the family to have later.

scp1127 Posted 21 Aug 2010 , 4:40am
post #12 of 31

jasoncraft, your tasting presentation looks great!

jason_kraft Posted 21 Aug 2010 , 5:10pm
post #13 of 31
Originally Posted by scp1127

jasoncraft, your tasting presentation looks great!

Thanks, but the credit should go to my wife...she handles the aesthetic decisions (and the baking/decorating), I just manage the business side and deal with customers.

Loucinda Posted 21 Aug 2010 , 5:37pm
post #14 of 31

Freeze the batter. You can bake the tasting cakes fresh that way. icon_smile.gif (and yes, it does work just fine!)

erin12345 Posted 23 Aug 2010 , 1:59pm
post #15 of 31

I never thought about freezing the batter. Do you freeze cake mix batter ?How long can you keep it frozen and still have good quality?

Loucinda Posted 23 Aug 2010 , 3:00pm
post #16 of 31

I have frozen it for up to a month and it worked just fine, tasted perfectly fresh after it was baked. (got this tip from indydebi)

Mama_Mias_Cakes Posted 23 Aug 2010 , 3:29pm
post #17 of 31

I do that as well. I use freezer ziploc bags. I just pour the left over batter in them and squeeze the air out. Same goes for left over BC. It takes a lot less space in your freezer. I just thaw them in the bags. After they thaw I just cut the corner off and squeeze the batter into the pan.

1234me Posted 26 Aug 2010 , 2:16pm
post #18 of 31

I usually take the cakes to their home. I offer them a single layer, 6" cake

amycakes22 Posted 27 Aug 2010 , 2:58am
post #19 of 31

I offer tastings at my home since I have a licensed kitchen. If the weather is nice, I do the tasting on my patio and it goes over really well.

For clients who aren't able or don't want to do a tasting, I offer them mini cupcakes or a 6" cake. There is a charge for those though, so most people opt for the free tasting.

chefbeca Posted 27 Aug 2010 , 1:35pm
post #20 of 31

when i do tastings i leave it up to the bride. it usually ends up being at their home and i am totally cool with that. when i was first starting out i did the 6inch thing but then what i started doing which was easier was making little cake bites. i cut out bitesize rounds of cake and pipe a swirl of icing on it. i dont have to worry about it drying out because 1. i usually do it right before the tasting and/or 2. i use my judgment and douse the cake in simple syrup if i feel it needs it.
if the bride requests to try fillings i bring them in separate containers. and i always bring a small box of extra 'cake bites' for the bride in case her groom couldnt be there for the tasting or whatever.

this is just how i do things, i'm very freelance, i'm a full time college student with a part-time job. this is what works best for me

marag Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 2:48am
post #21 of 31

Thank you for all of the input. The bride is coming in from out of town, but getting married here, so her house was not an option. I have decided to do it at the donut shop where I rent. Unfortunately it's going out of business, and wasn't sure if it would still be open, but the plan is to be open for another 2 weeks.

I enjoy hearing from everybody.


elliespartycake Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 8:32pm
post #22 of 31

I do tastings/consultations in my home or in a coffe shop/Borders, etc. I usually provide the bride and groom with 3 flavors of cake sliced from a 6" round. I freeze the rest for future tastings. I give them a couple of frosting and filling samples as well. If I am not holding the tasting in my home, I bring the samples on an attractive paper plate with napkins and plastic forks, all in a small bakery box (usually a pie sized box) with my label and a gift tag with their names. That way they can take it with them. They seem to love this method.

The_Caketress Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 8:57pm
post #23 of 31

When I started out , I did tastings at a local chocolate shop. It always helps to network with cute downtown shops that you like and can benefit their business too. If you do tasting at home - just find a clean area of the home you can use as you can display area.
-The Caketress

KDSteach Posted 30 Aug 2010 , 12:43pm
post #24 of 31

I am new to the wedding part of the business. Usually I work on children's cakes and baby cakes. I have a client who wants to taste 6 cakes with 6 different fillings. I feel this is excessive and therefore have not gotten back to her. In addition, she has picked the most expensive cake flavors I offer. I would appreciate to know if there is an industry standard for these requests. Thanks so much.

SpecialtyCakes Posted 30 Aug 2010 , 1:01pm
post #25 of 31

Well...I let my clients choose up to three flavors and three basic fillings...anything over that I would charge them. I would let them know that up front and then maybe they will narrow it down...or pay extra if they really want to try all 6.

Loucinda Posted 30 Aug 2010 , 6:23pm
post #26 of 31

I offer free tastings, and for that, they do NOT get to choose any flavors/fillings. I will offer whatever I have baked for that weekend...PERIOD! This works out perfectly for me.

If they want to try a specific flavor - I charge $10. PER flavor. I have never had anyone complain about the way I do it.

jason_kraft Posted 30 Aug 2010 , 7:07pm
post #27 of 31
Originally Posted by KDSteach

I am new to the wedding part of the business. Usually I work on children's cakes and baby cakes. I have a client who wants to taste 6 cakes with 6 different fillings. I feel this is excessive and therefore have not gotten back to her. In addition, she has picked the most expensive cake flavors I offer. I would appreciate to know if there is an industry standard for these requests. Thanks so much.

I don't see why you wouldn't move forward with this tasting, just charge her the appropriate amount. We charge $30 for 3 flavors and 3 frostings, for 6 and 6 we would probably charge $60.

Of course, the tasting fee would apply to the final price of the cake to give them an incentive to order.

1234me Posted 30 Aug 2010 , 10:04pm
post #28 of 31

I always take them to their home but usually I only do wedding cakes for people I know on a personal basis!

bobwonderbuns Posted 7 Sep 2010 , 12:28am
post #29 of 31

Like Lou said! icon_lol.gif

nhbaker Posted 7 Sep 2010 , 1:05am
post #30 of 31

I do tastings at my home as I have both local and "destination" brides. I really don't have a neutral location we could meet. However, through trial and error I've simplified my process this year and it seems to be working well.

I schedule a "tasting day" once a month (usually a Sunday). I take appts. in advance for 4 time slots, usually 1 1/2 hours apart. I make 5-6 small cake/filling combos which usually include 3-4 of my most popular and a couple of whatever the mood strikes or what happens to be being made should I have a cake that weekend. These are not flavors they must choose from (but they usually do) but more to give them an idea of what my cakes taste like. I charge $40 for the wedding couple and $10 for each additional person they want to bring. Only the $40 fee is applied to the final cost of the cake once the order is placed & deposit received. The additional fees are not credited (this deters those who want to come for free cake).

I try to make sure my husband is around as I'm not really comfortable with inviting complete strangers into my home. == Sometimes you get some weird ones -- I had and FOB wander my entire downstairs, open my fridge, etc. - all the while his wife and daughter and future son in law are laughing it off -- I finally had to put my foot down and tell him to sit and stay put.

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