My secret is I never use anything other than Ghirardelli chocolate bars for my white chocolate and dark chocolate cakes... so I try to buy them when they are on sale. Actually, I found some at a "Bent and Dent" store yesterday for 60 cents a piece (I pay $2.35/bar at Kroger)... That was a good secret.
Also, another secret is that I NEVER NEVER NEVER use aspartame (Equal) or SPLENDA (both are very, very, very dangerous) in any of my foods and will not allow them to be served wherever there is food that I have prepared. My contract even states that these two items will not be served. If someone is diabetic, I tell them they should not eat my cakes, etc. Now, do not get all over me about this... I refuse to knowingly poison someone with killers, as I have too many who are in my family who have been hurt by this. The two above substitutes are poisonous, and if they still insist, I will provide a substitute for them. . Sweet 'n Low is available, as it is not as toxic, but they have to initial on the contract that they are fully responsible and leave no liability on me whatsoever if I serve the Sweet 'N Low.
A third "known secret" is that I do not buy anything from WalMart, due to their moral values. I will travel ten miles down the road to purchase from a local business person at a higher cost because I am true to my word. They are not cheaper overall and their food quality is suspect, in my opinion.
A fourth secret is that I use family recipes handed down from generation to generation. My ex-mother-in-law taught me how to make certain types of cakes (she is from the Austria area) and I use them as a basis for the cakes I make. There were no recipes, but techniques.
A fifth secret is that I use homemade vanilla that I have made myself out of bourbon and vanilla beans.
A sixth secret is I use my large, long cake boxes with shelf liner (the spongy type) to carry the cake in the car more than once if they are not stained with butter cream, etc. I keep one in the trunk at all times to set the cake boxes into when I am delivering a cake... it acts as a "holder" and keeps the cake boxes from sliding around when I turn a corner.
A seventh secret is that I carve my cakes into whatever size and shape the client wants, instead of owning forty billion different cake pans.