Things Not To Ask/say To A Baker!

Decorating By step0nmi Updated 30 Jul 2016 , 8:35pm by costumeczar

Pastrybaglady Posted 22 Jul 2015 , 2:49pm
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That's so great you were able to sell it the next day!  Were you able get what you asked?

Claire138 Posted 23 Jul 2015 , 8:56pm
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I have one that does my head in. A client called yesterday and tried to bargain me down saying that she's already ordered another cake from another bakery (for this party) so she can't pay full price for one from me but don't I understand that she's on a budget? She didn't end up making the order, I explained to her that if I give everyone who asks for a better price what they want I may as well close my doors. I don't know why cake decorating as a business seems to be a hobby to anyone not intimately involved in it!

Claire138 Posted 23 Jul 2015 , 8:57pm
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I have one that does my head in. A client called yesterday and tried to bargain me down saying that she's already ordered another cake from another bakery (for this party) so she can't pay full price for one from me but don't I understand that she's on a budget? She didn't end up making the order, I explained to her that if I give everyone who asks for a better price what they want I may as well close my doors. I don't know why cake decorating as a business seems to be a hobby to anyone not intimately involved in it
Read more at http://www.cakecentral.com/forum/t/751860/things-not-to-asksay-to-a-baker/3180#post_7631242#5YrtxVGCX4YJpm4w.99
I have one that does my head in. A client called yesterday and tried to bargain me down saying that she's already ordered another cake from another bakery (for this party) so she can't pay full price for one from me but don't I understand that she's on a budget? She didn't end up making the order, I explained to her that if I give everyone who asks for a better price what they want I may as well close my doors. I don't know why cake decorating as a business seems to be a hobby to anyone not intimately involved in it
Read more at http://www.cakecentral.com/forum/t/751860/things-not-to-asksay-to-a-baker/3180#post_7631242#5YrtxVGCX4YJpm4w.99

Not sure why all those links have appeared on the end of my post but can't seem to get them off. Please ignore.

Claire138 Posted 23 Jul 2015 , 8:58pm
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Not sure why all those links have appeared on the end of my post can't seem to get them off. Please ignore.

onceuponacake Posted 6 Aug 2015 , 9:58pm
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Lady calls me saying a mutual friend recommended me.  Tells me needs cake for 70 ppl has a budget of 200-300. She's 80 years old, limited income blah blah.


I gave her a quote for a two tiered cake and three dozen cupcakes and kept her within budget.


monday I drop her off some samples.  Today she calls me proceeds to tell me she's on a diet and has some bad news.  Her daughter lives with her and she has a granddaughter and another daughter.  I thinking, oh gosh did something happen to one of them?

Her one daughter did not like my Vanilla cake and said  that it was a sponge cake.  Oooooooooooooooooooooook.  We won't be using you.  Oooooooooooooooooooooook


The party is in two weeks.  Oooooooooook


You don't like my cake?  That's fine.  But why is it necessary to tell me she didn't like it? LOL

and why tell me you're on a diet and all that other info? 

Mybearsbaby Posted 7 Aug 2015 , 2:05pm
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I got a funny one the other day. Somebody asked what I do for a living. I told them I bake and decorate custom cakes. She replied "oh, so I guess you do them cheaper than Walmart?" I said no ma'am, I do CUSTOM cakes, stuff Walmart can't do. I am like several times that price." Maybe that was rude for me to say,  lol.

I guess I know now why she and others may think that though. When you have "competition" like I do...There is this one baker in our area who is a very sweet lady, but she basically gives them away. She seriously charges $25 for a two tier cake! They are box mix, buttercream icing and fondant accents. Someone posted a picture of one of them on Facebooklast week , just raving about how awesome it was...she had misspelled the kids name, and you could see the pieces of pasta she had used to anchor in the "seaweed" (under the sea theme cake). But the girl (who was a past customer of mine) said It was "so good", and "JUST $25, when I normally pay three times that!!!!!" (ok, so, never mind that she misspelled your kid's name and pasta is showing everywhere and it looks like the icing was just slopped on there. lol.) 

I do have people come to me that are willing to pay extra for scratch cake, and the time I put in to make sure mine look professional. I do love my customers and I love what I do, so I will hold my ground about pricing. 

It just gets my goat that some people in my area scoff at my prices because we have $25 cake lady, a few $50 cake ladies, then me at the other end of the spectrum. It is so common for me to get the "I just can't see paying that for a cake, so we are going with a cheaper baker." It is like they are watering down the whole market in our area. 

angelsmom89 Posted 7 Aug 2015 , 3:10pm
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I ran into the same thing back when I was doing cakes for profit.  One lady wanted to bake the cakes and then have me decorate the wedding cake.  She thought this would save her a lot of money.  They need to be educated that not only are they getting a custom cake, but I would say that generally, specialty bakers, like everyone on here, hold themselves to a higher standard than the average supermarket bakery.   I think I have seen other people posting here about being asked to similar things.  Plus, sometimes someone who knows someone, who knows someone who knows me thinks that connection will get them a cheaper, and customized, cake than what they would buy at the supermarket.  It's the same old story seen here.  It's just a cake.  My (fill in the blank) will do it cheaper than that.  What's the point of being in the business if you aren't going to make a profit?  Even the bible says, “You must not muzzle an ox to keep it from eating as it treads out the grain.” And in another place, “Those who work deserve their wages.  1st Timothy 5:18 NLT".


 Back in the day I made the rookie mistake for a while of not charging as much as other places because I was just getting started.  Even then, those people would look horrified at the price I had asked for.  One lady didn't want to pay me until the day of the wedding.  She asked how I could guarantee that i would show up with the cake.  I asked if she could guarantee that the check wouldn't bounce.


Even still, this post makes me feel a little guilty, except for the fact that I only do cakes as a gift to others these days.  And, even then, it's not just anyone.  I have no problem saying no.  My hands aren't as steady as they used to be, after hours of working on the cake, and I am exhausted when it's all done.   I did do a cake recently for the son of a lady in my Chinese class.  When she found out I do cakes, she asked if I would want to do theirs and said they would pay me.  I told her I wouldn't accept any money, but asked if she would pay for the ingredients.  I do use box mixes for a variety of reasons and then enhance it with various extra ingredients.  As I was doing the cake and would need to deliver it, I was also invited to the wedding.  I considered it a privilege to do the cake and attend the wedding which had a lot of Chinese elements added to it and felt uncomfortable with the idea of accepting any money for the cake.  Haha, I also ended up cutting the cake, primarily because no one knows how to properly cut a wedding cake.  


Sorry this post is getting so long,....but...., along the same vein about cutting cakes......I attended a huge quinceanera (Hispanic Sweet 15th Birthday) with my sister-in-law recently.  There were at least 300 people in attendance and the cake, which appeared from a local bakery, was also huge.  When it came time to cut the cake, people crowded around to get a piece and the poor mom of the birthday girl had no clue how to slice it.  My sister-in-law asked her if I could help her and I ended up cutting up the entire cake.  I am really OCD about correctly cutting a cake and at work will not let anyone cut any cake, whether I have done it or not.  They know not to get in my way, especially when I am holding a knife!



Mybearsbaby Posted 7 Aug 2015 , 6:57pm
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Very well said, angelsmom89

mccantsbakes Posted 7 Aug 2015 , 8:34pm
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That's so funny about being the cake cutter boss.......when I am in attendance of a party where cake is being served, I am expected to cut the cake.  I HATE doing it.  I wish someone else would.    I practically hide right before cake time, but they always find me.


i have started bringing my own knife to parties now because I know it's coming.  In the past I have had to cut beautiful cakes with cruddy excuses for a knife because no one thinks about the cutting of a cake


le sigh.


i will say though, I do rather enjoy showing people how to deconstruct a tiered cake.  People are always fascinated by the structure elements.   

indydebi Posted 7 Aug 2015 , 10:03pm
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Quote: "i will say though, I do rather enjoy showing people how to deconstruct a tiered cake.  People are always fascinated by the structure elements. "

No kidding!  That's why I always (!) cut my wedding cakes right in the reception room.....NEVER whisked them away to cut them in secret!  People LUV watching the cake cutting.  My best compliment was a lady who came up to get her piece of cake and said, "I sat over there just mesmerized watching you!  I told my husband, "You can tell she's been doing this a few years!"  It's a show!  It's entertainment!  It's part of the wedding!  Stop hiding the cake ... the 2nd most glamorous thing at the wedding (next to the bride, of course) .... in the back room (where sneaky switcheroos and dirty deals are done!).

How do we send the message that the cake IS important when it's treated as a centerpiece then hidden in the dark corners of the back room, leaving people to ask, "Wonder what they're doing to the cake?"

P.S.  I've tried to use the "quote" feature but I can't get it to work?  What I am doing wrong?

Apti Posted 7 Aug 2015 , 10:32pm
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The quote feature isn't working in new website format.  IF it adds the quote, it can show up at the bottom after you hit the submit button.  Oh well....at least we have an edit button (for the moment, at least). 

@Indydebi, I've used your fabulous and freely gifted-to-all-of-cakedom, instructions on How to Cut a Wedding Cake for all my hobby cakes.

http://cateritsimple.blogspot.com/search/label/cake%20comb    

If I'm not cutting the cake, I always provide a xerox copy of the Indydebi instructions above.   I actually have a "Cake Cutting/Delivery Kit".    I recently wrote about the Kit in detail on another forum:

http://www.wilton.com/forums/messageview.cfm?catid=8&threadid=175454

indydebi Posted 7 Aug 2015 , 10:53pm
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:-)  Thanks!!  Lots of folks have messaged me they also leave print outs of my how-to with their brides and venues.  Thanks for the mention on the Wilton site!

Mybearsbaby Posted 8 Aug 2015 , 11:41am
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Indydebi: what a cool reference! I bookmarked it so I could find it again and print. Thano you for allowing us to use it. 

Bonne Bouche Posted 19 Aug 2015 , 9:20pm
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Bakers—what would you do?

I had a lady call me for a cake for her grand daughter who is having twins.  By the time I listened to her tell me what her grand daughter did and didn’t like, I felt like this grand daughter must be a real spoiled brat and I wasn’t particularly interested in doing her cake.  But I set the consultation with the grandmother (great great grandmother of the babies).  I made a batch of butter cream that she requested—and sure as you know, she cancelled the night before.

 

She sent me a text several weeks later and wanted to meet and talk about a cake and she had some design ideas.  I told her to bring pics.  She brought her daughter (mother of the mother to be).  The meeting went well, except she kept telling me she used to bake cakes and she knows all about how to do it and how easy it is if you have the right tools and blah blah blah and then asking me if it was going to break the bank. 

 

I sent her a quote and received a response back that she was shocked by the price and would need to negotiate with me.  She wanted to change the order to two sheet cakes of different flavors (one for each baby so they wouldn’t feel neglected having one cake for two babies—hello, they aren’t born yet woman!)  And she wanted one to be a flavor that I told her at our meeting I do not offer.

 

I responded to her by telling her that my price was more than fair, reflected the cost of the ingredients, and my time, and that a quality baker would not do any better—no negotiation.  I told her two sheet cakes would not be cheaper to do, and if she was concerned about her budget she could go to Costco or Walmart.

 

I thought I was done with her.

She called.  I “misunderstood”—she thought my price was too cheap.  I don’t believe that for a minute!  She wants to order two cakes, which will serve 100 people (40 coming to the shower) and cost twice as much.  She’s nervous about the babies not having their own cakes and not having enough cake. 

 

I think this woman is a whack job.  I do not want to do this cake, period.  The problem is a “friend” of hers has ordered a cake from me and she referred me to this woman.  I don’t want to risk the other order, but I don’t want to do this woman’s cake. 

 

Any suggestions how I can get out of this tactfully?

winniemog Posted 19 Aug 2015 , 9:52pm
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Either have her pre-pay in full and sign a watertight contract, or you are mysteriously and suddenly booked/out of business/requiring lifesaving surgery on that date....

Tylianna Posted 31 Aug 2015 , 6:34pm
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"Here is a three tier cake, simple, right?"

Tagged on Facebook with a picture of a cake with "my birthday is coming up!"

As I'm delivering the cake: "how much time have you spent on this?" My reply "In the last day, 12 hours", "thank goodness we don't pay by the hour!" I don't think they understood that they only paid 1/2 the cost, while my contact had already paid the other half as a deposit. 

Tagged on Facebook with a recipe: "Can you make this?"  There is a recipe... Of course I can!

"How much for this cake?" My reply: "$xxx" Them: "xx cake shop can do it for less, but they don't work with fondant." Me: "Yeah...?" Them: "I'll get back to you."  Repeat different versions of this every time she needs a birthday cake.

And the worst thing to say to a baker....?

"The oven isn't working!" When you need to make a wedding cake and a birthday cake...




MBalaska Posted 10 Jan 2016 , 8:55pm
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........so a friend comes over for coffee and hands me a couple of old plastic clamshell cupcake holders and says, "Here's some cupcake thingies. They're still dirty but you can clean them up and use them again. Just pop 'em into your dishwasher."

[ because this really motivates me to clean up your mess after you've received a gift of my baking, and doing it for you again. ]   wow

Pastrybaglady Posted 11 Jan 2016 , 12:23am
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@MBalaska  Lots of people I know used to offer to give me cardboard boxes back!  They're trying to save me money by my using them again, but then I tell them I really can't.  I asked them if they would want a used box and all of the sudden they understand.

Apti Posted 11 Jan 2016 , 1:15am
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MBAlaska and Pastrybaglady~~Funny but true.  Since I hobby bake, my BFF quite often returns things like this, but always makes sure they are clean and spotless.  I just gracefully said thanks.  Now I usually say, "I will not need this back.  You can just throw it away after the cake is gone." 

MBalaska Posted 15 Jun 2016 , 7:29pm
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joeyww12000 Posted 16 Jun 2016 , 6:43am
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Had a customer wanting a boob cake. I gave her a price and she said, "Can we do something similar for less?". I didn't even know what to say really....lol

MBalaska Posted 16 Jun 2016 , 6:57am
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you could say that you'd make a flat chested one, as she can't afford the "D" cup.


kayra850 Posted 16 Jun 2016 , 7:38am
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hi girls,

another frequent question: whether your cake good inside as it is outside ?

No comment on this, after 15-30 hours of effort.

KTKTKDKaKeS Posted 17 Jun 2016 , 1:51am
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I am not a CC insider or big time cake baker, but I love this site and have enjoyed reading this thread. I wanted to share that I received my Amazon-purchase today of a gallon of food grade glycerin.  I read the label which said that glycerin works great as a humectant.  Well I majored in English in college and I didn't know what that word meant, so of course I looked up the definition, and lo and behold!!!!!!  A HUMECTANT is a substance used to keep things MOIST!!!!!!!!

KTKTKDKaKeS Posted 17 Jun 2016 , 1:54am
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I don't know what happened to the rest of my post, but this was supposed to follow the last of the previous one....  And I am dropping my phone laughing because I had just read about the negative feelings towards the word!!  I hope this gives someone a laugh!! I am off to put my boys to bed and bake some cake! 

cookiemum123 Posted 17 Jun 2016 , 2:21am
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Hi everyone. Time. My time is important to me. Last year I met a women that helps people find there way. Thus the Name of her 

Co. Finding Your Way. She has an amazing story and life. In a meeting I had with her she told me. Whatever you think is important is important. Those words have been marinating in my head and into my heart for sometime. On another occation to demonstrate something to me she said that if something is not important to me it won't be to anyone else. 

I've read on here and on other blogs from other cake decorators...the common theme is we have to put a value of yourself. It takes time to catch fire to an idea. A series of unfortunate events brought me to realize how I love cooking, baking and then decorating. I really need to discipline myself to write a book. 

I just wanted to say. It get so exahsting to be enthusiatic and motivated when people exibit so much insanity and drama in your life. Many times i've stopped and started again. I want to find a constant. I found that the only constant is me and how i feel about myself and what I'm doing. I find I need encouragement not the opposite. Encouragement?  I've been so petty recently that I've lost focus, on what is really meaningful and special and beautiful to me. How frustrating is that?  So I decided I'm going to encourage myself. To stop drowing myself in self pitty over other peoples stupidity. I'm not perfect. 

I love watching people enjoy something I created specificly for them and if I can for once stay focused on that I think I will be ok.

because PEople really don't aways know or care that they've done something that makes me want to pull both our hair out lol!


810whitechoc Posted 17 Jun 2016 , 8:26am
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Quote by @kayra850 on 1 day ago

hi girls,

another frequent question: whether your cake good inside as it is outside ?

No comment on this, after 15-30 hours of effort.

Had a customer today deciding which cake to buy, pointed at the White Chocolate and Raspberry Cake and said "Does it taste good".  I said "No" and we both just stared at each other for a minute before we both burst out laughing.

Apti Posted 17 Jun 2016 , 4:54pm
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"No"

Now THAT'S FUNNY!

bubs1stbirthday Posted 18 Jun 2016 , 10:28am
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Haha, I am not one to hand out fake compliments when I eat out, I would rather either say nothing or just quietly let the waitstaff know of the issue if it's something I can't deal with.

Today we went to a baker and all of the food looked delicious, couldn't wait to order! We got a cream éclair, a custard tart and an iced donut to share between my husband, myself and our three year old....... They were terrible, tough éclair, nasty mock cream, watery custard and tough donut. 

I decided to say nothing but having taught my daughter manners somewhere along the line she says to me 'I need to say thank you to the lady and tell her they were yummy'. I just couldn't let her do it lol - even she didn't want to eat the food - so I had to pick her up and just walk out as fast as I could before she got to the counter and had a chance to hand out the compliments while I would have just wanted to tell them about the problems haha.

The looks don't always match the taste sadly.  

Delynn Posted 17 Jul 2016 , 8:08pm
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MBalaska.... you gave me my laugh for the day.... flat chested cake vs "D" cup .... bahahahaha


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