howboutbake Posted 10 Feb 2014 , 8:26am

Bless me Bakers, for I have sinned.

 

I haven't been on this board in so long because I've taken a major break from my baking hobby. As I am reading threads and getting back into things, I've realized that I have something to get off my chest. 

 

A while back I got a phone call from a friend of a friend of my mother's. She was responsible for one thing for her daughter-in-law's baby shower. The cake.  She figured she could walk in anywhere the week before and order a beautiful designer cake for 150 people. She was shocked to find out that the big grocery stores (The ones that shovel their icing out of unrefrigerated oil drums) wouldn't make one for her.  

 

I decided that I was bored, and I could help her out.  I designed a small 2 tier, 10 and 8 inch cake, covered in smbc and homemade fondant, with a big fondant bow, sculpted gumpaste ballet shoes, mini gumpaste flowers, and a sweet little pink tulle skirt for the cake board, that I had to sew. 

 

And 100 cupcakes, with coordinating miniature sculpted gumpaste ballet shoes. 

 

It was the 3rd time I had covered a cake and made smbc. It was the first time I made gumpaste decorations. First time I had stacked and delivered a cake. 

 

 

 

80 bucks.

 

 

 

My penance may have been making the darn thing, but because I am lying awake thinking about it, I am going to apologize and say THANK YOU to all the hardworking artists doing this for a living. I will NEVER let someone snark at me about the price of baked goods.  Unless they are of the gross low-grade supermarket variety. :grin:

 

 

Amen. 

15 replies
Claire138 Posted 10 Feb 2014 , 10:11am

You are so sweet to step in and help out last minute but I have to ask, $80? is that a typo?

howboutbake Posted 10 Feb 2014 , 10:37am

Quote:

Originally Posted by Claire138 
 

You are so sweet to step in and help out last minute but I have to ask, $80? is that a typo?

 

Nope! Just about what I spent in butter :D   

 

I could tell she thought she was being generous too!   I break out in a sweat just thinking about that weekend haha

Annabakescakes Posted 10 Feb 2014 , 11:38am

AOmg! The cupcakes alone would be $350 over here! You poor thing! So glad you learned your lesson!

cazza1 Posted 10 Feb 2014 , 1:09pm

I'm shaking my head.  Maybe for a close family member, but for a friend of a friend of your mother's!!!!

DeliciousDesserts Posted 10 Feb 2014 , 5:30pm

AThank you not only for realizing what it is really worth but for coming here and speaking the truth!!

Woohoo another convert!

howboutbake Posted 10 Feb 2014 , 7:19pm

A

Original message sent by DeliciousDesserts

Thank you not only for realizing what it is really worth but for coming here and speaking the truth!! Woohoo another convert!

Original message sent by cazza1

I'm shaking my head.  Maybe for a close family member, but for a friend of a friend of your mother's!!!!

I know!! Who invites 150 people to a shower anyway?? lol

Original message sent by Annabakescakes

Omg! The cupcakes alone would be $350 over here! You poor thing! So glad you learned your lesson!

It would probably be slightly less here, but yeah! Just because someone wants to eat my cake doesn't mean I should kill myself to make it happen :D

JWinslow Posted 10 Feb 2014 , 7:30pm

Wow!  I am sure if there is a cake god you are forgiven in exchange for your kindness.  Also, good for you on the "Confession".  I'm sure you will remember that shower for a long time.  :)  Welcome back, BTW

cakeyouverymuch Posted 10 Feb 2014 , 9:17pm
Just because someone wants to eat my cake doesn't mean I should kill myself to make it happen icon_biggrin.gif

 

 

Every caker who is tempted to be the cheap cake lady in a moment of madness should embroider this and put it at eye level on their kitchen door, on and their oven door. 

MBalaska Posted 10 Feb 2014 , 10:19pm

 (post a photo it sounds adorable!!)

howboutbake Posted 10 Feb 2014 , 11:21pm

A

Original message sent by MBalaska

 (post a photo it sounds adorable!!)

HA!! I was so exhausted when I got to the venue I basically set it up, told the lady to promise not to recommend me to anyone and took off! I had taken a camera with me but I forgot it in the car and didn't want to go get it.

From what I remember it was cute :lol:

AivaCake Posted 10 Feb 2014 , 11:25pm

Quote:

told the lady to promise not to recommend me to anyone and took off! 
 

 

LOLLLL!!!!  You poor thing!! 

howboutbake Posted 10 Feb 2014 , 11:38pm

AHaha I guess that sounds worse than it really was. I had to be a teensy bit firm with her because she's one of those people who knows and talks to everyone and my phone would have been ringing

costumeczar Posted 10 Feb 2014 , 11:50pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by howboutbake 


HA!! I was so exhausted when I got to the venue I basically set it up, told the lady to promise not to recommend me to anyone and took off!
 

I've had cakes like that...ususally when I do them for a friend, or if I do something that I definitely don't want to recreate.

Smckinney07 Posted 11 Feb 2014 , 8:15am

AUnfortunately you learned a valuable lesson the hard way. Definitley get your routine down so you can work out an accurate pricing formula/matrix before taking more orders (for your sake).

I would have also charged a rush fee for such a large order at the last minute as well as getting paid upfront. I require a signed contract and deposit to reserve the date, remainder to be paid 3-4 weeks before the order is due.

Look into some of the pricing threads, there are many on CC, I just read one 'How much should I charge for this big square wedding cake' has some great advice from members running successful business'.

Consider everything when pricing: ingredients, boxes, boards, dowels, etc. Local market prices (not Walmart or Krogers but people making custom cakes), the thing many people who bake from home don't realize/consider is their overhead. Obviously if you rent a storefront the overhead will be much higher then that of a home based baker, but it still exists & should be factored in somehow. Requiring a minimum order price for example, if a customer came to me requesting six cupcakes I would refer them to a grocery store. With the cost & quality of my ingredients alone there would be no way for me to make any real profit, (a minimum order amount also helps 'weed out' some people who want a custom design for a grocery store price). You also need to figure out how much you want to make per hour; including consultation, designing, shopping, baking, cleanup...and of course decorating!

Insurance, certifications, etc. I could go on and on, just things to consider when pricing your cakes. $80 for a cake that serves 62 plus 100 cupcakes = approx $ .50/serving! Many people struggle with pricing when starting out so don't feel too bad ;) At least you realized the value of a custom cake as well as your time!

howboutbake Posted 11 Feb 2014 , 9:44am

Really excellent advice! 

 

I'm actually not in the cake business, just thanking those who are :) 

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