ChristineCMC Posted 23 Mar 2012 , 3:27am
post #1 of

First let me say that I am not trying to start anything nor do I have an agenda.

Secondly I must say that I only make cakes for my family and friends. I am patiently waiting for my state to get the Cottage Food Law out of committee and into law. When that happens, I do hope to be able to bake from my home and will meet what requirements in order to do so. In the intrem time, I am practicing, trying to learn new techniques, and get all the information that I can. Therefore, I come to the business forum to learn (and I have learned a lot!).

What I don't understand is why if someone asks a question about something it seems like half the time it turns into.....

1. Is the person legally allowed to bake (why can't we let them worry about that?)
2. A look down on home bakers and "uninspected" kitchens.
3. Snarky comments back and forth
4. It takes a long time for OP's question to be answered.

And I sometimes feel that there are those that think that home bakers are inferior only because they lack the funds, time, or desire to be a licensed baker with a commercial kitchen. I have seen some amazing talent for home bakers and I have seen some bakery cakes that I can't believe they let go out the door.

I love Cake Central and I love all the great information that is shared here. I love that those many seasoned professional bakers are willing to share their knowledge with those that just aren't there yet.

I just don't get it....

106 replies
Tails Posted 23 Mar 2012 , 6:47am
post #2 of

Lol people should come to SA where our kitchens dont even get inspected and half the country isnt paying tax because our government spends it on fancy cars, huge birthday parties for their 20 children and 50 wives and and and.

Seriously.

Oh, not to mention, everyone is so friggen serious around here! You cant even make a joke without being told you're being rude. And I thought cakes are supposed to be fun and lighthearted eh icon_razz.gif

scp1127 Posted 23 Mar 2012 , 7:55am
post #3 of

I will answer your question. If you look on the forum description, it is to discuss legal business issues.

When people ask a question, especially about pricing, the cost of doing business legally factors into the price.

We are not looking down on home kitchens, it is unlicensed bakers. CFL is in essence, a legal kitchen.

We never put down a hobby baker. I have never seen that. Remember, if a hobby baker is not allowed to accept compensation in their area, but does so anyway, that is illegal baking.

There are new members all the time that may not know that they are in violation of their state or county code and the business forum is the place to give that very important information.

And the number one answer is......

Licensed bakers who have spent the time, money, and effort to have a licensed kitchen do not want to help an unlicensed baker further her illegal business. That is why when it becomes obvious that the baker is unlicensed, the question is not answered. How do you give illegal business advice? You can't.

haymeli Posted 23 Mar 2012 , 8:28am
post #4 of

I agree with Christine. If the questions is about cake then answer the cake question. I thought that is why we all come to cake central.

If it is business related its different I guess, I believe in helping when I can.If some people are not comfortable giving out "illegal advice" then don't give any at all and keep to yourself.

If you don't have something nice, helpful, supportive to say then keep it to yourself and stop hijacking the boards with unrelated issues.

scp1127 Posted 23 Mar 2012 , 9:24am
post #5 of

The business forum is where businesses can share information and where those planning a future business can ask questions.

When a question is posed in this forum, it should be answered with reference to the costs, laws, and codes of the area. If someone wants to ask a question about pricing, etc., in a situation that is not within the law, post it in the General or Decorating forum.

For example, in the business forum, if someone asks how to market their cakes, the answer is dependent on what is allowed in the area. If it is a state where separate kitchens are required, it doesn't make sense to suggest facebook or a web page to a home baker. But if this question is posed in another forum, chances are that facebook and websites will be suggested and the CC members who are business owners will probably not even open the thread.

There are a multitude of forums to choose when choosing to start a thread. Cake Central gives the Business forum description as:

"Chat about starting a new business, share tips from legal info to management issues."

It's not about being mean. There are far more people reading these threads and posts than actual posters. The information on these threads become matches in google searches. People look up a subject and want correct information. This includes the general public, not just CC members. A search is how I, and probably all of us, found CC in the first place.

There is a correct place for every question. Sometimes the business forum isn't the best place for some questions if the OP doesn't want it answered in a business context.

Tails Posted 23 Mar 2012 , 1:31pm
post #6 of

I think its a case of, regardless whats allowed in an area, someone has asked for assistance, and the thread derails into an 'are you legal' debate.

In essense, what does it matter if one ISNT legal, thats their problem. Sure, one can point it out and say something like "<<helpfull answer>>, but all this could be useless if you're not legal." vs not helping until the OP has to prove/beg/insist they're legal.

The_Sugar_Fairy Posted 23 Mar 2012 , 1:51pm
post #7 of

I completely agree. Let's just answer the question(s) that are being asked. There's a lot of extra reading to get through on most posts to get to the actual answer. We can't always post questions outside of the business forum if, for example, it's related to pricing because it will probably be moved there anyway by the moderators.
Sometimes people are desperate for an answer.. for example, on a question about a character cake that they need to finish as soon as possible. Maybe it's even for their own child, but then the post goes off topic for a good two pages before the answer is even given. Imagine how frustrating that is for the OP, for everyone actually.

leah_s Posted 23 Mar 2012 , 2:11pm
post #8 of

If the mods are moving threads willy nilly, then they should stop. Business related questions belong in the business forum, which has pretty much always been a "no puppies and rainbows" kind of place. The pros have worked hard and invested time, $ sweat and tears to get their businesses up and running.

If you need decorating advice, post in the Decorating Forum.

Posting a question about pricing however, means that you are a BUSINESS.

ChristineCMC Posted 23 Mar 2012 , 2:14pm
post #9 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127


There are a multitude of forums to choose when choosing to start a thread. Cake Central gives the Business forum description as:

"Chat about starting a new business, share tips from legal info to management issues."
.




Exactly, so can't we just assume that the person asking the question is a position to "legally" ask such a question?

I do understand the pricing question taking into account overhead and such. I realize that a baker operating a store front or commercial kitchen will have higher costs than a legal baker out of their home. I also think that the best answer for that is to tell the OP to factor their ingredient price, their time, and overhead and figure out their own price.

I know I heard about Cake Boss software from this site. I had my husband get it
for my birthday last year. I have used it to calculate my costs, so when the time is right I will have a general idea what to charge. I think it is important to have a general idea of what you will charge BEFORE starting your business. Each person really should be deciding for themselves what they will charge and not expect someone else to set their prices.

And yes, if someone is asking about a character cake in this forum you can point out that they should read XYZ thread about copyright issues with these types of cakes being sold. I will be honest, I did not know until this forum that you could not sell these types of cakes. So, yes that is good information; but it shouldn't take 2 pages of back and forth on the issue to answer OP's question on said cake

Maybe it's like what I tell my kids - "It's not what you said, but how you said it."

Again, I do love this site and do want to thank those that are so willing to share their expertise with those of us just starting out.

jason_kraft Posted 23 Mar 2012 , 3:15pm

I think part of the problem is when people get so upset about someone bringing up legal issues, they start a flame war instead of just ignoring the legal post. That's what gets the thread off-topic.

If you don't like reading about the legal aspects of the cake business, then ignore those posts and stick to the topic. When people ask about things like pricing the legality question will be brought up, if you think you can stop this from happening by continually complaining about it you are mistaken.

In my experience legal questions are only raised when the OP talks about selling cakes. If there's no selling involved, licensing/inspection/etc. are not typically brought up.

Quote:
Quote:

Exactly, so can't we just assume that the person asking the question is a position to "legally" ask such a question?



Some people are not aware of the legal requirements of running a business, so I don't see how it's helpful to assume everyone knows this.

Using the example of copyright you brought up, if people just assumed everyone knew about copyright issues and didn't mention it at all then you would have never known about it.

labelle24 Posted 23 Mar 2012 , 3:51pm

Kudos ChristineCMC for having the guts to address this issue. I was the subject of exactly what you are talking about, a few months ago. I asked a pricing question which snowballed into a complete criticism of my entire business structure (and I'm a legal, fully licensed home baker). The bulling a degrading got so bad I was in tears for 2 days until finally CC stepped in and put an end to the thread. I have since deleted the account and joined as a more anonymous member as it went so far that the harassment continued on my personal business website.

Very often there is a lot of condescension and flat out nastiness expressed on these threads that is justified as "advice", when in fact it is mean spirited and unnecessary.

The_Sugar_Fairy Posted 23 Mar 2012 , 5:20pm

I started a post a couple months ago. I even asked at the beginning of my post that it not turn into a "scratch vs. box mix" debate. I was still horribly criticized by the same person here that answers all the business posts regarding being legal, and copywrite. I regretted asking the question... I felt inferior and stupid for not baking from scratch. I was pretty upset for a while too. It's not only business-related questions that are being criticized, so posting in other forums won't solve the problem.

costumeczar Posted 23 Mar 2012 , 6:06pm

The business forum is to discuss business, and as Leah said it's never been a "get smoke blown up your a$$ kind of place." I've seen many people post here then pitch a hissy fit about how mean people are when they get a straight answer.

I understand the impulse to say "Let's not turn this into this debate" to try to head things off, but as long as humans are involved threads will take the turn that they take and you can't control that, no matter how well-intentioned you are to begin with.

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 24 Mar 2012 , 11:26pm

This is why my siggy says what it says. Saves time. icon_wink.gif

scp1127 Posted 25 Mar 2012 , 4:45am

Since The_Sugar_Fairy brought it up, I will share what I said that was so offensive.

She wanted to only bake from scratch. She then asked if she could put artificial pudding in her scratch cake. I answered yes, but it would not really be a scratch cake anymore. I said that if she stated that her cakes were from scratch, then the client will believe that the ingredients are scratch and not processed.From there she accused me of demeaning her abilities and about twenty other things I did to her personally. Remember, the whole thread was about her learning to bake from scratch.

Since then, every time I post in either the scratch or business threads, if she sees it, she takes the time to again point out what a horrible person I am. i just laugh every time I see it. She was the one that launched an all-out attack. Go through her posts and you will see what I mean. It's in black and white (or pink and purple). Please notice that I have not attacked her, but this is public notice that I see the game.

scp1127 Posted 25 Mar 2012 , 4:48am

By the way Sugar_fairy, I will respond in this manner from here on out with the real story and maybe one day you will drop it. But I promise, every time.

This is not personal, but we all should be able to accept an honest rebuttal to continued accusations.

The_Sugar_Fairy Posted 25 Mar 2012 , 12:35pm

You won't see that post anywhere as it was completely removed by the moderators. It wasn't about scratch baking at all. It was a question, "can I add pudding to a scratch cake?" and I had asked that people be nice and not tell me I'm not a scratch baker then. I have posted about scratch baking in a completely different post at a different time. I've also contributed to another post about pudding in mixes, but that is not the one I'm talking about.

The post I'm talking about was removed. You will not find it.

The_Sugar_Fairy Posted 25 Mar 2012 , 12:40pm

Okay scp, can we stop this now? I will stop saying anything at all about you if you will stop posting on any of my threads. Although, I know now what the touchy subjects are and will avoid them. And by the way, I'm not the one that PMed that list to Kelley about the word ridiculous... just saying that because I didn't want you to think it's me.

jason_kraft Posted 25 Mar 2012 , 2:16pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Sugar_Fairy

I will stop saying anything at all about you if you will stop posting on any of my threads.



No one has the right to tell someone else not to post to their threads, assuming the posts are on-topic (as scp's posts are). Similarly, no one has the right to personally attack other members here because they disagree with their posts, and the fact that you would offer to stop doing so as part of a deal (instead of stopping because it's the right thing to do) is, in a word, ridiculous.

If you don't agree with someone's on-topic post, ignore it. If you see someone who is taking the thread too far off-topic or posts personal attacks, click the "report as bad post" button and the mods will take care of it.

mermaid1 Posted 25 Mar 2012 , 2:47pm

Is it always like this on CC? joined to get support and see such beautiful cakes.

pieceofcaketx Posted 25 Mar 2012 , 3:08pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by mermaid1

Is it always like this on CC? joined to get support and see such beautiful cakes.




Yes it is, has been for years.
Grab some popcorn and enjoy.

AnnieCahill Posted 25 Mar 2012 , 3:22pm

The thread was not removed. I remembered it because I had also responded with a recipe for you to try. To be fair, you were the one who flew off the handle first on page 4. Sorry, I call it like I see it.

http://cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=724064&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=pudding&start=0

With that said, this is an international forum and each person is entitled to his own thoughts or opinions. Some are factual, some are flippant, and some are nice. But each one is just that-an opinion. It shouldn't cause you to cry or jump off a bridge at the end of the day. Sticks and stones, remember?

The_Sugar_Fairy Posted 25 Mar 2012 , 3:23pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by pieceofcaketx

Quote:
Originally Posted by mermaid1

Is it always like this on CC? joined to get support and see such beautiful cakes.



Yes it is, has been for years.
Grab some popcorn and enjoy.




LOL, I actually started howling when I saw this comment.. thanks pieceofcaketx (my kids are asking me why I keep laughing). I'm glad we're entertaining you all. I'm actually going to shut up now though. There is another good post going on though called "just a litttle vent".. you can grab the popcorn for that one (and I'll just stay out of it).

The_Sugar_Fairy Posted 25 Mar 2012 , 3:33pm

Anniecahill: you're right it is there. I apologize. I was looking for it the other day and couldn't find it so I thought they removed it. Yes, that's the one.

gatorcake Posted 25 Mar 2012 , 4:21pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

If the mods are moving threads willy nilly, then they should stop. Business related questions belong in the business forum, which has pretty much always been a "no puppies and rainbows" kind of place. The pros have worked hard and invested time, $ sweat and tears to get their businesses up and running.
.




Note directed at Leah only using it as an example of the kind of self-serving justification that routinely appears in this forum.

This is simply a self-serving justification for aggressive and insulting responses. Have seen this excuse posted more than once---if you want flowers and hugs go to the decorating forum, if you want people to tell it straight come here. Whether or not those describe the general orientations of each forum, they do not account for how "one tells is straight." There is a difference between offering constructive advice designed to educate and engaging in presumptuous lecturing underwritten by a tone of self-righteousness. One need look no further than responses which include "our children are watching" for instances of things that go beyond educating or helping address legal questions. They smack of self-righteousness (as if the poster is morally pure) and are insulting by explicitly questioning the parenting skills of the poster.

You want to help people become legal? Fine. You want to help clarify questions about what constitutes copyright infringement? Fine. You want to explain to someone how pricing decisions include any number of calculations including licencing fees, inspections? Fine. But note, that response does not require you to questions one's legal status first. You simply provide the information when asked what would you charge for X.

Providing that information without asking does not make a presumption about the poster's legal status as it factually states all the costs that you must calculate into a pricing scheme. If they do not have those costs well that is for them to decide to what to do with the information, it is informative and instructional without becoming self-righteous lecturing. This kind of response is a far cry from beginning a post based on the question "are you legal?" or trying to deduce their legal status by what they have posted.

If you are concerned about aiding an unlicensed operation then do not respond. If your reason for responding is that is helps others who may see the thread, then why do you care if they are legal? You are not interested in helping the original poster so you should not worry about uncovering their legal status because you note--the information is not for them. You don't want things to turn into a flame look to your own practices before you accuse others.

And there is most certainly a difference when you insult other posters (whose personal situations you have no idea about) parenting skills. Since when did business discussions include discussions of parent skills? That you are telling it "straight" does not excuse presumptuous, abusive, aggressive, and/or insulting discourse.

scp1127 Posted 25 Mar 2012 , 5:03pm

Thanks Annie.

Sugar_Fairy, I think you are somewhat misinformed about public forums. I can post where I want. I will not stop posting on any thread where you may be posting also. If I want to add to a subject, I will. Maybe you don't know this either, but these posts and thread become results for Google searches. It is not just you or the OP that gets answers. Poor information as well as sound advice will be in a search. Good, well-round posts will give any reader the opportunity to collect information from here and other sources to make a baking, decorating, or business decision.

Some people on CC beieve that thread issues should only be addressed within parameters that are agreeable to posts and threads by them rather than stating an alternative opinion or correcting a incorrect comment with a fact. That isn't going to happen on the web.

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 25 Mar 2012 , 8:40pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by gatorcake



Note directed at Leah only using it as an example of the kind of self-serving justification that routinely appears in this forum.

This is simply a self-serving justification for aggressive and insulting responses. Have seen this excuse posted more than once---if you want flowers and hugs go to the decorating forum, if you want people to tell it straight come here. Whether or not those describe the general orientations of each forum, they do not account for how "one tells is straight." There is a difference between offering constructive advice designed to educate and engaging in presumptuous lecturing underwritten by a tone of self-righteousness. One need look no further than responses which include "our children are watching" for instances of things that go beyond educating or helping address legal questions. They smack of self-righteousness (as if the poster is morally pure) and are insulting by explicitly questioning the parenting skills of the poster.

You want to help people become legal? Fine. You want to help clarify questions about what constitutes copyright infringement? Fine. You want to explain to someone how pricing decisions include any number of calculations including licencing fees, inspections? Fine. But note, that response does not require you to questions one's legal status first. You simply provide the information when asked what would you charge for X.

Providing that information without asking does not make a presumption about the poster's legal status as it factually states all the costs that you must calculate into a pricing scheme. If they do not have those costs well that is for them to decide to what to do with the information, it is informative and instructional without becoming self-righteous lecturing. This kind of response is a far cry from beginning a post based on the question "are you legal?" or trying to deduce their legal status by what they have posted.

If you are concerned about aiding an unlicensed operation then do not respond. If your reason for responding is that is helps others who may see the thread, then why do you care if they are legal? You are not interested in helping the original poster so you should not worry about uncovering their legal status because you note--the information is not for them. You don't want things to turn into a flame look to your own practices before you accuse others.

And there is most certainly a difference when you insult other posters (whose personal situations you have no idea about) parenting skills. Since when did business discussions include discussions of parent skills? That you are telling it "straight" does not excuse presumptuous, abusive, aggressive, and/or insulting discourse.




VERY well said. thumbs_up.gif

debidehm Posted 26 Mar 2012 , 4:01am
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Sugar_Fairy

I started a post a couple months ago. I even asked at the beginning of my post that it not turn into a "scratch vs. box mix" debate. I was still horribly criticized by the same person here that answers all the business posts regarding being legal, and copywrite. I regretted asking the question... I felt inferior and stupid for not baking from scratch. I was pretty upset for a while too. It's not only business-related questions that are being criticized, so posting in other forums won't solve the problem.




No names were mentioned here, but instead of "letting it go", the subject of this comment came right back at it. I would have never known who she was talking about had the other person not come back for another shot. I like this site because I learn a lot. I also like it because it's like a mini-soap opera. Being on this site not very long, I already know who will come after someone (more times than not-off topic) about being legal and copyright issues, who has snarky comebacks, and those that have the "better than you" type attitudes. Some will go after people making copyrighted character cakes, yet how come with all the pictures being posted every single day, not one comment on those cakes mentions the copyright law?? You can't tell me that every of those cakes are for family members. If they are making those cakes and posting pictures of them, shouldn't they be the ones who should be informed about the copyright laws? It's one thing talking about making one, quite another to actually see one already made for the world to see.

jason_kraft Posted 26 Mar 2012 , 4:27am
Quote:
Originally Posted by debidehm

Being on this site not very long, I already know who will come after someone (more times than not-off topic) about being legal and copyright issues, who has snarky comebacks, and those that have the "better than you" type attitudes. Some will go after people making copyrighted character cakes, yet how come with all the pictures being posted every single day, not one comment on those cakes mentions the copyright law??



I see this type of comment quite a bit, and frankly I'm a little puzzled. In my experience it is rare to see someone "go after" someone else (the implication here being malicious intent/personal attacks) for legal or copyright issues, the intent is simply to inform. More often than not people will reply to, say, a pricing thread saying that their state may require XYZ to be a legal home bakery and this should be factored in to the price instead of demanding to know if they are legal or not.

It is more common to see someone posting a factual, informative, on-topic message have that message misinterpreted and come under attack from others and/or the OP with malicious personal attacks, as we've seen in this very thread. When this happens it often escalates into a flame war that could have been avoided if the original factual message had not been taken personally or if the personal attacks are ignored (admittedly the latter is more difficult).

It is never OK to post personal attacks publicly. If you feel the need to make fun of or attack someone please keep it to private messages. If you think someone is attacking you, the best thing to do is to just ignore them, and if you can't do that, again try to resolve things via private messages.

General discourse here has actually improved quite a bit over the past year or so. A handful of members used to consistently attack posters (including me) who were answering business related questions, they were either banned or moved on to another site so you don't see flame wars nearly as often as you used to.

Not sure what the issue about insulting someone's parenting skills is about, I must have missed that one.

step0nmi Posted 26 Mar 2012 , 4:28am

*grabs popcorn* lol

to the OP, it's all about judgement. these types of situations are going to arise because people judge other people...it's not going to end. it's unfortunate that others do not actually answer the questions that are originally posted, it gets clouded in their own agendas.

maybe the business forum should have a subtitle? Post here if you want it given to you straight icon_lol.gif

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