WyoMom2b Posted 10 Jun 2013 , 5:11pm
post #1 of

My contract now that I use for all of my cakes is fairly inclusive. I address all the basic points but I have recently had an issue with weddings having my (very nice) wedding cake sitting next to a horribly decorated grooms cake. This reflects badly on me and my business and I would like to include a non compete clause in my contract in order to diffuse this situation in the future. The problem is I only provide decorated/non decorated cakes and cupcakes. I don't do any other types of desserts which could be provided by the caterer. 

I guess my question is how would I go about wording this in my contract? I want to be the only baker/cake decorator at any specific event. What would you do? 

TIA!!! 

ww w.bakemydaywy .com

10 replies
DeliciousDesserts Posted 10 Jun 2013 , 5:39pm
post #2 of

AJust curious, what would your recourse be if you arrive & someone else provided desserts or grooms cake?

I get what you are saying. I know it's a really sticky point for many. I used to feel the same. I kinda outgrew it. I have a good reputation. I also know people will ask who made "x". The bride will answer respectively, baker made "x" & icky made "y".

One of my favorite venues now provides cakes. They are very different than mine. It does help the bride meet the minimum so some will choose to have small desserts or a cake and ask me to provide a grooms cake or desserts or the big cake. No one is going to be confused. The people who care to ask will get the correct answer.

WyoMom2b Posted 10 Jun 2013 , 6:24pm
post #3 of

I'm not sure about recourse which is another thing I could use input on. I should specify that the area in which I live is much different than most of the country. I am in rural Wyoming, here we have cottage food laws, a small population, and the area is completely saturated with hobbyist bakers who completely undercut my prices and sell cakes for $1 per serving. So it has already been an issue for me numerous times that I have had people mention a grooms cake "I" made which they weren't impressed with. The same with birthday parties, I have provided cupcakes and had another baker provide the main cake which is definitely not on par with the quality of work I provide and the distinction has NOT been made between the two bakers. Going back and reading this I sound incredibly vain but at the same time, I have worked really hard to make nice (and yummy) cakes. 

jason_kraft Posted 10 Jun 2013 , 6:25pm
post #4 of

A

Original message sent by DeliciousDesserts

Just curious, what would your recourse be if you arrive & someone else provided desserts or grooms cake?

This. A "sole source" clause (a noncompete is more for employees) can be useful as a preventative measure, but it's pretty much a bluff since you can't do much if the customer decides to ignore it without telling you.

jason_kraft Posted 10 Jun 2013 , 6:32pm
post #5 of

A

Original message sent by WyoMom2b

I'm not sure about recourse which is another thing I could use input on. I should specify that the area in which I live is much different than most of the country. I am in rural Wyoming, here we have cottage food laws, a small population, and the area is completely saturated with hobbyist bakers who completely undercut my prices and sell cakes for $1 per serving. So it has already been an issue for me numerous times that I have had people mention a grooms cake "I" made which they weren't impressed with. The same with birthday parties, I have provided cupcakes and had another baker provide the main cake which is definitely not on par with the quality of work I provide and the distinction has NOT been made between the two bakers. Going back and reading this I sound incredibly vain but at the same time, I have worked really hard to make nice (and yummy) cakes. 

It's possible that your local market has already been damaged to the point where the hobbyist bakers' prices are now the accepted norm. If that's the case then you may not be able to sustain a business that targets the mainstream with reasonable prices, and aggressively pushing a sole source clause will just result in customers choosing the hobbyist bakers for their entire order if they don't ignore it outright.

Your best bet will be targeting higher income areas and/or niche markets, but your local population may not be large enough to provide many prospects there.

KoryAK Posted 10 Jun 2013 , 7:51pm
post #6 of

Yep, I have a "sole provider" clause in my wedding contract that reads:

 

SOLE PROVIDER: All cakes, edible or display, for this event must be supplied by SPD. If any cake is provided by anyone other than SPD (including groom’s and sheet cakes), we will not deliver our cakes and all payments will be forfeited.  The undelivered cake must be picked up the day after the event or we will dispose of it at our discretion.

 

If they want chocolate covered strawberries, truffles, fruit tarts, or whatever I don't count that.  Only cake-like products that the average guest would assume all came from the same source.  I don't use a contract for non-wedding orders and I care less about confusion there as most parties have an assortment of people providing items anyway.

 

Jason is right though, it's kind of a bluff.  You can't stop them if they try really hard at being sneaky but it weeds out 90% at least I'd say.

howsweet Posted 10 Jun 2013 , 10:08pm
post #7 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft 


It's possible that your local market has already been damaged to the point where the hobbyist bakers' prices are now the accepted norm. If that's the case then you may not be able to sustain a business that targets the mainstream with reasonable prices, and aggressively pushing a sole source clause will just result in customers choosing the hobbyist bakers for their entire order if they don't ignore it outright.

Your best bet will be targeting higher income areas and/or niche markets, but your local population may not be large enough to provide many prospects there.


I agree. And I've seen this happening in Texas. It wouldn't surprise me if this becomes the usual outcome in many small towns. I tried to explain how this happens on a board made up in large part of home bakers in small towns. But to no avail -- they have this mind set that prices vary depending on location, and though of course prices aren't the same everywhere, they have to be at least high enough to sustain a valid business or they are undercutting. And many of these folks simply can't be told exactly what you said in your post-- that, "[their] best bet will be targeting higher income areas and/or niche markets, but your local population may not be large enough to provide many prospects there."

kikiandkyle Posted 10 Jun 2013 , 10:43pm
post #8 of

AWhat infuriates me about these $1 or less per serving 'hobby bakers' is that often they're doing it to make money, yet they're not making a cent off these cakes, and thanks to their poor business sense, neither can anyone else. Having $10 in your pocket after paying for ingredients when you spent 20 hours on the cake isn't making money, it's a joke.

OP perhaps adding this clause will weed out your cheaper clients and lead you to find ways to reach the higher end clients in your area, there may be less of them but if they're willing to pay more you don't need as many.

costumeczar Posted 10 Jun 2013 , 11:19pm
post #9 of

I don't bother with a sole provider clause because there's no way to enforce it. They can sign it, say "sure, you'll be the only cake provider there", then whip out the crappy groom's cake as soon as you leave.

 

I don't do groom's cakes unless I'm also doing the wedding cake, though.

 

Unless you're willing to walk in with a wedding cake, see a craptastic groom's cake next to where your wedding cake will be, and turn around and walk out with the wedding cake, putting a sole provider clause in your contract is pointless. I've actually taken a cake and left with it ONCE, but that was an exrtremely unpleasant situation. If this is something commonly done in your area you might not be able to do anything about it, but it's still better to get paid for a wedding cake than not get paid for either.

howsweet Posted 10 Jun 2013 , 11:30pm

And the groom's cake may not be craptastic. I rarely do weddings, except for something unusual or the groom's cake as I specialize in high end birthday and 3d cakes. I always warn them to check their contract. I've never, ever had anyone even sound a teeny bit concerned about what might be in the contract. It just occurred to me that the wedding cake person who couldn't do the 3d cake (which is why I was called in) may be getting credit for my work....hmmm.
 

costumeczar Posted 11 Jun 2013 , 12:21am
Quote:
Originally Posted by howsweet View Post

And the groom's cake may not be craptastic. I rarely do weddings, except for something unusual or the groom's cake as I specialize in high end birthday and 3d cakes. I always warn them to check their contract. I've never, ever had anyone even sound a teeny bit concerned about what might be in the contract. It just occurred to me that the wedding cake person who couldn't do the 3d cake (which is why I was called in) may be getting credit for my work....hmmm.
 

 

This is why I don't do groom's cakes unless I do the wedding cake! I did a really cute dog cake and the wedding cake was a monkey-iced disaster. The bridesmaids were waiting for me to get there with the groom's cake to see if I could fix the wedding cake, which I couldn't do. I started worrying that the wedding cake baker would get the credit for my groom's cake, since it's far more likely that the bride would be telling people how crappy the wedding cake baker was and tossing his name around. People would be likely to think that he had made both cakes.

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