How To Deal With Competitors

Decorating By graciesj Updated 20 Jan 2011 , 10:38pm by HaydenSC

graciesj Posted 16 Jan 2011 , 8:35pm
post #1 of 24

I've been making cakes for other people now for 6 months and where I'm from there's a lot of cake bakers. I know I have to be good in order to survive and I'm getting there. I'm having the time of my life creating beautiful pieces of art for people.
The only thing I'm struggling with is having to deal with other local bakers. They want me to share info on "how to" and I'm not about to share especially when I've spent $$$$$$ and hours/days/weeks/ with trial and error truing to find what works for me.
How do /I deal with them?

23 replies
cakediva78 Posted 16 Jan 2011 , 8:57pm
post #2 of 24

Just tell them, "if i tell ya, i'll have to kill ya" lol

bobwonderbuns Posted 16 Jan 2011 , 9:09pm
post #3 of 24

Where in Michigan are you? If you are close enough, tell them to join Michigan ICES and they will answer all your questions. icon_biggrin.gif

playingwithsugar Posted 16 Jan 2011 , 9:44pm
post #4 of 24

Two words -

Trade Secret.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

cakeandpartygirl Posted 16 Jan 2011 , 9:48pm
post #5 of 24

Direct them to cake central.

Buttercream_warrior Posted 16 Jan 2011 , 9:55pm
post #6 of 24

lol..ancient family secret! those are my lines!

icingimages Posted 16 Jan 2011 , 11:15pm
post #7 of 24

Start teaching.... Then you can earn money for what you have learned. They eventually will learn it from somewhere, might as well be you and you might as well profit from it!!!

graciesj Posted 17 Jan 2011 , 1:45pm
post #8 of 24

[quote="playingwithsugar"]Two words -

Trade Secret.

Theresa icon_smile.gif[/quote]

that's what my husband said...tell them it's your grandma's recipeicon_smile.gif

PrivateNameHere Posted 17 Jan 2011 , 3:47pm
post #9 of 24

I had a customer purchase about 5 cakes from me for different occasions, asking me questions in a roundabout way, and I was too talkative...She thought I made it sound easy and now she is trying to do her own cake "business". How I found out was she had me design a baby shower cake for her friend who was going to order from me, had me quote it, then she (sort of) made it instead for cheaper. I say sort of because it was butt ugly. She even posted it on her FB and asked me to comment on it!
HA all over her. It was nasty looking.
I know, I'm bitter! Drives me crazy, I spent about an hour creating the cake from scratch, sketching it, then pricing it out. Stupid!

Sorelle Posted 17 Jan 2011 , 3:55pm
post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakediva78

Just tell them, "if i tell ya, i'll have to kill ya" lol



lol Love this! Im using this for now on, puts humor in an uncomfortable situation. I have put thousands into my cake supplies and hundreds into tweaking recipes. I'll share them here but not with customers or competitors.

SweetThingBlackOrchid Posted 17 Jan 2011 , 3:58pm
post #11 of 24

This happens all the time and always will. Another professional cake compnay came to us and asked us how to make our own signature cake !!!! We told them...no worries. There will always be someone comming up who can create good work. Share what makes you comfortable, after all it's difficult to say no sometimes. In this day and age the difference is in the service you provide and your own quality of work. Work harder, diligently and smarter. Always keep up with technology and trends, study, study study..... and you'll always end up shining .

Good luck and dont worry, that''s energy you could have spent creating.

graciesj Posted 17 Jan 2011 , 4:18pm
post #12 of 24

[quote="PrivateNameHere"]I had a customer purchase about 5 cakes from me for different occasions, asking me questions in a roundabout way, and I was too talkative...She thought I made it sound easy and now she is trying to do her own cake "business". How I found out was she had me design a baby shower cake for her friend who was going to order from me, had me quote it, then she (sort of) made it instead for cheaper. I say sort of because it was butt ugly. She even posted it on her FB and asked me to comment on it!
HA all over her. It was nasty looking.
I know, I'm bitter! Drives me crazy, I spent about an hour creating the cake from scratch, sketching it, then pricing it out. Stupid![/quote]


I do know that we must learn from our mistakes, and to never repeat them. It's hard yet necessary to be aloof at times. That would've peed me off soooooo much, and it's hard not to be bitter, but honestly it's not worth it. Just allow the universe to take care of it honey, it'll work out!gracie

graciesj Posted 17 Jan 2011 , 4:23pm
post #13 of 24

[quote="SweetThingBlackOrchid"]This happens all the time and always will. Another professional cake compnay came to us and asked us how to make our own signature cake !!!! We told them...no worries. There will always be someone comming up who can create good work. Share what makes you comfortable, after all it's difficult to say no sometimes. In this day and age the difference is in the service you provide and your own quality of work. Work harder, diligently and smarter. Always keep up with technology and trends, study, study study..... and you'll always end up shining .

Good luck and dont worry, that''s energy you could have spent creating.[/quote]

My positive energy and my passion for baking speaks for it self. And now after 9 months or so, I've become 100% satisfied with my BC and am not willing to share with just any one. I'm a self taught baker who turns to the internet as my school. I have two little ones at home and they're my #1 priority, always.So going to take a class is not in my future, and I'm VERY GRATEFUL to you bakers here in CC for all the support and suggestions. I believe we must stick together and know that we have each others back, always.
thank-you gracie

leah_s Posted 17 Jan 2011 , 5:02pm
post #14 of 24

Umm . . .how did your sketch get out of your hands?

Neelas_wife Posted 17 Jan 2011 , 5:34pm
post #15 of 24

I llive in CA so only bake for my family and maybe some friends on rare ocassions. So my family thinks they are entitled to the cake and ofcourse the receipe tooicon_sad.gif I just say, "when you want to eat the cake - call meicon_smile.gif I am always hereicon_smile.gif " when they further insist I say its "My receipe" Sorryicon_sad.gif

Claire138 Posted 17 Jan 2011 , 5:46pm
post #16 of 24

I always get flustered when people ask me secrets and generally tell them everything they want to know and then get furious with myself - I love the answer "if i tell ya, i'll have to kill ya". Definitely going to use that from now on!

graciesj Posted 17 Jan 2011 , 6:34pm
post #17 of 24

[quote="Neelas_wife"]I llive in CA so only bake for my family and maybe some friends on rare ocassions. So my family thinks they are entitled to the cake and ofcourse the receipe tooicon_sad.gif I just say, "when you want to eat the cake - call meicon_smile.gif I am always hereicon_smile.gif " when they further insist I say its "My receipe" Sorryicon_sad.gif[/quote]


yep, I agree...icon_smile.gif

stampinron Posted 17 Jan 2011 , 9:41pm
post #18 of 24

I like to direct people to the Wilton web site. It is a good place to start, then I say Practice-Practice-Practice.

That is how I had to learn, so it is truthful, without divulging too much. I don't like to share secrets.

cfpeoples Posted 17 Jan 2011 , 10:13pm
post #19 of 24

I know what you are talking about. An aquaintance (kids go to the same school) was at a birthday party where i had made one of my Pokemon cakes (on my photos) and she wanted to make the ball. I super-duper vaguely told her how to do it. I basically said she had to practice. I saw a photo of her cake and it stunk (sorry). But everyone was saying how great it was. I would be humiliated if i had done that kind of work. Ever since then she keeps asking me "how i did this, or that" and i really don't want to answer her. I just tell her the material i used, like fondant, gumpaste etc...then say it just takes practice. I just can't help out a competitor. There are wonderful websites like this one you can talk to your peers and learn things, but you also need to put in the time to learn these techniques. I am so grateful to CC and all the wonderful knowledgeable people here who have helped me out.

butterflyX Posted 17 Jan 2011 , 10:15pm
post #20 of 24

My good friend asked me for my cake recipe once. I knew she wasnt going to go and start a business she just wanted to bake a cake, i felt sooooo mean saying no to her but i stood stong and did it. Were still friends so its ok.haha!

PrivateNameHere Posted 20 Jan 2011 , 9:26pm
post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

Umm . . .how did your sketch get out of your hands?



I sent it to her in an email. Stupid. Lesson learned though!

racechick311x Posted 20 Jan 2011 , 9:56pm
post #22 of 24

How do you all keep from being totally annoyed when the other competitors are copying cakes you have done? I have been having issues with that lately icon_sad.gif

idgalpal Posted 20 Jan 2011 , 10:01pm
post #23 of 24

I don't share my recipes either. It goes a step further though - if you did share a recipe it doesn't guarantee that their cake is going to come out as good as your cake for a billion reasons. Add to that, if they change an ingredient, like say, using marg instead of butter, or all vanilla because they don't like almond flavoring - there are just too many variables!
I dont want someone making one of my cakes, having it come out terrible, but telling everyone "well, it's so-and-sos recipe" It's just a bad bad idea all the way around.

HaydenSC Posted 20 Jan 2011 , 10:38pm
post #24 of 24

I say, oh it is practice, practice and family recipes (we have a family owned bakery).
And for this question:
"How do you all keep from being totally annoyed when the other competitors are copying cakes you have done? I have been having issues with that lately"
This happens to me all the time too. I try to think about the old saying that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. It can be annoying, but you can laugh about it. Think about it this way: if you have a fake Louis Vuitton purse, is it *really* as good as having the original thing?? Nope! icon_lol.gif

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