They lied?

Business By kmstreepey Updated 6 Feb 2012 , 3:35am by giraffe11

CalhounsCakery Posted 24 Jan 2012 , 2:25am
post #31 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

[
And even if they were legally required to disclose the ingredients, they could simply list the ingredients in the mix as part of the final product, they would not need to specify whether it was mixed at their location ("scratch") or at a Betty Crocker plant.



Why the #&&*# would anyone put what was in a Betty Crocker mix into a scratch cake? I have no need for stool softeners in my cake, thank you. Propylene Glycol. Look it up.




icon_lol.gif

jason_kraft Posted 24 Jan 2012 , 2:51am
post #32 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Cutting through all the BS once again, it's just common sense and good customer service that if a client asks about food ingredients, you should tell them.



I absolutely agree, and refusing to tell customers your ingredients is very poor customer service, but my point was that it may not be legally required.

As for propylene glycol, it is a food stabilizer and emulsifier, much like the lecithin in egg yolks, and is present in trace amounts in many products, including icings, cake mixes, ice cream, soda, etc. Many natural and artificial food-grade ingredients have alternative uses -- for example, lecithin is also used as a protective coating for painted surfaces and an anti-sludge additive in motor lubricants. Look it up.

AZCouture Posted 24 Jan 2012 , 3:01am
post #33 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

[ and an anti-sludge additive in motor lubricants. Look it up.



Betty Crocker: Making you and your car go since 1956.

jason_kraft Posted 24 Jan 2012 , 3:29am
post #34 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

[ and an anti-sludge additive in motor lubricants. Look it up.


Betty Crocker: Making you and your car go since 1956.



I don't believe the cake mixes themselves contain lecithin, you provide your own anti-sludge additive when you add the egg yolks.

Butter can also be used as a tree sap removal agent. Sugar can be made into an exfoliating scrub, hair gel, or a stain remover. Flour can be a stainless steel cleaner, wallpaper paste, copper polish, and shampoo.

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 24 Jan 2012 , 6:57am
post #35 of 145

Oh, good grief.... icon_rolleyes.gif

scp1127 Posted 24 Jan 2012 , 7:19am
post #36 of 145

Costumeczar, you nailed it in your first post. Everyone absolutely knows what scratch baking is. There is no question about it.

There are two bakeries that lie in my area and the scratch bakers in the area are very quick to name who is scratch and who tells blatant lies. And those artificial sleeves do count as exactly what they are... artificial. One bakery buys the frozen slabs from Walmart and calls it "Grandma's recipe". And for those bakeries who proclaim that the clients prefer box, it means that your scratch cakes are not as good as abox, not all scratch cakes. Another puts fake sleeves in the centers and covers them in fake chocolate, touting gourmet flavors.

If someone asks, be aware that they may likely already know the answer and are testing you. If I have an interview first, am sure to be very clear on how my cakes differ from the competition and it also justifies my prices. My scratch competitors (we are all friends and refer frequently) do the same.

Lying is just what a few food vendors are allowed to do because they are exempt (for now) from the labeling law, which in many states, includes cakes.

Consumers go to farmers markets, shop at gourmet stores, and pay premium prices at supermarkets like Whole Foods. If they don't want chemicals and artificial ingredients in their family's foods, what right does anyone have to withhold the truth, insinuate scratch, or outright lie?

I personally have no problem with box bakeries as the provide a price point that is much needed in any market. But the only reason to lie is to extract more money out of the customer than they would be willing to pay if they knew the truth.

Be aware that the more scratch bakers that are in your area, the more likely that your customers will be more informed.

I can spot a box mix every time. The addition of artificial pudding and sleeves only intensifies the chemical taste. I have informed people how to spot a box mix. Once you look for it, it isn't hard. It doesn't mean they are not good. It just pinpoints the artificial. After you swallow the cake, icing, filling, etc., there is a lingering taste. This is where the chemicals can't hide and that slight bitterness can be detected. Scratch cakes still taste like just cake after they are swallowed, even the bad ones.

There is no justification to lying to a customer when they clearly have a right to decide what they choose to consume. Although a bakery can lie in some areas by law, it is morally and ethically wrong.

Is it ok for your mechanic to tell you a few more things are wrong with your car just because there is no way for you to know at the time? Those parts may be technically worn and who is to really say what needs to be replaced. Every baker who lies would, in this situation, tell everyone that this mechanic is a thief, not really dishonest, but saying just enough to cause you to spend more.

My daughters work with me. Where will they learn business ethics if not from their parents?

I have posted this many times. I could open a box mix bakery right next to my scratch bakery and do well at both. There are so many advantages to the box and doctored way of baking. I just don't get why bakers cannot be proud of their products and honestly portray them? The customers would appreciate it and your enthousiasm for your product would be contageous. I learned a long time ago in sales just how hard it is to sell something you don't personally believe in. There are price advantages, durability advantages, adaptability to alternate flavor advantages, predictability advantages, and as most people already know, it is a taste that many people were brought up loving the taste. Tell the truth.

Evoir Posted 24 Jan 2012 , 10:12am
post #37 of 145

I'm happy to also add my voice to the scratch vs box disclosure debate.

It is total BS to start talking about growing and harvesting your wheat to mill etc. Scratch baking is simple. You bake using the simplest form of basic single ingredients. Plain wheat flour. An egg. Milk. Butter. Sugar. Each of these things is a basic element. Flour - wheat, egg - its just an egg, its the way it was made!, butter - milk, milk - milk. Salt - salt. Do you get it? Cocoa - cocoa beans. Vanilla - vanilla beans. Sugar - sugar cane. And so on. You put those sorts of ingredients on a label and there is no way someone is going to scratch their head and wonder WTF it is!

I also agree with scp1127 - there is a market for box mix made cakes. I am stoked that box bakers can also make a living from cake decorating! Each to his own! I am not trying to convert anybody to making cakes the way I make them. Just don't feed me a line about sourcing my basic ingredients in order to be called a scratch BAKER. That's insane. If you think we're all the same, then how about you go to the laboratory to cook up your own antifreeze. Then list each 'element' you put into your ingredients on YOUR scratch list.

Its totally ridiculous. The 'reasonable man' knows what is meant by scratch baking.

costumeczar Posted 24 Jan 2012 , 11:45am
post #38 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

[ and an anti-sludge additive in motor lubricants. Look it up.


Betty Crocker: Making you and your car go since 1956.


I don't believe the cake mixes themselves contain lecithin, you provide your own anti-sludge additive when you add the egg yolks.

Butter can also be used as a tree sap removal agent. Sugar can be made into an exfoliating scrub, hair gel, or a stain remover. Flour can be a stainless steel cleaner, wallpaper paste, copper polish, and shampoo.




Right, and those are found in nature regardless of how you use them. Propylene glycol and its relatives are totally artificial and aren't found anywhere but a laboratory, so why would you add them to a scratch cake, which is what my original statement was. You wouldn't, that's right.

The mill-your-own-flour and eggs-contain-lecithin arguments are just massive rationalizations for people who want to pretend that opening a box mix is baking from scratch. Which they know it isn't, or they wouldn't be working so hard to convince themselves.

These threads get stupid really fast when people start offering the "everything is made of chemicals" argument as a justification of why they shouldn't have to tell clients that they use cake mixes. Use them if you want to, but as the OP said, she was surprised to find out that the person behind the counter lied about it, and that's the point. If you use them and someone asks, don't tell them that you bake from scratch. Simple as that.

jason_kraft Posted 24 Jan 2012 , 5:04pm
post #39 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

a justification of why they shouldn't have to tell clients that they use cake mixes.



Who in this thread has argued that they shouldn't have to tell clients that they use cake mixes?

In any case, I stand by my advice to the OP that in order to get the most accurate info possible the question to the bakery should be if they bake with store-bought cake mixes, not if they bake from scratch.

gatorcake Posted 24 Jan 2012 , 5:42pm
post #40 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

a justification of why they shouldn't have to tell clients that they use cake mixes.


Who in this thread has argued that they shouldn't have to tell clients that they use cake mixes?

In any case, I stand by my advice to the OP that in order to get the most accurate info possible the question to the bakery should be if they bake with store-bought cake mixes, not if they bake from scratch.




Bad assumption on your part. If I am a bakery that uses mixes and am trying hide that fact that question gives me an easy out. You ask. And my response is: No, I do not use "store-bought" cake mixes. I don't buy them at a "store," I acquired them at a food distributor. You may think they are the same but I consider stores-bought to be the boxes you buy from Walmart not the mixes I would buy from food distributors.

This is no different than the terministic game you play with your scratch/mix continuum. No one has solely (if ever) milled their own flour (by your standard you should then have to grow it too), produced their own sugar from cane or beats, made their own vanilla, made their own cocoa etc. in decades if not centuries. But this is how you choose to define "scratch" despite the fact that the history of the term does not reflect your conception/usage of the term.

Thus it is easy for me to conceive of a "store" as something that is open to the public where as "food distributors" are not. And in fact the definition of a store supports this distinction. "Stores"are retail as opposed to wholesale establishments. So when you ask do I use store-bought mixes--my answer is unabashedly no.

jason_kraft Posted 24 Jan 2012 , 5:56pm
post #41 of 145

That's a good point, perhaps a better question would be if the product was made using the bakery's own mix or someone else's mix.

According to Merriam-Webster "from scratch" is defined as "without using a prepared mixture of ingredients", but if a bakery prepares their own proprietary mix ahead of time then according to the dictionary definition that would not qualify as scratch baking.

Of course if you are assuming bad intentions on the part of the bakery it's something of a moot point, since the bakery could simply lie.

CalhounsCakery Posted 24 Jan 2012 , 6:15pm
post #42 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

a justification of why they shouldn't have to tell clients that they use cake mixes.


Who in this thread has argued that they shouldn't have to tell clients that they use cake mixes?

In any case, I stand by my advice to the OP that in order to get the most accurate info possible the question to the bakery should be if they bake with store-bought cake mixes, not if they bake from scratch.




On the second page, first response, the poster says if they don't advertise as a scratch bakery, they shouldn't have to disclose anything. How you advertise should have nothing to do with how you respond to customer questions.

AZCouture Posted 24 Jan 2012 , 6:25pm
post #43 of 145

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Sorry. I has too much time on hands sumtimez. icon_lol.gif

AnnieCahill Posted 24 Jan 2012 , 6:31pm
post #44 of 145

OMG. Morgan Freeman is the horse! We must beat him!

costumeczar Posted 24 Jan 2012 , 8:04pm
post #45 of 145

Heh heh heh start rationalizing at 44 seconds http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9FJiDFVoOo

Baker_Rose Posted 24 Jan 2012 , 11:45pm
post #46 of 145

Well, I have asked my chickens how they make eggs, but they only look at me, then the roosters step in and tell me that that is the Great Secret of all chickens, and I will never know.

Deep sigh........

However I have grown wheat, and milled my own flour, and then baked my own bread. I have no idea how to take the milled flour to a nice soft white flour. But I can say that I LOVE store bought flour. Sure, it tasted great, but the loaf was a bit heavy. I would NOT want to bake a cake from that flour.

And, during the "separating the wheat from the chaff" process.......it brought a WHOLE LOT of chickens to me and they didn't want to share the wheat with me or my bread.

Tami detective.gif
...............sometimes I just can't help myself..............

kmstreepey Posted 25 Jan 2012 , 12:07am
post #47 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

Costumeczar, you nailed it in your first post. Everyone absolutely knows what scratch baking is. There is no question about it.

After you swallow the cake, icing, filling, etc., there is a lingering taste. This is where the chemicals can't hide and that slight bitterness can be detected.




I agree! This is why I am convinced it is a box - the aftertaste. It tastes like chemicals. I think that most people just get used to that taste and can no longer distinguish it as something different. Also, the icing on this particular cake was so thick (1/2 inch on the outside and it was only a 6-inch cake) that you could hardly taste the cake when eaten together. I tasted the cake by itself (that was why I bought it after all) and it had that chemical aftertaste.

Like I said before, I'm all for this bakery starting with a box. More power to them if that's what they want to use and like, or at least believe their customers want. But if they are doing what they believe in, why lie about it and try to fool me? I was just surprised at the thought that they would outright lie to my face. Of course, as discussed above, there are arguments that it wasn't really a blatant lie on the part of the girl I spoke with.

On the whole "what is scratch" debate, we can argue semantics all day long but that is all it is, semantics. Wordplay. You can always make an argument based on the language used. Always. But the fact that an argument can be made does not mean the original language was not understood. Just because you can argue that someone didn't know what I meant by "made from scratch" doesn't mean that the phrase doesn't have a common meaning that anyone, especially someone working in a bakery, would know.

BlakesCakes Posted 25 Jan 2012 , 3:40am
post #48 of 145

Well, I've read some of this and I'd suggest that there is another definition of "scratch" among some commercial bakeries.
It translates into "made in-house" versus having been made in a factory and purchased, either fresh, or frozen, by the bakery.

The word is out that some bakeries buy pre-baked, frozen sheet cakes & cut shapes from them. I don't agree with this definition, but I can see how a bakery that actually bakes the cake--even though it might be using a commercial mix--would want to separate itself from this type of product. The simplest way is to call their product "scratch".

No, it's not really scratch. It's just their way of feeling superior to their competition.

Rae

scp1127 Posted 25 Jan 2012 , 6:10am
post #49 of 145

Lies like these are what helps prompt legislation to require labels. I can't wait until labels are required on every food product.

These lies are also why the FDA requires analysis of foods from a certified lab.

costumeczar Posted 25 Jan 2012 , 11:41am
post #50 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlakesCakes

The word is out that some bakeries buy pre-baked, frozen sheet cakes & cut shapes from them. I don't agree with this definition, but I can see how a bakery that actually bakes the cake--even though it might be using a commercial mix--would want to separate itself from this type of product. The simplest way is to call their product "scratch".

No, it's not really scratch. It's just their way of feeling superior to their competition.

Rae




that's exactly it.

costumeczar Posted 25 Jan 2012 , 11:48am
post #51 of 145

And just because someone says something is true over and over it doesn't mean that anyone with any sense can see that it isn't. My grandmother the control freak suddenly decided one day that everyone should call her "Nana". Nobody had ever called her "Nana" before, but she insisted that all the grandchildren had ALWAYS called her that. Nobody had EVER called her anything else. Well, considering that my sister and I had always called her "Grandma" and we were old enough to have kids of our own, we knew that wasn't true. She wasn't senile, either, just decided that she wanted to redefine herself or something. Just saying that everybody had always called her that didn't make it true.

So if you call Betty Crocker "scratch" you might be fooling yourself, but anyone who has a brain knows that it isn't true.

cai0311 Posted 25 Jan 2012 , 4:11pm
post #52 of 145

My 2 cents...

The OP does NOT know for a fact that the bakery used a mixed. She thinks it was a mix. So we don't know for sure the bakery employee lied.

Second, OP: did you specifically ask if all cake flavors were scratch baked? Maybe the bakery has a few (or even 1) cake that is baked from scratch. Then when asked, they can say "yes" without exactly lying.

I bake most of my recipes using WASC variations. A couple are scratch baked (but no, I do not hatch my own eggs or mill my own flour but there is abslolutely no mix of any kind in thses cakes I call "scratch"). When people ask I tell them some cakes start with a mix then several ingredients are added to it and others are from scratch. No one has ever asked which is which. I really don't think MOST (not all) people care, they just read on a blog or magazine that is something they should ask their baker.

carmijok Posted 25 Jan 2012 , 6:59pm
post #53 of 145

I have had absolutely the best AND worst tasting scratch cakes. I've had absolutely the best AND worst tasting box cakes. I go with what I like. Scratch doesn't make it better...the mix doesn't make it bad. If one is hung up on scratch cake and they have a refined enough palate to tell the difference...then why ask the baker at all? You've already decided you don't like it so what difference does it make? It's cake! You like it or you don't. If you like it, buy it. If you don't....don't.
Simple!

cakestyles Posted 26 Jan 2012 , 1:10am
post #54 of 145

hmmm, if "scratch isn't better" I wonder why hundreds of us that bake from scratch bother to do so.
It would be a heck of a lot easier and less expensive to buy a bunch of cake mixes and add stuff to it.

I wouldn't have to ask the "mix or scratch" question because I can pick out the chemical taste in a mix cake, immediately...I can even smell it.

There's no reason to disclose recipes but a simple "yes" or "no" answer to the question "do you use a mix" shouldn't be that difficult to give. You either use a mix or you don't. No gray areas here.

If you bake from scratch you'll know it. Now if you honestly don't know if you use a mix....well that's a problem I'm not qualified to help you with. icon_razz.gif

Spuddysmom Posted 26 Jan 2012 , 1:48am
post #55 of 145

ooh ooh ooh... sick at home w/flu, my fevered brain just came up with either a truly "ingenious" or "sinister" (depending on your point of view) answer for all those bakeries who start w/mix but want to honestly claim to bake "from scratch"...and it is sooo obvious:

Introducing the new "From Scratch" cake mix .
Yes, folks, it is the same ol' DH box of cake mix, but with a shiny new name! Now, whenever a potential customer asks, "Do you bake from scratch?" You can proudly (and truthfully) answer "Yes - EVERYTHING we bake is 'From Scratch'!"
.. going back to refill my Niquil now.....

FromScratchSF Posted 26 Jan 2012 , 2:21am
post #56 of 145

SO I was at Sprinkles a while back, my 1st and last time there. I ask the counter girl, "Do you make all this from scratch?"

And she says....

Wait for it....

"Well, there's, like, totally a big mixer in the back!" O8

Sigh.

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 26 Jan 2012 , 2:24am
post #57 of 145

No, no, please don't stop beating the horse, I don't think he's quite dead enough yet. icon_razz.gif

Adevag Posted 26 Jan 2012 , 2:29am
post #58 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by carmijok

I have had absolutely the best AND worst tasting scratch cakes. I've had absolutely the best AND worst tasting box cakes. I go with what I like. Scratch doesn't make it better...the mix doesn't make it bad. If one is hung up on scratch cake and they have a refined enough palate to tell the difference...then why ask the baker at all? You've already decided you don't like it so what difference does it make? It's cake! You like it or you don't. If you like it, buy it. If you don't....don't.
Simple!




This thread wasn't about mix vs. scratch as if any is better than the other like most of the other mix and scratch debates here. The OP's question was focusing on the fact that she thought she was lied to, and the discussion has been about the morals of customer service and what the word scratch could mean to bakeries.

costumeczar Posted 26 Jan 2012 , 2:41am
post #59 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spuddysmom

ooh ooh ooh... sick at home w/flu, my fevered brain just came up with either a truly "ingenious" or "sinister" (depending on your point of view) answer for all those bakeries who start w/mix but want to honestly claim to bake "from scratch"...and it is sooo obvious:

Introducing the new "From Scratch" cake mix .
Yes, folks, it is the same ol' DH box of cake mix, but with a shiny new name! Now, whenever a potential customer asks, "Do you bake from scratch?" You can proudly (and truthfully) answer "Yes - EVERYTHING we bake is 'From Scratch'!"
.. going back to refill my Niquil now.....




Hahaha! You think this is a joke, but there's a food service company around here that advertises "house brand" dressings and condiments on the side of their trucks. So if you go to a restaurant that uses them and ask for the house dressing, they can give that to you and you'll think that you're getting the chef's special recipe when you're really getting something from a gallon jug.

jason_kraft Posted 26 Jan 2012 , 3:17am
post #60 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Hahaha! You think this is a joke, but there's a food service company around here that advertises "house brand" dressings and condiments on the side of their trucks. So if you go to a restaurant that uses them and ask for the house dressing, they can give that to you and you'll think that you're getting the chef's special recipe when you're really getting something from a gallon jug.



I thought house dressing was basically oil, vinegar, and salt...unless you think the restaurant is pressing their own oil and distilling their own vinegar, of course the dressing will come in gallon jugs. I certainly don't expect anything special or unique when I order house dressing unless the restaurant specifically calls it out as such.

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