syarber Posted 26 Jan 2012 , 4:02pm
post #1 of

So I have always made my families special event cakes as a gift from me. But lately I have had several requests for someone's best friends birthday or other event. I have stuck to my guns and told them they would need to pay for the cake. Of course this always upsets people. Monday my 17 year old son came home and asked me to make his girlfriend's 16th birthday cake. I told him that her parents might be having a special cake made for her. He then tells me he already talked with her mom and told her that I would be more than willing to make the cake. icon_confused.gif If thats not bad enough he whips out a picture of a 4 tier, hot pink and black, fondant covered cake. I'm starting to see red at this point because he has been told about offering my services for free in the past. I asked him how he was going to pay for the cake and he just looked at me with ashocked look. Then started begging and pleading and when that didn't work called his grandparents.

So my in-laws think I'm being this horrible person to charge him or anyone else in the family for a cake that isn't going to a family member. I explained to them how complex the cake is and how much time and $ it would take to do this. They still think I'm wrong.
I called the girls mother and let her know that my son spoke out of turn and that I couldn't do this cake for free. She then told me that I was a terrible mom for asking my son to pay for a cake. I explained that this my business and how I support my family and she hung up on me.
Has anyone else dealt with this kind of thing from family?

38 replies
Beckalita Posted 26 Jan 2012 , 4:10pm
post #2 of

Cake muggles....they just don't get it.....

cattycornercakes Posted 26 Jan 2012 , 4:20pm
post #3 of

WOW...some people are just unbelievable! Even if you made the cake for free (ie. didn't charge for your time), the ingredients still cost money. I don't live near my family so I've not had this problem. When I was taking classes, I would bring cakes to work. Then coworkers started asking when I was bringing in cake again. I said...when you pay for it!

Debbye27 Posted 26 Jan 2012 , 4:23pm
post #4 of

Wow- that's awful! I completely understand where you are coming from..........that being said....the general population wouldn't have a clue!
No one except a cake maker understands the time and effort that goes into every cake- even your son who knows it takes you forever-doesn't really know what you are really doing!
So you probably do look unfair and unreasonable to these people....since it is your son's girlfriend and all - and it is just a cake you know.... (they have absolutely NO CLUE)
If you want to try to save this- then maybe offer a smaller cake free of charge or at least at the cost of ingredients...
But either way- it's not fair to you-and I would drag your son into the kitchen to help, and definitely to do the clean up!!!!

cakecraving Posted 26 Jan 2012 , 4:29pm
post #5 of

I totally get your frusteration. I have just started doing cakes in the last year and for practice always do family cakes for free. Now family is offering my services to others. I cant help but think I am helping you out by giving you an awesome cake for free. You know how much work I put into my cakes and how much cakes should be costing you. Do NOT offer my free services (a favor) to your friend.
I think being a parent she should have handled herslef with a little more class. Good luck (especially if they became in laws could you imagine). Let us know if they end up ordering a cake or getting a Wal-Mart cake. icon_biggrin.gif

Norasmom Posted 26 Jan 2012 , 4:33pm
post #6 of

His girlfriend's mother is awful! Under NO circumstances should you bake that cake!! I would also start offering my son's lawn mowing and pool cleaning services for free...to "friends" and family of course. icon_wink.gif

cookiedoescakes Posted 26 Jan 2012 , 4:34pm
post #7 of

I charge for all cakes (family or not) if it is not "MY" idea to make a cake as a gift. No one should offer your time and money for free. Once you do it for free, people always think you will do it for free. I don't give discounts because I put too much time and effort and money into my work to give it away. thumbsdown.gif

olleharr Posted 26 Jan 2012 , 4:37pm
post #8 of

Wow. Hanging up on you because you wouldn't give her something for free? You were at least nice enough to call and explain. I haven't had anyone be rude like that yet but I have had a lot of people begging me to do cakes and wanting to pay me. It's just a hobby for me and I want to keep it that way. They do seem offended when I tell them I don't sell I just make them as gifts for my family and close friends. I have noticed that most people don't realize the cost and time that goes into baking these elaborate cakes they want. If it's so easy why don't they just whip one up themselves?

olleharr Posted 26 Jan 2012 , 4:39pm
post #9 of

Just a thought.....maybe you should give your son his first baking lesson and make him do the work. I bet he would never offer your services again! LOL!

carmijok Posted 26 Jan 2012 , 4:51pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by olleharr

Just a thought.....maybe you should give your son his first baking lesson and make him do the work. I bet he would never offer your services again! LOL!




This is exactly the thought I had!! Get your son involved in his girlfriend's cake! Think how special it would be for her to know her boyfriend made an elaborate cake for her. I'd still charge him--but only for the ingredients...and take him with you when you buy them. Have him follow your recipe and bake the cake as well as color and roll fondant, do cut-outs...stack. OMG...what a learning experience it would be! I bet he wouldn't offer your services for free any more! He might even have fun! (long shot I know...but hey!)

Apti Posted 26 Jan 2012 , 5:33pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by syarber

So I have always made my families special event cakes as a gift from me. But lately I have had several requests for someone's best friends birthday or other event. I have stuck to my guns and told them they would need to pay for the cake. Of course this always upsets people. Monday my 17 year old son came home and asked me to make his girlfriend's 16th birthday cake. ..... he has been told about offering my services for free in the past. I asked him how he was going to pay for the cake and he just looked at me with a shocked look. Then started begging and pleading and when that didn't work called his grandparents.

So my in-laws think I'm being this horrible person to charge him or anyone else in the family for a cake that isn't going to a family member. I explained to them how complex the cake is and how much time and $ it would take to do this. They still think I'm wrong.
I called the girls mother and let her know that my son spoke out of turn and that I couldn't do this cake for free. She then told me that I was a terrible mom for asking my son to pay for a "cake" [a 4 tier, hot pink and black, fondant covered cake] .I explained that this my business and how I support my family and she hung up on me.




What a dreadful situation; I am so sorry you must go through this. I agree with everyone above: You are in the right, they are in the wrong. Your son AND your in-laws AND the girls' mother owe you an apology. You will probably never get an apology from the girl's mother, but I would make it a point of honor to obtain one from your son AND your in-laws.

If your son wants his girlfriend to have a cake, let him bake it or buy it elsewhere. He was told NOT to volunteer your services and did it anyway. You went the extra mile and telephoned his girlfriend's mother and explained. HE should have been the one to explain that he was out-of-line. He should not have "tattled" on you to his grandparents. If his grandparents want him to have a cake, let them bake it, buy it elsewhere, or hire him to do some jobs to earn the money. Personally, I would NOT offer to assist your son in creating a cake. I would offer to let him use your materials and make his own cake, ON HIS OWN, or purchase a cake elsewhere. Your hard-learned skill is what earns your money that goes toward your family, not the ingredients.

In the future, present the scenario to them using a different example, ie., re-formatting a computer, changing the oil and doing a lube job on a car, babysitting for 2 days on a weekend.
If your son or his grandparents were experts in computers, car mechanic work, baby-sitting for example; would they smile and happily agree to be "volunteered" to do work for a non-family member that would take them 4-12 hours over 2-3 days?
Would they do it for free even though the supplies needed to do the job would COST THEM $40-$100 out-of-pocket?
Would they do it when this other, non-family member wanted it done (regardless of their individual schedule)?
Would they use their vacation time from work to do the task?
Would they be unhappy that someone had volunteered one of them to spend $40-$100 of their money, 4-12 hours of their time, their expertise?

I would suggest you print out this thread, and this response, and let your son read it. Don't say anything, just print it out and watch him read it. See what he says.

gatorcake Posted 26 Jan 2012 , 5:42pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beckalita

Cake muggles....they just don't get it.....




This has more to do with people expecting things from family than it does cake. There are plenty of people who expect free legal service from lawyers in the family, free plumbing repairs from plumbers in the family, etc. And there are those who will expect the family members of their daughter's boyfriend or sons' girlfriend to offer their services for free as well. It is not unique to the caking world.

Texas_Rose Posted 26 Jan 2012 , 6:00pm

Good for you, saying no and sticking to it.

Lots of people do expect things for free. I made a couple of free cakes for my husband's friend because he had really gone out of his way to help my husband when our car broke down. Then they told me they wanted cakes for their other kids birthdays (they have ten of them) and I told them that would be fine as long as they paid for the ingredients, and to let me know two weeks before they wanted a cake and I would tell them how much it would be. So they called me less than a week before they wanted the cake, and they wanted three of them at once, complicated designs. I told them that wasn't enough time and we worked out what I could do for them instead. The next day they were supposed to bring the money for the ingredients...$70. (unlike some people, I charge for all my ingredients, box, paper towels, gas to go to the several stores I have to get cake stuff from, etc.) They didn't call me all day. When I finally called them, they didn't have any money. They wanted to bring it the next day. I said no...no time to make the fondant, and I'm not pulling an all-nighter to get these done. They called back the day before they needed the cakes, asking if I could make them out of styrofoam because that wouldn't cost anything. These aren't near and dear friends, it's a coworker of my husband who I've only known for three months. I should have just said no from the beginning, it would have saved me a week of stress.

MarianInFL Posted 26 Jan 2012 , 6:01pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Norasmom

I would also start offering my son's lawn mowing and pool cleaning services for free...to "friends" and family of course. icon_wink.gif




That's a great idea. Kids just don't realize, do they? When I think of some of the things my kids have asked me to do, that now as adults they realize were a bit much and really appreciate that I did it for them. Or understand why I didn't.

But, at least your son is proud enough of your work that he wants to share it with his girlfriend. I hope they don't break up over this!

Spuddysmom Posted 26 Jan 2012 , 6:08pm

I'm sorry you are dealing with this family stress.
17 yr. old boys are not known for their reasonableness or maturity. Forgetting the girl's mom - have a talk w/your son. Commend him for wanting to do something special for his girlfriend, "I think it's wonderful that you are so caring blah-blah-blah...." 'then, "Because I had already asked you not to volunteer my services, I can't go back on my word and do this cake so let's figure out what else you can do for her gift... If you really want a cake I can recommend a good baker,."
I do understand that you may just give-in for the sake of peace in the family, but if you buckle and make this cake it won't be truly appreciated, it won't truly smooth things over with your in-laws, and it won't be the last one.

QTCakes1 Posted 26 Jan 2012 , 6:27pm

I am sorry for you. This is jsut ridiculous. And I would be eyond Pi$$ed if my son called my in-laws and my in-laws actually said something about it. Just remember you are not wrong, just dealing with a lot of nuts. And yes, I have teenagers, they are nuts too! icon_wink.gif

ellawillow Posted 26 Jan 2012 , 6:51pm

Oh you poor thing........the girlfriends mother was so out of line with what she said to you, as were the grandparents - being adults you would think they would know better (it takes all types in this world though icon_rolleyes.gif ). You son on the otherhand is being a typical teenager - lol which is just being selfish, and thinking it is all about them (no offence to your son - this is just teenagers the world over). Whilst his idea is probably coming from love (both for his girlfriend and his pride in your good work) he does need to step back and look at the bigger picture. I agree with the comment someone else put on here - print this thread out and let him read it......he needs to see this argument from another angle, If he sees other people saying the same thing in print it may sink in a bit. He is obviously not just going to listen to you as he has the grandparents and the girls mum backing him up. Whatever you do - do not make this cake, no one will be truly grateful as they already just feel it is your obligation to make it and therefore in their eyes you will not be doing anything special for them. Good luck - is a horrible situation you are in icon_sad.gif

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 26 Jan 2012 , 7:10pm

Good grief, people suck sometimes. I don't care who the cake is for, that kind of behavior is inexcusable.

Debbye27 Posted 26 Jan 2012 , 7:28pm

[quoteI do understand that you may just give-in for the sake of peace in the family, but if you buckle and make this cake it won't be truly appreciated, .[/quote]


Ooooh that is a very good point - I would probably still make a cake- if it were me- but that's true- it wouldn't be as appreciated.

Just a sucky situation for all! PS- keep in mind the mom could be feeling bad for snapping at you after she thought about it- after all- first she got your son's side of the story -then yours. And she was probably super excited at the thought of having an amazing cake for her daughters sweet 16. People do tend to over react initially- and although it was uncalled for- this may be repairable -now that everyone has had a cooling off period. It's up to you, but a second phone call or gesture may fix this mess.

For what it's worth though- I am 100% on your side- it was all unfair to you to begin with -and then you get made out to be the bad guy! Not cool!!

indydebi Posted 26 Jan 2012 , 11:01pm

First, I just LUV norasmom's suggestion! icon_biggrin.gif

Second, I broke my hubby of this but fast when I asked him for $750 for the chocolate fountain for a friend's wedding. Here's the original link http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-580148-checkbook.html+credit but bottom line is I told him, "Get out your checkbook, babycakes. I also take credit cards."

he NEVER volunteered something for free again. icon_twisted.gif

Cakery2012 Posted 26 Jan 2012 , 11:40pm

I started to write a post earlier like Apti's.
Teenagers dont get it . Has your son had a paying job like mowing lawns ?Explain to him( Im sure you already have) that this is your job . what if he mowed lawns for pay ?And you told neighbors he would mow their lawns for free.
Next time his girlfriend came over . I would explain to her or if the opportunity arises to speak with her MOTHER Again.( you probably hope Not) . That this is your business. which takes YOUR TIME AND MONEY . Asking for that extravagant of a cake is like asking for a $$$ amount present and would take you X amount of hours to complete. Asking for a free cake is no different than if they
were going to the prom and you were a seamstress and they ask you to buy material and make her a free dress.

Cakery2012 Posted 26 Jan 2012 , 11:47pm

I also meant to add tell the girlfriend its nothing against her but that cake would cost $$$ if they were to buy it and this is your business.

It seems that your son is proud of your work and like a typical teenager he is wanting to impress his girlfriend.

Kiddiekakes Posted 26 Jan 2012 , 11:53pm

I have never had a problem because I always charge for my cakes whether family,friends etc UNLESS I offer to bring/give it as a gift.And when my son turns 17...he better not offer my services for free or he'll be bakin it!! As for the girls mother...Simply Rude and ill mannered...

Cakery2012 Posted 27 Jan 2012 , 12:02am

Sorry Im on my cellphone .Yes i agree with IndyDebi .
If you dont have price sheets or a website you need to start handing them out.So when your family inquires about a cake for their friend .
Maybe no.more free cakes for family either. It just seems all too ridiculous . The girls Mother and your in laws attituds. you are not obligated to give anyine anything.

IvyCakes Posted 27 Jan 2012 , 1:29am

All I saw when I read that was "Mom I want 800 dollars to give to my girlfriend for her birthday" I mean, REALLY? If he was asking for money like that no one would question it was ridiculous and out of the question. I can't believe the grandparents caved to him... I'm so sorry. Just know he'll grow up and hopefully gain an appreciation for your work. Until then know you were fully right in denying him this cake and don't back down!

I'd tell him he should just take the money it would have cost for you to bake that cake, and go buy her a nice present - WITH HIS MONEY. I'm sure she'd love some jewelry. icon_smile.gif Give him some idea of value!

Delectability Posted 27 Jan 2012 , 2:58am

I hope I'm not out of line and a little random, but frankly I think there's another issue here. I don't know how long they've been together but if this woman seriously thinks that you're a "terrible mom" then not only is she going to probably take it out on her daughter and your son's relationship.

Maybe it's just my experience but people like that have their nose so high up in the air that they think the world needs to be handled to her on a silver platter.

IMHO, if she was your daughter-in-law that's one thing, but your 17 year old son's HS girlfriend that they sit next to each other at lunch with?)

More so than him learning about how how much time and labor it is for you, I think he needs to understand that it's disrespectful to you for putting you in the position that he put you in.

I'm not saying blame him for his gf's mom's opinion but I think it's more than just people's understanding of getting paid for services.

Please don't be mad icon_sad.gif and I don't think you should do it either. You've gone above what you needed to do with the phone call. You can even explain to the daughter the next time you see her, and if she has any sense she will PERSONALLY understand and if she doesn't then back to the first issue at hand. They might not be such a good pair anyways. icon_sad.gif

FromScratchSF Posted 27 Jan 2012 , 3:13am
Quote:
Originally Posted by Norasmom

His girlfriend's mother is awful! Under NO circumstances should you bake that cake!! I would also start offering my son's lawn mowing and pool cleaning services for free...to "friends" and family of course. icon_wink.gif




Best advice ever!!! Image

scp1127 Posted 27 Jan 2012 , 10:05am

One of my daughters does not bake or cook. Her boss from hell knows this (plus knows that my daughter is a full time student working for her part time for about $60/wk) has now for a second time, planned an event and tells my daughter that she will be bringing the cake, knowing that I own a bakery. This daughter is easily intimidated and stresses out about her boss's rediculous demands. The woman knows full well that she has coerced me, a stranger that she has never met, into a free cake. I want to state that I gladly do free cakes for every event my girls attend where a cake is needed. I have made many birthday and shower cakes for their friends I have never met.

So to make my daughter's world a happier place, for the second time I will be making a cake for someone I don't know and I obviously despise because of her taking advantage of my daughter. I will do anything for my girls, but I would just love to tell this woman what I think of her. My daughter graduates in May, so our time with this woman is now limited, thankfully.

syarber Posted 27 Jan 2012 , 2:46pm

Scp1127 I think that it is awesome that your willing to do that for your girls. icon_biggrin.gif Most of the time I don't mind making cakes or other goodies for my kid's events but this was over the top for me. I would normally charge about $750 to $800 for this type of cake.But my biggest problem was that he said I would do it before talking to me about and to to me that just isn't acceptable.

So here is the update. He came home yesterday afternoon and apologized. icon_surprised.gif He and his girlfirend and her mother spent the afternoon at a couple different bakeries pricing cake. It was an eye opening experience for him. He then asked me what kind of cake he could get for $75. I told him he buys the supplies and has to spend the time in the shop baking and decorating the cake with me.

The girl's mother called and also apologized for her outburst. I told her what my son and I agreed upon and she and I agreed on a simpler design. I love it when things work out.

mysweets Posted 27 Jan 2012 , 3:01pm

icon_smile.gif So glad to hear it worked out!

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