New Bakeries In My Area Scoping Me Out

Business By Strubbette Updated 11 Aug 2013 , 3:16am by LoveMeSomeCake615

Annabakescakes Posted 1 Aug 2013 , 4:07am
post #31 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by IAmPamCakes 

I ate an ice cream cone. I feel better now icon_smile.gif
I am a terrible liar too. It's just not worth the trouble.
"Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive."

That's another thing, I can't keep my lies straight, my memory is TERRIBLE. 

Annabakescakes Posted 1 Aug 2013 , 4:13am
post #32 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by kikiandkyle 

They are putting you down out of fear, they are scared that they won't be able to get customers on the merits of their product alone. That is a compliment to you and your product.

Others notice when someone stabs a supposed friend in the back and they remember. Your other friends will have already started losing respect for the friend who has been saying stuff about you behind your back, the ones that are worth keeping as friends will remember it down the line.

Both statements are so true. If they were confident their cakes were better, they would just keep their mouths shut and let the cupcake do the talking.

 

I am doing a cake for a lady who used to be a good friend, and last year a mutual friend of ours left her husband of 18 years, and this other lady was telling me all the gory details, that HAD to be told to her in confidence. I listened with glee, lol, but I also knew I would never tell her anything EVER again! It was highly personal stuff. 

ttaunt Posted 1 Aug 2013 , 7:24pm
post #33 of 98

I think I would have given her some artisticly revised recipes.

nyclightskin Posted 1 Aug 2013 , 7:33pm
post #34 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Strubbette 

 I should preface this by saying that I live in an area with 15,000 people. There are 2 other bakeries in town. One does cakes to order with a very limited selection and the other is more of a donut place that does some cakes. Both have been the only game in town for over 30 years. I am the first bakery to open since then. And I am the first cupcake place ever here.

 

I opened my bakery selling grab and go sweets (specializing in cupcakes)  and coffees in Oct 2012.  I never went to the other bakeries to scope them out. I just wanted to do my own thing without being influenced by the others. I did call the donut place to introduce myself, tell them what I do, and that I would love a working relationship with them( if there is something I/ they can not do). I have worked my behind off to build my business and feel like I did it without doing anything underhanded.

 

 

 

1. A friend of mine had been coming into the shop quite regularly. She then announces on Facebook that she is looking into opening a bakery/coffee shop because we need something like that around here. Really??? You were just in one today and got a variety pack of cupcakes! She never once mentioned to me that she was interested in opening her own place. So I left a comment asking if she was thinking about becoming my competition. I know she is in the process of designing her "brand" and I'm just waiting for the day she announces she has an opening date. This is the one that bothers me the most because we were really close friends. Or so I thought. She hasn't said 2 words to me since that post was made. Whats sad is that I probably would have given her some advice if she ever talked to me about it.

 

2. My brother met a girl online. Once she found out he was my brother ( he just moved here from another state) she was constantly asking questions about me and the bakery. She did tell him that she was interested in opening her own bakery one day. I didn't think anything of it because I hear that so much. Fast forward 3 months.... She is opening her bakery in about a month. The place she has her store front in is extremely expensive and you can tell she has been in the planning stages for a while. She is also planning on specializing in cupcakes. I have also found out that she has been trash talking me all over town and sending her friends in to buy product from me so they can see what I do. This just makes me mad on a whole 'notha level. Don't talk bad about me and my business just to make yourself look better when you open.

 

3. A girl came into the bakery to look around. Tell me she wants to own her own cake decorating business some day. Ok. Then tells me that her husband told her she can get all of the stuff from Walmart. She is so happy because she thought she would have to get everything online. I kinda chuckle to myself. She then proceeds to say that she has heard so many great things about my cakes and wants to know if I can write down some of my recipes for her. This is where I lost it. "NO! I would be crazy to write down 24 years of experience on a piece of paper for you to use to compete against me!" Of course I don't think I will see much from that girl.

 

Am I wrong to be bugged by the first 2 though? I generally get along with other decorators. Its nice to have that one thing in common with people and be able to bounce ideas off each other. We have also been known to send business to each other if we are booked up or just cant accept a cake But these just rubbed me the wrong way.

YOU definately aren't wrong..

SOME people are really insane.. and she prob doesn't speak to you because she knows she's absolutely wrong  (LOL) @ getting all her stuff at walmart.. HEHE.. really?

 

I've had this happened to me.. twice.. One person asked for my receipe.. Since she is in Canada and i'm in New Jersey.. HMM my item ships and honestly I worked really hard trying to find the right base receipes for my liquors.. Cause that's what I do liquor infused cupcakes, cheesecakes, whipcreams.. so, you want me to give you what I worked on? Yeah, I dont think that's happening anytime soon.. Then another woman in a group.. All of a sudden say Oh i will be selling 'drunk' cakes now..

my company name is Lushcakez.. I formed it 2 yrs ago.. (I mean some people are clueless and tacky) sigh!

nyclightskin Posted 1 Aug 2013 , 7:34pm
post #35 of 98

sorry bout the complete quote.. I'm a newbie here LOLicon_confused.gif

ibeeflower Posted 1 Aug 2013 , 8:14pm
post #36 of 98

I think these people are not creative, and will probably not be very successful at their business. Figuring out what other bakeries charge makes sense, but not buying stuff to dissect and mimic. To succeed, I think you have to also have a creative advantage. I wouldn't worry about those people staying open a long time. 

jason_kraft Posted 1 Aug 2013 , 8:17pm
post #37 of 98

A

Original message sent by ibeeflower

I think these people are not creative, and will probably not be very successful at their business. Figuring out what other bakeries charge makes sense, but not buying stuff to dissect and mimic. To succeed, I think you have to also have a creative advantage. I wouldn't worry about those people staying open a long time. 

A business owner does not have to be creative to be successful, that's what creative employees are for.

MimiFix Posted 1 Aug 2013 , 8:25pm
post #38 of 98

Strubbette, it's unfortunate, but when you have a business with a front door, many would-be competitors will check you out. And some will be super a$$holes. Food is very trendy now and lots of folks dream about owning a cute little shop - people with no idea about the reality of being in business. These people have no smarts so they snoop and take notes and many will never make it past the dreaming stage. But a few will and some of those people will copy you and bad-mouth you. That's just part of the business world.

 

I didn't have these kinds of issues at my first bakery & cafe in central NY. But after I sold it and moved to another state, I opened a smaller shop and got slammed with the kind of behavior you are experiencing. Business is hard enough without dealing with that crap, but too bad for us, all we can do is try to shrug it off and concentrate on our own bakery. It's important to stay professional and not let that stuff eat at you. I would tell you some stories but I don't want to take that trip down memory lane. Suffice it to say, each of those copycats and bad-mouthers were out-of-business within a year.

liz at sugar Posted 1 Aug 2013 , 9:42pm
post #39 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft 


A business owner does not have to be creative to be successful, that's what creative employees are for.

 

This.

 

As a matter of fact, creative urges can get a business owner in a pile of trouble.  Lets say you have a walk in bakery like the OP owns.  Her bakery has been open awhile and you had the most delicious XYZ cupcake the last time you visited.  You are thinking about that XYZ cupcake and decide to stop in for another.    The bakery doesn't have any!  The owner got "bored" and started making all kinds of new things, trying to creatively compete with those nosy Nellies who have opened up their shops down the street.  You are disappointed you can't re-live that delicious experience!

 

I'm not saying that you should be so stuck in your ways that you never come up with anything new, but people who are looking to indulge with food often want things that are familiar, and even though you get bored making XYZ cupcakes everyday, your customers aren't eating them every day - they aren't bored, they are longing for what they loved last time. 

 

I hope you stay true to your original concept, and don't let these other bakers affect your "big picture".

 

Liz

gatorcake Posted 2 Aug 2013 , 12:11am
post #40 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Strubbette 

1. A friend of mine had been coming into the shop quite regularly. She then announces on Facebook that she is looking into opening a bakery/coffee shop because we need something like that around here. Really??? You were just in one today and got a variety pack of cupcakes! She never once mentioned to me that she was interested in opening her own place. So I left a comment asking if she was thinking about becoming my competition. I know she is in the process of designing her "brand" and I'm just waiting for the day she announces she has an opening date. This is the one that bothers me the most because we were really close friends. Or so I thought. She hasn't said 2 words to me since that post was made. Whats sad is that I probably would have given her some advice if she ever talked to me about it.

 

Honestly don't see anything wrong here.  First given how you describe your business and the others in town, other than the Walmart bakery there does not seem to be a traditional bakery in your town.  Your friend probably saw the landscape pretty much as you did when you first set up shop--there was a small cake shop and a doughnut shop neither specializing in cupcakes. So you were able to fill a niche--sure there is some overlap, however, as you describe them they also seem fairly differentiated.  Your friend could have easily come to the same conclusion and decided you know what is missing?  A traditional bakery--we have cakes, cupcakes and donuts--but no place that focuses on traditional bakery fair (scones, cinnamon rolls, etc.).  

 

She may not have seen you as competition and frankly why should she discuss her plans with you?  Sure you might have been able to give her some advice, then again she may simply have felt that she did not want to discuss her business plans with you because she was not sure how you would react.  And your comment may have confirmed her belief. Should she tell you?  Not if she was worried that you would might react badly.  

 

If I was in her position and received the post you described my first reaction would be where do you get off?  You approached her as if she has done something wrong, evidenced by your description that of the three situations you describe it bothers you the most.  This is somewhat surprising as the second situation is a direct assault on your business and seems to be entering the same market.  Of these situations there just seems nothing underhanded here.

howsweet Posted 2 Aug 2013 , 1:21am
post #41 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by gatorcake  Should she tell you?  Not if she was worried that you would might react badly.  

 

 

Holy cow, is that the criterion we use to decide whether or not to be forthcoming these days? The OP referred to the person as her "friend". If this person is/was a friend, this was a tacky way to go about things.

Strubbette Posted 2 Aug 2013 , 3:48am
post #42 of 98

AI think you must have missed the part where I said she is my friend, came into my shop, then posted on the same day that she was opening a bakery EXACTLY like mine (without mentioning mine) because we needed one in this town.

As for #2. She is another one that is opening a place JUST LIKE MINE. Specializing in cupcakes. She even has the same color scheme as me.

Soooo these girls aren't being unique at all. They are taking ideas that I worked hard on and using them.

Annabakescakes Posted 2 Aug 2013 , 3:59am
post #43 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by howsweet 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gatorcake  Should she tell you?  Not if she was worried that you would might react badly.  

 

 

Holy cow, is that the criterion we use to decide whether or not to be forthcoming these days? The OP referred to the person as her "friend". If this person is/was a friend, this was a tacky way to go about things.

Yeah.... I just saw an e-card last night that said "not telling me something because you think I'll get mad is a good way to make me mad" or something to that effect. 

 

Omitting the truth is the same thing as a lie. Ask my kids. If someone does something and then lies about it, I am mad enough to chew tenpenny nails and spit out a barbed wire fence. Do something stupid and fess up, and my anger is seriously deflated, or totally gone. 

LeslieBruckman Posted 2 Aug 2013 , 6:19am
post #44 of 98

I wouldn't worry about number 2... she'll be out of business before long.

As far as the friend goes, I'm sorry that you've had to deal with that. I would cut contact for now and take some time to regroup. She knows you run an amazing bakery, why would she be so underhanded to you? Also, does she have any experience? I'm always quite surprised when I have a friend who bakes a dozen cupcakes that look halfway decent declare that they want to a open a bakery... seriously?

I live in a small town, also. SATURATED with cakes. We have a Spartan store, Kroger, Walmart and another superstore that has a bakery. Then we have 2 donut shops (one that sells cupcakes), a bake shop that has quit making cakes recently except for special circumstances and and a gourmet cupcake place... then like me, a lot of cottage foods home bakeries. A LOT. I think there are 2 within blocks of me. I do truffles, candies (mostly a few varieties of caramels, etc) and when I open a shop I plan on doing my candies, cannoli, cream puffs... in addition to cakes and cupcakes to set me apart.

I maintain my quality and customer service. I keep wowing everyone with my recipes... I get a lot of "Wow, you're better than VG's" (which is our spartan store and actually does make AMAZING cakes. We opened at the Farmer's Market 2 years ago and have just slowly but steadily grew our customer base. Now I'm so busy with cakes, I have to send my spouse to run the market booth. I am also flirting with hiring a baker. I have also involved myself in the local bridal association. I attend every bridal show. I attend every chamber of commerce meetings and their home/business expo. All the craft shows. Etc. I take my cards with me everywhere... In the beginning I put myself out there... low prices, fancy decor for nothing. Now, I actually have enough business that respects what I do and what I make that I don't have to do that anymore. I'm really young, but I've gotten to know the mayor, the people who run the downtown area, the people who run the farmer's market, all the local bakery owners and important city officials. I attend all city events and offer my "cakes as dessert" for no charge. I recently served cake at a block party to over a few hundred people. I made a ton of 6 inch cakes in all different flavors and served it to everyone. People kept coming back to try all the flavors. I have donated cakes and goodies for good causes... relay for life, charity events, churches, etc. Now that I've won the Marvelous Molds contest (which landed me in the local paper) I plan to keep doing contests and keep getting my cakes in magazines. Whatever I can to get my name out there and in my local paper. You all should as well. :)

They'll see what you do. It will make the difference and you'll come out on top. Slow and steady. Keep your head in your own game, and don't worry about what they do because they probably won't be doing it very long. Good luck!

LeslieBruckman Posted 2 Aug 2013 , 6:24am
post #45 of 98

I must add... that the free cakes as dessert thing generate so much business, it's ridiculous. I've since made probably 10 x's what I spent on that one block party in customers who have since ordered... so it's been worth it. One has even become a repeat customer. I know it's coming from these events because they'll say "I want the one flavor you made for the one thing I saw you at". LOL.

LeslieBruckman Posted 2 Aug 2013 , 6:28am
post #46 of 98

Also make sure to note in all your advertising your EXPERIENCE... how long you've been baking, making cakes, how long your business has been running (even when it was in your home), etc.
 

Annabakescakes Posted 2 Aug 2013 , 8:49am
post #47 of 98

AHow old are you, Leslie? Curious, since I have never had that kind of energy!

Strubbette Posted 2 Aug 2013 , 12:32pm
post #48 of 98

AThank you all. You have no idea how much this thread has helped me.

I will say that #1 girl is an amazing baker. Had she went about things the right way I would have fully supported her.

#2 girl opens today. She announced yesterday that she passed her health inspection and is opening today. Guess we will see what happens.

LeslieBruckman Posted 2 Aug 2013 , 5:48pm
post #49 of 98

I just turned 30.

Annabakescakes Posted 2 Aug 2013 , 9:25pm
post #50 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeslieBruckman 

I just turned 30.

Oh yeah that is an absolute baby....since I happen to be 33, lol

MimiFix Posted 2 Aug 2013 , 9:52pm
post #51 of 98

I have kids older than you ladies...

Annabakescakes Posted 2 Aug 2013 , 11:03pm
post #52 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by MimiFix 

I have kids older than you ladies...

So will we, one day, unless we die first, right? As long as we have kids.... As I grow older, I realize that age creeps up on us all, no one was born old, lol! I am no more shocked at being 33 ALREADY, than my grandpa is at being 87 ALREADY. I have a lot of respect for the older generations, and always have. I know most teens and young people think of "old" people as somehow dumb or naive, but when I was a kid, I hung out at the nursing home, and played cards! Old people are WAY BETTER than young people any day of the week. 

 

I am already looking forward to being to being a grandma and getting so old I get a pass when I have a bad attitude and tell people like it is. They'll shake their heads and say, "Oh my, Mrs. G is such a character! She earned it, after all these years. HAHAHA!" instead of what y'all are thinking now, "gawd, Anna is such a witch, with a CAPITAL B!" thumbs_up.gif

MimiFix Posted 2 Aug 2013 , 11:45pm
post #53 of 98

AnnaB, the mods here will never let you get away with cr*p, no matter how many candles are on your birthday.gif

MimiFix Posted 2 Aug 2013 , 11:45pm
post #54 of 98

oops, forgot the smiley face icon_smile.gif

Annabakescakes Posted 3 Aug 2013 , 12:38am
post #55 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by MimiFix 

AnnaB, the mods here will never let you get away with cr*p, no matter how many candles are on your birthday.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MimiFix 

oops, forgot the smiley face icon_smile.gif

HAHAHAHA! Probably not, but I'm sure Old Arthur will have moved into into my fingers full time, and I won't be on here too much... I'll be on the front porch, telling it like it is! 

vgcea Posted 3 Aug 2013 , 7:00am
post #56 of 98

AOh to be a fly on the wall of that porch....

LeslieBruckman Posted 5 Aug 2013 , 6:13pm
post #57 of 98

I just feel because I am younger and a business owner, I have a lot to prove. My town is a "Historial Town" with full out historical committee. We have a castle and everything. The majority of our population is retired, older people. They all sit on the city council, historical committee, chamber of commerce board, etc. You name, they run it. In my town, you can get out'sted just for painting the door jam of your business a "non-designated color" as far as what has been deemed "historically accurate".

Me as a youngster= hanging with the grandparents playing Shanghi. Favorite past time, EVER.

LeslieBruckman Posted 5 Aug 2013 , 6:18pm
post #58 of 98

Plus, most of those are just good marketing tips. Getting involved in your community when you are a business owner, gets more people to realize that not only are a good person, but involved in the community. It makes them want to support your local business over stopping by  the local walmart. :)

pinky73 Posted 5 Aug 2013 , 7:50pm
post #59 of 98

I'm afraid I don't have any sound business advice but I can say, without a doubt, that I would be hurt and steaming mad if my friend did what yours did. I don't blame you a bit for being frustrated and hurt at the same time.  As the other ladies have already said, chances are these other gals will fold, you can only draw attention as the "new place in town" for so long, if they don't have the business sense and a quality product, they won't last...but for now, their tactics still hurt.

 

As for the age issue, you girls made me giggle! I so wish that I hadn't wasted the energy I had at 30 or my abilty to go to the grocery store without a list. I just turned 40. Sweet baby jeebus.

pinky73 Posted 5 Aug 2013 , 7:52pm
post #60 of 98

Oh Leslie, I may have to follow you on Pinterest...I have such an addiction to stinkin Pinterest...and am always looking for like minded people to follow! :)

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