Customer Asking For Recipes

Decorating By Bugaboo_Bakery Updated 29 Sep 2010 , 8:43pm by sillywabbitz

Bugaboo_Bakery Posted 23 Sep 2010 , 12:07am
post #1 of 23

Hi everyone!

I have a problem and I am not sure how to handle it. Starting tomorrow I will have a booth at our local farmer's market. I will be selling cupcakes, cheesecakes, and some brownies. I've made some advertising posts to local online communities to hopeful get people to come buy my yummies.

However, there is a person who keeps asking for my recipes. Their last request was something like "Darn! I won't be in town tomorrow. Any chance I can get the recipe for xyz because it sounds amazing!"

Um, if I give them the recipe they wouldn't need to come buy them from me. I realize that most recipes are the same as everyone else's and I usually don't mind sharing especially within communities like Cake Central but I don't feel like I should have to share with someone I don't know.

What do I tell this person? I don't want them to think I'm a complete b**ch for not sharing.

Thanks for all of your cakey wisdom!!

~Michelle

22 replies
denetteb Posted 29 Sep 2010 , 4:33am
post #2 of 23

Just say something like, thanks for your interest but I don't give out my recipes. Short and sweet, you really don't need to explain yourself or justify it to the person. If you want, you could give her a good website or recipe book that has been helpful to you.

Tea42 Posted 29 Sep 2010 , 4:45am
post #3 of 23

I am just a hobby baker but..........who knows ? Maybe I can/will be more. I made a Pina-Colada cake for a party and was asked for the recipe. Saying "No" is very hard for me to do. Then the fact that someone here on CC was so helpful and willing to share makes me feel even worse.

With all that said I simply said that I am not comfortable sharing my recipes at this time.

But, thank you all for sharing here icon_smile.gificon_smile.gif here I will share too.

julzs71 Posted 29 Sep 2010 , 4:48am
post #4 of 23

I'm sorry your gonna going to be out of town and are going to miss my awesome baked goods. Hopefully you'll be here next time.

LKing12 Posted 29 Sep 2010 , 4:54am
post #5 of 23

I don't share my recipes. They are the foundation of my business.

indydebi Posted 29 Sep 2010 , 5:16am
post #6 of 23

"I'll make you a deal. If you can get KFC to give you their secret recipe, then I'll trade you one of MY secret recipes!" icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

Seriously, just a simple "I'm sorry but I dont' give those out' will work. thumbs_up.gif

AnnieCahill Posted 29 Sep 2010 , 10:33am
post #7 of 23

I'm always a fan of "If I told you, I'd have to kill you," as you take out your longest, sharpest knife and slowly slice her a sample of your bloodiest looking red velvet cake, while staring into her soul at the same time.

But that's just me...

Nusi Posted 29 Sep 2010 , 10:57am
post #8 of 23

i always get asked for recipies from friends and family and its sooooooo difficult saying no but eventually i learned!
when i was baking as a hobby someone from my day job asked me for my red velvet recipie.. i simply said i dont give out recipies "i was planning on starting my business" and to my surprise he was like.. "whats so special i can always go and buy a recipie book!" well here is what i told him ..
making a recipie out of a book is not hard. but choosing the right recipie and experimenting with different recipies is what makes the difference...
they just want to take a recipie that they know works! what about all the time i spent finding the right recipie?
i dont mind sharing here on cake central where we all share and everyone is professional but why shall i give my recipies to an individual who will spread it out everywhere!
never give recipies to customers or family

dnrlee Posted 29 Sep 2010 , 11:28am
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnieCahill

I'm always a fan of "If I told you, I'd have to kill you," as you take out your longest, sharpest knife and slowly slice her a sample of your bloodiest looking red velvet cake, while staring into her soul at the same time.

But that's just me...




THAT'S funny!

nhbaker Posted 29 Sep 2010 , 12:13pm
post #10 of 23

I agree, "just say no" but I also agree that it's an uncomfortable question and hard to do without feeling like you're being rude.

I don't normally give out my recipes either but I had a friend that loved a particular cookie that I make and kept asking me for the recipe for her mother. It was one I got off of the Allrecipes website so I finally gave in and printed her off a copy.

However, what I didn't tell her is that I made some adjustments to it here and there and don't bake them exactly the way the directions say.

She told me a few weeks later that no matter how many times her mother makes the cookies, they still aren't anything like mine.

I just smile and shrug! icon_wink.gif

cutthecake Posted 29 Sep 2010 , 12:46pm
post #11 of 23

There are a few family recipes that my mother has guarded fiercely. You have to marry into the family to get them, and that's a huge price to pay (with your sanity and all). One relative divorced his wife (who had received one recipe in particular), and I think my mother was hoping to erase the recipe from the ex's memory bank. (Like Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith in Men in Black--maybe with a mind-erasing spatula or wooden spoon.)

A neighbor got ticked off at me because I wouldn't give her a certain family recipe. That's her problem, not mine.

My mother also received recipes from a friend, under the condition that she not pass them along to anyone else. So Mom has guarded them, too, for ages.

As Mom's health is deteriorating, I have become the guardian of her recipe file box. And NO ONE, except my sisters, is getting the recipes.

You don't have to do anything you don't want to do, and you don't have to explain.

tracycakes Posted 29 Sep 2010 , 2:37pm
post #12 of 23

I don't give out my recipes to customers. I did give my mom my strawberry cake recipe but I won't let her give it out either. She took a strawberry cake to church and people started asking for the recipe. She has problems saying 'no' but she is for me. Now they always ask her to bring strawberry cake. It has become the family's favorite cake now.

KHalstead Posted 29 Sep 2010 , 3:01pm
post #13 of 23

seems kinda evil, but when people ask for a recipe.....I tell em' no.......I don't give them out.....but if they keep bugging I google a the item and pick the first recipe that comes up and give THAT to them. They always come back sayingg............yours are so much better, guess I'll just have to order from you! lol

indydebi Posted 29 Sep 2010 , 3:11pm
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by nhbaker

However, what I didn't tell her is that I made some adjustments to it here and there and don't bake them exactly the way the directions say.


Me, too. It's part of my "until it looks right" method. icon_biggrin.gif

Bluehue Posted 29 Sep 2010 , 3:35pm
post #15 of 23

Tell her....

My recipes are tweeked and refined by me - for the very reason of pleasing people like you - my customers.
Surely you realise that they must remain my secret - however when i publich my first recipe book - than they will be available for sale - but not yet.


......... all said with a very polite smile on ones face...as tho you mean it

icon_wink.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif


Bluehue

m420chelle Posted 29 Sep 2010 , 3:36pm
post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by nhbaker

However, what I didn't tell her is that I made some adjustments to it here and there and don't bake them exactly the way the directions say.

Me, too. It's part of my "until it looks right" method. icon_biggrin.gif




I'm with you guys...recipes are easy but it's the method that can make the difference. At one of my jobs in a high end bakery, you had people we liked to call "recipe whores"...they wanted every single recipe I had (which just listed ingredients and amounts, no instructions) and my chef would say, "let them take it and let them fail. They don't know the method so they're setting themselves up to fail."

I gave a friend a cookie recipe but didn't tell her how I mix it differently than the directions icon_wink.gif and she always says mine taste so much better than hers. I tell her I make them with love icon_biggrin.gif You put the work and effort in testing the recipe...you earned the right to say no!

GrandmaG Posted 29 Sep 2010 , 4:18pm
post #17 of 23

I agree with that m420chelle. It's really hard to say no when you're in the moment, especially if it's a friend that is asking. Also, you could give them the recipe before you tweaked it and made it your own. Or sometimes I just say "OK I'll have to look it up when I have time" and then forget to and they usually leave it alone. Or another suggestion just say "It's just a box mix". That will really throw them off!

CakeCrystals Posted 29 Sep 2010 , 5:14pm
post #18 of 23

Treat your cake recipes like a drug. Just Say No!!!
thumbs_up.gif

adventuregal Posted 29 Sep 2010 , 7:45pm
post #19 of 23

yup a simple "I don't give my recipes out" usually suffices. If they are the "why not!" kind of person, like a two year old (LOL), then I would say "because I enjoy keeping them secret." People are too pushy-I like to keep things simple with my response so it doesn't invite more questions icon_biggrin.gif When you're feeling bad for saying no, just picture saying yes and then having the person bake it up for this years Thanksgiving and telling everyone it is her/his secret created recipe. I would bet thats what would go down!
Anywho...lots of people have "secret" recipes-especially in their community. Don't feel bad for saying no thumbs_up.gif

laceycakes Posted 29 Sep 2010 , 8:17pm
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeCrystals

Treat your cake recipes like a drug. Just Say No!!!
thumbs_up.gif




I like that one!!
Or you could respond... Recipe? What recipe? I just throw everything in a bowl and hopes it comes out the way I want. icon_biggrin.gif

Kaykaymay Posted 29 Sep 2010 , 8:20pm
post #21 of 23

I think it's so inappropriate to see someone trying to sell something and then turn around and ask for directions on how to make it! To me thats just rude.. One day I was at a resturant and the man in front of me actually asked the owner if he could get the recipe for her food. GASP!! I was so embarrased for him... She just smiled and told him that her food was seasoned with a variety of imported spices that she had never seen locally and left it at that. I mean you don't want to offend a potential client who obviosly adores your product but don't give them your recipies.

My boss asked me for one of my recipies one time i gave him an edited version.

RoseCitySugarcraft Posted 29 Sep 2010 , 8:40pm
post #22 of 23

I worked as a pastry cook for a former employer, and was lucky to create a signature dessert of mine for a celebrity guest. They loved it SO much, Chef asked me for my recipe. I gladly shared it with him. But knowing him as I do, I knew he'd "tweek" and modify it to his own liking, experimenting away. His desserts using mine as inspiration were always tasty, but NEVER the same as mine.

I think that's the ONLY person I've shared a recipe with, and my original creation remains "safe" to this day. lol

sillywabbitz Posted 29 Sep 2010 , 8:43pm
post #23 of 23

First, you are a business so say NO and stick with it. I'm a hobby baker and so for me it's not a big deal. If it's a true family secret..then it's totally yours to hold on to. If it's found on allrecipes.com or posted some place. I tell them to go find iticon_smile.gif You can say something like "it's a version of the Carrot Cake recipe on allrecipes.com". Most of the time they're not willing to do the work. We have a family strawberry cake recipe that's a doctored box mix. I seriously doubt my great grandmother made that recipe up but it is a total family fav. I posted it on my blog the other day. I want people to love cake the way I do and find flavors that will wow their friends. I've given it to every friend who has ever asked for it and not one of them has ever made it. Several have asked me to make it for them thoughicon_smile.gif

As for approaching a business for a recipe..guilty as charged. I had the most amazing salad dressing at a local pub and I asked the waitress what was in it. They told me the ingredients but not the amounts. I thought that was fair. I can fuss with it and make it my own and they have a happy repeat customer. FYI I still haven't tried that recipe as much as I loved it.

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