I live in San Jose, which is probably not North enough for comparable pricing, but I'm also trying to refine my ideas about what to charge. So far I've made lots of gifts and donations, but the time has come to get serious about charging. This may be way off base, but I think you need to see what bakeries in your area charge and you ought to charge more, since (I assume) you are doing one-of-kind cakes. I plan to charge "per serving" with additional charges for gumpaste bows, flowers, hand-made pearls or other sculpted items. Costco has half-sheet cakes for $13.99, so if we try to reach down to that level we will cheat ourselves. Prospective clients need to perceive that they are getting value for their money. Baking, decorating, and cleaning up all take valuable time in addition to ingredient costs. If you rent commercial kitchen space, you have to add that to your costs too. I want to make at least $10.00 an hour (or why bother) though I do realize that at the beginning I have to factor in the fact that I'm still pretty slow.
What I'm trying to say is that we need to take into account all our costs plus our time, and then (assuming we look as good or better than the bakeries around us) we need to train our clients to pay us what we are worth--more than the mass-produced stuff.
Gloria, do you really mean 3% as a markup? Isn't that just 3 cents on a dollar's costs? What am I missing? I figure a cake that costs $10.00 to make ought to sell for at least $30.00 or $40.00, since I can't imagine even a smal cake taking less than 3 hours to make, what with baking, filling, icing decorating, and cleaning up. I don't use mixes, and I usually work in fondant, so I could be way off....
This is my first post. Hope I'm not being presumptuous.