How Did You Start?

Lounge By anaelisabethlee Updated 5 Sep 2013 , 1:05am by SystemMod2

kikiandkyle Posted 29 Aug 2013 , 4:57pm
post #121 of 159

A

Original message sent by johnfidelr

I wouldn't worry about the nay sayers who are trying to make you feel bad about baking from home and getting just the costs of your cake supplies covered.  You're not getting paid for your time and I'm sure you're not charging for your the gas and electric that it takes to make everything.  That means you're not making a profit, if anything you're in the hole so there is nothing to report on your taxes.  It's no different then going over to your friends house helping set up the party or offering to help in the kitchen with food.

What your doing is perfectly fine and necessary to get more knowledge in your craft.  Your only other option would be to open your own home business or get a job as a cake decorator, even then you wouldn't be getting as much clients.  As I'm coming to find out you need some amount of cake decorating knowledge to even get a job at a grocery store.  I was always told you didn't need any, but even being a cake decorating instructor for 2 years makes me under qualified.

As for myself, I've learned cake decorating from my job at a craft store.  They offered free classes for employees which gave me the knowledge to take over the classes once our instructor left.  While doing that for two years I got a discount on all supplies bought at the store.  I'm now starting to practice doing cakes for family and friends.  I'm thinking about covering some of the costs including time and utilities, but I'm doing it because I do plan on doing extravagant cakes at either a upscale bakery or my own business one day.  I need the experience of having people wanting me to do their ideas with my aesthetic and figuring out how to translate that into cake.  It's a lot more challenging to do someone else's ideas.  I'm also not worried about losing clients when I actually do open business because if you have the talent and give the same great personal experience, they will come back.

To anyone else reading this, free or low cost labor to get experience is usually a necessity, no matter what field you go into.  There will always be "Professionals" that will look down and lecture you about how what your doing is bringing down the craft and industry.  I would know because I've been involved in the same discussion when I was in the animation industry.

There aren't any public health regulations to be followed in animation though. The issue with accepting reimbursement for your cakes (even if only for costs) is it becomes a commercial transaction, which falls under the remit of the public health department. It's up to them to choose how they treat hobby bakers who are only charging for ingredients of course, many will say its no problem but not all. People aren't saying this stuff to be mean or shoot down people's dreams, it's to alert them to the fact that they may be acting illegally.

BatterUpCake Posted 29 Aug 2013 , 5:00pm
post #122 of 159

The problem is that too many people don't think there is any harm in breaking a law if they think it's "a stupid law". Until they get caught, that is...

 

I have a saying I use often. "you can do anything in the world you want to do....as long as you are ready to deal pay the consequences"

jason_kraft Posted 29 Aug 2013 , 5:23pm
post #123 of 159

AHere is a good resource for info on CFLs in the US: http://cottagefoods.org/laws/

kikiandkyle Posted 29 Aug 2013 , 7:01pm
post #124 of 159

A

Original message sent by BatterUpCake

The problem is that too many people don't think there is any harm in breaking a law if they think it's "a stupid law". Until they get caught, that is...

I have a saying I use often. "you can do anything in the world you want to do....as long as you are ready to deal pay the consequences"

Or until they become a victim of someone breaking the 'stupid law'.

howsweet Posted 29 Aug 2013 , 7:01pm
post #125 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft 


Price-fixing requires a conspiracy between major players with a large percentage of the market to set and maintain prices at a specific level. Attempting to educate new entrepreneurs about basic business principles (such as paying yourself a living wage) is not price-fixing. There is no "prevailing professional rate", but there is a pricing level in each market below which it no longer makes sense for a business to serve said market.

Nicely put, thank you!

SystemMod1 Posted 29 Aug 2013 , 8:32pm
post #126 of 159

This thread is full of great information, but please refrain from personal attacks, name calling, getting offended, being argumentative or hostile.  This is a touchy subject but we need to be able to discuss it, so please keep your comments civil so the thread does not get locked or deleted.

 

Arguing back and forth about law breaking and if it's OK has run it's course and adds nothing further to this discussion.  Please get back on topic.

 

Thank you.

as you wish Posted 29 Aug 2013 , 10:27pm
post #127 of 159

AThis thread has started me thinking about how I first started baking. I actually can't remember! I have loved baking all my life. I can remember going to a friends house when I was just eleven years old and showing her how to make a cake. I used to stay home from school to watch cooking shows on TV and I have always loved reading cookbooks. The highlight of my babysitting years was being able to snoop through other people's recipe collections. When my brother and sister had to help with the haying I got out of it by making pies for my dad. I have always been a baker; it is part of me. :)

texas_mom Posted 29 Aug 2013 , 11:18pm
post #128 of 159

I still find it hard to believe but my first cake was actually a three tier wedding cake for my cousin's second marriage.  I thought what could be so hard about baking three individual cakes and stacking them.  I am so glad there are not pictures of it.  LOL!  But I do remember each cake was made in a 2" pan and they were not two layered !   I have never heard anything negative about it so I can only assume that everyone must have really like me and not wanted to hurt my feelings.  I had nothing to make the cake with,  I actually had to buy the three pans and the decorator tips I needed. I still have and use the original pans I started with 35 years ago.

BatterUpCake Posted 29 Aug 2013 , 11:20pm
post #129 of 159

LOL..Texasmom that is hilarious. How did you get elected for this job?

embersmom Posted 29 Aug 2013 , 11:37pm
post #130 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by texas_mom 

I still find it hard to believe but my first cake was actually a three tier wedding cake for my cousin's second marriage.  I thought what could be so hard about baking three individual cakes and stacking them.  I am so glad there are not pictures of it.  LOL!  But I do remember each cake was made in a 2" pan and they were not two layered !   I have never heard anything negative about it so I can only assume that everyone must have really like me and not wanted to hurt my feelings.  I had nothing to make the cake with,  I actually had to buy the three pans and the decorator tips I needed. I still have and use the original pans I started with 35 years ago.

 



LOLOL!!!  The very first time I did a tiered cake I had no idea you were supposed use dowels.  I'll let your imagination answer as to what happened icon_surprised.gif

texas_mom Posted 29 Aug 2013 , 11:44pm
post #131 of 159

BatterUpCake-  I guess I have always been the "jake of all trades" in the family.  I am self taught in baking, crocheting, sewing and photography. I love to draw.  So when the cake was needed at the last minute everyone  assumed that  if anyone could get it done I could.  LOL!  I have to say I have improved a little with time. (Thank goodness )

 

embersmom- I didn't use dowel rods either !! And this was back in the day when columns and stairs were all the rage.  So I know exactly what you mean.  :)

CakeDays Posted 30 Aug 2013 , 12:54am
post #132 of 159
I thought I would post as someone who is relatively new to cake decorating, but baking for most of their life, about the plan I have. 
 
When I decided that this was something I really wanted to pursue, I started researching courses that were available in my area. Turns out there are plenty, and I found some very reasonably priced courses from the local TAFE (like a tech college I guess), on the basics of cake decorating, cupcakes, sugarflowers. Pretty much everything you could want. In between those I will be doing a lot of self-learning from Youtube, MyCakeSchool and a few other websites. I have bought a set of cake dummies to practice on, which means I don't have to waste ingredients making cakes all the time. 
 
I will also be joining a local cake decorating association, so that will provide me a lot of great advice and info from more experienced decorators. I really do think that this will be an invaluable resource. Maybe you could have a look around your area for something similar.
 
My end goal is to ultimately open up a storefront or commercially licensed home kitchen. By then I will be living in L.A so I could also take advantage of the California Cottage Food Act. Until that time a lot of practicing, a lot of learning and a lot of researching and an abundance of CAKE!
 
One problem I have is what do I do with the cakes? I would prefer my waistline to shrink not expand!
texas_mom Posted 30 Aug 2013 , 1:11am
post #133 of 159

CakeDays- Maybe you could try to schedule your baking around events in your area and donate your cakes.  I know I usually ask my daughter if her church has something special coming up in their schedule and if they do I will make the cake for the event. 

CakeDays Posted 30 Aug 2013 , 1:54am
post #134 of 159

Thanks texas_mom that is a good idea. I will have a look at what there is around and contact a few places to see if they can accept them.

kikiandkyle Posted 30 Aug 2013 , 2:50am
post #135 of 159

AWhen I was taking classes I would post on my Facebook, asking my friends if anyone needed a cake, giving them the dates and any parameters I needed to stay within. Pretty much every cake was taken!

scrumdiddlycakes Posted 30 Aug 2013 , 3:03am
post #136 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeDays 

I thought I would post as someone who is relatively new to cake decorating, but baking for most of their life, about the plan I have. 
 
When I decided that this was something I really wanted to pursue, I started researching courses that were available in my area. Turns out there are plenty, and I found some very reasonably priced courses from the local TAFE (like a tech college I guess), on the basics of cake decorating, cupcakes, sugarflowers. Pretty much everything you could want. In between those I will be doing a lot of self-learning from Youtube, MyCakeSchool and a few other websites. I have bought a set of cake dummies to practice on, which means I don't have to waste ingredients making cakes all the time. 
 
I will also be joining a local cake decorating association, so that will provide me a lot of great advice and info from more experienced decorators. I really do think that this will be an invaluable resource. Maybe you could have a look around your area for something similar.
 
My end goal is to ultimately open up a storefront or commercially licensed home kitchen. By then I will be living in L.A so I could also take advantage of the California Cottage Food Act. Until that time a lot of practicing, a lot of learning and a lot of researching and an abundance of CAKE!
 
One problem I have is what do I do with the cakes? I would prefer my waistline to shrink not expand!


Pretty much anywhere that employs a lot of men love the donation :) Fire stations, police stations, etc.

 

I got permission to donate to our hospital staff, a youth center and a woman's shelter, so whenever I want to practice a new recipe, I will try out some new techniques as well and take them to one of those places.

Always call before you want to donate and check that they are allowed to accept baking from you though. I know our hospital wouldn't allow it if I wasn't a fully legal business.

mashy Posted 30 Aug 2013 , 8:58pm
post #137 of 159

I actually started about 10 years ago in a grocery store bakery, absolutely loved it but did not pay enough to get ahead.  Learned how to ice a cake, do different buttercream borders, make icing roses, basics for the most part.  They had an airbrush gun too and omg I want one, I learned how to do amazing things with it but I can't justify buying one right now.  Worked for the railway for the past 6 years with no time for outside interests.  Changed careers in the fall and now have time for interests outside of work.  Have been building up my supplies (wow expensive!) and playing around at home.  I have my go-to recipes now after much testing, played with WASC recipes but box mix is expensive here so I've been tweaking scratch recipes with huge success.  Way cheaper than WASC if I buy bulk.  Have played with different buttercreams and have fallen in love with SMBC.

Anytime there is a family dinner or special occasion I've volunteered to bring the dessert, more to try new recipes and combinations.  But now that I have that part figured out, I've purchased some dummy cakes to start practicing with fondant and different decorating techniques.  Eventually I would like to do this professionally on the side, but I'm no where near that point yet.  I'm more than happy to fool around when I have a few hours here and there.  I just really need to start remembering to take pictures when I'm done something.

 

I'd like to say thanks to everyone on this forum for sharing their experience with me.  I'm often lurking, reading through old threads and searching for information as problems have popped up.  The amount of information on this site is astonishing once one learns to navigate the forums!

CakeDays Posted 30 Aug 2013 , 11:15pm
post #138 of 159

Thanks for the suggestions scrumdiddlycakes, the posting on FB is a great idea!

howsweet Posted 31 Aug 2013 , 1:40am
post #139 of 159

People was are grateful for cake or any attention at all are often those in old folks homes - don't forget them! icon_biggrin.gif
 

manicgeisha Posted 31 Aug 2013 , 5:25am
post #140 of 159

I made my first cake for my son`s birthday, in prep for my OWN wedding cake later that year.  Which was a bad idea because I actually came down with the flu and gave up rather quickly on the decorating.  It was my second cake..and I guess it didn`t collapse, so there is always that :)   BTW loving seeing everyone`s early works in this thread.

 

 

 

I`ve made people a lot of free cakes in between here and there.  If asked I DO charge my friends and family for cakes which is perfectly legal, and allowed where I live.  It is heavily restricted as far as the general public is concerned, and I`ve never gone there...most curious people are easily deflected though by a realistic and ``expensive` quote for the cake they are interested in, LOL.  

 

Anyway, to practise you just have to suck it up and foot the bill for the most part.  I offer free cakes to people as I`m able- I actually struggle to find enough people to offer free cakes too (so I love some of the ideas of places to approach).  Shop around for ingredients though -if you are like me and refuse to used boxed mixes.  It would cost me about $75 to make a 2 tier cake, and now I`m down to about $25 without sacrificing quality.   Also, I`ve started making tiers out of RKT which isn`t too bad for the cheapest of the cheap no name ingredients.   The dummies here are extremely expensive.   RKT hold up really well and for a long time too.

My advice is to just call up the health board or whoever in your area, and find out for yourself.    Here, I`m also allowed to donate cakes to people or have them in bake sales, and if I was truly inspired to work from a home kitchen with no licence I could legally sell them at temporary food markets.   Once you keep yourself informed of the local rules and regulations, you at least don`t have to worry about being ``caught`` and you will know exactly what is OK for your local area.  Just because the rules are X, Y, Z for so and so, doesn`t mean the rules are the same everywhere.   

howsweet Posted 31 Aug 2013 , 5:15pm
post #141 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by howsweet 

People was are grateful for cake or any attention at all are often those in old folks homes - don't forget them! icon_biggrin.gif
 


Holy cow - I'm getting used to a new keyboard - what I tried to say was... People who are always grateful for cake, or any attention at all, are also those in old folks homes - don't forget them! icon_biggrin.gif

CakeDays Posted 31 Aug 2013 , 9:57pm
post #142 of 159

I contacted a few aged care facilities nearby, but they cannot take food that has not been made in an approved kitchen. Will try a few more tomorrow, hopefully one allows it, I very much want to donate all the cakes to them now. Great idea guys!

howsweet Posted 2 Sep 2013 , 5:13am
post #143 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeDays 

I contacted a few aged care facilities nearby, but they cannot take food that has not been made in an approved kitchen. Will try a few more tomorrow, hopefully one allows it, I very much want to donate all the cakes to them now. Great idea guys!


Aw that's a shame...darn lawyers - I used to just walk in to an Alzheimer's facility and drop the stuff off,  Maybe it was a don't ask, don't tell kind of thing and I didn't realize it. Kind of sad the same kind of place that might not turn someone often enough causing them bedsores might be worried about a few cupcakes, isn't it? I took care of my mom for over 5 years, the last three she was bedridden and had to be turned. About twice a year I would get a respite and she'd go into a home for about 5-6 days and only once did she not come back worse in some way and often with bed sores, which she never had when I cared for her. Sorry for the rant - still traumatized by the whole thing.

jason_kraft Posted 2 Sep 2013 , 5:30am
post #144 of 159

AIn a for-profit assisted living facility the liability risk of introducing outside food from an unlicensed kitchen outweighs any benefits to the facility. You might be better off working with a non-profit organization.

For example, my wife and I volunteered at CASA as court-appointed advocates for at-risk children, if you contact your local chapter they would probably be more amenable to providing birthday cakes for the kids even if you are not licensed (since you would likely be working directly with the advocate and/or foster parents): http://www.casaforchildren.org/site/c.mtJSJ7MPIsE/b.5331473/k.8614/Find_Programs/apps/kb/cs/contactsearch.asp

howsweet Posted 2 Sep 2013 , 6:00am
post #145 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft 

In a for-profit assisted living facility the liability risk of introducing outside food from an unlicensed kitchen outweighs any benefits to the facility. You might be better off working with a non-profit organization.

 

And how ironic is that? If you want to catch something really awful, like an MRSA or some other super bug, any for profit assisted living facility or hospital is your best bet.

embersmom Posted 2 Sep 2013 , 9:15am
post #146 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by howsweet 


Aw that's a shame...darn lawyers - I used to just walk in to an Alzheimer's facility and drop the stuff off,  Maybe it was a don't ask, don't tell kind of thing and I didn't realize it. Kind of sad the same kind of place that might not turn someone often enough causing them bedsores might be worried about a few cupcakes, isn't it? I took care of my mom for over 5 years, the last three she was bedridden and had to be turned. About twice a year I would get a respite and she'd go into a home for about 5-6 days and only once did she not come back worse in some way and often with bed sores, which she never had when I cared for her. Sorry for the rant - still traumatized by the whole thing.

We took care of my mother :nodding:  We placed her because we couldn't reconfigure the house for a wheelchair after she'd forgotten how to walk.  She passed not six months afterward.  I don't remember her ever having bed sores, but the NH staff were very cognizant of them -- I don't know if they had been investigated before or anything like that, but every bedridden patient was turned every X amount of time every day.

 

I'm sorry.

 

I don't know if you're up for a virtual hug...?

CakeDays Posted 2 Sep 2013 , 10:37am
post #147 of 159

Howsweet: Lots of hugs, that is absolutely terrible that you and your poor Mum had to both go through that. I've seen the best and worse with care facilities. My Nan had awesome care, while my Dad ended up with septicemia and passed just weeks later. It took two days for the facility to get him admitted to hospital, where every minute makes a difference with that infection.

Embersmom: Hugs for you as well :)

So far I have a 'yes' from the local police station and I just had the idea to ring the care facility my Nan was in, because we brought in a Birthday cake for her that we had made without any problems.

howsweet Posted 4 Sep 2013 , 2:43am
post #148 of 159

Quote:

Originally Posted by embersmom 
 

We took care of my mother :nodding:  We placed her because we couldn't reconfigure the house for a wheelchair after she'd forgotten how to walk.  She passed not six months afterward.  I don't remember her ever having bed sores, but the NH staff were very cognizant of them -- I don't know if they had been investigated before or anything like that, but every bedridden patient was turned every X amount of time every day.

 

I'm sorry.

 

I don't know if you're up for a virtual hug...?

 

I'll take any kind of hug I can get. More hugs back!

Quote:

Originally Posted by CakeDays 
 

Howsweet: Lots of hugs, that is absolutely terrible that you and your poor Mum had to both go through that. I've seen the best and worse with care facilities. My Nan had awesome care, while my Dad ended up with septicemia and passed just weeks later. It took two days for the facility to get him admitted to hospital, where every minute makes a difference with that infection.

Embersmom: Hugs for you as well :)

So far I have a 'yes' from the local police station and I just had the idea to ring the care facility my Nan was in, because we brought in a Birthday cake for her that we had made without any problems.

And hugs for you too!

 

And where did the septicemia come from? My mom had it 3 times, each time because they were too slow to treat a bladder infection. The last time it took her and it was wrong - It was because I was very sick with some kind of virus - too sick to fight them and insist they take proper steps and she died. I got so tired of fighting for decent treatment for her. If I won one of those 100 million dollar lotteries, I'd devote the rest of my life to creating a movement to make things better. I don't think most people really know how bad it is.

CakeDays Posted 4 Sep 2013 , 5:28am
post #149 of 159

Howsweet: Dad had a kidney infection which they didn't pick up on and it led to the septicaemia. We knew he wouldn't recover from it, he was already on dialysis and had a week heart. You would think they would be more vigilant with him already having a compromised system, but apparently not.

I am with you on creating change, because quite a lot needs to change. No, I don't think people know how bad it can be unless they themselves have had someone they love in that situation. You think professionals would be more... Better left unsaid I think. Before Dad had gotten septicaemia I never knew just how common and deadly an infection it was. Just horrible.

jason_kraft Posted 4 Sep 2013 , 5:50am
post #150 of 159

ARe assisted living, I just read a relevant post on Quora by someone who oversees these types of facilities (link below). Scary stuff.

http://qr.ae/IfHWQ

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