Other People Plop Down Desserts --- Aaaargggh!

Lounge By JGMB Updated 25 Oct 2011 , 8:54pm by scp1127

JGMB Posted 25 Oct 2011 , 12:18am
post #1 of 18

My sister just laughed at me and said I have to get over this, but it's happened several times and it makes me so angry!!! icon_mad.gificon_mad.gif

I had been asked to make 13 dozen mini cupcakes for a fundraising event on Saturday for a charity I'm involved with. I was doing it for free, and I was fine with that. Well, the organizer approached me right before the reception and said she hoped I wouldn't be mad, but that her sister LOVES to bake and just insisted on bringing something. So, in comes this woman with a huge tray of toffee bars. Well, you can guess what happened -- had my mini cuppies been the only thing available, they would've been eaten. But, given a choice, some people ate mine and some ate the cookie bars. I ended up with 5 dozen unopened boxes of cupcakes left!!!! You bet I was mad -- what was I supposed to do with those? Not to mention the time and ingredients I'd wasted.

This same thing has happened 3 other times -- once when it had widely been advertised that I was providing desserts and some woman came in and put a strawberry pie on the table beside my cake. Another time when I was doing a pie buffet and had specifically made a nice variety -- 2 women came in and put their pies alongside mine. Finally, a time when I had been asked to make enough cookies for 100 people. Again, I made a nice selection and someone came in with a huge pan of apple bars and a carrot cake and put it on the dessert table.

I think it's the same thing as if you were having a dinner party and had a menu planned of pork tenderloin with apples, mashed potatoes, etc. and I walked in and plopped a big pan of my lasagna in the middle of the dinner table. My sister says that, no, it's not the same thing. People just do it with desserts and it's okay.

Am I just being a spoiled brat, or do I have a right to get angry over this?

17 replies
costumeczar Posted 25 Oct 2011 , 12:39am
post #2 of 18

Unless you have an agreement with whoever's running the event that you'll be the only dessert provider, you really don't have a leg to stand on, unfortunately. I do a donation to an event at Christmas every year, and other people bring things too. I don't think it's a big deal, it's all for charity so I don't mind. But I also know that I don't ever expect to get any business from donations, you generally only get requests for more donations from that kind of thing icon_rolleyes.gif

If you really want to get credit for the things that you donate, you could make a sign that says "cupcakes provided by XYZ bakery" or something like that.

If it really ticks you off, just write a check as a donation for the events that you want to support and let someone else do the baking. It will probably be less stressful for you, I know that it works for me!

KoryAK Posted 25 Oct 2011 , 1:02am
post #3 of 18

Maybe just ask how many items they are looking for total and how many people will be donating? If I was donating enough to cover the whole amount I might ask for exclusivity but if not (and this is usually the case) then all's fair. You can still write the whole amount off of your taxes (the full retail value as advertising) as long as you have a donation request letter for the charity. You still donated and you only know it wasn't eaten since you were there.

sillywabbitz Posted 25 Oct 2011 , 1:06am
post #4 of 18

I would be irked too especially with all the wasted product. Maybe next time, ask the organizer how many people will be providing desserts and if it changed to be sure and let you know. I host a Christmas party every year and I ask different people to bring appetizers and others desserts. Inevitably someone who is supposed to bring an appetizer shows up with dessert but honestly since I'm asking people to contribute I don't say anything. I'm just amazed that people don't get it. I agree maybe money is a better donationicon_smile.gif Less frustration.

Elcee Posted 25 Oct 2011 , 1:13am
post #5 of 18
Originally Posted by JGMB

I think it's the same thing as if you were having a dinner party and had a menu planned of pork tenderloin with apples, mashed potatoes, etc. and I walked in and plopped a big pan of my lasagna in the middle of the dinner table.

Not to hijack the thread but...I'm a vegetarian and rarely serve meat to guests (unless DH is grilling) but also go to great lengths to serve a very balanced and hearty meal that will please everyone. I once had a guest show up with a crockpot of meatballs!!! icon_eek.gificon_lol.gif

I can't advise on your situation but I thought you could use a laugh icon_smile.gif.

scp1127 Posted 25 Oct 2011 , 8:07am
post #6 of 18

I have a situation where there are three bakeries associated with my daughter's school. In those cases, I opt out unless I'm exclusive. I am giving for the sake of the gift, but I don't want anyone confused as to what is mine because we have different styles and methods. The school is a part of my client base.

I usually only do exclusive situations because of the above issue. I give quite a bit to different groups and while not expecting business from the event (except from the school and other events attended by my target market), I don't want my contribution to have a negative impact on my business by having someone else's product assumed to be mine (unless it's better, joking).

If it's just giving a bunch of cupcakes for a bake sale, I just give and ask that they just be thrown in the mix anonymously.

TexasSugar Posted 25 Oct 2011 , 2:35pm
post #7 of 18

You enjoy baking, is it possible that others also enjoy it? Maybe they aren't thinking about the exclusivity issues you are? Maybe they just wanted to share something they baked with others as well?

QTCakes1 Posted 25 Oct 2011 , 2:48pm
post #8 of 18
Originally Posted by TexasSugar

You enjoy baking, is it possible that others also enjoy it? Maybe they aren't thinking about the exclusivity issues you are? Maybe they just wanted to share something they baked with others as well?

I'm thinking this as well. I'm also totally agreeing with your sister.

QTCakes1 Posted 25 Oct 2011 , 2:50pm
post #9 of 18

You know what might bother me? If I was asked to make a birthday cake and there is another birthday cake there. Now I can see maybe getting upset about that. But then again, if I was asked to make a cake again, I would just say no the next time.

MsGF Posted 25 Oct 2011 , 3:03pm
post #10 of 18

Personally I would stop doing it. Next year when they ask, just say sorry. It costs you "X" amount to produce this donation for you and since others also bring donations your items are going to waste. So it is not feasible for you to donate your baked goods anymore. Or next time only make 1/2 the items they request. Donations are not supposed to be a sore spot for people. It is supposed to be a kind gesture instead of cash. If it causes you stress don't do it. It isn't worth the aggravation. The people who organize these things are really clueless about the time, effort and cash involved in making quality baked goods. They are often your Wal-Mart cake buyers and can't possibly appreciate your donation. I donate 2-3 6" Gluten-Free Cakes to the Canadian Celiac Association Belleville/Quinte Chapter. I do it because they are my target group and because they raffle off the cake at their meeting and last time they raised $90.00 for that Chapter. I feel good about that and I don't mind doing it. I can't afford to give them a $90 donation so I bring cake instead. I make what I want, what I have on hand at the time. There is no stress for me, people get to help raise money for a good cause and someone wins a cake, a small sample of my product. Anyhow, as for the Charity you are making cupcake/cookies for it seems your efforts are under appreciated and expected, which is causing you stress. I wouldn't do it, that is not what a donation is about. You should feel good about donating.

Good Luck! Lots to think about.

mrslivvix Posted 25 Oct 2011 , 3:10pm
post #11 of 18

I agree I would have been a little irked but then again...it was a donation (which means time and product given away). But instead of being angry at what you had left over I'm sure there are places you could have taken the extras to that would have loved them and appreciated your efforts. Maybe a nursing home or senior center, given to a food pantry or something of that nature? Maybe the residents wouldn't be a target market but the nurses or family visiting might be?? Just a suggestion... icon_wink.gif

CalhounsCakery Posted 25 Oct 2011 , 3:19pm
post #12 of 18

If your donating these, than that means you can write off the expense of the ingredients. So other than some time, you're not out anything. I think a dessert table is pretty fair game. I would make sure though that you labled what was provided by you in some way so there is no confusion.

scp1127 Posted 25 Oct 2011 , 3:41pm
post #13 of 18

I don't agree about not being out anything. Inferior products being attributed to your business is a detriment. Donations should be just that, but in all the years I raised money for Hospice, Girl Scouts, etc, (years ago), I never approached a business and said this could hurt your business. They don't expect a positive impact, but the definitely don't deserve a negative one.

MsGF has a great solution, and one that works well as a PR event for you as well.

I still stand by anonymous or exclusive.

Bottom line, even with charities that are close to you, if you prefer exclusivity, meet with the event planner on a yearly basis and maybe give more to a fewer amount of events rather than several.

CalhounsCakery Posted 25 Oct 2011 , 3:46pm
post #14 of 18
Originally Posted by scp1127

I don't agree about not being out anything. Inferior products being attributed to your business is a detriment. Donations should be just that,

I still stand by anonymous or exclusive.

If you somehow made it clear what is yours, there would be no confusion. And it is normal for a business to write off any donations they make. It would be impractical not to. In all the years I've been doing accounting and taxes, I have yet to meet a business that didn't claim the products/services that they donate.

scp1127 Posted 25 Oct 2011 , 3:57pm
post #15 of 18

I am an accounting major and in none of my posts on this thread have I referred to the financial aspect.

And you can put up all the signs you want, but no one really cares who made it. It's not a top priority to the guests. They can discuss it, get it wrong, and it is now attributed to the wrong baker.

I was at a school event with one bakery (not mine) supplying everything. My bakery is known for high end products and these were all mix and frozen. The name of the bakery was in the program and announced. All night, people were coming to me asking if the desserts were mine. So again, I will have to disagree.

Those signs, important to the baker, are incosequential to the guests.

Calhoun, I'm not trying to argue that one way is better than another. It must come down to what works for a baker. From a marketing standpoint, the general public doesn't relly care about getting the right dessert with the right baker. It just is not important to them.

costumeczar Posted 25 Oct 2011 , 4:55pm
post #16 of 18

As far as decudtions for taxes go, be careful, because it's my understanding that you can only deduct charitable contributions on your personal taxes if you itemize. If you're a sole proprietor or an LLC that's a disregarded entity I think that you can't deduct charitable contributions, and you definitely can't deduct the cost of your own labor. It's tricky, so don't just assume that you can deduct the entire market value of donated baked goods that you made before checking with an accountant.

CalhounsCakery Posted 25 Oct 2011 , 5:45pm
post #17 of 18

I majored in Accouting too. I went for the CGA route. I've been doing personal and business taxes for over 13 years.

No, you can't deduct the entire value of the product. Only the cost to the company.

The only point I was trying to make is that the poster would be able to write off the cost of the ingredients, therefore it wouldn't be a complete loss.

There's no doubt that some people will not pay attention as to who made what. It happens. That shouldn't stop anyone from donating. Labeling was only a suggestion if the poster wanted credit for the product made. Otherwise, donate without credit, but you can still get the tax writeoff.

scp1127 Posted 25 Oct 2011 , 8:54pm
post #18 of 18

We were just looking at it from two different directions. Personally, I still don't do anything that will be confusing. I prefer exclusivity.

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