louanne Posted 8 May 2012 , 12:26am
post #1 of

So just a little aggravated. A little background I owned my own shop for several years, I closed about 8 months ago. I was successful but was just exhausted, I have a 6 year old and was tired of working 6-7 days a week 12 hours a day so my husband and I decided that it was time for a change after 15 years in the cake industry. I now only bake strictly for family or very close friends.

Anyways, about two months after I closed a lady I know opened a small shop, I was happy to answer any questions she had and explained all the licensing process and shared a wealth of information and even gave her my left over boxes boards and other things I would not have use for.

Well she is always asking people what flavors of cupcakes they want and many of them are old customers of mine and are asking for some of the unique flavors I use to make. She calls me the other day asking for my recipe collection, she said she has been trying to replicate my flavors but her customers do not like them they say they are not the same as what they use to buy form my shop.

I told her that I was sorry but I did not give out my recipes, to anyone, period.
I spent years perfecting all my recipes and I do not feel I should just hand them over. She said I was being selfish and should let her have them since I was not in business anymore. She said she works hard to make my former customers happy so I should let her have my recipes so she can do better.

I still told her no, now she is on Facebook posting insinuations, she has not directly named me, but it is very obvious she is talking about me. Posting stuff like I cant believe how selfish someone can be, no reason to not share a simple recipe. General stuff like that.

The fact is while I have no intention of ever having my own shop again, I do have a project in the works for my own cookbook, a large portion of it being committed to my cake and cupcake recipes, not all but many of them.

I never had anything handed to me so I'll be darned if I am just going to hand over recipes that took me years to perfect.

Sorry just needed to vent!

27 replies
tigachu Posted 8 May 2012 , 12:37am
post #2 of

Do what is best for you!! Let us know when you write that cookbook icon_lol.gif

Don't let anyone bully you into anything. Good luck thumbs_up.gif

MimiFix Posted 8 May 2012 , 1:26am
post #3 of

She sounds like a manipulative, selfish witch. I suggest you post on her Facebook page that you're sorry for her misunderstanding about the recipes, that your cookbook is underway, and when it's published you will gift her with a copy.

You do not need to be pinned down on publishing specifics (name of publisher, anticipated publication date, etc,). Everyone knows that these details need to be kept secret.

johnson6ofus Posted 8 May 2012 , 2:22am
post #4 of

no way mimi... she got free donated leftover supplies, expert and experienced assistance, and she has no right to ask/demand ANYTHING.

No one is "entitled" to anyone else hard developed/ perfected recipes- ever. You want to give them out- fine. You like to share- fine . Demand? Bully? GET LOST.

My reply/ post? "I spent 20 years, often 6-7 days per week perfecting my recipes. It represents years of research and development, sweat and tears, flour and sugar.... just not something I am willing to give away, or share." Notice, I never included "sorry"... I am not sorry.... it is mine.

If you worked 20 years to buy a Ferrari, would you give it to me? Intellectual property is no different.

Hang tough!

sabre Posted 8 May 2012 , 2:30am
post #5 of

This woman apparently has not heard of private property rights. You own your recipes as intellectual property, and what you do with them is none of her business. Next she'll be demanding that you sign over your house to her, calling you "selfish" if you don't. You've been more than nice to her already. Don't give her anything.

MimiFix Posted 8 May 2012 , 2:33am
post #6 of

Whoa, relax a minute, Johnson. My suggestion to Louanne was a smile-but-you're-not-getting-a-damn-thing response that can be posted on Facebook without appearing to be a jerk and without starting a war. No one needs a war.

jason_kraft Posted 8 May 2012 , 2:35am
post #7 of

To play devil's advocate, in her mind since you were willing to give away your physical property (boxes and boards) and offered free business advice, the rest of your IP must be similarly valued.

I wonder how she would respond if you offered to sell her the cupcakes wholesale (assuming you can do that from home in your state).

debidehm Posted 8 May 2012 , 4:12am
post #8 of

Tell her she can buy your recipes if she really wants them, then tell her some outlandish price!!

scp1127 Posted 8 May 2012 , 5:40am
post #9 of

I agree with Mimi.

Personally I can be a bear if crossed, but snide remarks, no matter how deserved, come across badly in business. Mimi's way was saying, "No", but avoiding looking bad and actually provided a gracious response.

Very southern of you, Mimi.

arlenej Posted 8 May 2012 , 6:55am
Quote:
Originally Posted by MimiFix

She sounds like a manipulative, selfish witch. I suggest you post on her Facebook page that you're sorry for her misunderstanding about the recipes, that your cookbook is underway, and when it's published you will gift her with a copy.




'Gift' her a copy my eye! She's got enough free stuff !
I know that you know that you went above and beyond in helping her as much as you've already done, and unfortunately, this turned out to be a case of no good deed going unpunished. Leave her to burn in the lumpy, flavourless batter that is her life. Selfish indeed! Ooooooh! Some people!!

sabre Posted 8 May 2012 , 7:55am

arlenej: thumbs_up.gif

johnson6ofus Posted 8 May 2012 , 11:02am

A rude outlandish request does not have to be met with a polite response. Jason, I agree on your one point- not so much for what she asked for (as she may not appreciate the work that went into it) but her attitude and blackmail ploys.

That is why is too say, "gift her a copy"......? My a**. I did not say publicly post it that way on Facebook, but ....

AMACakes Posted 8 May 2012 , 1:22pm

The nerve of some people. It's the age of entitlement.

I'd make her pay double the cost of the cookbook.

Pyro Posted 8 May 2012 , 3:54pm

And this is why most people do not deserve anything handed for free, ever.

The worst part from what I noticed is that she also got your old customers ? She should be thankfull because that in itself is worth alot in buisness.

The funny part is, if your recipe were so " simple ", why does she keep failing so horribly at reproducing them?

Sometimes I wonder what planet some people are from when they feel they are so entitled from the rest of the world.

tiggy2 Posted 8 May 2012 , 5:25pm

A simple "I'd be happy to sell you my recipes, how many are you interested in" should surfice. I bet she'll no longer be interested.

jgifford Posted 8 May 2012 , 5:38pm

You might ask her if she wants her own business or just a continuation of yours. After all, she got your supplies, knowledge and customers. Encourage her to develop her own signature products and recipes. Doesn't she want to be able to say the business was hers - not just a copycat of yours?

Sparklekat6 Posted 8 May 2012 , 11:23pm

This is probably a useless idea this point because she's been so passive aggressive, but perhaps you could meet in the middle?

You could have an IP attorney draft an agreement where if she is going to use your recipes she pays you some kind of residual, like 10 cents for every cupcake and $5 for every cake. Something that would be totally negligible to her customers but could easily add up to several thousand dollars over the year for you without ever having to set foot in the kitchen. I'm a big fan of the idea of getting paid to not work.... icon_wink.gif You could casually remind her that at any time you could just, oh I dont know, get the urge to open a store down the street.

tiggy2 Posted 9 May 2012 , 2:21am
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparklekat6

This is probably a useless idea this point because she's been so passive aggressive, but perhaps you could meet in the middle?

You could have an IP attorney draft an agreement where if she is going to use your recipes she pays you some kind of residual, like 10 cents for every cupcake and $5 for every cake. Something that would be totally negligible to her customers but could easily add up to several thousand dollars over the year for you without ever having to set foot in the kitchen. I'm a big fan of the idea of getting paid to not work.... icon_wink.gif You could casually remind her that at any time you could just, oh I dont know, get the urge to open a store down the street.


How would you know every time she sold a cake or a cupcake...do you really think she would be honest enough to tell you. I say get the money up front for the recipes (a large sum) if you're willing to part with them. But let her know that you still own the rights to them for future use as you see fit.

jason_kraft Posted 9 May 2012 , 2:26am
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiggy2

How would you know every time she sold a cake or a cupcake...do you really think she would be honest enough to tell you.



The legal agreement would require regular disclosure of sales broken out by product to determine how much of a license fee is owed. Failure to disclose could be remedied by a lawsuit and a subpoena for the bakery's sales records.

MimiFix Posted 9 May 2012 , 2:35am
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiggy2

I say get the money up front for the recipes (a large sum) if you're willing to part with them. But let her know that you still own the rights to them for future use as you see fit.



If the recipes are sold, she does not "still own the rights to them for future use."

jason_kraft Posted 9 May 2012 , 2:39am
Quote:
Originally Posted by MimiFix

Quote:
Originally Posted by tiggy2

I say get the money up front for the recipes (a large sum) if you're willing to part with them. But let her know that you still own the rights to them for future use as you see fit.


If the recipes are sold, she does not "still own the rights to them for future use."



She can, assuming she sells a non-exclusive license to the recipes for a one-time fee.

Of course once the other person would have access to the recipes it would be trivial to make slight modifications and claim it as their own product. The only real safe way to do this without losing control of the IP would be to make the cupcakes yourself and sell them wholesale.

madcobbler Posted 9 May 2012 , 5:40am

Never reward bad behavior. I would have nothing further to do with this lady. I too would like to write a cookbook someday and don't share my dessert recipes. You may find that a few years down the line you miss having a bakery and choose to reopen one.

Panel7124 Posted 9 May 2012 , 7:05am

Ignore her, enjoy finally caking for your loved ones and start working on your cookbook when you are ready. Good luck and best wishes!

louanne Posted 9 May 2012 , 7:11pm

Thanks guys! Sorry, didn't mean to post and disappear! Chasing a six year old with Kindergarten end of the year stuff is proving very exhausting!


I have not found fit to respond to her anymore. She can ask and throw hissy fits all she wants but she is not getting them, I more than helped her with the ins and outs of starting up a shop and even referred my old clients to her. She is a fairly talented decorator and her cakes do not taste bad they just aren't the same as mine ( I really think she uses doctored mixes, not saying there is anything wrong, i just prefer scratch my self). So I am done, no more free advice for her, not that I wish her bad but I do not have time to build someone elses business for them.

Thanks for letting me vent guys!

jgifford Posted 9 May 2012 , 7:18pm

Good Girl!

johnson6ofus Posted 9 May 2012 , 9:24pm

GO Louanne GO.... Big pat on the back for you. If you wanted to run a business, you'd still be running your own. Enjoy the break until you decide where to go next. thumbs_up.gif

SweetAsLemmons Posted 11 May 2012 , 4:12pm

Well, let's think about this, I think you SHOULD give her the recipes. Now, if there is a key ingredient missing or say, double the amount of a leavening agent, you can't be held responsible for her crappy product! XD

Seriously though, people like that have NO business going INTO business if they don't know what the heck they're doing and have NOTHING solid to bring to the table. Period.

costumeczar Posted 12 May 2012 , 2:37pm

Good for you, and good luck with your cookbook! There have been so many stupid little "cake fights" on facebook that I've seen recently... seems like people are just looking to stir up trouble to make their own lives more interesting. Delete and ignore makes it a lot easier.

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