AI don't think there is anyone less considerate than family and friends when it comes to cake requests. My family members just always expect a free cake to magically appear for all birthdays and events. Friends always want huge discounts. But today was just sooooo frustrating. A friend, who just announced she was getting married next month, sent me a Facebook message asking about my cake pricing. Now this isn't a close friend of mine. Really not much more than an acquaintance. But she is the niece of a very dear friend, so I wanted to try to work with her, and do something special. And she has never has one of my cakes before, but her family members have. She lives in PA, but is getting married at her aunt's house which is close to me (I'm in the Washington, D.C. area). She asked about a cake or cupcakes for 30 people (just having a small, intimate, family wedding). Knowing she has certain dietary issues (gluten and dairy free) I asked her about those, but she said she wasn't concerned about her, she just wanted a cake her family would enjoy. I asked her about saving a top tier or cupcake for the 1st anniversary. She said no. I asked her about decorations, etc... Based on her requests, I spent just about my whole day researching how to prepare the decorations she wanted, and the costs involved (it would involve working with materials I have not used before). She kept pushing for pricing info because they were on such a TIGHT budget. So I gave her pricing... $75 for a two tier cake or $60 for cupcakes - which I said included stand rental, decorations, and delivery (a 90 minute round trip to her aunt's house and back.). That breaks down to $2 a cupcake. In my area cupcakes customarily go for anywhere from $3-4 at bakeries (it's D.C., nothing is cheap here). Then I get this message from her saying that she'll let me know, and she was going to go to a local bakery (to her in PA) this Friday for cupcake tasting, a Cupcake Wars winning bakery(!!!) - Dia Doce. I have no problem with someone shopping around. I expect it for a wedding, even a small one. But why even ask me and waste my time if you're going to go to a Cupcake Wars winner?! I can't hope to compete with them! They have 17 flavors they offer daily (and endless custom options) made with 100% natural, local ingredients, even vegan and gluten free options (which she said she didn't care about, but then went out of her way to mention she was tasting those at the bakery). And since they are local to her, they operate at a different price point than the equivalent bakery in my area would - $2.50 per cupcake. I just bake cakes occasionally in my free time. She *knows* that. I just really don't understand why she asked me in the first place. I replied to her one more time saying I hope she has fun at the tasting at Dia Dolce, and that I couldn't hope to compete with them. And she replied, 'sorry, thanks!' Whatever. I just sort of feel like the roadside fruit stand that was just told the customer was going to pick their apples straight from the Garden of Eden.
That is the reality of doing business. You say you don't fault her for shopping around, but you are still upset...don't take it personally, it happens to everyone.
As far as not being able to compete with Dia Dolce, how do you know you are not good enough? You have to believe in your abilities to get others to do the same.
I had a contractor become very angry with me because I asked him for a price and went with someone else (who happened to actually be more expensive) He was angry because he paid someone to get my lead, and "wasted his time and gas." How dare I be a consumer with a choice...?
You never know, she might end up calling you. You should also charge more!
ADon't worry about it. And winning Cupcake Wars means nothing. We had one of the winners near us. They were awful and are now out of business. The place was filthy and we found hairs in all three of the cupcakes we got. I made my daughter throw them all out and we went to the grocery store for cupcakes.
ADoing up quotes is all part of the business. Sometimes you get the order - sometimes you don't. You can't consider it a waste of time, but instead an investment in your business as well as port of the cost of doing business.
I feel for you, I think we've all had experiences with both friends and family (I don't live close enough to my family for this but I've had enough of the friends cake request problems for both). Sounds like maybe she was hoping it would be a gift considering you're such close friends with her aunt?
AMaybe she was asking as a courtesy, thinking you'd be peeved if she didn't.
Sometimes there's just no explanation for why people do things. No logical one anyway!
What I find crazy is that you were charging $2 per cupcake with special decorations and delivery 90 miles round trip!! I will take 6 dozen please...lol. Seriously you are not paying yourself.
I really understand you, but before these problems it is best to let it go
AI feel for you and know exactly how you feel with people being inconsiderate. Unfortunately with cake bakers and decorators, it happens far too often!
She is price shopping to see how your prices compare to this local bakery. Like the other posters said...forget they are a cupcake wars winner. They deal in high volume. You make small batches. I always feel quality is much better in small bakeries rather than places that put out thousands of cupcakes a week. Good for them they are able to do that, but whatever! Haha!!
You also need to charge more. You would have charged her $75 for a cake. You should have charged the same for your cupcakes. You actually should charge more altogether! I'm 3 hours from DC and charge more than that! I make cupcakes and cakes and price them almost the same.
Start thinking about your cupcakes as one serving or slice of cake. What would you charge for one serving of cake? $2? $3? Whatever you would charge for a serving of cake is the same for a cupcake. It's one serving. People think cupcakes are soooo much cheaper because they are cupcakes. They're still cake.
When people look at you and say...."wow! That's a lot for a cupcake!" Just say you're sorry you weren't able to help them with their event, but Walmart or Kroger (insert grocery store here) sell them cheaper. They don't, however, use the quality of ingredients I do.
Just remember, when someone doesn't want to pay for what you make, you don't want to make anything for them!
Good luck! :D
Sorry, but I bet she thought that you'd top out at less than half of the high end bakery--a deal she couldn't have refused--but when you came back at 3/4ths of that top $, she couldn't just say "No, thanks." and had to tell you where else she was going to look.
Don't sweat it. She'll be able to get 3 boxes of cupcakes that she can transport & arrange--and worry about on a long distance drive-- for no less than $15 MORE than you would have charged her for your product, time, stand, delivery, set-up, etc.
AI think maybe the source of your frustration here is the lopsided investment each party had. You felt you were going out of your way to do something special for a friend. She's just cake shopping. Best to move on, as others have said. Consider this just another customer encounter and try to learn from it. Check out that other cupcake place. Try out some gourmet flavors to add to your repertoire. Save the info you found for this quote. Maybe you can use it later. Practice the new technique she wanted you to do. Wish her well...onwards and upwards.
......"" My family members just always expect a free cake to magically appear for all birthdays and events....... I just sort of feel like the roadside fruit stand that was just told the customer was going to pick their apples straight from the Garden of Eden.""
girlfriendal: how did they come to have this expectation? You created it.
- You either run a business or you're are a hobby baker who serves at everyone's commands.
- A real roadside fruit stand beats a non-existent fairy tale Garden of Eden when your hungry.
... I just sort of feel like the roadside fruit stand that was just told the customer was going to pick their apples straight from the Garden of Eden.
perfectly relate-able--very well said--i feel yah--
but you know you get your stuff right outa the same ground as the G of E----the other bakery might get the apples from the garden but getting them out past the fiery sword wielding angel who guards the gate might be tricky --
it would irritate me that she gave names & dates--nothing i could do about it but far tmi-- phffft
--and while we're on the subject--i think it's so cool Jesus made wedding refreshments--just like we do--well scratch or mix who knows--but very similar!
in fact come to think of it--it was a mix because all he did was add water!