Idea verification: I had a difficult time finding a cake for my daughter's upcoming birthday. Google was less than helpful, and there were only a few local bakeries. I KNOW there has to be quite a few people who bake/decorate on the side at home. With that in mind, I am considering creating a marketplace for local bakers, cake decorators, cupcake makers, etc. Customers would be able to log in, search by location, and view a list of nearby bakers whom they could get custom quotes from. Similar to Rover or Etsy.
1. Is there already a website like this I am unaware of?
2. Would you use a service like this?
I wouldn't unless the bakers on the site were licensed and inspected. But that's just my opinion. The reason there are many more out there that do it on the side and you can't find in google searches is because you can't operate like a business and sell things like a business if your not a licensed business. Advertising, Facebook pages etc is considered operating as a business. on the side bakers who are aware of selling cakes and not being legal won't use a site like that long if at all bc the local authorities would catch on and bust them. At least that's what they do here with fb. its not a bad idea but I think needs to be geared towards businesses. Just one bakers opinion :)
i was thinking the same thing, you'd need to get verification that they're all legal and put disclaimers all over the site.
OH MY GOD I CAN POST AGAIN!!!! YAY!
That makes sense. Nixing that idea I guess!
That's the unfortunate part there aren't a whole lot of legit bakeries bc the markets are over saturated with on the side do it real cheap cake ladies and there are plenty of them you just have to know someone who knows one (and I know a few and I'm legit lol). It really drives down the cake business bc some of them can really bake and decorate and they do it for nothing or at a loss. It makes it tough then when people are looking for a cake and don't want to pay the bakery price bc they've been paying $50 for $350 cakes lol but bakeries have lots of expenses that the cake ladies don't. I often compare it to electricians who are licensed they cost more than joe smith running around town without being licensed bonded and insured. He can work cheaper. But that's life :)
The cake ladies have expenses that THEY don't know about! A good number of them are paying the customer to take the cake home!
Actually In some areas in the US home bakers can have a web page to advertise their goods, they just can't take orders online. For example in Florida you don't need to have a license if your total sales are less than $15,000 per year under the Cottage Food Laws and inspections don't apply. I am new to baking and cake decorating and believe me, you eventually learn your worth the hard way. I think many "cake ladies" gradually increase their prices knowing they will lose many customers because at some point they see that the time, effort and money spent on goods isn't worth it. No smart person is going to continue to make $350 cake for $50 for long.
There are too many regional food laws to be able to monitor a site with a directory. Like you say @dderiggs if someone is working under a cottage food law legally it would be hard to determine since there won't be a license or inspection. So if you're running a site where you're listing people who are selling cakes, you'd have to either make it completely clear that you're not endorsing people by having a million disclaimers, or you take the risk of having someone blame you when they get a cake gone wrong. A lot of wedding vendors won't refer out to other vendors at all because if the referral goes badly the client blames you for referring them to the stinker.
As far as the lowballing "cake ladies" go, they're always going to be here, since there are enough classes and tutorials now floating around the internet to choke a horse. When ten start, four will stop because they get burned out, but the other six stick around and ten more show up. then they all get together on facebook yard sale sites and bid against each other to see who can do a cake for the cheapest price. You're right that no smart person will keep selling for so little, but there are a ton of people who see decorating cakes as a fun money-making hobby more than as a business. Or if they do think they're running a business they're not, because they don't know what they're doing and they're losing money on every cake they make.