Sole Source Requirement

Business By Dreme Updated 21 Sep 2010 , 4:15am by dandelion56602

Dreme Posted 12 Sep 2010 , 6:13pm
post #1 of 47

I have a sole source requirement term in my contract. It states:


10.1  In order to protect its reputation and as a matter of liability insurance requirements, Dreme Cake Artistry will be the sole provider of any/all cakes, cupcakes and cookies and expressly prohibits any/all cakes, edible or display, cupcakes, and cookies from any other source except Dreme Cake Artistry to be served at the reception.

10.2  Specifically prohibited are any cakes, cupcakes, or cookies made, supplied and/or donated by any licensed retail baker/bakery including in-store bakery departments of grocery stores or club warehouse stores, any unlicensed, non-retail baker/bakery, hobby baker, or any family member or relative of any bridal party member, guest, or family friend.

10.3  If another source or individual other than Dreme Cake Artistry provides any cake(s), edible or display, cupcakes, or cookies, the items ordered from Dreme Cake Artistry will NOT be delivered and ANY MONIES PAID WILL BE FORFEITED. The undelivered items will be disposed of at Dreme Cake Artistry discretion.


Even though I have this, i'm am fine with doing cookies/cookie favors for an event where I did not do the main cake or cupcake display. I don't like the idea of someone bringing in stuff where I have the main thing on display though, I rather them have my cookies too. Does that sound conceited? How do I edit my contract to fit this in?

46 replies
jason_kraft Posted 12 Sep 2010 , 7:48pm
post #2 of 47

You need to think about if you would actually enforce this clause in your contract. If you delivered a $1000 wedding cake to an event and you saw that another guest had brought some cupcakes, would you really throw the cake in the trash and keep the customer's money? That would be a great way to ruin the event and generate a huge amount of ill will towards your company.

Specifically regarding 10.1, does your liability insurance provider really require you to be the sole source for baked goods at all your events?

Also, what about guests with food allergies who bring a homemade cake or other dessert to an event so they have something to eat?

julzs71 Posted 12 Sep 2010 , 8:03pm
post #3 of 47

Sounds good. Lots of people do that

luddroth Posted 12 Sep 2010 , 8:33pm
post #4 of 47

When you are making the "side" items (cookies, for example) just cross out the sole source paragraphs and then both you and the customer initial the change. It does not sound conceited -- lots of professional cake decorators have these provisions. When you supply the "side" items, however, you might want to ask your customer whether their contract with the cake supplier has a sole source provision in it -- just giving a heads up to the customer so that they check with the caker to be sure your cookies are ok. May help avoid some heartbreak. I would also suggest that when you have your customers sign the contract for your cakes, you specifically point out the sole source provision to them, so they really understand what it means and why it's there.

cakesbycathy Posted 12 Sep 2010 , 8:55pm
post #5 of 47

I also have a sole source clause in my contract but usually only apply it to the same kind of item. For example, if I am providing the cake then they cannot have any other cakes or cupcakes there. I don't worry about if someone else is bringing cookies or brownies since these are not the same kind of food (yes, it's dessert, but you kwim)

If I am providing decorated cookies and they want to get the cake someplace else then that's fine also.

To say that someone cannot make their own cookies just because you are making the cake seems like it's taking it a bit too far, IMO.

And to Jason, yes I would absolutely take my cake and go home. I do not want my cake associated with any other kind of cake. It's a liability issue and a reputation issue. I stress this in particular when I am going over the contract. If it's an allergy issue then I deal with it on a case by case basis, but so far I've not had anyone that has had a problem with it.

Dreme Posted 12 Sep 2010 , 9:11pm
post #6 of 47

Good points jasonkraft. I didn't think of it like that.

I'm in the process of changing over my contract. The new one was based off of the one doug has on this forum. No my insurance provider does not require this. Could I just leave out the words "insurance requirements"?

I would assume that the client understands what they have signed. They should know not to have other items at the event and that it is a breach of the contract. Could there be some sort of deposit for this type of thing? They get it back when I see that there is no other item.

I guess it depends on what I would see there. If the cake table had someone else's cupcakes all over it then I would be reluctant to to leave the cake. I wouldn't want them associated with my cake. Now if a guest had one little cake that was allergy free for those individuals i'm ok with that, just don't decorate it like my cake or put it anywhere near mine. I don't want anyone to think that anything I didn't do came from me. Its seems like either way I could look bad. 1. Guests think that I made a good cake but got lazy when it came to the cupcakes and put them together really quick. They think i'm lazy and I don't do a good job. or 2. I take the cake back because there are crappy cupcakes on the table and I become the insensitive cake decorator. Either way I can't educate everyone on the situation and I look bad.

I really wouldn't to take the cake back, but I think the client should follow the rules that is in their contract.

How should I include that they could have allergy free goodies? I just really don't want to see another cake decorator setting up their stuff along side of mine. I kind of feel cookies are different because they are more like favors and I can put my name on them, plus I don't have to set them up. Yeah when I don't have to set anything up i'm ok.

karabeal Posted 12 Sep 2010 , 9:13pm
post #7 of 47

I think if you want to feel better about your contract not being so harsh, and yet preserve the thoughts in it, I'd just insert somewhere in those paragraphs "without Dreme Cake Artistry's prior written consent." That way, if a customer has a really compelling reason why they need to include, say a cake for the super allergic in-law, you might be able to work it out with the customer that the "allergy free" cake is kept in the kitchen (not viewed by the guests), served only to person A and person B, etc. But unless you consent FIRST and IN WRITING, you can walk away with your cake and the customer's money if you choose.

jason_kraft Posted 12 Sep 2010 , 9:16pm
post #8 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesbycathy

And to Jason, yes I would absolutely take my cake and go home. I do not want my cake associated with any other kind of cake. It's a liability issue and a reputation issue. I stress this in particular when I am going over the contract.



I can see the reputation issue if there is a chance of confusion between your cake and another cake, but refusing the serve the cake (while within your rights according to your contract) would seem to be a guaranteed hit to your reputation. To me this clause seems like more of a bluff, I'd be curious to hear from anyone who has actually followed through and left the venue with the cake.

I also don't see how there is a liability concern, after all there will be plenty of non-dessert food made by other companies there.

Quote:
Quote:

If it's an allergy issue then I deal with it on a case by case basis, but so far I've not had anyone that has had a problem with it.



I brought this up because there have been several instances where we've supplied smaller gluten-free, vegan, etc. cakes for weddings (decorated according to the theme) along with a traditional wedding cake from another vendor, and we've never run into any type of sole source policy.

Dreme Posted 12 Sep 2010 , 9:22pm
post #9 of 47

Yes, that exactly cathy. Ahh I got it.

Yeah i'm ok with other baked goods that aren't what i'm serving. Even if I'm making the cake i still don't want to see cupcakes. Its still cake, just in a smaller form. That and many times the may not even match my cake. Cookies, brownies, allergy free un-event decorated/matching cakes are ok.

How do you guys have you clauses set up to cover this?

costumeczar Posted 13 Sep 2010 , 12:54am
post #10 of 47

Quite frankly, this kind of clause is impossible to enforce unless you stay for the entire event and watch to make sure they don't bring anything else in. Put it in your contract if you want to, but if someone decides to bring in extra cakes and not tell you, you have no control over that.

LindaF144a Posted 13 Sep 2010 , 11:52am
post #11 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Quite frankly, this kind of clause is impossible to enforce unless you stay for the entire event and watch to make sure they don't bring anything else in. Put it in your contract if you want to, but if someone decides to bring in extra cakes and not tell you, you have no control over that.




My thoughts exactly.

mombabytiger Posted 14 Sep 2010 , 12:40pm
post #12 of 47

If you're paying me $1000 for a cake, I don't care what the heck you serve with it. It's your party. I'll be too busy cashing the check to hang around and police your private event.

cakeythings1961 Posted 14 Sep 2010 , 1:45pm
post #13 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by mombabytiger

If you're paying me $1000 for a cake, I don't care what the heck you serve with it. It's your party. I'll be too busy cashing the check to hang around and police your private event.




Thank you!

My DD is getting married this Saturday! so I'm coming from a customer's perspective. The first caterer (highly recommended) we contacted wanted us to order a cake from him, and his contract had an exclusive supplier clause that specified no outside food. I said, well, Mr. Caterer, if you want our business, not only am I doing the cake, but I'm also having all the aunties and cousins bring in homemade cookies for the sweets table (kind of a family tradition.)

Mr. Caterer says NO. icon_mad.gif So I walked. The guy calls me the next day and says he'll allow the exceptions as a "favor" to me. I told him I've already found a more flexible caterer who understands that it's our celebration.

We're not the biggest wedding contract in town, but I guess the first caterer didn't need our $12K.

LindaF144a Posted 14 Sep 2010 , 2:23pm
post #14 of 47

Iwas hoping someone would post from a customer perspective. I would have done the same thing. It's my money and my event and I will not have others telling me what to do. I am stilled pissed 24 years later at all the candid photos we have with the photographer 's hand blocking the shot. Had I seen this while I was being posing, I would have pit a stop to it right away. The candid shots did not stop us from buying hoots, but I bought way less than I would have if he hadn't done that.

costumeczar Posted 14 Sep 2010 , 2:56pm
post #15 of 47

I don't bother putting a clause like that in, but I do refuse to do groom's cakes for a wedding if I don't do the wedding cake too. That's pretty much my limit, and it's the one that I can kind of control. I already wrote a long-winded explanation of it on my blog, so if you're interested then here's the link http://acaketorememberva.blogspot.com/2010/02/why-i-dont-do-random-grooms-cakes.html

cai0311 Posted 14 Sep 2010 , 3:04pm
post #16 of 47

I too have a similar clause in my contract, but I only apply it to the items I am selling to the client.

This past weekend I was at a going away party for friends. I made a 16" round cake (1/2 pumpkin with cream cheese filling and 1/2 pink champagne with raspberry buttercream filling) with a basket weave desgin on the sides, about 2 dozen buttercream roses and lots of leaves and a saying that was picked out by someone else.
Anyway...because it was for friends, I was bringing the cake as a gift and the party was picinic style I knew there would be other desserts there, including another cake, but I didn't really mind (the people the party was for are vegan and I was told to bring a regular cake for everyone and so-and-so was going to bring a small vegan cake).

I am standing in line to get food and everyone is asking me what kind of cake I made, that it looks beautiful (and it did!)...Then they ask me what kind of cake the small one is next to my cake-assuming I made both cakes. Well, this was just about the ugliest cake ever made. I quickly told them I only made the large cake and to ask so-and-so what kind of cake the other one was.

So even though there was a HUGE difference in the quality and look of the cakes, people assumed I made one cake so I must have made both. Well, you know what happens when you assume...

ziggytarheel Posted 14 Sep 2010 , 7:39pm
post #17 of 47

While I've always mostly understood where bakers are coming from on this topic, I've wondered if everyone has stopped to think from the customer's perspective. And, really, if someone gets sick at a reception, I'm not sure how someone would say, "It was one of those cakes" and not say it could have been any of the other food there.

But, I also wanted to point out that to take your cake and go home could cause all sorts of unforeseen problems, no matter what your contract says. People can become very unreasonable, especially on such an important day. At my very unrelated to cakes job today, someone who is not our customer, threw a FIT outside of our establishment, causing a huge scene, trying to attract attention, after discovering we could not help him. He actually got in his car and drove to our office so he could throw a fit! Not only were we in our rights not to help him, and not only were we following company policy, but he had no idea what sort of repercussions could come out of us doing what he wanted. We had been very cordial to him and yet his perception was that we were so difficult that he needed to cause a public scene and draw as much attention as possible. He probably isn't finished, either.

I just think we always need to think long and hard before we upset the public. Sometimes it is necessary, but sometimes it isn't worth it.

7yyrt Posted 14 Sep 2010 , 7:59pm
post #18 of 47

I don't understand why it's ok for the OP to take her cookies to an event with a cake made by someone else, but it isn't ok for someone else to bring cookies where the OP made the cake.

Does that make sense?
Did I read that correctly?

cakeythings1961 Posted 14 Sep 2010 , 8:15pm
post #19 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by 7yyrt

I don't understand why it's ok for the OP to take her cookies to an event with a cake made by someone else, but it isn't ok for someone else to bring cookies where the OP made the cake.

Does that make sense?
Did I read that correctly?




Yeah, you read that correctly. That's why I don't think these clauses are about "liability" or even "protecting" a baker's reputation. It's my opinion that they're more often about profit protection and ego.

cakesbycathy Posted 14 Sep 2010 , 9:19pm
post #20 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakeythings1961

Quote:
Originally Posted by 7yyrt

I don't understand why it's ok for the OP to take her cookies to an event with a cake made by someone else, but it isn't ok for someone else to bring cookies where the OP made the cake.

Does that make sense?
Did I read that correctly?



Yeah, you read that correctly. That's why I don't think these clauses are about "liability" or even "protecting" a baker's reputation. It's my opinion that they're more often about profit protection and ego.




Not for me it's not. Client has me make a cake and bring it to a party. Aunt Susie - who smokes and lets her cats climb on the kitchen counters and who sometimes licks her fingers when icing the cake - also makes a cake and brings it to party....Do you see where I'm going here?

I get that it is almost impossible to know if it actually happens and/or to enforce the clause. Do you risk the chance of upsetting someone? Sure. But I'd rather not chance my reputation. I'd rather lose the sale than have someone think I made a cake or cupcakes that I didn't.

7yyrt Posted 14 Sep 2010 , 9:26pm
post #21 of 47

That does NOT apply to my question.
My question was:
Why is it ok for the OP to take her cookies to an event with a cake made by someone else, but it isn't ok for someone else to bring cookies where the OP made the cake?

Sauce for the goose is good for the gander; turnabout is fair play; etc.

jason_kraft Posted 14 Sep 2010 , 9:30pm
post #22 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesbycathy

I get that it is almost impossible to know if it actually happens and/or to enforce the clause. Do you risk the chance of upsetting someone? Sure. But I'd rather not chance my reputation. I'd rather lose the sale than have someone think I made a cake or cupcakes that I didn't.



You honestly think delivering a wedding cake to the venue and taking it away when you see other baked goods there wouldn't affect your reputation?

cakesbycathy Posted 14 Sep 2010 , 9:38pm
post #23 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonkraft

Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesbycathy

I get that it is almost impossible to know if it actually happens and/or to enforce the clause. Do you risk the chance of upsetting someone? Sure. But I'd rather not chance my reputation. I'd rather lose the sale than have someone think I made a cake or cupcakes that I didn't.


You honestly think delivering a wedding cake to the venue and taking it away when you see other baked goods there wouldn't affect your reputation?




I think that if you clearly explain it to the bride (or whoever the client is)and you have a good working relationship with your customers then it shouldn't be an issue.

jason_kraft Posted 14 Sep 2010 , 9:43pm
post #24 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesbycathy

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonkraft

Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesbycathy

I get that it is almost impossible to know if it actually happens and/or to enforce the clause. Do you risk the chance of upsetting someone? Sure. But I'd rather not chance my reputation. I'd rather lose the sale than have someone think I made a cake or cupcakes that I didn't.


You honestly think delivering a wedding cake to the venue and taking it away when you see other baked goods there wouldn't affect your reputation?



I think that if you clearly explain it to the bride (or whoever the client is)and you have a good working relationship with your customers then it shouldn't be an issue.



Good luck trying to have a rational discussion with the bride when you tell her you're taking away her wedding cake because Aunt Susie brought her own cake. Oh yeah, and you're keeping her money too.

cakesbycathy Posted 14 Sep 2010 , 9:48pm
post #25 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonkraft

Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesbycathy

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonkraft

Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesbycathy

I get that it is almost impossible to know if it actually happens and/or to enforce the clause. Do you risk the chance of upsetting someone? Sure. But I'd rather not chance my reputation. I'd rather lose the sale than have someone think I made a cake or cupcakes that I didn't.


You honestly think delivering a wedding cake to the venue and taking it away when you see other baked goods there wouldn't affect your reputation?



I think that if you clearly explain it to the bride (or whoever the client is)and you have a good working relationship with your customers then it shouldn't be an issue.


Good luck trying to have a rational discussion with the bride when you tell her you're taking away her wedding cake because Aunt Susie brought her own cake. Oh yeah, and you're keeping her money too.




Well, since I tell the brides straight up when they sign their contract that I will take away their wedding cake she shouldn't be surprised when I stick to my word.

Seriously, this is getting ridiculous. Between this post and a few other ones that are going on I'm over this.

jason_kraft Posted 14 Sep 2010 , 9:55pm
post #26 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesbycathy

Well, since I tell the brides straight up when they sign their contract that I will take away their wedding cake she shouldn't be surprised when I stick to my word.



I completely agree that you would be within your rights to take the wedding cake away based on this clause in your contract. The question we are debating is whether or not you SHOULD.

A bride planning a wedding is probably not going to remember your sole source clause when family members ask if they can bring goodies to the reception. But you can be certain that she (and everyone else at the reception) will distinctly remember the bakery that showed up with a wedding cake and then took it away.

cakesbycathy Posted 14 Sep 2010 , 10:56pm
post #27 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonkraft

Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesbycathy

Well, since I tell the brides straight up when they sign their contract that I will take away their wedding cake she shouldn't be surprised when I stick to my word.


I completely agree that you would be within your rights to take the wedding cake away based on this clause in your contract. The question we are debating is whether or not you SHOULD.

A bride planning a wedding is probably not going to remember your sole source clause when family members ask if they can bring goodies to the reception. But you can be certain that she (and everyone else at the reception) will distinctly remember the bakery that showed up with a wedding cake and then took it away.




This past February I had a bride (who had booked her cake a full year in advance) that called me 2 months before the wedding. She decided she also wanted a chocolate fountain and wanted to make sure they could have little pieces of pound cake to dip along with the fruit since I had the "no other cake clause" in our contract.

They remember.

BTW, I told her that of course she could have the pound cake. icon_rolleyes.gif

jason_kraft Posted 14 Sep 2010 , 11:30pm
post #28 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesbycathy

This past February I had a bride (who had booked her cake a full year in advance) that called me 2 months before the wedding. She decided she also wanted a chocolate fountain and wanted to make sure they could have little pieces of pound cake to dip along with the fruit since I had the "no other cake clause" in our contract.



What if the bride had called to ask if her grandmother could bring a homemade cake that had sentimental value to the reception?

And what would you have done in your original case if the bride forgot to ask you about the pound cake, and you saw the pound cake at the venue as you were setting up?

I'm not trying to beat a dead horse here, just trying to illustrate that this clause has the potential to cause some serious issues at the venue, and actually following through on the clause would cause much more damage to your reputation than the potential for having someone's homemade cake being mistaken for yours.

If the clause is nothing more than a bluff, that's fine, but if you intend on enforcing it you may want to alter the wording to indicate that other baked goods at the venue are OK, but they must be clearly labeled. This would also give you the opportunity for some free advertising, since your cake would also be clearly labeled with your company's logo.

angelwings1 Posted 15 Sep 2010 , 12:03am
post #29 of 47

Wow! Am I the only one who has never heard of anything like this before? Maybe it's because I've never been to such "high-falutin'" weddings like this. When I go to a reception, it's usually one where everyone in the family (including friends) have pitched in and helped out with the food. It would never occur to me to tell someone that no one else was "allowed" to bring cupcakes or cookies or whatever. Although, there are plenty who would be happy about that, 'cuz then they could concentrate on other things. I realize there's a difference between doing it as a business, and doing it for family and friends, but still.

7yyrt Posted 15 Sep 2010 , 7:03pm
post #30 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesbycathy

I'd rather lose the sale than have someone think I made a cake or cupcakes that I didn't.




As you quoted me in this answer, I will respond.
'The baker' did not 'lose the sale' as you stated, 'the baker' is keeping the purchaser's money; that means 'the baker' sold a product but didn't give it to the purchaser.
-
Say I sell cookies, it is a product.

They take three dozen home, and toss them off the roof while playing Frisbee with them.
Their business, NOT any business of mine even though I was the person who baked that product.

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