Huge Order!... But For A "cause"

Business By Foolhardyheroes Updated 14 Apr 2012 , 4:21pm by Ruth0209

Foolhardyheroes Posted 10 Apr 2012 , 4:40pm
post #1 of 22

I was blessed with the Honor of making a cake and some sheetcakes for a band called Five Iron Frenzy who has recently reunited after breaking up 8 years ago. Which is why i say "cause" but either way I only want to charge them cost of supplies and cost shipping as I will be flying to Denver from California. The order is one decorated cake and several sheet cakes (enough to feed 500). My QUESTION is... What do I charge them? I need to give them an upfront answer but this is the largest order ive ever done. Ive don a few different weddings. But only to feed 200 at most! im trying to calculate it all. But its a bit overwhelming... I need help! They want simple flavors... Chocolate and vanilla with whipped mousse or bc fillings and the decorated cake will feed around 75 to 100 in itself. Any input would be appreciated thank you!

21 replies
vgcea Posted 10 Apr 2012 , 5:33pm
post #2 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foolhardyheroes

I was blessed with the Honor of making a cake and some sheetcakes for a band called Five Iron Frenzy who has recently reunited after breaking up 8 years ago. Which is why i say "cause" but either way I only want to charge them cost of supplies and cost shipping as I will be flying to Denver from California. The order is one decorated cake and several sheet cakes (enough to feed 500). My QUESTION is... What do I charge them? I need to give them an upfront answer but this is the largest order ive ever done. Ive don a few different weddings. But only to feed 200 at most! im trying to calculate it all. But its a bit overwhelming... I need help! They want simple flavors... Chocolate and vanilla with whipped mousse or bc fillings and the decorated cake will feed around 75 to 100 in itself. Any input would be appreciated thank you!



I'm not sure how we can help with this since we don't know how much ingredients are in your area, and how much transportation will be. All I can suggest is add up how much it would cost you to purchase the supplies/ingredients, request a shipping estimate from Fedex or whichever company will be handling your cakes OR if you're taking them with you on the flight (not sure what the logistics of that will entail), how much is your ticket? You could create an estimate based on how much it cost to make the 200 serving cake and do the math for 500 servings.

BlakesCakes Posted 10 Apr 2012 , 7:30pm
post #3 of 22

Wow, those will be some expensive cakes, no matter how you do it.

With luggage costs, shipping costs, airfare costs.............

Personally, I have no faith in shipping 500 servings of cake--not by ground, or air.

If you were to fly to Denver & bake there, you'd have to have high altitude recipes, pans, storage space, etc.

In your shoes, I "might" consider flying with a decorated cake. I've done that with cakes to serve over 40, and had it fit in the overhead bin, with no issues. BUT, there have been reports of big issues with cakes made at lower altitudes literally falling apart once exposed to high altitudes--NOT in the pressure controlled atmosphere of the plane, but once they are back on the ground in places like Denver, Flagstaff, etc.

Sometimes, we can't do everything we'd like to do, or are asked to do, as cake decorators.

Rae

carmijok Posted 10 Apr 2012 , 7:43pm
post #4 of 22

I think you've answered your own question since you only want to charge ingredient costs and shipping. And how will you be shipping? Are you taking them yourself? To Denver from California? That's a long way to take that much cake! Are you going to have them pay for your airfare? This could get quite expensive!

jason_kraft Posted 10 Apr 2012 , 8:00pm
post #5 of 22

You are probably better off finding a reputable local bakery to fill this order. Even if you sell at cost I bet your quote will still be more expensive than a local bakery once you take into account shipping.

If you still want to do it you may be able to split the difference and make the decorated cake yourself while outsourcing the sheet cakes to a local vendor.

kakeladi Posted 10 Apr 2012 , 8:09pm
post #6 of 22

Just to add to the good suggestions already posted I remember reading about people like Sylvia Watson taking their cakes on flights. They purchase a seat for the *cake* as well as one for themselves and the cake travels as a passenger right next to the creator.

Elcee Posted 11 Apr 2012 , 2:13am
post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlakesCakes

BUT, there have been reports of big issues with cakes made at lower altitudes literally falling apart once exposed to high altitudes--NOT in the pressure controlled atmosphere of the plane, but once they are back on the ground in places like Denver, Flagstaff, etc.

Rae




This is absolutely not true icon_lol.gif. The issues with altitude have to do with the chemistry of the baking itself. High altitude has absolutely no effect on already baked goods.

OP, there are cake decorators in Denver, and very good ones, at that! I'd be happy to give you a recommendation if you (or your friends) change your mind about flying the cakes in. icon_smile.gif

BlakesCakes Posted 11 Apr 2012 , 2:29am
post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elcee

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlakesCakes

BUT, there have been reports of big issues with cakes made at lower altitudes literally falling apart once exposed to high altitudes--NOT in the pressure controlled atmosphere of the plane, but once they are back on the ground in places like Denver, Flagstaff, etc.

Rae



This is absolutely not true icon_lol.gif. The issues with altitude have to do with the chemistry of the baking itself. High altitude has absolutely no effect on already baked goods.

OP, there are cake decorators in Denver, and very good ones, at that! I'd be happy to give you a recommendation if you (or your friends) change your mind about flying the cakes in. icon_smile.gif




YES, IT IS TRUE and I resent the implication that I would even bother to write something of which I have no knowledge.

I can't quote chapter & verse, but in the past 2 years, a least one baker here on CC posted about having multiple problems when baking in Phoenix and then transporting to much higher altitude areas, most notably Flagstaff. Others who'd experienced the same problems chimed in with similar issues.

It doesn't take a brain to figure out that if they have to decrease the carbonation in soda and fill bottles with slightly less content for higher altitudes, that a cake, which does contain air pockets, etc., just might have a problem when exposed to a different atmospheric pressure than that in which it was baked.

Next time, feel free to PM me and ask questions about my source before making such a bold, accusatory statement.
Rae

Elcee Posted 11 Apr 2012 , 4:12am
post #9 of 22

Rae, my post wasn't meant to be accusatory.

Cakes and other baked goods are imported to high altitude areas from all over the world with no problems whatsoever. We have gourmet stores all over selling them. Our grocery stores are loaded with cakes that weren't baked here but shipped here from lower elevations. We wouldn't have Hostess or Little Debbie cakes if that were the case. I've never heard that there is less carbonation in soda that is delivered to high altitudes so I can't address that part of your post but there isn't less content, 12 ounces is 12 ounces.

I've been trying to find a way to say what I'm about to without sounding snarky and I can't so I will preface it by saying that's not my intent at all. Having read a post in the past two years here on CC about a subject does not necessarily give you knowledge of that subject.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlakesCakes

YES, IT IS TRUE and I resent the implication that I would even bother to write something of which I have no knowledge.

I can't quote chapter & verse, but in the past 2 years, a least one baker here on CC posted about having multiple problems when baking in Phoenix and then transporting to much higher altitude areas, most notably Flagstaff. Others who'd experienced the same problems chimed in with similar issues.

It doesn't take a brain to figure out that if they have to decrease the carbonation in soda and fill bottles with slightly less content for higher altitudes, that a cake, which does contain air pockets, etc., just might have a problem when exposed to a different atmospheric pressure than that in which it was baked.

Next time, feel free to PM me and ask questions about my source before making such a bold, accusatory statement.
Rae


BlakesCakes Posted 11 Apr 2012 , 4:22am
post #10 of 22

Yes, and those pre-packaged, mass baked products are NOT subject the some of the vagaries of home bakes goods, nor are they covered in fondant. They have been subject to market testing and made specifically to withstand..........mistreatment.

I didn't claim to be an expert in this area. I merely reported something that was, indeed, posted previously on this site.

Your need to declare it as "untrue" and smack a smiley face on that declaration was offensive and unnecessary. You could have merely said that you'd never heard of it and that you hadn't personally experienced it.

Next time, TRY HARDER icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif
It's really NOT that difficult.
Rae

scp1127 Posted 11 Apr 2012 , 6:01am
post #11 of 22

I have a local cake company who ships totally scratch cakes nationwide. She's been nationally recognized. Her cakes are shipped frozen, but not "packaged". She never has a problem.

In my research for my company's future expansion to shipping nationwide, I have studied many of the big name scratch bakers who legally ship nationwide, and not one has a disclaimer about high altitude areas. And not one uses chemicals in the ingredients and none do a "packaged" product, per HD, FDA, Dept of Ag definitions. I have purchased the goods and studied how they comply with safety guidelines as well as the shipping needs required for the product to arrive in excellent physical condition.

So I will have to disagree also. Thousands of online businesses do this every day with no adverse effects due to altitude. Not once have I seen where they bake differently for every altitude. I also have no intention of changing recipes for various locations.

BlakesCakes Posted 11 Apr 2012 , 7:03am
post #12 of 22

I have no problem with respectful disagreement. I don't appreciate being the mocked messenger.

As I said, I MERELY REPORTED THE EXPERIENCE OF ANOTHER MEMBER OF CAKE CENTRAL. Given the details that were reported, etc., it seemed wise to remember it.

I made mention of it because I would have felt awful if a member went to all of that trouble on their own dime, only to have a disaster occur, and then to have them come back here and report it.

This article makes it very clear that items made at lower altitudes, and under pressure (as a fondant covered cake might be) can, indeed, have "problems".

http://www.highaltitudelife.com/packaging.htm

Now that the OP has seen 2 sides, it'll be up to them to make their own decision.

There are diplomatic ways to tell someone that you disagree with them, as can be seen in the above post, and then there are ways that really chap people's hides...........

Rae

scp1127 Posted 11 Apr 2012 , 8:50am
post #13 of 22

Hey Blakes, you know me, I like seeing two sides.

Now what will I do if my first shipped cake explodes? I can see the issue in a certain set of circumstances, but my guess is that the cake may have already been unstable. One of my best flavored cakes is my chocolate peanut butter covered in ganache. BUT... unless it's cold, it likes to crumble when cut. I can't correct the crumb without affecting the flavor. So my compromise is a cake served cold. Luckily, it is also more delicious cold. But that cake is sold wih specific instructions.

Elcee Posted 11 Apr 2012 , 1:24pm
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlakesCakes

I don't appreciate being the mocked messenger.

Rae




I wish I had more time to address this but I'm on my way out for work and didn't want to leave this until I get home.

I wasn't mocking you personally. I can, however, see that it came accross that way to you. For that I apologize and please consider the LOL face removed from my post.

carmijok Posted 11 Apr 2012 , 5:42pm
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlakesCakes

I have no problem with respectful disagreement. I don't appreciate being the mocked messenger.

As I said, I MERELY REPORTED THE EXPERIENCE OF ANOTHER MEMBER OF CAKE CENTRAL. Given the details that were reported, etc., it seemed wise to remember it.

I made mention of it because I would have felt awful if a member went to all of that trouble on their own dime, only to have a disaster occur, and then to have them come back here and report it.

This article makes it very clear that items made at lower altitudes, and under pressure (as a fondant covered cake might be) can, indeed, have "problems".

http://www.highaltitudelife.com/packaging.htm

Now that the OP has seen 2 sides, it'll be up to them to make their own decision.

There are diplomatic ways to tell someone that you disagree with them, as can be seen in the above post, and then there are ways that really chap people's hides...........

Rae




Good Lord...lighten up.

BlakesCakes Posted 11 Apr 2012 , 11:22pm
post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by carmijok

Good Lord...lighten up.




"A closed mouth gathers no feet." means
Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.
~ Benjamin Franklin

It doesn't have anything to do with defending yourself when you feel wrongly questioned.

I try to abide by those quotes by NOT succumbing to the temptation to interject extraneous or judgmental comments into posts.....but no one's perfect.

Rae

AZCouture Posted 11 Apr 2012 , 11:31pm
post #17 of 22

"Those who talk in metaphors oughtta shampoo my crotch" -Melvin Udall, from As Good as It Gets, 1997.




Do you have any idea how long I've been waiting for the opportunity to post that somewhere?!?! Another mark off my check list..... icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

Foolhardyheroes Posted 13 Apr 2012 , 11:42pm
post #18 of 22

Well... Thank you everyone for your input.. hah Im sorry if i caused any arguements... But I went ahead and decided to outsource so thank you to whoever suggested that! (Sorry Im on my phone so its hard to quote people) But now my biggest concern IS getting that decorated cake on board... I figure if i can store it the overhead that would be the best bet. But im concerned it wont fit. Ill probly have to check all my frosting and fillings which is fine. Its only a two hour flight. But... If worst comes to worst. I really do wonder how cake will do in the baggage area

BlakesCakes Posted 14 Apr 2012 , 1:23am
post #19 of 22

YOU most certainly didn't cause any arguments. No worries there.

The description of the overhead bins on most planes say that it will fit something 22x14x9. I've personally gotten a 10" tall box into one without a problem.

A cake WON'T survive baggage handling.

I've taken decorated cakes all over the country in the overhead bins of planes. It works fine. You just have to make sure that the box is no bigger than 22 long x 14 wide x 10" high--that's a lot of cake.

Rae

Ruth0209 Posted 14 Apr 2012 , 1:36am
post #20 of 22

You definitely will have to check any fillings, fondant and icing. They won't let you take that stuff on. I had quite a traumatic experience trying to take fondant on a plane! I'm sure most fillings would qualify as liquids, and you can't take more than 3 oz. They'll let you take cake on. I routinely take about 20 dozen cakeballs in egg cartons and they don't bat an eyelash anymore.

You can also put something on the floor under the seat in front of you, which I think is better because it's more level, I can keep my eye on it, and no other customer is tossing something up against or on top of the box in the shared overhead. You've probably got a good 12" in height under the seat.

BlakesCakes Posted 14 Apr 2012 , 1:45am
post #21 of 22

The last cake that I flew, on March 10, 2012, with was an oval cake filled with lots of chocolate SMBC. It was fondant covered and would serve over 20. The TSA agent didn't bat an eye--he just asked if he could try a piece.---LOL.

I have NEVER had a problem taking a filled and iced cake thru security and I've been doing it at least once a year for the past 6 yrs.

As for under the seat, it's a bad idea. Not all seats have the same amount of space due to the fact that some seats have electrical boxes beneath them. You never know which seat will be yours! The overhead bins will all accommodate the same sized items.

When I have flown with buckets of BC, fondant, & tools, I got a love note from the TSA and they made a mess of my careful packing.

Rae

Ruth0209 Posted 14 Apr 2012 , 4:21pm
post #22 of 22

My (obviously missed) point was that you cannot take a bucket of fondant or a bowl of filling on the plane. Cakes are just a food product that they view not differently than taking a sandwich on board. A bucket of fondant (or PlayDoh) looks suspiciously like C-4. It has to be checked.

As for me, if I have a choice between the level floor in front of me and a sloping, shared overhead where some dufus is going to ram their carry-on up against my cake box, I'll go for the floor any time.

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