How Do I Sell This??

Business By SomethingSweetByFlo Updated 2 Sep 2011 , 1:46pm by jules5000

SomethingSweetByFlo Posted 30 Aug 2011 , 8:34pm
post #1 of 22

Hi CC folks!

I'm trying to come up with a biz plan and was interested in hearing about your experiences.

I plan to market to commercial businesses with my signature cake in hopes that they will sell it at their restaurants and coffee shops consistently.

I was thinking of making samples, putting them in a box and delivering them store by store with my biz cards.

Have any of you done this? What successful tips could you give me??

All your responses are GREATLY appreciated!!

Happy baking!

Flo

21 replies
JanH Posted 30 Aug 2011 , 8:35pm
post #2 of 22

Moving to Cake Decorating Business forum. icon_smile.gif

SomethingSweetByFlo Posted 30 Aug 2011 , 8:44pm
post #3 of 22

Thank you! Sorry about that!

icon_biggrin.gif

sillywabbitz Posted 30 Aug 2011 , 8:46pm
post #4 of 22

I think delivering samples is a great idea but I wouldn't just leave them with the clerks. Call and find when the manager or owner will be on duty and plan to drop off your samples at that time. Go in with a brouchure and your price points. Remember they're going to want to increase the price per serving on their side so you want to plan your pricing accordingly.

SomethingSweetByFlo Posted 30 Aug 2011 , 8:52pm
post #5 of 22

Good tips, especially coordinating with the managers schedule!

Thank you!

I was thinking about the what kind of pricing they may want to sell it at...how much does a restaurant typically sell their desserts for?

Do you know?

Thanks again!

CWR41 Posted 30 Aug 2011 , 8:58pm
post #6 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by SomethingSweetByFlo

I plan to market to commercial businesses with my signature cake in hopes that they will sell it at their restaurants and coffee shops consistently.




You may need a different license to sell wholesale to commercial businesses.

jason_kraft Posted 30 Aug 2011 , 9:02pm
post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by SomethingSweetByFlo

I was thinking about the what kind of pricing they may want to sell it at...how much does a restaurant typically sell their desserts for?



Pricing will vary quite a bit depending on location, target market, and type of dessert, but luckily restaurants will have no problem telling you their retail prices if you ask.

Have you looked into your competitors? There are a few large-scale operations that sell desserts wholesale to restaurants (Balboa is one) so you may have trouble competing unless you focus on your competitive advantages.

Dayti Posted 30 Aug 2011 , 9:56pm
post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by SomethingSweetByFlo


I was thinking about the what kind of pricing they may want to sell it at...how much does a restaurant typically sell their desserts for?!




A lot of restaurants etc have their menus online, so you should be able to see some specific ones you are thinking about. In any case, working out YOUR price is a completely different issue. It shouldn't really matter to you how much they are selling your product for, as long as you are charging enough to make a profit.

jason_kraft Posted 30 Aug 2011 , 10:01pm
post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dayti

It shouldn't really matter to you how much they are selling your product for, as long as you are charging enough to make a profit.



The final retail price matters quite a bit to the wholesale supplier, since if it is too high relative to market price your product won't sell. Working backwards from the retail price is a good way of determining whether or not it is worth pursuing wholesale business with a customer in the first place.

SomethingSweetByFlo Posted 31 Aug 2011 , 1:02am
post #10 of 22

Jason Kraft you always come through with great advice!


Thank you all, I am taking all of your advice and can't wait to get out there and start marketing!!

Its a great idea to look up prices to the surrounding businesses and consider that when I come up with my own prices.

Also, regarding my competitors, Jason, what would you recommend as being an advantage that clients would respond to? Would freshness from a local baker be a factor? What else?

YOU GUYS ARE THE BEST!!! Thank you!!

Flo

sillywabbitz Posted 31 Aug 2011 , 1:24am
post #11 of 22

SomethingSweetByFlo, I know you directed your question at Jason but to distinguish yourself from your competitors, freshness is one and also if you can come up with some unique flavors. I can not tell you the number of places I have been with the stupid Turtle cheesecake and I know it's frozen in a box from some big distributor. Go for unique but things that still will appeal to the masses. Check their menus before you go in and see if you notice a pattern. For example if you looked at 8 restaurants and they all offer the same dessert (chocolate molten cake for example) then you can use your sales pitch as a way to distinguish themselves from the masses.

jason_kraft Posted 31 Aug 2011 , 1:48am
post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by sillywabbitz

SomethingSweetByFlo, I know you directed your question at Jason but to distinguish yourself from your competitors, freshness is one and also if you can come up with some unique flavors. I can not tell you the number of places I have been with the stupid Turtle cheesecake and I know it's frozen in a box from some big distributor. Go for unique but things that still will appeal to the masses. Check their menus before you go in and see if you notice a pattern. For example if you looked at 8 restaurants and they all offer the same dessert (chocolate molten cake for example) then you can use your sales pitch as a way to distinguish themselves from the masses.



This is exactly right...you can promote that you are a local business (although not many restaurants will pay a premium for this), but the big win is offering something the other guys don't -- or even better, something the other guys can't.

This will be a tall order (companies like Balboa offer a LOT of different desserts) but it can be done. One option could be to focus on a niche like vegan or gluten-free desserts. In the right area paleo or zone desserts could also be a huge draw to a restaurant. Or you could go for a different palate and mix savory and sweet, which the big guys don't do since it doesn't always appeal to mainstream customers.

jules5000 Posted 31 Aug 2011 , 2:06am
post #13 of 22

somethingsweetbyflo!! These folks are giving you wonderful advice and why I am writing is this. just something else to consider. I do not know where you live, but if you have a licensed kitchen of your own and are legal then why couldn't you go to say a really nice restaraunt that might be individually owned and talk to them. Sometimes they don't do their own desserts because while they might be a really nice place they may not have been going long enough to hire a really fantastic pastry or dessert chef and may be ordering their desserts through someone like Balboa, but if there was someone local that could offer them a fresher dessert and some well liked desserts, but unique you may have some success there and not have to deal with awholesaler to push your desserts to them. You might be able to go to them directly and not have a middle man. If you don't have to have a middle man then you might make more profit. I would think that it would be easier to possibly get into see the owner/manager at their off times. Best wishes and God's blessings and favor on you.

Annabakescakes Posted 31 Aug 2011 , 2:18am
post #14 of 22

One thing I would do, rather than giving each business a whole cake of each flavor, is to back 8-8" cakes, cut them into 8ths and them re-arrange them so each place gets 1 piece of 8 different flavors. Nobody should be eating a whole piece, anyways. It isn't dessert, it is a sample. You could put a piece of freezer paper between each flavor to keep them from blending.

HTH

jules5000 Posted 31 Aug 2011 , 1:27pm
post #15 of 22

That is an awesome idea Annabakescakes.

SomethingSweetByFlo Posted 31 Aug 2011 , 1:46pm
post #16 of 22

Wow!! You guys are amazing!

Thank you for all the GREAT advice! That idea about offering a unique dessert I think will be key! Those darn molten cakes are long over due, LOL! Thanks sillywabbitz!!

I wish I had an ALL STAR recipe for a vegan cake!! That's starting to really catch on to mainstream customers now a days. That's a great idea icon_smile.gif


Thank you jules5000 for your suggestion and kind words! Many blessings to you as well icon_smile.gif

Definitely I will make only a sampler like you suggested Annabakescakes!

THANKS AGAIN YOU GUYS!!!! Xo

Annabakescakes Posted 31 Aug 2011 , 4:56pm
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by jules5000

That is an awesome idea Annabakescakes.




icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif Thank you!

jules5000 Posted 2 Sep 2011 , 1:10am
post #18 of 22

annabakescakes: you are welcome. It was a very smart and clever way to do it. You should get credit.

Somethingsweetbyflo: Another idea. You said that you would love to have an allstar vegan cake recipe. I am sure that maybe you have already tried this, but either go online and put in the search bar for a specific flavor Vegan cake recipe and see what you come up with. My son has a friend who is vegan and I had no clue what or how to cook for a vegan so I put in the search bar what I wanted to find and was quite surprised at how many things were there. There were some brownies and they were quite rich and delicious. (this is saying a lot because I love my dairy products; butter, sour cream, milk, & cream cheese and I was wondering how they would turn out.) There was and maybe still a lady on the public tv stations that has a program called Christina Cooks and she is vegan. there is a very good chance that you could possibly look her show up and find the title of her book or at least her last name and see if it is at the library closes to you and borrow the book. See what it has and try a couple. She does desserts quite a bit. This way you would not have to invest in a book until you knew what the recipes would turn out like. If you found a few that you really liked you could go buy a book at the local bookstore. Vegan eating has become very popular and I am quite sure tht you would probably find this avenue a shoe-in for an opportunity to show yourself and then maybe the other possiblities would also present themselves. Again God's blessings.

scp1127 Posted 2 Sep 2011 , 1:30am
post #19 of 22

Vegan recipes take quite a bit of trial and error and then adjusting to make them great. It can happen, but it is not a simple process. There are many recipes out there and they are not very good. It seems that people make vegan cakes and expect them to only be passably good. Even the customers expect mediocrity. My point is that great vegan baking takes just as much dedication as scratch baking, if not more, to be incredible.

jules5000 Posted 2 Sep 2011 , 2:21am
post #20 of 22

scp1127: I hope that you did not misunderstand what I meant when I wrote what I wrote. I never intended that the vegan cakes were as easy as lets just try a few and see which ones we like. I was just trying to suggest some ways that she might find some vegan recipes and ones that might have been proved to some extent. I have no doubt that even if she found a few she liked that she would have to doctor and doctor again. And yet, I do believe that on the Christina Cooks show and mention of her book that there would be a good chance of her finding a vegan cake that might have already been doctored to the point of incredible. They were only meant to be arrows in the possible right direction. Not fail proof recipes. I am sorry if I misled anyone in what I said before.

scp1127 Posted 2 Sep 2011 , 8:26am
post #21 of 22

Jules, no problem. I was just responding about the difficulty to create great vegan recipes. I've done it and it is incredibly hard to develop recipes. I have worked so hard on them that I don't even share the recipes due to the amount of work that went into them. If you know of me at all on this site, I'll be the first to jump in and help a person with a scratch recipe or method. I started out with the most high rated recipes on the web and to me, they were inedible. That was why I mentioned that people who choose to eat vegan must have very low expectations concerning their cakes. To mainstream vegan cakes would be a tall task... time, effort, and expense of developing recipes, because, in my opinion, very few are already out there. It isn't one of those categories where you can just decide to do this as a business with no experience. I would think that you need to be a good scratch baker, have the ability to adjust and create your own recipes, and have the time to devote to this project. This is not a business to be done on a whim.

My vegan recipes, although not my best in my opinion (I own a small batch artisan bakery, so most of my recipes are a little over-the-top), will hold their own with the other bakeries' non-vegan recipes. In circumstances where my vegan cakes were offered in addition to a non-vegan cake, every time, mine have been the favorite of vegans and non-vegans alike. I have found at tastings that the bridal party did not have high expectations and have been pleasantly surprised. But this has only come with much trial and error, experimenting with expensive vegan ingredients, and a lot of yucky, odd cakes.

So I guess I'm suggesting that the vegan route may not be a great place to start if she wants to start immediately, unless she has experience.

My personal favorite cupcake in my area is baked by a vegan baker. I hate chocolate and this one is chocolate. It is incredible. I've tried to duplicate it, but I don't even get close.

jules5000 Posted 2 Sep 2011 , 1:46pm
post #22 of 22

scp1127: I know that cooking vegan is not easy for sure. I also know that it could be quite expensive to get one right. One that was incredible. My son's friend was very thankful and I made her another batch of brownies when I was going back over to see him. I gave them to her. You should have seen her face. She lit up like a Christmas tree!! She was so moved that I would not only accomadate(sp?) her eating style when she came over with him and some other team mates and make hers separate for her and make her a dessert as well and then to just make her a batch of brownies when I made him goodies too. She was not his girlfriend. Just a really good friend. As far as I am concerned, I would never eat that way, but I found that when it comes to my son's friends and my son I will do everything possible to accomadate any special eating habits as my son is my one child that stays in touch with me faithfully and came to see me regularly when he lived close by. It might or might not be healthier to eat that way(I have a lot of questions about that), but it is more expensive in some ways because of the products that you have to buy to compensate for what you are not using. They make them nice and expensive. It may not have been a good thing to suggest after all. I was just trying to think of something unique that I knew would be appreciated. Wasn't thinking at all to the expense of it. I guess that once you had your experimenting down and had written down everything you had done once you came up with that one incredible recipe you just pass on the cost to the customer. If a restaraunt manager or chef know anything at all about cooking vegan and knows the cost involved is more than the normal way of cooking that we have know all of our lives they will know why that dessert iis more expensive. But when they take a taste of the sample they will see it is worth the cost as it doen't taste vegan. I hope that makes sense. YOu made some very good points and one that I know that I could not afford to experiment. At least not at this point in time.

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