Most Mother's At The School Know I Decorate Cakes..so..

Decorating By Kiddiekakes Updated 4 Aug 2011 , 5:56pm by TexasSugar

Kiddiekakes Posted 3 Aug 2011 , 3:56pm
post #1 of 40

Why don't they ever order a cake???


Can anyone explain this?? Over the years almost everyone knows I have a small business and specialize in kids cakes..However..I have only ever had a handful actually order...They don't even seem interested icon_rolleyes.gif but will go to Safeway etc and order a gross cake..and let me tell yah the cakes here at the grocery stores are no longer cheap either...Those darn Decopac 3D cake kits are $74.00 here at one grocery store....REALLY!!! so why not order from me and get a great Unique designed cake and it taStes 100% better....

I donate a large cake or cupcakes every year for the Volunteer lunch and people come up to me and say great cakes/cupcakes (Yadda yadda yadda) and know I made them but....no orders...


Hmmm...I guess I ma not tapping into the market... icon_cry.gif

39 replies
Texas_Rose Posted 3 Aug 2011 , 4:10pm
post #2 of 40

Maybe they think they can't afford you.

I don't think it's too pushy to say, "Thanks! If you ever need a cake, let me know and I'll give you a great price." (not a discount, just your normally great prices icon_biggrin.gif ) when someone compliments you on the cake you've donated.

QTCakes1 Posted 3 Aug 2011 , 4:11pm
post #3 of 40

They just flat out may not be interested and has nothing to do with you. Not everyone wants tp pay for a custom cake. I know I have a price minimum and $75 is not it. I wouldn't let it discourage me. If you do have things in their price range, maybe they don't know it. Maybe they are thinking custom cake and equate it to expensive.

Kiddiekakes Posted 3 Aug 2011 , 4:21pm
post #4 of 40

Yeah it could be...but my cake minumum is $40.00..You would pay that at a grocery store anyway so I don't think it is that...I don't want to start offering disounts either...You know the same old addage..Anyone will order a cake if they get a deal/discount but after that....see yah...I'm not interested in those who will order once...

The school doesn't allow you to put up flyers either so there is no way to advertise there....I guess I will just have to get creative...

If anyone had any tips..Throw them my way!!

jason_kraft Posted 3 Aug 2011 , 4:24pm
post #5 of 40

To many people $40 is still pricey for a cake, you can get a filled and decorated half sheet cake at Costco for $16, that's good enough for some people (and from what I hear Costco cakes aren't too bad).

Texas_Rose Posted 3 Aug 2011 , 4:24pm
post #6 of 40

I didn't mean that you should offer a discount, just mention that you've got great prices.

TexasSugar Posted 3 Aug 2011 , 4:34pm
post #7 of 40

I don't have kids and I do cakes, but I can see how some parents may not really care about the taste of the cake is the party is mostly kids. Plus a lot of times kids will take a few bites of cake and then they are off playing again. Another thing may be that cakes are often an after thought to people. They can walk into the store bakery and pick up a cake the day of the party, or they can go a few days earlier and order something more specific.

If you want people to consider your for the kids cakes, why not ask the school if you can send home fliers with the kids? Then they can put them on their fridge and remember you to cakes early enough to order them from you.

ChRiStY_71 Posted 3 Aug 2011 , 4:35pm
post #8 of 40

Go to VISTA Print and order some business cards and one of those car magnets to advertise your services. Keep your cards with you at all times.

Could it be that they don't know how to get in touch with you?

rpaige Posted 3 Aug 2011 , 5:08pm
post #9 of 40

I'm a hobby baker and usually end up making all the classroom cakes. No teacher has ever volunteered to pay me but EVERY holiday BOTH of my boys' teachers want large 12x18 sheet cakes - two for every event. My fault for letting it get to this level but I do enjoy the participation so I can't complain.

I find that most people are just not organized enough to ORDER a cake. They will spend hours online trying to find costumes, matching plates and napkins and party favors but run by the grocery store the day of the party and snatch a cake off the shelf. If the party is race cars, they stick a few new matchbox cars on a pre-made cake with balloons and they are set. If it is a cinderella cake, they stick a new Cinderalla item on there and they are done.

So many schools are going to NO BAKED goods so I guess we are lucky that we can still participate and deliver a sheet cake for the classroom!

I have "calling" cards that merely have my name and telephone number. They are not business cards. I use them for every occasion. Some have used that card to call me back regarding cakes.

Just left a law firm after many years so I don't want any legal eagles lecturing about business law!

jason_kraft Posted 3 Aug 2011 , 5:14pm
post #10 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by rpaige

So many schools are going to NO BAKED goods so I guess we are lucky that we can still participate and deliver a sheet cake for the classroom!



The no baked goods rule is to protect students with allergies (usually nut allergies). We operate a nut-free bakery and have made many nut-free cakes that were served at schools with these policies after being cleared by the school administration, they typically ask about cross-contamination and if we are licensed and insured.

As allergies become more prevalent more schools will be instituting these policies, this presents a significant marketing opportunity for bakeries that are willing to go nut-free.

rpaige Posted 3 Aug 2011 , 5:23pm
post #11 of 40

I would say that is just great for your bakery! Always a need to be safe.

SammieB Posted 3 Aug 2011 , 5:42pm
post #12 of 40

At some of the schools in my town the parents can only bring in Gigi's Cupcakes. Not that $3 a cupcake is too much to me, but when you're talking giant cupcakes for 30 kids that some won't eat anyway, it seems silly for me not to be able to just bake something for my kids to take. It's much more cost effective. And it's not that they are nut free, it's just this way they know no parents put something to poison kids in there. Because apparently that's such a huge concern. I'm not exaggerating either. My cousin is head of the PTA nearby and she had brought it up to the school board. Their response was, "How do I know you won't poison our kids?" (sigh)

Kiddiekakes Posted 3 Aug 2011 , 5:50pm
post #13 of 40

Jason...Yes...But here in Canada or at least my city $40.00 is not too expensive for a cake ..and Costco is not much cheaper..Baked goods and ingredients are very expensive here...Risen 44% in the last 5 years..a bag of 10 kg flour is $10.00..Same with a 10 kg bag of sugar and our cake mixes are nearly $3.00 each full price so you see my prices are not inflated for a custom cake...So you have to consider demographics as well..and yes..we have a no baked goods rule in our school also..Bummer but I am talking home use not buying cupcakes etc for the kids at school...

jason_kraft Posted 3 Aug 2011 , 5:50pm
post #14 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by SammieB

At some of the schools in my town the parents can only bring in Gigi's Cupcakes.



If it's not food allergies it's probably for liability reasons...if a kid gets sick from something another parent brought in, the kid's parents will probably sue the school. But if a kid gets sick from cupcakes made by a commercial bakery, the bakery would also be a defendant and their liability insurance should cover the settlement.

It's strange that they only allow Gigi's though, one would think any bakery with insurance coverage would be OK.

TexasSugar Posted 3 Aug 2011 , 5:57pm
post #15 of 40

At our schools it is more for the liability issues, than it is allergies. I have heard of schools that will ban any kinds of nuts stuff, which would be for allergies, but that wasn't what this was here.

They just didn't want home baked goods, and then at the same time they wanted more healthier items sent when they had class parties and such.

rpaige Posted 3 Aug 2011 , 6:33pm
post #16 of 40

Kiddiekakes, your cakes are just beautiful and works of art! I have tried re-creating your shark cake - with less than perfect results - but I keep at it when I have time. Thanks for the idea.

Try a calling card - no law against sharing a name and number with others. Hope you get lots of business because I know others would enjoy receiving your cakes.

Good luck!

Kiddiekakes Posted 3 Aug 2011 , 6:37pm
post #17 of 40

Thanks Rpaige....I appreicate your kindness...The shark cake was one of my favorites..I had a blast making it.

costumeczar Posted 3 Aug 2011 , 8:55pm
post #18 of 40

Friends and family are the worst customers. Never expect to get any orders from people who know you like that...

instant-gratificaketion Posted 3 Aug 2011 , 9:22pm
post #19 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Quote:
Originally Posted by rpaige

So many schools are going to NO BAKED goods so I guess we are lucky that we can still participate and deliver a sheet cake for the classroom!


The no baked goods rule is to protect students with allergies (usually nut allergies). We operate a nut-free bakery and have made many nut-free cakes that were served at schools with these policies after being cleared by the school administration, they typically ask about cross-contamination and if we are licensed and insured.

As allergies become more prevalent more schools will be instituting these policies, this presents a significant marketing opportunity for bakeries that are willing to go nut-free.




That's definitely the most probable reason. I made some cupcakes to take to my nephew's school (permission given ahead of time) and I even asked my sister if any of the kids had any allergies and she said she didn't think so.

Of course we get to the classroom with 2 1/2 dozen vanilla cupcakes with strawberry filling and ONE of the little girls has a strawberry allergy. I felt completely terrible when the little girl had to sit there with girl scout cookies (not knocking the GSC) while everyone ate a cupcake. icon_sad.gif I wanted to smack myself in the head (and my sister too!). I did not like being responsible for her feeling left out.

The next time (his birthday) I made sure there were no issues with any of the ingredients beforehand!

madcobbler Posted 3 Aug 2011 , 9:27pm
post #20 of 40

Do you have a licensed home or commercial kitchen? If not that may deter some customers especially for anything related to school functions. I would pass out brochures and business cards with every cake that you make. Are you advertising in the local paper, phone book, or on a local radio station? Facebook is a good way to attract customers.

QTCakes1 Posted 3 Aug 2011 , 9:39pm
post #21 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by instant-gratificaketion

Of course we get to the classroom with 2 1/2 dozen vanilla cupcakes with strawberry filling and ONE of the little girls has a strawberry allergy. I felt completely terrible when the little girl had to sit there with girl scout cookies (not knocking the GSC) while everyone ate a cupcake. icon_sad.gif I wanted to smack myself in the head (and my sister too!). I did not like being responsible for her feeling left out.

The next time (his birthday) I made sure there were no issues with any of the ingredients beforehand!




One time I was in my daughter's class room and they were celebrating the teachers birthday with cake. Well one of the kids was on a gluten/casin free diet, so he got a bowl of skittles, which he looked at and walked away to go play. I felt so bad for him. When it was my daughter's birthday I made gluten/casin free cupcakes and you should have seen the look on his' face when he was allowed to actually eat a cupcake. It was so worth going through the extra trouble to accomodate him. icon_biggrin.gif

QTCakes1 Posted 3 Aug 2011 , 9:39pm
post #22 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by instant-gratificaketion

Of course we get to the classroom with 2 1/2 dozen vanilla cupcakes with strawberry filling and ONE of the little girls has a strawberry allergy. I felt completely terrible when the little girl had to sit there with girl scout cookies (not knocking the GSC) while everyone ate a cupcake. icon_sad.gif I wanted to smack myself in the head (and my sister too!). I did not like being responsible for her feeling left out.

The next time (his birthday) I made sure there were no issues with any of the ingredients beforehand!




One time I was in my daughter's class room and they were celebrating the teachers birthday with cake. Well one of the kids was on a gluten/casin free diet, so he got a bowl of skittles, which he looked at and walked away to go play. I felt so bad for him. When it was my daughter's birthday I made gluten/casin free cupcakes and you should have seen the look on his' face when he was allowed to actually eat a cupcake. It was so worth going through the extra trouble to accomodate him. icon_biggrin.gif

instant-gratificaketion Posted 3 Aug 2011 , 9:45pm
post #23 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by QTCakes1

Quote:
Originally Posted by instant-gratificaketion

Of course we get to the classroom with 2 1/2 dozen vanilla cupcakes with strawberry filling and ONE of the little girls has a strawberry allergy. I felt completely terrible when the little girl had to sit there with girl scout cookies (not knocking the GSC) while everyone ate a cupcake. icon_sad.gif I wanted to smack myself in the head (and my sister too!). I did not like being responsible for her feeling left out.

The next time (his birthday) I made sure there were no issues with any of the ingredients beforehand!



One time I was in my daughter's class room and they were celebrating the teachers birthday with cake. Well one of the kids was on a gluten/casin free diet, so he got a bowl of skittles, which he looked at and walked away to go play. I felt so bad for him. When it was my daughter's birthday I made gluten/casin free cupcakes and you should have seen the look on his' face when he was allowed to actually eat a cupcake. It was so worth going through the extra trouble to accomodate him. icon_biggrin.gif




thumbs_up.gif I agree! It's worth it so no one feels left out.

rpaige Posted 3 Aug 2011 , 10:31pm
post #24 of 40

Getting back on topic for KiddieKakes - I don't think it has anything to do with your beautiful cakes, your client base, your prices or whether you make a safe cake in a legal kitchen with just the right ingredients for all dietary issues - which I'm sure you try to do all.

I think it has to do with the times in which we live and the things that many have had to discontinue in lieu of immediate needs. Now, so many items - like beautiful cakes and parties - are not happening for many, many people. The tightening of the family's financial belt has affected many businesses - from the small to the large.

I know that I can only bake for a select few because of the cost to me personally. I know how much time I have in the cakes I make and what I would charge, if possible. I couldn't afford my own cake on my budget! LOL

You just keep baking and getting your name out there. Be proud of your work and tell people your name with pride. Quality speaks volumes.

kaat Posted 3 Aug 2011 , 10:34pm
post #25 of 40

I find the same thing. But I also hear a lot of "Oh, I wasn't thinking! I should've ordered my cake from you!"
They don't think of me as "cakedecoratorKathi" they think of me as "BandTsmom"
If your insurance covers it getting those magnetic signs for your car should help to keep you in their sights!

rpaige Posted 3 Aug 2011 , 10:46pm
post #26 of 40

Kaat, that is a great idea! I had completely forgotten - that is how I learned about my Wilton classes at Hobby Lobby! I remember seeing a lady's magnetic placards on her car. I saw her car at a gas station and jotted down her number. I called her and asked some questions. She told me she baked cakes as well as teaching a baking class beginning the next week. I signed right up. I have shared her name with several people when I knew my skills were too limited. Certainly has paid off for her.

That would be a great idea! Certainly something to look into - legalities, pricing, etc.

Elcee Posted 3 Aug 2011 , 11:03pm
post #27 of 40

In addition to the speculation already in this thread I also wonder if there isn't some version of not wanting to mix business with friendship (acquaintance-ship?). If they've never tried your product, they could be hesitant. What if they don't like it or are dissatisfied for one reason or another, they then have to see you on a regular basis and it could be awkward and uncomfortable.

Since you can't send out fliers via school and can't bring baked goods for the students, you could trying getting your foot in the door via the PTA. Bring cute mini cupcakes for sampling and business cards to a meeting.

kaat Posted 4 Aug 2011 , 12:14pm
post #28 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by rpaige

Kaat, that is a great idea! I had completely forgotten - that is how I learned about my Wilton classes at Hobby Lobby! I remember seeing a lady's magnetic placards on her car. I saw her car at a gas station and jotted down her number. I called her and asked some questions. She told me she baked cakes as well as teaching a baking class beginning the next week. I signed right up. I have shared her name with several people when I knew my skills were too limited. Certainly has paid off for her.

That would be a great idea! Certainly something to look into - legalities, pricing, etc.




The biggest thing is your insurance. If your car is not insured for business use, you can get into trouble if you have an accident and your insurance adjuster notices the magnet. By trouble I mean suddenly no insurance! Same for your house insurance. If you're home insurance dosen't cover running a home business you could end up with a cancelled policy.

Sugar_N_Spice_Cakes Posted 4 Aug 2011 , 12:30pm
post #29 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by rpaige

I couldn't afford my own cake on my budget!




That's the truth!

Kiddiekakes Posted 4 Aug 2011 , 12:31pm
post #30 of 40

All ideas aside....there are some great tips and creative ways to try and generate more business.Just to clarify...the cakes wouldn't be for the school or kids at school..I am talking mother's ordering cakes for their kids birthdays so nut allergies should not be a factor unless their child has allergies and then they don't order from custom decoraters anyways unless they are Nut-Free...I am close friends with many of them..Everyone at the school dabbles in something like Pampered chef,Tupperware,Epicure,some are hair sylists who cut hair..lots of Dayhomes...Watkins,Arbonne,Scrapbooking materials, etc..so I try and purchase from them to support their business but it doesn't seem to go both ways...Anyways..Lots to think about..Thanks Everyone for your input!

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