jewels710 Posted 5 Nov 2010 , 5:18pm
post #1 of

A co-worker of mine just sent me pics of a bunch of TIERED cakes that her "new" walmart has in their display case.

Since when does Walmart sell Tier cakes? (Mine doesn't that I know of - she's 25 min away from me).

A two tier, basic design with minimal decorative icing and plastic cake figures that served 50, was priced at $48.00 !!!

Aside from the fact that their basic cakes can sit there for weeks although I'm sure the tiers are not just sitting there in the cooler for heaven knows how long since they are more of a speciality, but all the preservitives, lack of flavor, etc, blah, blah, blah, I could go on...My point is, how can any of us compete with that sort of pricing?!?! Two-tier cakes are what I normally sell the most of.

I told my friend, I know I can blow them away any day of the week based on quality & taste, but price-wise, never! (Especially in this economy)! I've lost 2 cakes precisely for this reason. Anyone who's had my cake knows what they are getting an awesome tasting cake, but it seems at WM prices I will be losing even more orders now from those who don't care so much what they are serving their guests since some buy just for "show". You get what you pay for, I know. But c'mon.

Thanks for letting me vent!

PS...I wonder what they are using for supports! LOL

53 replies
MelissaAnn84 Posted 5 Nov 2010 , 5:24pm
post #2 of

I think this was only a matter of time. If there is a good market for something you can count on wal mart to jump on it!

The customers that will go for this are the ones that are only interested in price, not quality. and usually those are the ones we read about on the posts marked "vent!".

TexasSugar Posted 5 Nov 2010 , 5:30pm
post #3 of

You aren't competing with that price. Because their cakes are not in the same market. And chances are those that want more from a cake (fresh baked, custom designs...) will choose you. Those that don't care, don't have the money to spend, or what ever will go to Walmart.

That is like a nice Mexican Restaurant trying to compete with Taco Bell prices. They are on different sides of the spectrum.

CharliesMom09 Posted 5 Nov 2010 , 5:45pm
post #4 of

I recently noticed our local grocery store's (Kroger) bakery displaying fondant-covered cakes wrapped w/ a ribbon, then topped with plastic (!) flowers.

foodguy Posted 5 Nov 2010 , 5:57pm
post #5 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasSugar

Those that don't have the money to spend, or what ever will go to Walmart".




Texas Sugar, I was so glad to read that you had pointed out this circumstance. While I appreciate the fact that custom work is and can be expensive, and also that there are those who try to get "something for nothing", I feel that too often it's neglected or forgotten by posters here that there are people who simply cannot afford custom cake prices. These folk deserve to have a decent cake (which they can afford) for their celebrations as much as those with more cash.

Instead of taking such seemingly personal issue with, and so much grocery store cake bashing, maybe we should simply accept the fact there there are those who can afford custom work and there are those who simply cannot.

srkmilklady Posted 5 Nov 2010 , 6:01pm
post #6 of

Ditto to everything TexasSugar said. If you think about it there are opposite ends of the spectrum in whatever you choose to spend your money on these days...whether it be shoes, clothes, restaurants, cars, handbags...whatever. Each to their own in their own particular circumstance. Some people will go that extra step for something with good quality and some will just "settle" for something to fit the bill and Wal-Mart will always be waiting there for those "settlers". icon_lol.gif

hvanaalst Posted 5 Nov 2010 , 6:13pm
post #7 of

I work in a WM bakery in Canada and I can't imagine how they would handle having to do tiered cakes. They won't even order all of the proper airbrush and custom colors to do the deco cakes we offer. The two other 'cake decorators' in the bakery with me have no cake experience at all outside of WM. I can't imagine how they would be able to do a teired cake. If people had any idea what happens behind the scenes at WM I can't imagine they would want a cake even for that cheap. I don't really let anyone know I work there because I don't want to be associated with WM quality.

foodguy Posted 5 Nov 2010 , 6:17pm
post #8 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by srkmilklady

some people will just "settle" for something to fit the bill and Wal-Mart will always be waiting there for those "settlers". :




Here again, the point that I was trying to make, is that we need to be mindful and respectful of those who cannot afford to do anything other than, "settle", as you put it.

Kitagrl Posted 5 Nov 2010 , 6:24pm
post #9 of

Hey I would never buy my cakes. icon_biggrin.gif Of course, nor would I ever call up a custom baker and TRY.... I would "settle" for Sam's Club!!!!

I don't see them as competition. The people shopping for cake at Walmart or Sam's do NOT shop custom cakers. They aren't even in the same customer base as we work with.

Of course I live in a huge area and there are loads of people here...but seriously....most people who shop for cake at Sam's (like I would, if I did not bake!!!) or Walmart would NOT pay a caker what they are worth, because they could not afford it.

Just gear your business towards those willing to pay whatever you ask to get what they want. That's who your customers will be.

srkmilklady Posted 5 Nov 2010 , 6:35pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by foodguy

Quote:
Originally Posted by srkmilklady

some people will just "settle" for something to fit the bill and Wal-Mart will always be waiting there for those "settlers". :



Here again, the point that I was trying to make, is that we need to be mindful and respectful of those who cannot afford to do anything other than, "settle", as you put it.




I agree that there are people who can't afford a custom cake and I am "mindful and respectful" of those people. Most of the people in my family wouldn't get a custom cake if I didn't make it for them. My point is that, there are people that could afford a quality, custom cake but don't want to pay for it...they want something for nothing and those are the "settlers". And just to clarify, I have nothing against WalMart...I shop there every week, and I have 3 family members that work there. I just wouldn't buy a cake there.

There was no disrespect intended towards anyone...

leily Posted 5 Nov 2010 , 6:36pm

I agree with Kitagrl, if I didn't make cakes I wouldn't be shopping with a cake artist/custom bakery/etc.. I would be shopping at our local grocery store, wal-mart, sam's club etc... I can't even afford my own cakes, and i would only purchase a specialty one for a REALLY special event, like a major birthday, anniversary, or wedding.

As for Wal-mart having tiered cakes, they have for MANY years. I worked at one about 10-11 years ago and we did tiered cakes then. Tiered cakes did require 8-10 days notice though b/c that cake size was not something we kept in our freezer. They also only got the flavor option of white/vanilla as that was all we could order. Not sure if they have different flavor options now or not though.

To hvanaalst, i'm so sorry you're having such a bad experience working at WM. It sounds like you have a management issue in your store. As the same items are able to be purchased by ANY WM store from certain catalogs. I haven't worked at one in quite awhile, but still keep in contact with my assistant bakery manager and things have changed, but not things that they can order. It may be worth going to the regional manager, expecially with having people working with you that have NO experience and i'm guessing that they aren't giving them any training if they aren't e3ven getting you the proper equipement and supplies you need.

costumeczar Posted 5 Nov 2010 , 6:55pm

The Walmart near me has sold tiered cakes for quite some time, but before you get worried, check out this blog post I wrote about a while ago. I walked past this cake in their display for a couple of weeks, then I couldn't stand it anymore and I took a picture of it. It was a good illustration of "buyer beware" http://acaketorememberva.blogspot.com/2010/03/another-potential-wedding-disaster.html

mayo2222 Posted 5 Nov 2010 , 6:55pm

I'm with everyone else, I wouldn't may for my own cakes and mine are priced low in comparison. I told my wife that I never want her to get a custom cake. I have better things we can spend that money on. The only cakes I don't mind paying for are ice cream cakes (yum)!

With that said, there are plenty of people out there watching cake shows that want an awesome looking cake or people trying to impress their friends or give their kids the best birthday party ever and they don't mind spending money to do so.

As the ole addage goes, you get what you pay for.

aligotmatt Posted 5 Nov 2010 , 7:09pm

We have 2 walmarts in our town, and working at one is an amazing cake decorator. amazing. she has won ices awards, lots of local cake competitions... and she works at walmart! It's not that they don't have some 'looks like they were done in 2 minutes' cakes in the cooler, but she puts out some pretty impressive wedding cakes from that wm bakery. now of course, wm doesn't deliver and setup, and she has to use their cake and icing, but the appearance is quite nice. I'm impressed with her skills, but I don't consider them competition.

I recommend people on a really tight budget to go there all the time. If someone calls saying they have $150 for a 100 servings, I push them to her in a heartbeat. And not in a negative "well you should just go to walmart for that budget" way, I can say in full confidence that they will get a beautiful cake.

jewels710 Posted 5 Nov 2010 , 7:14pm

Before anyone's panties get into a bunch, My intention was NEVER to bash anyone who couldn't "afford" a cake.

I was simply stating that, who can compete with those prices?

I know or a fact that BOTH cake orders I lost to WM, were from people who could very well afford my cakes (and everyone I know says I charge too little)...one of the woman alone paid $10,000 for her custom made wedding gown, so the measly amount I was charging was prob cheaper than getting her nails done.
The second was someone very well off, whom placed so many demands on the 3 tiered cake she wanted from me that (I was actually glad she dropped me) when I saw a pic of the sheet cake she bought instead I shook my head in disbelief as the Childs name was nowhere near straight!

I was no way bashing people who cant afford my cakes, heck, I prob would pay my prices either! LOL

EmilysCakes Posted 5 Nov 2010 , 7:18pm

CostumeCzar...haha that cake you posted makes me want to barf! If someone doesn't want to pay what I'm asking for a cake, I would happily send them to Wal-Mart icon_smile.gif

mombabytiger Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 12:25am

Our WM does tiered wedding cakes for $148. They're not great, but they're not horrible.

Unless a wedding cake is outrageously spectacular (Ron Ben-Israel), most guests aren't paying any attention and won't notice the difference. I've been to enough weddings to know this. As professionals, we try to convince customers otherwise, and that's normal, but to most people - cake is cake.

If some sweet, yet impoverished, bride cannot afford a $600 wedding cake, she still deserves to have one that she CAN afford.

3GCakes Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 12:57am

I agree that they've been doing it for years...and really...should make all of us more market savvy.

The thing about someone "deserving" a cake...well...that's debatable. A lot of people can afford a really nice custom cake from a reliable baker but if they got what they deserved it would be hot lava with a silicone spoon.

No one deserves or doesn't deserve in the cake market. It's all WHAT CAN you afford, and WHAT WILL you spend? Your marriage certainly won't be defined by either. And your worthiness should not be decided by it, either.

No baker should have to turn into a charity organization just because someone thinks one person deserves a certain cake they cannot afford...and conversely...neither should any baker deliver less than is expected and paid for.

madgeowens Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 1:45am

It's called competition, and thats what you have when you are in business. However I do believe you are comparing apples to oranges with their cakes(gag) I would not eat a cake from them if it was free. Some people prefer quality and actually food that tastes good. icon_smile.gif So if you can compete with those things, you should be fine.

adonisthegreek1 Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 2:31am

The Walmart near me has had tiered cakes on display for about 18 months now. They are OK. Just OK. Nothing special.

Babs1964 Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 3:04am
Quote:
Originally Posted by foodguy

Quote:
Originally Posted by srkmilklady

some people will just "settle" for something to fit the bill and Wal-Mart will always be waiting there for those "settlers". :



Here again, the point that I was trying to make, is that we need to be mindful and respectful of those who cannot afford to do anything other than, "settle", as you put it.



I agree foodguy, not everyone is settling some brides honestly can't afford to pay for quality but this doesn't mean that they shouldn't have a cake if for no other reason to have pictures taken "cutting the cake".

CocoaBlondie Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 3:14am
Quote:
Originally Posted by jewels71

I know or a fact that BOTH cake orders I lost to WM, were from people who could very well afford my cakes (and everyone I know says I charge too little)...one of the woman alone paid $10,000 for her custom made wedding gown, so the measly amount I was charging was prob cheaper than getting her nails done.
The second was someone very well off, whom placed so many demands on the 3 tiered cake she wanted from me that (I was actually glad she dropped me) when I saw a pic of the sheet cake she bought instead I shook my head in disbelief as the Childs name was nowhere near straight!

I was no way bashing people who cant afford my cakes, heck, I prob would pay my prices either! LOL




I know what you mean. It's unbelievable what people will slurge on for a party etc. Then can't even pay my prices for a cake. I just try to picture some of these parties... SOO extravagent then somewhere off to the side on a beautifully decorated table sits a poor old grocery store sheet cake with no filling & the old uneven cursive writing. icon_lol.gif

amygortoncakes Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 4:09am

I just want to know what kind of walmarts you guys have? Our Walmart doesn't have anything close to a bakery...just a few isles of frozen food and a few isles of dry goods. LOL

I want to go to a walmart with a balery man....LOL

costumeczar Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 4:14am
Quote:
Originally Posted by amygortoncakes

I just want to know what kind of walmarts you guys have? Our Walmart doesn't have anything close to a bakery...just a few isles of frozen food and a few isles of dry goods. LOL

I want to go to a walmart with a balery man....LOL




Ours is a SUPER Walmart. And no, you really wouldn't want to go to the bakery there. icon_rolleyes.gif The one near me is horrible.

Love2BakeCakes Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 4:54am

The bottom line for me is this ... I am not out to bash (not saying that anyone is) any of the retail chain stores. They can do and price their cakes as they please. My philosophy is this ... "If you want to buy a cake from me I am more than happy to speak with you about the specifics. But if you don't want to buy a cake from me that is fine with me as well ... go to where your heart desires. I am not in competition with anyone. I am out to tell my truth, do my best and deliver my best product. That is the best that I can offer anyone!

Ruth0209 Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 4:57am
Quote:
Originally Posted by foodguy

Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasSugar

Those that don't have the money to spend, or what ever will go to Walmart.



Texas Sugar, I was so glad to read that you had pointed out this circumstance. While I appreciate the fact that custom work is and can be expensive, and also that there are those who try to get "something for nothing", I feel that too often it's neglected or forgotten by posters here that there are people who simply cannot afford custom cake prices. These folk deserve to have a decent cake (which they can afford) for their celebrations as much as those with more cash.

Instead of taking such seemingly personal issue with, and so much grocery store cake bashing, maybe we should simply accept the fact there there are those who can afford custom work and there are those who simply cannot.




I agree. There is no shame in simply buying the best you can afford, and living within your means. It's too bad people have to settle for crappy cake, but it is what it is.

JanH Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 5:45am

Cakes and cupcakes available at Walmart superstores:

http://www.walmart.com/cp/Bakery/120764

HTH

Navyempress Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 6:55am
Quote:
Originally Posted by amygortoncakes

I just want to know what kind of walmarts you guys have? Our Walmart doesn't have anything close to a bakery...just a few isles of frozen food and a few isles of dry goods. LOL

I want to go to a walmart with a balery man....LOL




The one on College Ave. has a bakery now.. haven't seen tiered cakes, but they do have sheet cakes.

cabecakes Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 8:29am

I'm sorry, I have eaten walmarts cake, and I will say this (not saying it is the same everywhere) the cake is awful. The buttercream is not so bad, but it can in NO way cover up the bad taste of the cake. The cake in my opinion is dry and tasteless. I've said it before and I will say it again. This is no substitution for a cake that is baked with "love". NONE! PERIOD. I don't care what price you attach to it. My husband bought me a Walmart cake for my last birthday...I had to throw it out because no one would eat it. I read him the riot act too. He looked at me with his big blue puppy dog eyes and said, "But I don't bake, and I couldn't very well ask you to bake your own". I wish he would have asked and saved us money on a cake we couldn't even eat it was so bad.

indydebi Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 9:05am

Put me in the category of "I wouldn't pay my prices either!" icon_biggrin.gif

My favorite story on this topic is a neighbor to my daughter apologized to daughter for having a walmart birthday cake for her child. Told daughter, "I'd like to have one of your mom's cakes, but I just can't pay that much." Daughter tells her, "Oh dont' worry about it! If my kids didn't have a gramma who made cakes like that, my kids would have a walmart cake, too, because *I* can't afford my mom's cakes either!" icon_lol.gif

As everyone is saying, we don't try to compete with that because we can't. Lots of retailers sell the same things that walmart sells and lots of retailers have higher prices. They compete in different ways.

For example, my hubby refuses to set foot in walmart. He will pay three times the price to go to another grocery store in the area. He says the other store has better ambiance, a REAL meat department, the produce is MUCH better and he doesn't feel like he's being treated like just another part of the cattle drive. The other store doesn't compete on price .... they compete on service and how the customers feel about their shopping experience. Hubby says its worth it.

me ... I go to walmart. icon_rolleyes.gif

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