TheNerdyBaker Posted 11 Apr 2013 , 1:40am
post #1 of

Hi guys and gals!

 

Long time lurker, and brand new account holder (it is my new favoritest place EVER!).

 

Over the last year or so, I have been slowly fleshing out what I want out of my business when it is realized (the look, the clientelle, the offerings, the location, the services etc...) and I am starting to have a few reservations about the direction I am heading.

 

A little background info first though:  I live in Orange County CA, and we are completely inundated with super frilly, pink bakeries/cupcakeries.  Now, I am a 23 year old man who is by no means pink and frilly, so I was determined to find a route to break up the bakery monotony that I have experienced my whole life.  I was determined to find something that reflects me as a unique individual.

 

The concept that I came up with was 'The Nerdy Baker.'  In short, this concept was me in a nutshell.  I was a chemistry major in college, an avid video game player, and an all around slave to the internet, so I was hoping to roll all of this up in to my business model, and hope to attract a unique client base with the direction.

 

It would be a full service store front bakery with cupcakes, cakes, brownies, and of course, custom cakes by order.

 

I was hoping to have a somewhat immersive store front (I have described it as a a storefront a Disney Imagineer could have created) including custom displays/furniture, arcade cabinets/video game displays, and a soundboard which trigger lights and sounds based on certain guest interactions (a happy birthday sequence for instance).  I'm not looking to make Chuck-E-Cheese by ANY means, but I want a tasteful way to incorperate fun elements in to a space which I have personally found to be fairly cookie cutter.

 

Now, this leads me to the many reservations I have.  Namely, I am not sure it would attract the big business from the bridal market!  Naturally, location for a concept like this would be pivotal, and for all I know, the walk in business alone would sustain me, but I would be lying if I said I didn't want to do elegant ombre ruffle cakes with gum paste flowers and sugar work accents!

 

So I guess I am just looking for input from some business owners with more experience than I.  Do you think I would be easily overlooked by the typical bridal community because I don't give off the 'elegant cake' vibe, or do you think work will speak for itself?

 

My proto-logo is attached for reference!

 

Thanks guys, and happy caking!

 

63 replies
Norasmom Posted 11 Apr 2013 , 2:14am
post #2 of

What does your work look like?  Can you show us some pictures?  Sounds unique, but I'm a traditionalist, so I like all the frilly stuff.

TheNerdyBaker Posted 11 Apr 2013 , 2:22am
post #3 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by Norasmom 

What does your work look like?  Can you show us some pictures?  Sounds unique, but I'm a traditionalist, so I like all the frilly stuff.

 

I don't have pictures on hand unfortunately (posting on my phone).  But I am capable of elegant hand piping, realistic gum paste flowers and pretty much anything else that can be found on today's modern cake.

 

Half the fun is figuring out how to do something!

 

Carving and 3D figures are still a challenge for me though, but I am working on it!

mizlila Posted 11 Apr 2013 , 2:27am
post #4 of

AI like your moxie. I am by no means a pro, but as a consumer, I wouldn't be drawn to your location or business based on the company name or logo if I were shopping for a wedding cake. This is especially so, if your bakery is one of many others that are actually geared toward the bridal industry and have that more 'traditional' look and feel. But your concept sounds fun and original!

TheNerdyBaker Posted 11 Apr 2013 , 2:34am
post #5 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by mizlila 

I like your moxie. I am by no means a pro, but as a consumer, I wouldn't be drawn to your location or business based on the company name or logo if I were shopping for a wedding cake. This is especially so, if your bakery is one of many others that are actually geared toward the bridal industry and have that more 'traditional' look and feel. But your concept sounds fun and original!

 

First off, let me start by saying that the term 'moxie' isn't used nearly as much as it should be!

 

And that is my fear.  Showing the logo and explaining the concept to friends and family, I have gotten a pretty even mix of 'yays' and 'nays.'  The typical 'nay' was due to reasons you listed, however my 'yays' were HIGHLY enthusiastic about the direction.

 

So it leaves me in a strange place.

 

=/

mizlila Posted 11 Apr 2013 , 2:49am
post #6 of

A:-) I think you should determine who your target market is and proceed based on that. If you want regular bridal business but go with the theme/logo you currently have, you may have to rely heavily on word of mouth for advertisement. But if you're wanting the bridal business to be a welcome bonus and not your main focus, then you're good with the direction you're going.

Good luck! I do look forward to reading the responses from other owners, as I'm simply a hobby baker (not decorator) and have no plans to open a storefront.

motherofgrace Posted 11 Apr 2013 , 3:11am
post #7 of

Ok, I love ya! My grand opening for my bakery is this saturday and I too was turned off by the pink. I went lime green and black, with a logo in graffitti.

 

BUT saying this, my market is not weddings, its the local schools and birthdays. If I get a wedding great!

 

you might have to do some shows to show yourself off rather then hope for walkins.

 

HTHs

IAmPamCakes Posted 11 Apr 2013 , 3:30am
post #8 of

AI like the name. I, personally, was toying with The Crummy Baker as my business name. That is not google to happen now; my business name is something totally different. I am not girly & I certainly am not a fan of pink & frills. I would patronize your business, and if I liked it, I would use all your services in the future, regardless of name.

kikiandkyle Posted 11 Apr 2013 , 3:39am
post #9 of

AWell there are nerdy brides out there, but I think you'd find they be less into the ruffle cakes and more into maybe more 'nerdy' themes! You may also find that people think your cakes are going to have some kind of unique angle, that relates to your nerdy name, like molecular gastronomy or something. If you're OK with both of those things, then the name is great!

TheNerdyBaker Posted 11 Apr 2013 , 3:43am
Quote:
Originally Posted by kikiandkyle 

Well there are nerdy brides out there, but I think you'd find they be less into the ruffle cakes and more into maybe more 'nerdy' themes! You may also find that people think your cakes are going to have some kind of unique angle, that relates to your nerdy name, like molecular gastronomy or something. If you're OK with both of those things, then the name is great!

 

Your molecular gastronomy point was another one of my big reservations.  I am most definitely looking in to unique food and flavor combinations to set me apart as 'The Nerdy Baker,' however I am worried people may be expecting something more overt and over the top when it comes to the product o.O

kikiandkyle Posted 11 Apr 2013 , 4:07am

AIs it something you'd be interested in pursuing? It would certainly be a unique offering, and I doubt there's enough business for there for it to be all you'd ever get asked to do.

salsaman42 Posted 11 Apr 2013 , 12:47pm

Hi there! I am in Ohio (also a man) I believe most of my business comes from my website and word of mouth. I am a licensed home baker, and I primarily make wedding cakes. If your product is good, like mine, your product at a reception is a huge part of the word of mouth. Also, once you get pictures of wedding cakes on your site, that's all those clients will need to see. You may have to make a few dummies to get your first pictures for your site.

My site is www.andeatittoo.net, check me out and contact me anytimeif you have questions.

salsaman42 Posted 11 Apr 2013 , 12:51pm

Here's another great forum http://www.wilton.com/forums/categories.cfm?catid=3

cakealicious7 Posted 11 Apr 2013 , 1:21pm

AIm not a business owner but I just wanted to add that the logo seems ' welcoming '. As a customer it can be intimidating to walk into a bakery that looks like everything will be overpriced, yours is unique and friendly- I would shop from your store.

jason_kraft Posted 11 Apr 2013 , 1:42pm

ASounds like a great concept, with a clearly identifiable niche. Since CA just passed a cottage food law you may want to give it a test run as a home-based business to see how things go. You'll need to do some market research to map out relative nerd density in LA and OC, but I can think of a lot of partnering opportunities...comic book stores, conventions (Anaheim is a hot spot, they just had Comic-Con but I'm guessing you already knew that), video game stores, video game companies (Blizzard is in Irvine), maybe even Disney since they now own LucasFilm.

One thing to watch out for is copyright, since you will probably get a lot of requests for copyrighted characters, but you may be able to make licensing arrangements in advance for the more popular characters.

Best of luck, neighbor! I live in Brea, so if you open a storefront with some egg-free and nut-free products (allergies) I'd definitely give it a try.

Stitches Posted 11 Apr 2013 , 1:42pm

Have you checked out Butch Bakery, http://www.butchbakery.com/ ? Also Bleeding Heart Bakery in Chicago has a very 'different' vive, are you familiar with them? Although as I just searched for a link to their site I've discovered they are going out of business...so they may be hard to find.

 

I'm totally turned off by the pink bakeries!! It's sooooo not my style I don't even want to walk into one to check them out. I like different creative ideas!! But I do think you'll need to make some adjustments to your design so it attracts both ***es equally. I like nerdy, but nerdy smart will attract more business then nerdy gay. I'd go neutral with your décor with just a few good accents of nerdy then go wildly nerdy.

MsGF Posted 11 Apr 2013 , 1:56pm

I like the business name, and ideas.  I would totally go there. I'm not a pink frilly girl either.  Lots of us aren't. Like salsaman42 said, word of mouth says a lot.  Also your regular customers might get married one day and choose you because they love your cakes and know your work, and recommend you to their friends and family.  I think it would work out if you have displays, photos and dummy wedding cakes for customers to view when they come in.

 

I say go for it!  

 

MsGF

Crazy-Gray Posted 11 Apr 2013 , 2:37pm

You'll win some customers and you'll lose some to others just like all the other bakeries :-)

I think your concept is excellent and I think you’ll fast receive as many orders as you can handle and will wonder why you worried about losing out on the pink ruffles!

 

It might be fun to hide your wee blue logo somewhere on the more traditional cakes, or offer a pair of bright blue ‘nerdy cupcakes’ (complete with glasses!) with every traditional order; it will grab those people who want a little quirkiness but feel that they have to get something more traditional because it’s what’s expected....

 

One last wee thing, on your logo I felt that the border draws more attention than the actual logo; its very stark… maybe a lighter shade or a slight redesign would help.

 

The very best of luck to you!

Gray

jenmat Posted 11 Apr 2013 , 2:57pm

Do you want to gear towards wedding cakes? 

 

There is a reason that most bakeries are frilly and pink- they know that the money is in weddings and many brides want the traditional experience. 

 

Now, I'm NOT saying that you can't get brides who don't want the out-of-the-box type experience, they are just not as plentiful. It will be tougher to get brides in the doors, but certainly not impossible as CA is definitely diverse.

 

If you want to do celebration cakes and quirky things, then I think the concept is incredibly awesome. But as a consumer, your concept screams "cool, non-traditional 3D cakes that light up and make noise". So I would DEFINITELY work on your 3D skills, as that is what will probably be expected from your niche concept. 

johnson6ofus Posted 11 Apr 2013 , 4:10pm

Sometimes I wonder why naming a business has to reflect "ME"?

 

The name is your first "marketing" tool to draw in customers, so I think it should reflect what you do well, and what your focus is.... from a business stand point. I am not patronizing your business to "friend" you, I just want a great cake at a fair price. 

 

The concept sounds fun, but if the product is not some "extreme" element cake, I would be disappointed. And I certainly don't think, as I scan bakeries for a wedding cake, that this name/concept would draw me in. But then again, it may totally suck me in for an awesome groom's cake.

 

Really... just trying to help... playing devil's advocate here... and bringing new thoughts to the discussion.

 

Best of luck!!!

BeesKnees578 Posted 11 Apr 2013 , 5:17pm

I like the logo, but if I were a bride of the typical variety, I would probably pass over you unless I got rave review via word of mouth.  Just passing by, though, I'd probably skip it.

 

If you want to reach the bridal market while maintaining the nerdy vibe, maybe you could un-pixel your logo and do a wedding cake wearing glasses on top tier and a bow tie or something in the middle?  Maybe a little hint of argyle (or some other nerdy look) on the bottom tier? 

 

Using a cool gaming style font, rather than pixels will make it look a little more polished, but shows off "you" at the same time.

 

Just some thoughts...

jason_kraft Posted 11 Apr 2013 , 5:28pm

AAs someone who is in OP's target demographic, I think the pixelated look of the logo speaks perfectly to the customer most likely to purchase this type of cake -- people in their 20s or 30s who fondly remember 8-bit gaming.

enga Posted 11 Apr 2013 , 6:23pm
Quote:

A little background info first though:  I live in Orange County CA, and we are completely inundated with super frilly, pink bakeries/cupcakes.  Now, I am a 23 year old man who is by no means pink and frilly, so I was determined to find a route to break up the bakery monotony that I have experienced my whole life.  I was determined to find something that reflects me as a unique individual.

 

The concept that I came up with was 'The Nerdy Baker.'  In short, this concept was me in a nutshell.  I was a chemistry major in college, an avid video game player, and an all around slave to the internet, so I was hoping to roll all of this up in to my business model, and hope to attract a unique client base with the direction.

 

It would be a full service store front bakery with cupcakes, cakes, brownies, and of course, custom cakes by order.

 

I was hoping to have a somewhat immersive store front (I have described it as a a storefront a Disney Imagineer could have created) including custom displays/furniture, arcade cabinets/video game displays, and a soundboard which trigger lights and sounds based on certain guest interactions (a happy birthday sequence for instance).  I'm not looking to make Chuck-E-Cheese by ANY means, but I want a tasteful way to incorperate fun elements in to a space which I have personally found to be fairly cookie cutter.

 

Now, this leads me to the many reservations I have.  Namely, I am not sure it would attract the big business from the bridal market!  Naturally, location for a concept like this would be pivotal, and for all I know, the walk in business alone would sustain me, but I would be lying if I said I didn't want to do elegant ombre ruffle cakes with gum paste flowers and sugar work accents!

 

 

 

 

 

I really like the concept you are going for and the fact that you are staying true to yourself.  I say break up the monotony of the bakery world and go for it and get yourself established.  You can always go to the wedding expos and showcase traditional styled cakes and ad your signature logo, maybe with a pair of glasses and a bow tie some where in the display that ties into the storefront bakery.

 

When they come to your actual bakery for a consult or tasting, they can see the wide range of cakes you have to offer and It could potentially lead them into ordering a grooms cake too.  Hey, it could happen, Nerds get married too,lol. 

 

I wish you luck with your bakery

littledragonvm Posted 11 Apr 2013 , 9:28pm

I think it's a great idea. There are nerdy/geeky girls out there too. :) I personally, want my wedding cake to be a Super Mario theme, so I'd definetly buy a cake from you!

rsquared02 Posted 11 Apr 2013 , 10:29pm

I would go there, I love the concept.  I don't think most brides would be drawn to it though.  You would probably win big points with grooms, unfortunately, they don't usually get to be the ones who decide such things, at least around here.  

 

Do you intend for most of you market to be wedding cakes?

TheNerdyBaker Posted 11 Apr 2013 , 10:30pm

Whoh buddy o.O...I didn't expect this thread to blow up the way it has.  Thank you ALL for your input.  I am going to try and respond to everyone in tern =D

Quote:
Originally Posted by salsaman42 

Hi there! I am in Ohio (also a man) I believe most of my business comes from my website and word of mouth. I am a licensed home baker, and I primarily make wedding cakes. If your product is good, like mine, your product at a reception is a huge part of the word of mouth. Also, once you get pictures of wedding cakes on your site, that's all those clients will need to see. You may have to make a few dummies to get your first pictures for your site. My site is www.andeatittoo.net, check me out and contact me anytimeif you have questions.

 

I am in the process of doing up a few dummies right now actually.  There are some new techniques that I have been dying to try!

 

And you good sir, have some amazing works on there!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cakealicious7 

Im not a business owner but I just wanted to add that the logo seems ' welcoming '. As a customer it can be intimidating to walk into a bakery that looks like everything will be overpriced, yours is unique and friendly- I would shop from your store.

 

Thank you very much =D.  My friends and I have deemed the cupcake 'Swirley,' due to the swirl of frosting and the unfortunate high school toilet prank haha!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft 

Sounds like a great concept, with a clearly identifiable niche. Since CA just passed a cottage food law you may want to give it a test run as a home-based business to see how things go. You'll need to do some market research to map out relative nerd density in LA and OC, but I can think of a lot of partnering opportunities...comic book stores, conventions (Anaheim is a hot spot, they just had Comic-Con but I'm guessing you already knew that), video game stores, video game companies (Blizzard is in Irvine), maybe even Disney since they now own LucasFilm.

One thing to watch out for is copyright, since you will probably get a lot of requests for copyrighted characters, but you may be able to make licensing arrangements in advance for the more popular characters.

Best of luck, neighbor! I live in Brea, so if you open a storefront with some egg-free and nut-free products (allergies) I'd definitely give it a try.

 

I am looking in to the Cottage Food Law requirements and start up costs right now!  Mind you, I am still a 23 year old guy who works at a bakery making barely above minimum, so I don't have tremendous amounts of cash to burn.

 

My goodness yes!  SoCal is a hot bed of nerdy activity that is just ripe for the plucking!

 

Copyright is another issue that I have been trying to deal with in my head.  The bakery I work at (Frost My Cake in Brea) basically turns a blind eye to any and all copyright infringing cakes.  I can't tell you how many Hello Kitty cakes they do, not to mention Disney, My Little Pony, Minecraft etc.  I work there mornings, doing the baking, prep, and all cupcakes and display case items, so I have no hand in their design team, and I have brought it up to them on several occasions but they just don't care.  I have sworn to myself to go the other way in this regard.  The law is the law.  I feel my time at FMC is slowly coming to an end...

 

Any idea on the process I would take to begin looking in to licensing for characters?!

jason_kraft Posted 11 Apr 2013 , 11:26pm

A

Original message sent by rsquared02

I would go there, I love the concept.  I don't think most brides would be drawn to it though.  You would probably win big points with grooms, unfortunately, they don't usually get to be the ones who decide such things, at least around here.  

"Forty-seven percent of all (video game) players are women, and women over 18 years of age are one of the industry's fastest growing demographics."

http://www.theesa.com/facts/gameplayer.asp

Smckinney07 Posted 12 Apr 2013 , 12:09am

Ahttp://nerdache-cakes.tumblr.com/page/4

Very cool blog, she also owns a business. Check it out, her work is really cool and unique.

I love the idea, it's original, fun, and there are a lot of nerds in this world (myself included). It sounds like you want to create a fun atmosphere that people will talk about and want to return to. We all have our own personal style, everyone who visits this website is creative-we do this because we love it, it's a great outlet for your artistic side! You should definitely embrace what sets your work apart from others, that's what will bring your customers back again and again!

Good luck

TheNerdyBaker Posted 12 Apr 2013 , 1:36am

I posted replies to almost everyone, but Mods are taking a while to approve the post because of my new account holder status most likely due to the length o.O

 

I'll give it another hour or so to post up, and if not, I'll reply all over again.

 

I didn't forget about you, and I really REALLY appreciate all the comments and suggestions!

jason_kraft Posted 12 Apr 2013 , 10:50am

A

Original message sent by TheNerdyBaker

Any idea on the process I would take to begin looking in to licensing for characters?!

It depends on the company, some companies will have a formal process set up, if there is no licensing process you can start by calling the company headquarters and asking for the legal or licensing dept.

For example, Disney's process is here: https://www.disneyconsumerproducts.com/Home/display.jsp?contentId=dcp_home_help_help_become_licensee_en&forPrint=false&language=en&preview=false%AEion=0

Generally most companies with valuable IP will not grant unsolicited requests permission for commercial use, so some creative networking might be necessary to find contacts inside the company who can vouch for you.

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