Charmed Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 4:51pm
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or any other bakery. Do the walmart or other bakeries accept unpaid or paid interns. and if so how do I approach them about this? and what to ask . Do I talk to the bakery manager? I really don't know where to start. Any help is appreciated.
thanks thumbs_up.gif

14 replies
-K8memphis Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 4:57pm
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Charmed, there is much bashing of high speed low cost bakeries--I'm not sure if any of those decorators will post--I hope they do and I hope people hold thier bashing tongues. My own neice is a decorator for such a bakery who I would never ever invite to join me here. It's a legitimate reasonable job. No one is under any dilsuion that it is haute couture caking.

Why do want to intern there?

TattooMom25 Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 5:14pm
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I am not sure what part of the counrty you are in but Publix accepts interns. I cannot tell you if they are paid or unpaid. In my area they accept interns who are going through a culinary program at a local college or university. Check out Publix.com

cakeythings1961 Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 5:19pm
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I suspect there are plenty of talented and frustrated cake decorators working for chain stores...

A few weeks ago I went shopping very early in the morning at Meijer (big box store in the Midwest.) As is my habit, I walked by the cake displays to see what they looked like. They had the usual stuff, but there was also a beautifully decorated cake with tidy borders and dainty flowers done in tasteful pastel shades. I had to ask who had done such lovely work, and the clerk said that one of their cake decorators really knew her stuff, but the manager would only let her do one nice cake per day, because it took too long!

Then she said if I liked the cake, I had better buy it right away because her cakes never sat in the display for long!![/b]

Charmed Posted 7 Nov 2010 , 3:22am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -K8memphis

Charmed, there is much bashing of high speed low cost bakeries--I'm not sure if any of those decorators will post--I hope they do and I hope people hold thier bashing tongues. My own neice is a decorator for such a bakery who I would never ever invite to join me here. It's a legitimate reasonable job. No one is under any dilsuion that it is haute couture caking.

Why do want to intern there?



I just want to start somewhere and get some experience and speed icon_biggrin.gif

KatsSuiteCakes Posted 7 Nov 2010 , 3:31am
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Charmed, I don't have any feedback as far as your original question; but just want to say that your work is lovely!! icon_smile.gif

hvanaalst Posted 7 Nov 2010 , 5:05am
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I don't know if it is the same in the US as it is here in Canada, but here we do not have interns in the bakery. They do however hire completely unexperienced people all the time and 'train' them. I am sure you could get a job at one with no problem if they are hiring. The real problem is actually having time to decorate cakes. Because we are always short staffed we spend a ridiculous amount of time doing the bakery stocking/baking and such and cakes are never the priority for us. I do think our walmart is a bit slow on the cake sales though. I am also not encouraged to do anything different or interesting on cakes because the other cake decorators don't know how to do what I do, and don't want people asking for things they see in the case that is not 'walmart standard'.

Corrie76 Posted 7 Nov 2010 , 5:57am
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I worked for a large grocery chain bakery for 15 years and I know that in our stores, interns were not allowed, I'm sure mainly due to liability and other legal issues. Why not just apply for a job at the bakery? If you have little experience with cake decorating, maybe get a position as a bakery clerk and then you can watch and learn and play with the icing and tools during slow times. That's how I learned!

Charmed Posted 7 Nov 2010 , 2:04pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KatsSuiteCakes

Charmed, I don't have any feedback as far as your original question; but just want to say that your work is lovely!! icon_smile.gif



thank you kats for the kind words. thumbs_up.gif

BethLS Posted 8 Nov 2010 , 1:19am

Howdy,

I worked for WalMart and Meijer for a total of about three years...at that time (6 yrs ago) we did not accept interns (paid or not). icon_smile.gif

But I enjoyed working for each of the stores mentioned! I encourage you to apply if thats something you're interested in icon_smile.gif

amygortoncakes Posted 8 Nov 2010 , 6:09pm

I think that if you can get your foot in the door its a start. I really want to work as cake decorator at a custom bakery, but know that I will likely need to put my time in at a grocery chain store before that. I have noticed that no matter how great your portfolio is, if you don't have commercial baking experience most employers won't consider your resume.

iamelms Posted 8 Nov 2010 , 6:20pm

I don't know if they use the term 'intern' but you could certainly ask if they're hiring a decorator. I know Publix offers to put you through a decorating course so you can learn their method, so I'd assume other places would as well. While no, you won't get to stretch your imagination working at a walmart or other grocery store, I can say that working at Publix has helped me develop the basics so that I'm more efficient when decorating icon_smile.gif Good luck icon_smile.gif

Corrie76 Posted 9 Nov 2010 , 12:47am

Iamelms brings up a great point, while working at a large chain does really limit what you do creatively, it's still an awesome "education" in so many other areas. working in a big chain bakery will teach anyone all they ever needed to know about food safety and sanitation, how to organize projects, working with deadlines, you meet every type of customer from all walks of life and learn to handle and cope with a variety of temperments, learn how to effectively organize a work area etc..etc...I am so greatful for my time spent in a large bakery- and I've learned so much through the experience of that than any cake decorating course could ever provide.

cakesdivine Posted 9 Nov 2010 , 4:42pm

Hi Charmed! I would not trade even ONE day of my experience in as a grocery store decorator. I learned how to be fast on so many things. Torting, icing & filling a cake quickly and accurately for one. And I can whip out a great looking BC rose fairly quickly. I do enjoy however working at my own pace so I can make things as perfect as I possibly can. But my grocery store bakery experience from years ago was priceless! I learned so many tricks on getting BC super smooth since that is all we did, and also we didn't have time to do the crusting viva paper towel method so I learned other secrets for fast smoothing techniques on flat and sphere surfaces. I encourage every decorator to at least work one year at a high volume bakery. You definitely earn a new respect for your fellow decorators in those positions. I will never forget my first day there. I had never worked with fudge icing before, only my homemade BC. I had to decorate a fudge dessert cake to the exact specificatons in the book. Basically it showed a photo and I had to copy it. I had never done anything like that before. The decorations were minimal at best but it was the icing technique that gave the cake its beautiful classy look. Needless to say, I failed miserably. The cake had fully defrosted from the freezer and talk about crumb city! It took me 5 tries to get even one that was sellable, oh and it took me the entire day to do those 5! Good thing I had a great boss who took me under her wing instead of fireing me on the spot...LOL! It got much better as the week wore on. By the end of my first month I was cranking out cakes just like the head decorator, and she had been a grocery store decorator for over 7 years!

I did hate that my creativity was very limited, very rarely were we given the opportunity to create our own designs and fondant work was out of the question. I did develope carpal tunnel due to the break neck pace, so ever going that fast and furious on a daily basis again is out of the question, but it gave me a treasure trove of ability and knowledge and a pretty great paycheck on a steady basis icon_smile.gif !

Charmed Posted 11 Nov 2010 , 3:05am

thank you all for your help ladies. Cakesdivine what a great experience you had. and all the secrets that you have learned icon_biggrin.gif please please do share them with us.

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