I'm just a small home baker. I bake cheesecakes for one restaurant and have 1-2 wedding/shower/bday cakes per wknd. I have a HS acquaintance that has ordered 2x in about 4 yrs. I would post cakes on facebook and she would say oh I can't wait for you to do my wedding cake!! Time went on with no official booking so I figured she booked someone else. No biggie. I hear from her yesterday that she would like me to do her cake 5/14. An already booked wknd for me. Then she drops this gem. The cake and cupcakes are coming from a grocery store and she just wants me to decorate. I pry and it is bc the store won't do her Tiffany Blue. I'm a little annoyed, a little offended. What would you do? 2 wks notice to decorate 70 store cupcakes and 1 7in ruffle cake. Especially that I am throwing my sister's baby shower the same day that requires me to make a cake and food. If it were a stranger I would probably say no flat out. Since I know her and I feel for her bridal stress I'm thinking of it. Ugh, ppl suck. I don't even know what to charge for some crap like that. Advice?
That is some pickle you are in. I am trying to put myself in your shoes by thinking if it was a close friend of mine what would I do. I would be hard pressed to put my name and reputation on a store bought cake. People at the wedding are going to taste that cake and think you did it. But you have to do what you think is right.
I would not do it. Just explain it is too short of notice and you are already committed. I don't get the impression she is a close friend. It sounds like she didn't even try to price out a cake with you and only thought of you when the store bakery wouldn't do her design. It will just be a huge headache and I would bet she will try to take advantage of you if you say yes. It is not like she couldn't just work with the store to find a design they can do. You don't need the extra stress. She sounds like the type of client no one wants in the long run (the "can you do a 6 tier custom cake with fancy flavors for my kid's birthday? Oh and my budget is $50.)
You say she is only an acquaintance, so it's not like she's your BFF.
Did you happen to mention to her --- back when she was dropping comments about she can't wait for you to do her wedding cake --- anything about booking ahead of time? Whether you did or not, the point is moot. She is trying to take advantage of you and asking you to do something that's untoward and unprofessional, and she probably doesn't even realize she is doing this.
Apologize profusely to her and say you're already booked and you cannot possibly book her or anyone else at that time/weekend.
I'd be annoyed and offended, too, same as you are.
Be professional, be business like, and even though it's not your fault that she waited until the last minute (didn't book ahead, did NOT pay any reservation fee), and it's short notice, you must tell her you regretfully decline because of other bookings.
This is something I have recently seen more and more on the Facebook "Buy and Sell" pages.."I have this store bought cake..looking for a professional to put 'this' design on it for a reasonable price"..ect.
Just tell her; sorry unfortunately we do not decorate other people's work. There is nothing unprofessional about telling her why you are unwilling to do that kinda of order.