I needed to vent to people who could relate to what I am dealing with :(
I have been a pastry chef for the last 6 years. I recently moved to a house that has a carriage house located behind it. The property is zoned commercially, so my family has been helping me put a commercial kitchen in the carriage house. We are almost done, about a month out perhaps. Its always been my dream to start my own pastry business.
Anyway, I have been in contact with a really great wedding venue. The sent a three different clients my way. I met with them in my home last weekened tastings, and explained that my kitchen will be done soon.
I thought I did a good job. They all seemed pleased when they left. I followed up with all of them, only to be told that they decided to work with someone else.
How do I deal with this rejection? I am trying to stay positive but I am feeling way way way discouraged.
I have a lot going on in my life right now....my huband had an affair, i got laid off of my job, and am now dealing with divorce papers. This business was sort of my reason to keep going :(
Need some motivational advice here :(
This is only speculation. If your pricing and product is competitive and you feel like the potential clients liked you, my guess would be that they are not comfortable hiring someone who is not yet open for business. So many things can delay your opening, they just may not want to take a chance.
one of my favorites lately is to ponder that
airplanes take off with the wind against them
tail winds do not result in flight
wind in the face gives them flight makes them airborne
that's how they take off
another of my favorites is
the only way to see the rainbow is to look through the rain---think about it
then if all else fails
"if you find yourself going through hell keep going" w, c,
AAs a bride I'd never hire someone to do my wedding cake from someone who didn't even have a kitchen to work from yet. You may be very confident in your scheduled date to finish the kitchen, but that's one stress I would not voluntarily add to the list while planning a wedding. I'm sure once your kitchen is up and running, those people will be happy to hire you.
hey offer a pre-grand opening special discount
for any cakes booked before your kitchen is finished
I agree that as a bride I would never schedule someone to do my cake that didn't have the kitchen done, or a back-up plan!
I am sorry about your marriage, and I genuinely hope your cheating husband contracts something horrible for putting you through this ;-) And that you do about a billion times better without him than you would've done with him! And I understand the need to talk about it, I hope you didn't do this, but I just have to mention that the WEDDING CAKE consultation isn't the place to mention how men are scum, and cheaters, and such ;-) Brides want roses, sunshine, and sparkles from their baker, not doom and gloom. So fake it, if you have to, and soon it will be behind you.
Hang in there. Things normally get worse before they get better!!! There will be light at the end of the tunnel. You just can't see it yet!!! Keep the faith and know that things will get better for you. Sorry to hear you are having bad days but don't give up!!! Sounds like you have a great family standing behind you and helping you. With your family's help you will make it!!!!
I will be praying for you!! /Mary
You have a portfolio of excellent cakes--put together pictures of any kinds of cakes at all as long as they are clear. Have that ready at the tastings.
Of course you have asked what the wedding dates are. Say NOTHING about your kitchen or certification if the wedding dates are at least one month after you expect to have the kitchen up and running. But give yourself that much extra room for finishing etc.
Get this up and running so you can tell that cheating scum to piss off when he comes to discuss $$$. Trust me: to start a nice business with the best commute in the world is the best therapy you can find. Nothing like getting your hands into big cakes and making a great job of them. The last days of my marriage, I had to put up with the cheating scum and his floozy prancing around a small town while I managed a restaurant. Somehow, the responsibility of carving meat wasn't such a burden (OK so maybe it was the big knife...)
I too think its just a matter of timing. Once you have your beautiful new kitchen up and running, the brides will flock to you. You have the benefit of your qualifications, you have an approved kitchen - all these things are positives that will win you business over the (perhaps illegal?) home bakers in your area.
I have no idea of your pricing, and you advertising etc, but these things can be looked at also to encourage more brides, and to get them to commit.
There are other marketing principles that can assist in your converting enquiries to sales. Do you have much experience in selling? When you are going through emotional, or physical, trauma it can show on your face and your countenance. Sometimes we can appear downtrodden and worn out, when really we are having a bad day, or bad week. This 'vibe' is not what the typical bride is looking out for. They want someone who is in demand, knows their s**t, and is confident in making the cake the bride wants. It sounds counter-intuitive, but I believe the less 'available' you are, the more demand you will have!
What is your current location for consultations? Would you be better in another environment? Several cakers here on CC operate out of a shared office space to do their consultations. Maybe a remote location would help at the moment until your carriage house is ready for action?
Another thought - have you ever participated in a bridal fair? At the moment it is bridal fair season here, and I know when I started up, it was one way to get exposure. This then translated to more referrals than I can handle.
Lastly, with your consults, are you offering fresh delicious cake samples? With your vast experience, you can certainly put together something so amazing and generous, you will win people over with the quaklity of your products.
I'm so sorry you are going through a tough time, and I do hope the words of encouragement here have helped buoy you and inspire you again. Life has a habit of throwing challenges our way, regardless of age. This won't be the last one! Hang in there, learn the lessons from the experiences, and focus on the big picture. Visualise yourself working in your beautiful new bakery, doing what you love and being a true success story. You will come out of this stronger!!
I agree with the rest. I bet not having the kitchen done yet is a bit of a cramp on your style. I would be weary of hiring someone without a kitchen, even if it's almost there. Keep your head up and things will happen. Once your kitchen is done you'll have nothing stopping you. You have a great background and experience... once your kitchen is done you will be golden.
Sorry to hear about all you are dealing with. That makes things feel 100 times worse than they are. Here's to your business taking off and no looking back!
Asince brides are generally nervous clients I think that people are correct when they're thinking the unfinished kitchen might have made people go somewhere else. Don't worry about it, just concentrate on getting set up and having a good portfolio to show people when your kitchen is ready.