What Would You Have Said To This One? (Long)

Business By sweetonyouzz Updated 27 Oct 2010 , 5:32am by Annabakescakes

sweetonyouzz Posted 7 Oct 2010 , 3:53pm
post #1 of 31

I take orders both by phone and email. I had a strange call yesterday that I had a hard time responding to. It was from a woman who was asking me about starting a cake business. She was concerned with the legalities, license, and more the business and marketing side.

I told her that she should start by checking the legal side and getting together a portfolio of her work...so heres the thing...she has never even done one cake! She just watched the cake boss show and figured that it looked easy and she wants to quit her job and stay home and do cakes icon_eek.gif ...

So, I just nicely told her perhaps to start with a few cake classes and buy a small set of tips and some books...she did not know what a pastry bag was.

I also told her that she would have to check into the legal issues, bylaws in her area, incorporation for her name, etc.

I just cannot get over the fact that she figures our trade is so easy that you can just jump into it, buy a shop (even before she knows how to make a cake)...She has never even made a normal cake in her life...She also told me(in a real shobbish way) that she took cooking classes with food and knows how to make creme brule...so cakes should be easy. I replied that I am a schooled pastry chef ..but...some of my friends are head and junior chefs (food)and they are amazing at doing food but they leave the pastry and cakes to the pastry people..

I tried to be as nice as possible but she was so know-it-all that I finally told her good luck and I had to go as I was in the middle of baking...

So gals, (and our guy decorators too!) isn't it nice to know that after all our years of training,setting up our business's and working towards doing great cakes for people that some think that our trade is just something you can fall into without any experience.

There are a lot of younger cake gals that know that they can call me with a problem or to borrow equipment and I try to help them all...I believe in passing on what I know to any gal who wants to learn but this is way out there...I am not capable of being cruel and I am not a competitive person. I always wonder what people see in my cakes (I always think they could be better..and some of my work I think is downright ugly..lol) I was trained old school and have struggled in the last 10 years to make cakes that look like today's styles......

I would like to help her..and I told her to keep in touch but what direction should I tell her to go in? Classes? Again, it needs to be a polite response...icon_smile.gificon_smile.gif

30 replies
overindulged Posted 7 Oct 2010 , 4:03pm
post #2 of 31

WOW.

but with risking sounding stupid... what's a tube? (i've been hobby caking for 2 years now and I've never heard of this?)

sweetonyouzz Posted 7 Oct 2010 , 4:06pm
post #3 of 31

OH, I meant tip (sorry, my mistakes are awful)..I told her to buy a set of pastry bags with tips...lol...I have corrected , thanks !!!

playingwithsugar Posted 7 Oct 2010 , 4:13pm
post #4 of 31

Did you ever hear the story about the computer company tech support person who was asked by a customer, which was the Any key? This is what you're dealing with.

I guess she doesn't realize that those cakes are not done in real time, but over a few days. And I'd let her keep thinking that.

Is she in your area? If so, then tell her, sorry, but I cannot advise you, as you would then become my competition.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

sweetonyouzz Posted 7 Oct 2010 , 4:15pm
post #5 of 31

lol...good one!!!

brincess_b Posted 7 Oct 2010 , 4:30pm
post #6 of 31

There's being nice, then there's wasting ur time!
It's fine helping people here and there, but this woman is clearly an idiot. If she thinks it's that easy, I'd leave her to it. She won't appreciate the advice u give ( cake and business classes!), as already shown. And she may end up on the phone 24/7 rather than doing her own home work.
If she phones back don't get involved - stick to advising classes, books, YouTube and this site!
xx

cakesbycathy Posted 7 Oct 2010 , 4:35pm
post #7 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by brincess_b

There's being nice, then there's wasting ur time!
It's fine helping people here and there, but this woman is clearly an idiot. If she thinks it's that easy, I'd leave her to it. She won't appreciate the advice u give ( cake and business classes!), as already shown. And she may end up on the phone 24/7 rather than doing her own home work.
If she phones back don't get involved - stick to advising classes, books, YouTube and this site!
xx




Agree!!!

Don't even waste your time doing more. She's lucky you didn't just laugh and hang up the phone. Alot of people would have.

You gave her a ton of good advice. You shouldn't feel the need to do anything else.

Kiddiekakes Posted 7 Oct 2010 , 4:35pm
post #8 of 31

I hear yah..I have this lady who has chased me down several times at my kids school wanting me to come over and Teach her cake decorating...Just the other day she jumped out of her car while I was walking and stuffed a piece of paper and pencil in my face for my phone number...I kinda rudely said.."I don't have time..I'm very busy"...she said "Even in the evenings"..."Yup and I kept walking!!!I'm not normally rude that way but I mean Geezz.....Go take a class...I did...

bakencake Posted 7 Oct 2010 , 4:57pm
post #9 of 31

I too have a friend like that , in fact I almost thought you are talking about her. She's frustrated with her job and romanticizes about how awesome it would be to have her own shop with her kid right next to her while she does really cool cakes and has the freedom to come and go since it's her business. Let me tell you!!!, I took the wilton classes, got all the books, go on youtube, here, catch all the shows so that maybe I can get a scrap of a hint etc... When I saw her cakes I was shocked at the poor quality and half arssed designs, not to mention there is just no technique because as she calls it she was self taught. I have nothing against this, but her cakes are sad. Every time I see them I try to give her a tip or a hint but she shoots me down and has this know it all attitude. I figured that im wasting my time since she knows it all what can i bring to the table. BTW she asked me if I would like to work for her/babysit (thought she never said anything about watching her spoiled brat) when she opens her shop. The more I see her cakes and her style I think "my husband does not want me to work while i go to school icon_biggrin.gif because school comes first." Ps he does not care what i do in my free time specially since i go to school part time

BlakesCakes Posted 7 Oct 2010 , 11:09pm
post #10 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetonyouzz

OH, I meant tip (sorry, my mistakes are awful)..I told her to buy a set of pastry bags with tips...lol...I have corrected , thanks !!!




You didn't make a mistake............the British cake artists refer to decorating tips as "pastry tubes". icon_lol.gif

Rae

cakeythings1961 Posted 7 Oct 2010 , 11:18pm
post #11 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlakesCakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetonyouzz

OH, I meant tip (sorry, my mistakes are awful)..I told her to buy a set of pastry bags with tips...lol...I have corrected , thanks !!!



You didn't make a mistake............the British cake artists refer to decorating tips as "pastry tubes". icon_lol.gif

Rae




My vintage Wilton books also refer to them as tubes!

johnson6ofus Posted 8 Oct 2010 , 1:04am
post #12 of 31

It's not just cakes... walk into Home Depot and listen to people who "saw it on TV" and decide to remodel a bathroom. "It's just drywall and tile, right?" icon_eek.gif

So we just wish them all well, and say good luck. No time for idiots!

costumeczar Posted 8 Oct 2010 , 1:12am
post #13 of 31

I just heard from another person that she was talking to someone who was waiting for her inspection to be approved by the state for her new cake business. Oh, and by the way, she could bake okay, but she didn't know how to decorate cakes, and was planning on taking a cake decorating class at some point. So I guess the person who called you wasn't the only nutjob out there.

indydebi Posted 8 Oct 2010 , 1:54am
post #14 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by playingwithsugar

I guess she doesn't realize that those cakes are not done in real time, but over a few days.



I had someone who needed a refinance for their existing business. They went to their bank, who told them "Just bring us an updated business plan and we'll talk." The person called us and said, "business plan? what's a business plan?" (this person had been in business for more than a decade. icon_eek.gif )

The person THEN suggested that hubby and I come over for dinner "..... and Debi can help me write one after dinner." Hubby told this person, "Um, this isn't something you scribble on a napkin after dessert. Debi spent MONTHS putting that plan together."

WHICH part of my body did you want me to pull it out of? icon_rolleyes.gif

AnnieCahill Posted 8 Oct 2010 , 2:49am
post #15 of 31

I find it interesting, the amount of people who think they can do everything they see on TV. I think some of the cake shows are ok, but the minute 500 other shows came out I knew everyone would become an expert and jump on the cake decorating train. People love to follow the latest trends!

I've had several people ask me if I started decorating because of Cake Boss or Ace of Cakes (personally really dislike that show). I'm like "NO! I took my first cake decorating class over ten years ago when I was still a teenager!" Waaaay before food blogging, competitions, and tv shows!

Even today, I don't have my own business. I do it as a hobby which is fine for me for now. I know some people are going to get a reality check when they start a cake business and they don't even know what a pastry bag is!

EvMarie Posted 8 Oct 2010 , 3:20am
post #16 of 31

I just can't believe people. Granted...I've never had anyone chase me down for anything related to cake decorating but shooooot, they have asked for recipes.

When I started testing my skills to see what I'd like to include as part of my "biz" offerings, I admit, I didn't take a class. I did try cakes & my cakes always taste fabulous and fresh. As for the way they look? Well, that's a different story. I soon found, that I have absolutely zero patience for the decorating aspect of cakes. Zip. Zilch, Nada, Butkis....that would be a big fat donut hole!!!!!

And, I only got to torting, filling, & frosting smooth. Well, I'm still not perfect....So, now I continue my cake education but only for family & close friends. Unpaid gigs. I have tons of respect for those who have a vision with regard to cake design. I'm a specialty cookie manufacturer with great packaging ideas. NOT an artist. And, that's okay.

That lady in question will no doubt get frustrated with the whole process and just drop it. I'm sure she'll drop the whole thing early on. And, as far as helping her any further...just don't. Or, just keep repeating the things you've already said.

Anybody have a dentist's drill? I have a cavity that needs fixed....Oh, wait....I'm sure there's a video on youtube that shows you how to perform a root canal! Ha ha ha ha!

sweetonyouzz Posted 8 Oct 2010 , 4:40am
post #17 of 31

lol...you all made my day. I just had a looong day of baking and decided to check my post before bed and you are all so great...you made my day. And thanks for letting me know about the tubes thing....I am a 35 year relic in this biz and I always have called them tubes and I double guessed myself....

leah_s Posted 8 Oct 2010 , 4:48am
post #18 of 31

Yaknow, I would have encouraged her. "Yes, you should buy a business!" "Yes it's totally fun. You can absolutely have your child with you in the shop and come and go as you please." "Nah, it doesn't take any special skills."

And in 4 months or so, buy all her shop's equipment for 10 cents on the dollar.

grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

loriemoms Posted 9 Oct 2010 , 5:24pm
post #19 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by playingwithsugar

Did you ever hear the story about the computer company tech support person who was asked by a customer, which was the Any key? This is what you're dealing with.

icon_smile.gif




A little off subject, but I worked in tech Support for IBM for several years way back when, and when the Aptivas first came out (I dont think they make them anymore, shows how old I am!) there was a disclaimer screen right at boot up. After you read it, it said "press any key to continue". We got at least 10 calls a day asking where the Any key was...so much my boss made up stickers and we would tell them that the systems were new and they Any key had been omitted. We would send them a stick to put on their space bar that will fix the issue. And we did. I am not kidding. People went for this.

back to the original poster, I have a big window where people can watch us ice cakes and this bride once said Gosh, that doesnt look too hard..why are they so expensive??

jillmakescakes Posted 10 Oct 2010 , 1:05pm
post #20 of 31

I have to admit, I've actually laughed at this question before..... i didn't mean to, but I just couldn't stop myself. I was in the Wilton aisle at Michaels ( I teach classes there) and someone was staring blankly at the wall. I asked if they needed help. They said they were making a wedding cake this weekend (it was Wed) and they didn't know how to stack a cake icon_eek.gificon_eek.gif

I told them their best bet was one of those stands that keep the cakes separate instead of stacked. They said "but the bride wanted it stacked". I said "Well, then you should have practiced before now." and walked away. They bought the stand.

moxey2000 Posted 10 Oct 2010 , 1:54pm
post #21 of 31

Many years ago a friend of mine was lamenting about the lack of a partner for a tennis tournament. I'd never played tennis, but I'm very athletic and good at softball and volleyball. I offered to be his partner icon_lol.gif so we met for a practice session. Needless to say, we did not play in the tournament....because I sucked at tennis icon_redface.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif !! It isn't as easy as it looked and I sure learned my lesson about assuming I could do something just because it looked easy icon_redface.gif !

I get lots of people who want to learn cake decorating and I tell them to buy the Wilton books and a small kit and give it a shot. That's what I did. My first cake took 9 hours to decorate!! But I was hooked and kept trying. Some people would do that and some wouldn't. I didn't get to take any classes and I hope someday I can, but everybody has to start somewhere. The key is to have the passion to keep at it icon_biggrin.gif .

HamSquad Posted 10 Oct 2010 , 2:19pm
post #22 of 31

Most people just think making a wedding cake or any cake is just cracking open a box of cake mix and there you have a cake! (LOL) Just had this said to me with this wedding cake I just did for an ignorant family member. grrrrrrr
Hamsquad

AussieSarahLou Posted 12 Oct 2010 , 12:48pm
post #23 of 31

its the old buy a digital camera and you are professional photograher all over again, there are nuts in every line that think its easy. "if they can ill just buy the same tool and in no time............"

tell her to sit down and copy the most elaborate cake picture you can find and see if she likes her results, then tell her to divide her time and costs while adding on rent and her own pay and everything that goes with it!

dianne65 Posted 13 Oct 2010 , 6:47pm
post #24 of 31

I had someone who I had previously made cakes for her family that would call me and ask to borrow my tips and my colors. Once she even asked me to come over and actually do the swags on the side of a wedding cake that she was getting paid for because she was afraid to do them. I only knew her because I used to work with her husband. Some nerve!

HamSquad Posted 13 Oct 2010 , 8:10pm
post #25 of 31

dianne65 you are an absolutely wonderful person to help that person out!
I've done the same thing before too, but it was for a dear friend who is like a sister to me. But for the other people who are clueless about cake decorating and never bake a cake, how do they come up with the mindless, thoughtless things they say and do? What has the world come to these days? Just a thought. For all the ladies and guys who spend countless hours honeing your craft, my hat is off to you, you are simply the BEST!
Hamsquad

CookieMeister Posted 13 Oct 2010 , 8:25pm
post #26 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

Yaknow, I would have encouraged her. "Yes, you should buy a business!" "Yes it's totally fun. You can absolutely have your child with you in the shop and come and go as you please." "Nah, it doesn't take any special skills."

And in 4 months or so, buy all her shop's equipment for 10 cents on the dollar.





BAWAHAHAAHAHAHA! I like the way you think!

dreamdelights Posted 13 Oct 2010 , 8:41pm
post #27 of 31

Yup a lot of people think watching a show on T.V will make them cake decorators. They have no idea. Its my hobby but it is no joke to torte,fill and decorate. I have lots to learn and I am grateful for cake central where I learn so much more. The people that do this for a living I respect because it is hard work.

AussieSarahLou Posted 13 Oct 2010 , 9:07pm
post #28 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamdelights

Yup a lot of people think watching a show on T.V will make them cake decorators. They have no idea. Its my hobby but it is no joke to torte,fill and decorate. I have lots to learn and I am grateful for cake central where I learn so much more. The people that do this for a living I respect because it is hard work.



nodding my head in agreement here

mary-ann Posted 13 Oct 2010 , 9:38pm
post #29 of 31

My 38 year old niece wanted to decorate a cake so she bought some Wilton fondant. She couldn't believe she had to roll it out! She thought it came already rolled and she just nicely laid it on her cake. She ended up icing it and let her kids make the decorations. She gave up cake decorating after that. icon_smile.gif

lacklin Posted 13 Oct 2010 , 9:42pm
post #30 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnieCahill

I find it interesting, the amount of people who think they can do everything they see on TV. I think some of the cake shows are ok, but the minute 500 other shows came out I knew everyone would become an expert and jump on the cake decorating train. People love to follow the latest trends!

I've had several people ask me if I started decorating because of or Ace of Cakes (personally really dislike that show). I'm like "NO! I took my first cake decorating class over ten years ago when I was still a teenager!" Waaaay before food blogging, competitions, and tv shows!

Even today, I don't have my own business. I do it as a hobby which is fine for me for now. I know some people are going to get a reality check when they start a cake business and they don't even know what a pastry bag is!




I think this is probably true for most of the general public but actually TV shows are the reason I even thought of trying to decorate cakes. I've always made fabulous pies and tarts and other desserts and when I saw some of those amazing cakes they make on those shows I thought it might be fun to take a cake decorating class.

I've only taken the one class and I'm no pro by any means but I can't help admiting that I do have a natural talent for cake decorating which I wouldn't have known about if I hadn't watched Ace of Cakes or Cake Boss or whatever other cake show copycat. I'm even planning to go to school in the spring to become a pastry chef now.

Also, I do think I can make anything they make on those shows but that's probably just because I'm really confident. I've never been one to question whether or not I can do something. icon_smile.gif

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