Done feeling sorry for myself after running into dead ends on turning this into a business. I still love to do it, so I'm going to focus on gifting to others. I recently found out about a couple who was getting married who could not afford a wedding cake because one of them had just finished chemotherapy and had mounting medical bills. Someone volunteered to make them their dream cake as a gift. The light bulb went off for me then - that is exactly what I want to do. I'm not the greatest cake decorator in the world, for sure, but would love to pour my heart into something as wonderful as that situation. I'm glad I can still go hobbyist, but with purpose.
My mom volunteers for an organization that does free birthday cakes for kids who can't afford them and she loves it. I've thought about starting my own chapter where I live but my husband is looking for a job elsewhere so I don't want to until we're settled somewhere, but that might be something you could look into too.
Great Idea! What is the organizations name?
Here in Austin there is a great organization called Bake A Wish. Check it out.
Due to health dept regulations many of those types of organizations require the baker to have a legal kitchen
Our health dept has guidelines for donating cakes from an unlicensed kitchen. Basically, you have to disclose it in writing and not donate to the very old and the very young, as these groups are the most succeptible to food safety issues.
These are just mine. If you call your HD, they can give you the rules for your area. It would be best to check with them so that you have less liability because you followed the rules.
I'm in the same boat and I've signed up as a volunteer for Icing Smiles as well as Birthday Cakes 4 Free. So every month I get to make cakes for kids with birthdays who happen to be going through a tough situation and live in a homeless shelter at the moment... and I love it! I've gotten to do 3 cakes for Icing smiles so far and usually they are for kids who are no longer in the hospital. Usually the kids who are still in the hospital need a baker who has a licensed commercial kitchen, but there are still some families who are told I bake out of my home and they don't mind. So it works out. I love baking for a purpose such as these and though it doesn't bring in extra income I still feel like I get some thing much more valuable from it. Plus, it's teaching my kids about the joy of helping out others in need by using the talents you have been given. I highly recommend it!
Dear writecakes, your cakes are beautiful and anyone would be lucky to have you. What a nice thing to do. Cake decorating can get very expensive, especially doing it for free. It takes a special heart and wallet. Good luck to you, and Gods blessings your way!!
I do all of my cakes for donations to a charity or directly for charities. I also donate certificates to several charities for silent auctions throughout the year. I volunteer for Icing Smiles, too. I love doing it.
I tell the client the retail value of the cake, they pick a charity (I verify it), they make an online donation for the retail value, send me a copy of the receipt, and I deliver the cake.
If an online donation isn't an option, I take a money order made out to the charity with me when I deliver the cake and the client gives me CASH in exchange for the money order (which they mail in the addressed & stamped envelope I provide). They keep the receipt from the money order and later get the tax write off.
I have many, many repeat clients. I have never had an argument about pricing and people are so appreciative. I operate under OH CFLs.
This keeps me creative but allows me a lot of freedom. It's my hobby, but also my mission. I don't "indulge" in much of anything else and the real gift I'm giving is my time & talent. I'm really in the driver's seat--and I like that.
I'd guess that my average cake has less than $50-60 in ingredients, etc. in it. The donation amount is usually close to 3X that................and the charities can do so much with that money! Paying it forward can be very rewarding.
It's not for everyone, but it can work.
You go girl, that is AWESOME!! God bless.
The organization my mom goes through is called freecakesforkids and has chapters in several states. They don't require you to have a professional kitchen so I assume they only operate in states which allow that. My mom has done birthday cakes for underprivileged kids and even one for a 3 y/o who had beaten cancer through Make A Wish.