Is Unemployment Causing More Competition In Baking Biz?

Business By writersblock15 Updated 4 Dec 2010 , 10:53am by scp1127

writersblock15 Posted 3 Dec 2010 , 5:16pm
post #1 of 19

I'm hearing of more and more corporate employees getting layed off and going into the cupcake, cookie, and candy mking business from home to pay the bills. Donald Trump has a contestant who did this on The Apprentice.

Does anyone think this is creating much competition in the baking business? I'm also curious if these people will go back to the corporate grind if and when the job market gets any better.

What are your thoughts?

18 replies
cambo Posted 3 Dec 2010 , 5:31pm
post #2 of 19

So interesting that you mentioned this, as I have seen an increase in local competition. The folks I've come across were both laid off and started their own in-home businesses! It keeps me on my toes...and I think will work out in my favor as they do pretty good work and I have networked with one baker for referrals as I stay pretty booked and sometimes would like to have a good reference for folks when I can't take their order, and vice-versa!

bobwonderbuns Posted 3 Dec 2010 , 5:45pm
post #3 of 19

Last year I taught a cookie class and the last day of registration I had 13 women from one (corporate) office join up. (I always make extra cookies but that was cutting it a little close!) icon_biggrin.gif Anyway, the story was that one of their coworkers had taken my cookie class the year before and used those techniques to make some great goodies that she brought to work on Friday and sold them. Well she made more in those few hours with her goodies than she did in a week on a corporate salary! This particular corporation was going through dire straits at the time so others were looking for other avenues in case they got downsized, which led them to my class. I didn't follow the news too closely, but I think that corporation is now defunct if I remember right. Anyway, I teach a lot of classes and I'm getting more and more of that kind of story among my students. But the thing I try to impress on them the most is that this is sugar, it's FUN. If you are not having fun, you are not doing it right! icon_lol.gif

Rachel5370 Posted 3 Dec 2010 , 6:04pm
post #4 of 19

I am grateful that it's illegal in Colorado to sell food made at home. I am sure that weeds out some potential competition. The rental kitchen I work out of has most of it's time slots full with people like me, just using one or two slots a week. My town didn't have many bakeries when I first started looking into opening a bakery. Now that these kitchens have opened up and are priced reasonably- there are a lot of bakers in my town. Most of them are not doing the same thing as me, but a few are very similar. But competition doesn't scare me- it challenges me to work harder!

Corrie76 Posted 3 Dec 2010 , 6:08pm
post #5 of 19

I haven't noticed this trend where I live. In my small town, there are two other ladies who do cakes from their homes and myself. All three of us have always been employed fulltime outside the home as well. WY is difficult enough to live in that unless you are well employed it's not worth it to be sticking around in a small isolated community. Usually those that lose their jobs move on to the next town or out of state. I will say that it's nice that there are no competitive feelings between us local "cake-ladies" and our town's bakery is so supremely awful that we never lack for business, there's enough for us all to stay busy on the weekends.

Rachel5370 Posted 3 Dec 2010 , 6:11pm
post #6 of 19

I also remembered that when I was in culinary school the economy was pretty good. We still had quite a few former corporate types as students. They all said they were looking for a less stressful career. It made me laugh, because foodservice ranks high as one of the most stressful industries to work in. Being a chef is NOT stress-free! Baking and decorating is a little better because than being a line cook or chef- because of advance notice and longer times to meet deadlines, and no bitching waitstaff in your face all the time! But we still have stress, that's for sure!

ShannonLeger Posted 3 Dec 2010 , 8:33pm
post #7 of 19

I do think this is the case.....there are more and more decorators popping up in my area and I am one of those folks who was laid off from a Real Estate Accounting job the spring before last and started my own business instead of going back into the Corporate world which I found very uninspiring anyway. I think once most of these new decorators realize the time, effort and stress that goes into running a business, they will go back to the corporate world. I however, am much too stubborn to give up a business I have put so much into over the past year and a half!

playingwithsugar Posted 3 Dec 2010 , 8:57pm
post #8 of 19

All these cake shows on TV make a lot of wannabe decorators think they can make a ton of money doing this.

If only we could all make a wedding cake in 30 minutes, minus commercials.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

JanetBme Posted 3 Dec 2010 , 8:58pm
post #9 of 19

I think it also has to do with the amount of cake shows on TV. Making cakes used to be seen as sorta an older woman- baking job.. now it's the cool young people doing it...so it's "IN" to be a baker. There are so many shows, that people see that there is a market for it.

indydebi Posted 3 Dec 2010 , 10:01pm
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachel5370

I also remembered that when I was in culinary school the economy was pretty good. We still had quite a few former corporate types as students. They all said they were looking for a less stressful career. It made me laugh, because foodservice ranks high as one of the most stressful industries to work in. Being a chef is NOT stress-free! Baking and decorating is a little better because than being a line cook or chef- because of advance notice and longer times to meet deadlines, and no bitching waitstaff in your face all the time! But we still have stress, that's for sure!


Oh THAT is funny!! Especially since I had to "retire" from cakes/catering due to arthritis in my neck and the hard work and stress was NOT doing me any good at all! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

(I've spent the last month with a recent flare up ... and it hit right after my son's wedding, so part of it I attributed to stress induced. 6 prescriptions, 3 of them pain killers, 1 of those was Vicodin. Yeah .... "easy" is exactly how I would describe the work involved in this industry! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif but it made me think "oh thank GAWD I don't have any cakes or caterings to be concerned with thru this.)

Corrie76 Posted 3 Dec 2010 , 10:03pm
post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by JanetBme

I think it also has to do with the amount of cake shows on TV. Making cakes used to be seen as sorta an older woman- baking job.. now it's the cool young people doing it...so it's "IN" to be a baker. There are so many shows, that people see that there is a market for it.



totally agree on that opinion. It's trendy now, but as we all know here it's a lot of dedication and it takes a lot of perfectionistic/obsessive tendancies to keep caking for the long haul. ( icon_biggrin.gif i think we all at least have that in common icon_biggrin.gif )And like all trends, this one will probably wane as well, as more of these corporate-exec-turned-cake-entrepenuer types get burnt out and flee back to the 9-5 office grind.

indydebi Posted 3 Dec 2010 , 10:07pm
post #12 of 19

As a business, I would take notice if the new folks coming into the industry from corporate were "upper" corporate types. These folks have some intense business experience and background, unlike the Suzy Come Lately Homemaker who makes a cake or two and decides she's smart enough to run a business. They also may be taking a forced early retirement with an incentive package, meaning they have the money to set up shop right.

we all know the business side of this industry is the "real" make-it-or-break-it benchmark. I don't worry about Suzy Homemakers who hang out a "cakes-r-us" sign. But those with a good solid business background would be the ones to watch, if there is a concern about competition.

-K8memphis Posted 3 Dec 2010 , 10:21pm
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

...Oh THAT is funny!! Especially since I had to "retire" from cakes/catering due to arthritis in my neck and the hard work and stress was NOT doing me any good at all! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

(I've spent the last month with a recent flare up ... and it hit right after my son's wedding, so part of it I attributed to stress induced. 6 prescriptions, 3 of them pain killers, 1 of those was Vicodin. Yeah .... "easy" is exactly how I would describe the work involved in this industry! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif but it made me think "oh thank GAWD I don't have any cakes or caterings to be concerned with thru this.)




Know what, Chickadeedee? School freaking stressed you out big time. My kid got two master's degrees and I din hear near as much moaning as you did with all your papers and tests and one of her's was a master's in creative writing!!

It's no wonder you flared up. Consider a lighter load next semester--pay off a few teachers--come up with something!!! Jk about the pay off thing of course. Could a made a lotta sausage with all the educational grinding you did.

Do you get any time for exercising? Or something to help relieve stress????

Edited to say--could you take a coupla weeks to getaway to the Figi Islands for a little R&R? icon_lol.gif

kimbordeaux Posted 3 Dec 2010 , 11:20pm
post #14 of 19

The economy is the reason I opened my shop. For over a year I could not find a job. I was creating and selling cakes out of my home but, when business picked up I decided to open a shop since it is illegal in SC to home bake. Since we have a savings and we already have one business I decided to give it a go. When I started building biz there weren't any cake businesses, that I knew of, any where close. Well, any legit cake businesses that I knew of. Now there are a couple of legit cake businesses within an hour drive and several illegal bakeries. If I sound sarcastic about home bakeries its because I've spent 1000's of dollars getting legal so that I will have a legit cake business and to see others openly advertise and know its illegal kind of gets me. But I'm not too bitter because I know most customers will see that I've done all the right things, can actually come into my business and feel safe about what is purchased from me. The home bakeries may have my prices beat but they won't have the same customers as me, they will have the ones that are looking for that deal and you usually get what you pay for.

~Kim

costumeczar Posted 3 Dec 2010 , 11:22pm
post #15 of 19

There are definitely more unlicened businesses popping up. Some are licensed, but I've heard a lot more people say that they're baking "on the side"

indydebi Posted 4 Dec 2010 , 2:19am
post #16 of 19

k8 .... my load is about 1/2 the size next semester! thumbs_up.gif Hubby keeps saying "you're NOT super woman!" but I just continually try to prove him wrong! icon_razz.gif

-K8memphis Posted 4 Dec 2010 , 2:23am
post #17 of 19

Oh halelujah for you. That was a bru-tal semester and all I had to do was read about it. <whew>

Hope your neck is feeling better. Hope you don't get it all jacked up again. Heck you probably caused mine to flair too!!!!!!!!!

icon_lol.gif

cheatize Posted 4 Dec 2010 , 4:09am
post #18 of 19

Our local mall is holding a Home-based Business Show this weekend. It's the first time I can remember where they've done that.

scp1127 Posted 4 Dec 2010 , 10:53am
post #19 of 19

Opening a bakery or home bakery in my surrounding area is almost cost prohibitive, so new business is not likely to pop up. I had a unique set of circumstances that made it feasible fo me.

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