drina224 Posted 4 Nov 2013 , 12:40pm
post #1 of

I have taken one Wilton's class at a local craft store and have practiced at home but i feel no one will hire me because I don't have a lot of experience. What kind of experience do i need in order to get a job at Giant Eagle or any other grocery store as a cake decorator? 

10 replies
-K8memphis Posted 4 Nov 2013 , 12:46pm
post #2 of

speed--you need to fully decorate cakes in minutes--three or less probably

 

but they might have a training period?

stinkyhalf Posted 4 Nov 2013 , 4:43pm
post #3 of

I agree speed.... I did it briefly and we had 15 minutes for a full sheet cake.  Something I loved became a job and not so much fun.  Take pictures of your work to show during interview process.  Show a strong, steady work history.  Good luck.

-K8memphis Posted 4 Nov 2013 , 4:54pm
post #4 of

yes what stinkyhalf said--plus it's a daily aerobic exercise--physically demanding work--it's not at all about being creative--it's house painting not sistene chapel--

 

i bet you get some nice benefits if you can swing this--you could work up to manage a department--grocery store work is usually nice & steady--although it ramps up big time on the weekends--

 

best to you

-K8memphis Posted 4 Nov 2013 , 4:57pm
post #5 of

one other thing--listen to what they want and do that--

 

sounds funny and obvious but don't go in knowing better than they do--it's a different world

 

go for it!

howsweet Posted 4 Nov 2013 , 5:43pm
post #6 of

AIt's not for everyone. For me, it was the most awful time ever. I did learn to ice a cake really fast, but other than that, in terms of training for doing custom cakes, it wasn't helpful.

embersmom Posted 4 Nov 2013 , 10:43pm
post #7 of

Our current two decorators were both hired without any previous experience, although one of them had already taken a couple of Wilton courses.

 

They're both very diligent.  Our chain has a "bible", if you will, of how it wants their decorators to decorate, and breaks everything down into steps, from how to fill and ice to ideas for designs.  Most of them are very simple (very few roses, for example).  The first few weeks they both worked they worked alongside either the manager or myself.  Very monkey-see-monkey-do, but I believe it's the best way to learn something.

 

Neither of them were expected to be at optimum production speed their first month.  However, once they got the basics under their belts, they were expected to produce X number of cakes within a certain period of time.  The Wilton-trained decorator can easily do this.  The other decorator still has issues, but she's been kept on because she's faster at producing the smaller pastries/creams for the refrigerator case than the other decorator. 

 

Both decorators were expected to practice at home, especially their writing.  I had to do this, too, when I first started.

 

Remember, too, that supermarket decorating isn't just decorating.  Most stores will also expect you to slice bread, bag product, restock the selling floor and bulk case, answer the phone, and possibly bake off parbaked product in addition to decorating.

TotsnTwins Posted 5 Nov 2013 , 3:58am
post #8 of

A

Original message sent by embersmom

Remember, too, that supermarket decorating isn't just decorating.  Most stores will also expect you to slice bread, bag product, restock the selling floor and bulk case, answer the phone, and possibly bake off parbaked product in addition to decorating.

So true. If you're looking to just decorate, a grocery store isn't the best environment. I've been in my store for two years. I had little experience, just what I learned in culinary school and what a previous coworker had taught me. I was given a day of "training". I was basically shown a few borders and flowers and how to make our every day cakes. After that I was on my own 40 hours a week. There is a lot of bs that goes along with grocery store decorating. I always say it's like being in high school again. Drama with coworkers, customers trying to scam you for free cakes, etc. I find it stressful most days. I work through my breaks and lunch and there's still never enough time to get everything I want done. Especially when you're stopping every few minutes to slice bread, check on something for someone, or make a cake for someone who just walked in. The days I get to do a really neat special order are great though. Seeing a kids face light up when they see their birthday cake makes iit worthwhile for me.

embersmom Posted 5 Nov 2013 , 9:08am
post #9 of

Quote:

Originally Posted by TotsnTwins 


So true. If you're looking to just decorate, a grocery store isn't the best environment. I've been in my store for two years. I had little experience, just what I learned in culinary school and what a previous coworker had taught me. I was given a day of "training". I was basically shown a few borders and flowers and how to make our every day cakes. After that I was on my own 40 hours a week. There is a lot of bs that goes along with grocery store decorating. I always say it's like being in high school again. Drama with coworkers, customers trying to scam you for free cakes, etc. I find it stressful most days. I work through my breaks and lunch and there's still never enough time to get everything I want done. Especially when you're stopping every few minutes to slice bread, check on something for someone, or make a cake for someone who just walked in. The days I get to do a really neat special order are great though. Seeing a kids face light up when they see their birthday cake makes iit worthwhile for me.

Ouch, you're scheduled alone?!?  We always have minimum two people on so the decorator has a better chance of finishing her end of the workload.  Doesn't always happen, though --- it wholly depends on how busy it is.  I've had to pull our decorator to help put away the freezer load numerous times.

 

The drama is inherent in most kinds of retail, not just grocery ;)

 

I'm surprised you can work through your breaks,  We're not allowed to.  HR checks everyone's time punches, and if they discover you didn't punch in/out for a break or meal, you're written up.

 

But yeah, the utter joy on a kid's face when they see a custom cake you've made?  Pure pricelessness :)

TotsnTwins Posted 5 Nov 2013 , 11:13am

On a regular day it's me, the baker and the packager. The closer comes in later. I don't usually get a 2nd decorator very often and my part time decorator is a pain in the butt. Never completes anything on her list, is blind as a bat and can't see product in front of her face. So when I come back from a day off, I'm doing two days workload in order to catch up. I'm in the process of trying to move out of state with my fiance, so we hired my replacement and I've trained her, she's great. We're so short handed though that she doesn't get to do cakes much right now, they have her closing. I know how to do all aspects of the bakery, so a lot of the time I get stuck having to do something besides cake decorating. We have inventory tomorrow, so I have to come in at 2am to help with that and Saturday I'm the baker. This will not be a good week for me on cakes.

 

We're not supposed to work through our breaks and lunches either, but I do. My boss does the same thing. They don't seem to care so much about the breaks as they do the lunches, but I've never been written up for it. I think my other boss let it slide because I get my work done and I'm not just skipping them in order to leave early like a lot of people do.

 

You're right about the drama in most other places. My fiancee has an office job and he has it as well. There always seems to be that one person that creates it. Unfortunately mine is my part timer decorator. I won regionals and came in 4th for our company's cake decorator contest in September, and I'm still hearing the drama about that. She thought she was a shoe in to win and complained to HR and our regional bakery specialist for weeks, when she didn't.

drina224 Posted 5 Nov 2013 , 7:00pm

thank you this was very helpful information 

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