What I Learned This Week

Business By chefjenbarney Updated 4 Sep 2014 , 7:11pm by craftybanana

chefjenbarney Posted 30 Aug 2014 , 12:39pm
post #1 of 20

I had a bridezilla this week.  After making cakes and dealing with couples for 8 years, I am still learning what NOT to do next time. 

 

Here is the story: 

 

This is one of those brides who wanted a glamorous cake, but was on a very tight budget.   She was very clear about what she wanted.  During her initial consultation she did not choose a design because she was surprised to hear how much her glamorous large cake costs and she needed to think about.  Her mother was paying for the cake and obviously had a budget in mind.  Weeks later they came back and were ready to make decisions,  My guess is she spend 2 weeks making her mother feel guilty for not paying for the cake of her dreams.   She chose a 4 tier square cake.  She wanted bling ribbon all over the cake.  I tried to explain to her that 4 tiered square cakes are one of the most expensive, because they have more servings.  However, she wanted a square 4 tiered cake at all costs...or at least on her mother's dime.  I do not provide ribbon, and I told her she needed at the very minimum X amount of ribbon.  She wanted to purchase the expensive bling ribbon that is $12 or more dollars a yard.  Whatever floats her boat, I just needed it one week before the wedding.  She does not like flowers and we are using my silver cake stand.  It was one of those meetings that I walked away feeling sorry for the MOB because I knew she felt uncomfortable with the pricing, but she did not want to say no to her daughter.  If she would've let ME design the cake with their budget I believe I could've given her an even more grand looking cake, but she wanted her square cake cake with the most expensive ribbon she could find. 

 

Enough back story, this week she brings in the ribbon on Wednesday, 3 days too late but I do not sweat the small stuff.  She drops it off and says, "If there is not enough just put some flowers in the gaps."  I ask her if she got X amount of ribbon?  She says, "I think it might be a little short but I will just have someone drop of flowers for you."  I say, "Make sure you have enough flowers because that might be tricky."  She is as cool as a cucumber.  I am too, but only on the outside.   Mind you, in the initial consultation I remember her saying that she is very modern and did not want flowers. 

 

I start to build the cake on my silver cake stand before I leave on Wednesday.  When I came back on Thursday there was a homemade acrylic cake stand waiting for me.  The bride had not mentioned this at all.  I am super annoyed, but I aim to please.  I unstack the cake and assemble it on her stand.  I place the ribbon on the cake and I have 1 inch gaps of ribbon on every tier in order to have enough. 

 

Friday I arrive to work and there are 3 small flowers waiting for me.  Not only did she not give enough flowers, but she picked them from outside the building where I work. She stole the flowers and she didn't even give me enough.   The only good thing about this is that I could easily walk outside and get 3 times the amount of flowers that were actually needed for the cake. I ended up using a lot more flowers than what the bride would've wanted to make it look symmetrical. 

 

Sorry I am writing a novel, but I needed to release it!  I actually feel better now.  This is what I hope to do next time:  Say NO.  I wish I would've told her immediately that I did not feel comfortable using ribbon when there was not enough.  I wish I would've sad NO when she brought in a unannounced homemade cake stand the day before her wedding.  Everyday we deal with customers who are great people, but who have no idea how much time and love goes into our craft.  Our cakes deserve to be treated better.  We deserve to be treated better.  I have learned that the type of people who are difficult in tastings are the same people who are difficult throughout the whole process.  It is okay to say to someone" Thank you so much for you time, I hoped you enjoyed my cake.  Have you tried X bakery?  They do a wonderful job and I think they can help you better than I can."

 

  

 

Will I actually say this?  I haven't yet, but I sincerely hope I can set aside my people pleasing ways and sometimes put myself first when I deal with my customers.  Until then, I will leave you with a picture of the cake.

19 replies
Bunny0410 Posted 30 Aug 2014 , 1:21pm
post #2 of 20

Chin up!

 

For every bad customer you will have 10 great....

 

And yes, you have to say no sometimes. Be proud and stand your ground.

:wink:

mattyeatscakes Posted 30 Aug 2014 , 4:10pm
post #3 of 20

ABeautiful cake! Lol on the bride stealing flowers outside your work! You can't buy class! Hahahhaa

Rfisher Posted 30 Aug 2014 , 5:16pm
post #4 of 20

ANice cake. I can't wait to hear chapter two. You know, the one when the bride complains she did not get what she asked for? I hope that does not happen to you, though.

costumeczar Posted 31 Aug 2014 , 1:29am
post #5 of 20

I'm with @mattyeatscakes... Stealing the flowers is probably the funniest low-class thing I've heard in a loooong time, hahahahahaha! Sorry you had to deal with that but it makes for a good "can you believe this happened" story.

johnson6ofus Posted 31 Aug 2014 , 2:18am
post #6 of 20

All we can hope is that passing cats and dogs "used" the flowers first... just kidding, but we sure can think it in the back of our "evil twin" thoughts. :evil:

mcaulir Posted 31 Aug 2014 , 3:27am
post #7 of 20

And wow - the flowers really 'make' the design. So she guilted her mother for two weeks to pay for a plain, square cake, and she was to provide the ribbon herself?

 

I appreciate the difficulty and skill involved in getting your squares so clean and neat, but, man, that's not a very 'glamorous' cake without the ribbon or the flowers!

 

And I have to join with the others in finding her stealing flowers from the garden outside. Mum obviously reached the limit of guilt and refused to pay another cent.

chefjenbarney Posted 31 Aug 2014 , 10:44am
post #8 of 20

AThanks for reading my long post. I guess the bride's version of glamorous is different than ours. I would have opted for a less expensive ribbon and done a more memorable design...oh and bought enough ribbon:)

chefjenbarney Posted 31 Aug 2014 , 10:54am
post #9 of 20

AAfter removing myself from this cake for over 24 hours I have to say I woke up this morning in much better mood! Thanks everyone for letting me vent and seeing THE HUMOR in all this. I will forever refer to her as flora-klepto bride!

chefjenbarney Posted 31 Aug 2014 , 11:17am
post #10 of 20

AOn Saturday I worked with the sweetest bride and she balanced out the bad karma from Friday.

mcaulir Posted 31 Aug 2014 , 10:30pm
post #11 of 20

Glad you're feeling better. It really is a hilarious story. :D

kakeladi Posted 1 Sep 2014 , 10:39pm
post #12 of 20

Now that I've picked up my jaw from the basement floor - YIKES! stole the flowers from your building?!?!?!!!  Wow, that is Unbelievable.

However, you made lemonade out of lemons for someone who didn't deserve it.  Good for you.

BeesKnees578 Posted 2 Sep 2014 , 7:14pm
post #13 of 20

AFunny story, indeed!

So what, exactly, was her purpose in putting the cake on the clear stand on top of the silver one? I don't get it....

docofthedead Posted 2 Sep 2014 , 10:46pm
post #14 of 20

A

Original message sent by BeesKnees578

Funny story, indeed!

So what, exactly, was her purpose in putting the cake on the clear stand on top of the silver one? I don't get it....

I was wondering the same thing BeesKneese! :USA:

ellavanilla Posted 3 Sep 2014 , 3:38pm
post #15 of 20

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rfisher 

Nice cake.
I can't wait to hear chapter two. You know, the one when the bride complains she did not get what she asked for?
I hope that does not happen to you, though.

 

 

I think chapter two will be when this becomes OPs most popular cake design for new clients...

costumeczar Posted 4 Sep 2014 , 10:29am
post #16 of 20

A

Original message sent by ellavanilla

I think chapter two will be when this becomes OPs most popular cake design for new clients...

Hahahahaha!

chefjenbarney Posted 4 Sep 2014 , 2:13pm
post #17 of 20

There is a reason why there is a silver stand below the acrylic one:  This picture was taken before I set the cake out in the dinning room.  The cake was really heavy and the stand she made was flat on the bottom, it did not have any room to get my fingers under when I was setting it on the table. I used the silver stand in transit to help me get a hold of it.  Sorry for the confusion!

chefjenbarney Posted 4 Sep 2014 , 2:24pm
post #18 of 20

I hope this does not become my most popular cake!  Too funny!  Does anyone else believe that bad energy from a tasting or couple translates into bad energy when working on a wedding cake?  When I really like a couple I find myself being more relaxed and happy when I am working and I really enjoy the process of making something beautiful for their special day.  When it is a more difficult couple I am more stressed and I think it translates to an "unhappy" cake that does not look as good to me.   Am I totally crazy?

Dayti Posted 4 Sep 2014 , 4:38pm
post #19 of 20

No, you are not crazy, you are absolutely right! A lovely couple makes for a lovely wedding cake in my opinion.

craftybanana Posted 4 Sep 2014 , 7:11pm
post #20 of 20

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dayti 
 

No, you are not crazy, you are absolutely right! A lovely couple makes for a lovely wedding cake in my opinion.


and a lovely marriage, lols. (couldn't help it) :)

 

Loved your story though. These cake stories beat any return-desk story I've had (probably because of the cake, everything's better with it right?)

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