What Do You Think??? Long...

Decorating By hollys_hobby Updated 3 Apr 2011 , 2:16pm by rainyone

hollys_hobby Posted 1 Apr 2011 , 7:26pm
post #1 of 22

Hey fellow cakers!! I am looking for your opinions please!!
Here is my situation. I have been making cakes as a hobby for about 9 months for friends and family. It has completely become my passion! For the last 3 months I have been looking to go into business. Our original plan was to convert our den in our house into a bakery. After much planning, I found out you can not have a pet, ever, in a building that houses a domestic kitchen, even though it would be completely closed off from the rest of the house. icon_sad.gif I was heart broken, as getting rid of our cat isn't an option (it's our daughter's cat and she is very closely bonded to him). So, I have been looking for a kitchen to rent, the only "shared" kitchen I found is 45 minutes away and would be incredibly difficult as I am a stay at home mom of 2 kids.
About 2 weeks ago, a cupcake shop opened in my town. She only does cupcakes and small individual desserts, no cakes. She is solo, no employees yet. I don't have a desire to do cupcakes, as I feel my niche is really in specialty fondant cakes. Many people have told me I should talk to her about sharing space. Since her and I do completely different things, I don't see her as competition.
There is no other place within an hour or more of me that does what I do.
If you were the owner of the cupcake shop and someone like me approached you about renting your kitchen, how would you preceive that and what would your thoughts be? My plan would be to have my own license, my own insurance, and be by appointment only. I wouldn't use her case or cash register or any of her front area, just her kitchen... Thoughts and opinions PLEASE!!! icon_smile.gif thanks!

21 replies
Kitagrl Posted 1 Apr 2011 , 7:45pm
post #2 of 22

I don't suppose the cat can conveniently disappear? "Oops honey, the cat ran away....we'll try to find him but...."

Okay okay just kidding, sorry....

All you can do is ask the lady....and see what she says, because everyone is so different! There are several options...she may or may not want to share space but you can ask. If she wants a partner, maybe you can combine...you help her with cupcakes and she helps you with your cakes (if nothing else but baking them for you, or whatever helps). It could be a win-win situation if you get along fine...which would probably take awhile to get to know each other and see if its going to work.

Just be careful and tread slowly and see how the other lady feels about it.

How old is that cat, again? (Sorry haha....)

hollys_hobby Posted 1 Apr 2011 , 8:01pm
post #3 of 22

Thanks Kitagrl!
Businesses here really struggle, the building she is in has had a new business so many times in the last few years. I see it as being benificial for her by offsetting her cost which would in turn bring her business more profit. I'm just not sure how to go about approaching her..

cownsj Posted 1 Apr 2011 , 8:10pm
post #4 of 22

I actually do see you as competition because someone isn't likely to buy both your cakes and her cupcakes, though it does happen often enough. Having said that, I'd still go talk with her. Make an app't. for a time when she can sit and talk with you. She may be struggling financially and could use the help of paying the bills by renting to you. She may want to do more, or she may feel possessive of someone who wanted to be a partner and not want to share. You will be happy with minimal from her, which is good, and who knows where it could take you both, either separately or together. Worst thing that could happen is that she says no. But I do see all kinds of possibilites that could come from this. Go for it, definitely.

robinmarie Posted 1 Apr 2011 , 8:36pm
post #5 of 22

Just curious....how would anyone know you had a cat???

hollys_hobby Posted 1 Apr 2011 , 8:50pm
post #6 of 22

well, he's a BIG orange cat (about 20 lbs) and he sits in the front window by the door quite often. You can see him just pulling into the driveway. We can't make him an outside cat because we have an abundance of cougars and coyotes here. The vet told us he would be gone quickly because of his coloring. Well, our daughter heard that and when we were talking about what to do with the cat, she freaked out... icon_sad.gif I think I am secretly hoping he'll get sick or something... no no no, I really do love him... UGH! DANG CAT!!! LOL!!
I guess it is also an honesty issue for me. If the dept of agriculture asked me if we have a pet, I couldn't lie. And because I have read the requirements and know it's wrong, I just can't make myself go there...

hollys_hobby Posted 1 Apr 2011 , 9:01pm
post #7 of 22

cownsj, thank you for your input! I wouldn't want to cause her to lose business because of me, so that is why I would not sell any cakes out of a case, only by special order. I think if people are going to order something for a party or event, they usually have in mind if they want cake or cupcakes. (I know, sometimes both). If they want cake, they go through me, if cupcakes, her.. icon_smile.gif But, you're right, I do just need to talk to her and feel her out. Thanks!

cownsj Posted 1 Apr 2011 , 9:15pm
post #8 of 22

Best of luck; and please let us know how you make out.

robinmarie Posted 1 Apr 2011 , 9:16pm
post #9 of 22

some people just dont get that our pets are apart of the family...I know my dog thinks he is human....spoiled rotten she is

ashleyb4 Posted 2 Apr 2011 , 4:48pm
post #10 of 22

Thank you, robinmarie. I was thinking the same thing as I was reading this. I have 3 cats and a dog, and they are my little furry world icon_biggrin.gif I would drive 45 minutes to cake, heck, I'd drive 4 hours to cake, rather than get rid of any of them. thumbsdown.gif

cownsj Posted 2 Apr 2011 , 5:06pm
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by robinmarie

some people just dont get that our pets are apart of the family...I know my dog thinks he is human....spoiled rotten she is




Our cat used to think he was human too. I always told him not to lower his standards that way....... lol We had, at the time, 1 dog and 3 cats, so the dog wanted to be a cat just like all our other kids. But the youngest cat came to us at about 6 weeks of age. Within 24 hours, she and the dog adopted each other and she began nursing. Within a week she was getting milk. That was her mommy and she wanted to be a dog. She's still nursing and she's 6 1/2, our dog is almost 16. (no more milk, that stopped last summer), but she still nurses. That cat refuses to meow because, after all, if mommy is a dog then she must be a dog. So she squeaks, but a couple weeks ago, for the first time she successfully barked. Made me jump out of my skin..... lol Her too. And our 3 year old puppy is just all confused. She runs like a squirrel because she spends so much time watching them, then chasing them, she thinks she's supposed to hop first, then begin running. Our one cat is very odd though, she seems to realize that she is in fact ...... a cat.... lol

FromScratchSF Posted 2 Apr 2011 , 9:35pm
post #12 of 22

I recently struck up a conversation with the owner of a mini cupcake shop here - that's all they do - mini cupcakes. Well, I danced around if he ever gets requests for wedding cakes... well he said he gets requests all the time - he turns them down because he doesn't make cake, he makes mini cupcakes and that's all he wants to do. He doesn't want to have to buy the pans, adjust his recipes, deal with bridezillas, learn to decorate cake, etc. Anyway, I hope he'll start referring those requests to me, because although I make cupcakes, my primary focus is cake.

No disrespect to cupcake shops, but if someone opens one up that's strictly cupcakes it's because they've chosen to make and market one thing. You are doing something totally different by making cake. I don;t see any harm in asking about renting her kitchen in the off hours. Nobody has to know, it's not like you are going to have a sign out front. Problem with that arrangement is you'll probably be stuck making cake in the middle of the night.

Good luck,

Jen

slsharratt Posted 2 Apr 2011 , 9:45pm
post #13 of 22

ask! the worst she can say is no.

also, you could work together, where the cake is one flavor and the cupcakes are another, so the customer could have both.

sweetmonkeycheese Posted 2 Apr 2011 , 9:57pm
post #14 of 22

I think you should ask, all she can do is say no.. and even if she says no right now, she might need that rent money in a couple of months and could always change her mind.

sweetaudrey Posted 2 Apr 2011 , 10:49pm
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by ashleyb4

Thank you, robinmarie. I was thinking the same thing as I was reading this. I have 3 cats and a dog, and they are my little furry world icon_biggrin.gif I would drive 45 minutes to cake, heck, I'd drive 4 hours to cake, rather than get rid of any of them. thumbsdown.gif




Same here. I just do cake for pure fun really, not for a profit. But there is NO way in He** I would ever "get rid" of my animals (five dogs and 3 cats) just for freakin cake! thumbsdown.gif It's so frustrating when you see people "getting rid" of their responsibilities like it doesn't effect anyone or anything else. If not only greatly effects the animal but it always puts a huge burden on vets and rescues out there trying to rehome and care of their "unwanted pet". It's sickening.

OP: Best of luck on your bakery journey. And I'm very glad to see that you are not "getting rid" of your kitty. =]

hollys_hobby Posted 2 Apr 2011 , 10:55pm
post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetaudrey

[OP: Best of luck on your bakery journey. And I'm very glad to see that you are not "getting rid" of your kitty. =]




Thank you! I do love him! I think he thinks he is human, or maybe dog, he play fetch, talks to us, he is a Maine Coon. Really cool personality! As much as he is putting a damper on my bakery journey, I could never get rid of him!! icon_smile.gif

LindaF144a Posted 3 Apr 2011 , 2:54am
post #17 of 22

I don't understand how someone can open up a cupcake shop as the sole employer. She is going to run herself ragged. How much business does she get? My business plan has 4 employees plus myself and I am concerned that we are not going to be able to keep up.

You may want to ask her. I am sure she will welcome someone to share the load.

scp1127 Posted 3 Apr 2011 , 3:15am
post #18 of 22

Don't limit yourself to just that shop. Any mom and pop that closes at 3 or even 6pm may work. Also check any abandoned restaurant. The owner would probably be happy to have someone in there just to watch the place. You may be able to work out a graduated rent deal to work up to the right rent as you are growing. Ask your HD to guide you to someone needing a partner.

Foxicakes Posted 3 Apr 2011 , 3:22am
post #19 of 22

I, myself wouldn't get rid of my pet either just to have my business in my house. But, hopefully, you DO understand that it IS a health hazard to have them around any food. Even the cleanest of people can have pet hair all over their home. Even when that pet does not enter the room. That hair just has a way of getting all over the house.
As for the business opportunity, I agree with those that said the worst she can say is "no". You never know, with a new business she may be struggling and wondering what on earth she has gotten herself into. You could be an answer to her own prayers. Go for it!!

hollys_hobby Posted 3 Apr 2011 , 4:05am
post #20 of 22

thank you all for the wonderful advise! I really appreciate it! The more I think about it, the more excited I get! I will definately post her response once I speak with her icon_smile.gif

Linda, she has only been open about 2 1/2 weeks, I found her website and it looks like she started as a cart business in a town just south of us, and this is her first store front. I have heard from people that have been there that she may be looking to hire help soon.
Foxicakes, I totally understand the health risks of the pet, and that is another reason why I just couldn't try to hide it icon_smile.gif

CAKELADIE1 Posted 3 Apr 2011 , 4:08am
post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by cownsj

Quote:
Originally Posted by robinmarie

some people just dont get that our pets are apart of the family...I know my dog thinks he is human....spoiled rotten she is



Our cat used to think he was human too. I always told him not to lower his standards that way....... lol We had, at the time, 1 dog and 3 cats, so the dog wanted to be a cat just like all our other kids. But the youngest cat came to us at about 6 weeks of age. Within 24 hours, she and the dog adopted each other and she began nursing. Within a week she was getting milk. That was her mommy and she wanted to be a dog. She's still nursing and she's 6 1/2, our dog is almost 16. (no more milk, that stopped last summer), but she still nurses. That cat refuses to meow because, after all, if mommy is a dog then she must be a dog. So she squeaks, but a couple weeks ago, for the first time she successfully barked. Made me jump out of my skin..... lol Her too. And our 3 year old puppy is just all confused. She runs like a squirrel because she spends so much time watching them, then chasing them, she thinks she's supposed to hop first, then begin running. Our one cat is very odd though, she seems to realize that she is in fact ...... a cat.... lol




LOL icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

rainyone Posted 3 Apr 2011 , 2:16pm
post #22 of 22

approach her ! The thing is she could also bring in your cakes as an option for things like weddings ( think cupcake towers with a topper cake). You could even discuss a non compete clause - like you won't make cupcakes in her kitchen etc.... I think she might not be sure right away but it sounds like it could be a good option for both of you.

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