Pastry School

Business By lafoutloud05 Updated 7 May 2014 , 6:17am by mzteaze

lafoutloud05 Posted 29 Apr 2014 , 2:56am
post #1 of 11

Hi all. Not sure if this would be the right section to post this, but here we go. Just a little bit about myself...I've been decorating from home for quite some time now, mostly cupcakes, but I would like to learn more. I wanted to start my own business from home, but being from New Jersey cottage food laws held me back. I did however get orders from friends and family, and all those people encouraged me every day to keep working on my cupcakes. Instead of selling cupcakes since it is not legal in my state, I started a blog and make video tutorials as sort of an outlet for my passion.

 

Recently I applied to a chain cupcake bakery opening up near me, I showed my interviewer my portfolio, and even though he seemed unsure of hiring due to my lack of commercial baking experience, he did hire me. I was thrilled. Even cried of happiness. Everyone was so excited for me. So before the bakery even opened (mind you I already filled out a w2 and they gave me a schedule so I thought it was a sure thing) I went to one of their other locations to train a little bit so I could be prepared for the opening. I was there for about an hour, while at the same time people in chef coats were coming in to be tested out for the position, I felt like I was doing okay considering I had only been in a commercial kitchen for an hour (I was ready to stay there all day/weekend if need be), when the owner (who is not a baker or decorator) pulled me out and said I didn't have enough experience. He asked if I wanted to do the counter instead and I said I would be interested if maybe I could work my way towards decorating, and he said no. Anyway I was really heartbroken. I wish they would have told me it was a trial, but they pretty much told me I was hired and took it away only within an hour of time. I never worked in a bakery like I said, maybe this is the norm.

 

So okay...the point of this post is yeah, I was heartbroken, but it got me thinking maybe if I really want this dream to become a reality I need to go to Pastry School and learn everything I need to know. ICE in NYC has an 8 month program that I was thinking of trying. It is a big chunk of change, around $35k (and that would be on top of my other school loans :/ ) so I wanted to see what you all think of Pastry School before I start applying for financial aid and all of that. Is it necessary to get a job, to start my own business, etc? Is it worth it if I want to start a career in decorating? I'm hoping by the time I'm out the NJ laws will have changed (they are in the process of changing it so hopefully that all works out) and I'll be able to work from home and work towards a bakery job or even my own bakery. Please let me know your thoughts on Pastry School.

 

Sorry that was such a long post. :) 

10 replies
thecakewitch Posted 29 Apr 2014 , 3:10am
post #2 of 11

It depends on what you want to get out of Pastry School and what curriculum the school you're thinking of enrolling offers. If you just want to have a cupcake business, I'd suggest go to business school instead. You can always take a baking and decorating a cake/cupcake class. Pastry School (the one I went to anyway) is more than decorating a cake or a cupcake. 

leah_s Posted 29 Apr 2014 , 4:21am
post #3 of 11

I went to culinary school and have a degree in Baking and Pastry arts.  It had very little to do with decorating.  They taught a few basics:  borders, roses, rosettes, gumnpaste work.  I did get to do my internship in a Bakery, though.  That was an excellent learning experience.

lafoutloud05 Posted 30 Apr 2014 , 4:44am
post #4 of 11

Thanks for the replies. I didn't realize there wasn't much emphasis on decorating. ICE has a cake decorating concentration, but even that doesn't seem to go into much depth. So do you think taking classes just for decorating would be a better route? I was under the impression to even get a baking job I need some sort of culinary degree.

AgBaker Posted 30 Apr 2014 , 5:05am
post #5 of 11

ADid you look into ICC's cake design class in New York? I was just reading about it and the curriculum looks interesting.

lafoutloud05 Posted 30 Apr 2014 , 5:10am
post #6 of 11

I did just see that. It's cheaper too. I think I'll talk to someone face to face there before making a final decision. I think I can do the full program with a concentration of cake decorating, which seems pretty awesome. I'm hoping to intern somewhere in the city while taking classes...

morganchampagne Posted 30 Apr 2014 , 5:36am
post #7 of 11

AI have an AAS in baking and pastry arts. Not cake decorating related at all. There are two cake decorating classes. But you do learn so many valuable things.

lafoutloud05 Posted 30 Apr 2014 , 9:58am
post #8 of 11

Quote:

Originally Posted by AgBaker 

Did you look into ICC's cake design class in New York? I was just reading about it and the curriculum looks interesting.

I read that wrong. I saw ICE not ICC. I'm looking into this now as well. Thanks for the suggestion.

SugarJen Posted 30 Apr 2014 , 3:24pm
post #9 of 11

If you're looking to do the Cake Decorating Curriculum at ICE- keep in mind that the program is not accredited and therefore does not qualify for federal financial aids or loans. I know because I looked into the program. I did take a tour of the school and it is very nice. Staff are very nice also. In the Pastry Arts program you will learn a lot more than you really need to know for decorating cakes. Plus you get to learn from instructors like Toba Garret!

 

Oh, and the Pastry and Baking arts program is accredited. I should have added that.

lafoutloud05 Posted 30 Apr 2014 , 3:55pm
post #10 of 11

Quote:

Originally Posted by SugarJen 
 

If you're looking to do the Cake Decorating Curriculum at ICE- keep in mind that the program is not accredited and therefore does not qualify for federal financial aids or loans. I know because I looked into the program. I did take a tour of the school and it is very nice. Staff are very nice also. In the Pastry Arts program you will learn a lot more than you really need to know for decorating cakes. Plus you get to learn from instructors like Toba Garret!

 

Oh, and the Pastry and Baking arts program is accredited. I should have added that.

I think I'm leaning more towards the Pastry and Baking art program. It never hurts to learn more! Plus to complete the program I believe you need an externship which would be a great experience on its own!

mzteaze Posted 7 May 2014 , 6:17am
post #11 of 11

If you are serious about it, consider taking the short course they have that is basically an overview of the entire Pastry/Baking course.  It's around 2K and less than two weeks, BUT they offer some incentives for students who decide they want to invest in the full course.  The incentives are advanced standing and a "discounted" tuition.

 

That way, you get an idea of how the course is taught and whether its worth the major financial investment without making the commitment then finding out it's not what YOU want.

 

Also, one other thing, you might want to see if you can arrange an internship with a cake designer or outlet.  

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