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Ouch..that stung a little more than I thought it would! - Page 3

post #31 of 50
Thread Starter 
I completely agree that all bakers SHOULD be telling their customers if they are baking scratch, box, or what ever they use. It is bad biz to LIE to your customers, and its just wrong to LIE AT ALL!! Like I said, I do not lie about using a box for my vanilla cake; it is what sells, and its what the majority wants. What I think stung the most was the fact this woman thought she was being sneaky, acting like she just KNEW everything about my cakes because she heard that I use a box LOL! I want so bad to be able to say I use 100% scratch and homemade cakes...but I am quite worried that it just wont be as raved about as the WASC....and so, the fight within my head goes on!
post #32 of 50
Confections, have you thought of dropping that one flavor and marketing yourself as an all scratch baker? Do you really only have one recipe keeping you from this? If that is so, pm me and I will share a few recipes with you that can be a replacement. Be specific about what color and the taste of the cake is now, as I am not familiar. You may not like mine as much either, but your whole marketing strategy can change without this glitch. But if you do state scratch baking, never make that cake again, because someone will find out and call you a liar. This is not good.

I usually do not give out my core cake recipes, but this is a shame when you are so close and can't capitalize on all of your other accomplishments.
post #33 of 50
How nice of you scp1127, I think confections you should only use scratch cake recipes from now on, yet, to your loyal cstomers that adore your box cake, have it as a special order, that should solve your problems. After all, cakers stand out, not solely when they make great looking and great tasting cakes, but also when they make Custom cakes, viola, here comes your shall i say "famous", enhanced box cake. good luck, keep us posted.
("Once you go Scratch, you never go back", ja ja)
post #34 of 50
How nice of you scp1127, I think confections you should only use scratch cake recipes from now on, yet, to your loyal cstomers that adore your box cake, have it as a special order, that should solve your problems. After all, cakers stand out, not solely when they make great looking and great tasting cakes, but also when they make Custom cakes, viola, here comes your shall i say "famous", enhanced box cake. good luck, keep us posted.
("Once you go Scratch, you never go back", ja ja)
post #35 of 50
But margiep, someone like me can be at a wedding and taste that one cake and declare it to be a box. This will happen because once she sets herself apart, there is more scrutiny. I know it will be hard to give up a best seller, but you have to be true to your mission statement. Someone will call her on it. The Op will have to decide this one. I'm just giving another point of view.

On my site, I have a blog post called something like , "My Totally Fake Nothing From Scratch Favorite Cake". It is an incredible cake. Because I would never sell it, I shared the recipe and step-by-step instructions on how to make it. I still make it for my family every July 4th. I also have a few other very unique takes on doctored box mixes that I have waiting to be published. I am aware that not everyone will buy my cakes at my prices. But some people will bake great cakes from a box and never buy a cake. For these people, I try to share my recipes. By the way, I also share all of my scratch family recipes. Some are already posted and some are waiting.
post #36 of 50
Since the OP asked this not become scratch vs box, I will say that I think it really stinks that one person's uninformed opinion of our product can effect what potential customers think of us. I had one person recently tell someone that a cake of mine was dry. On Facebook. For the world to see.

I contacted the client (the poster was the mother of the client) and she said it was a tad dry but not to worry about it. I gave her free cake truffles and a cheesecake which she loved, but there wasn't a thing I could do about that Facebook post. I still don't know if it was a scratch vs box palate, a difference of opinion or what. The scraps didn't taste or look dry to me, but it's the client's opinion that matters.
post #37 of 50
I wonder if the thought was the cost of the cake? I know for me, I have a problem paying a custom cake price for a box cake. I hear a lot on hear that they are paying for a well decorated cake. I feel they are paying for the cake and the decorating. Maybe she wasn't trying to say the cake tasted bad, but that it was custom box.

I personally like the boxed confetti cake with the can cream cheese frosting, as well as the yellow cake with the can of chocolate, with the "box mix" taste and all. icon_biggrin.gif
post #38 of 50
The bakery I worked for used boxed cake mixes for the majority of their basic cakes...vanilla, strawberry, lemon. They did minimal doctoring, but what they did made a big difference.

We would have people come in all the time and say things like 'I can always tell when a cake is baked from scratch and this is one of the best!' Or, 'gosh I wish I knew your recipe...but I can only cook box cakes!' I didn't deny or agree, I just thanked them and gave them their cake. After all it was the bakery's proprietary recipe and none of their business.

This is YOUR recipe! If they like it, they like it. Who cares? You keep doing what you are doing and give the people what they want...not what they THINK they want just because they've heard someone badmouth how you bake! I've had some plenty bad scratch cakes in my life but I'm not going to stick my nose in the air and say 'I only prefer box mixes'. It's what works for YOU and what consistently gets you business--and compliments--and to heck with that person who thinks what you do is beneath her delicate cake palate!

People get a mind-set based on God-knows-what or who is telling them what's best. And those kind of opinions change with the wind. Don't let one cake snob make you change your whole business. If someone requests a specific scratch cake, then accommodate them (and charge accordingly). But if they want your regular cake then do what you know works for you.
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post #39 of 50
Our customers are allowed... actually it is their right... to voice or post their opinion of our products. Those of you who don't like it had better figure out a way to cope with it very quickly. The social network is here to stay and growing stronger daily.

So it's ok to look on amazon, Best Buy, or Consumer Reports to help make a buying decision based on other people's experiences, but how dare someone not like your cake?

Most of the celebration cakes I have had in my life have either been dry, taste of chemicals, or just plain not worth the calories. I haven't had it happen, but someone eventually will not like my cake. I will endeavor to win that person's approval when it happens, but I will not be mad at the customer. I will take the criticism seriously. It may be just that one person, but offering an alternate flavor to win approval is just good business. I have stopped posting marketing advice because I am usually bombarded about how I'm wrong. So I just read, shake my head, and move on. And many of you post that if it's not the person who pays, disregard and ignore the person. What makes a guest or MOB any less lethal to your business? If I was ignored, I'd get louder... to my acquaintances. Good business practices carry across industry lines. There are no baking rules of PR.
post #40 of 50
Thread Starter 
I do fancy myself a decent baker..by far not the best, but I have began baking and creating "recipes" by age six (mother was never home, someone had to cook LOL!) ANY WHO... Just baked that wonderful box cake again...and there is a good chance I am not changing!! You CAN mess up a boxed cake, and you CAN do a box cake exceptionally well, just like scratch cakes (although, scratch cakes in my opinion are an art in and of themselves, and take much practice to get them right!) I will do as others have suggested, offer the scratch as an option, at extra $$ of course! But really, that wasc I made today, I just couldn't stop eating the top! Maybe it was my subconscious defedning my recipe, but dang it, I ate every bit of the tops of 2 10 in rounds, and 2 6in rounds LAMO!!!!! icon_lol.gif
post #41 of 50
Confections, that's what I mean... stand by it. Don't be ashamed of it. And don't worry if someone calls it a box. You could still market yourself as a scratch baker with that exception. Just state that it is a customer favorite and you can't get rid of it. I don't like mixing messages, but this is your business. But if you are doing that much scratch baking, you should consider using your website to let your customers know exactly what you do. You are obviously happy with your recipes. You could use the term "bakery style" for your box mix and play up the others as scratch. If someone asks, tell them the difference. That "bakery secret" excuse used for a box mix by some bakers is just irritating. There's a good chance the customer already knows the answer. That was why they asked.
post #42 of 50
I've been baking something or another since the age of 4, that is 40 plus years now. And in my very honest opinion for a basic flavor like white, butter, strawberry, lemon, spice or chocolate I prefer, bake and sell Duncan Hines cake mix cakes. I don't add sour cream or anything extra to these mixes unless I'm doctoring it up to be something like Hummingbird cake. Don't get me wrong I can make a mean scratch cake, but the results don't seem worth the extra effort/expense. All my specialty cakes are also priced higher than box mix cakes.

Box mixes are more cost efficient and consistent over all. I had a instructor tell me once that back in the day when box mixes came out they produced a cake that was hard and dry, but over the years had improved to the point the results were superior to scratch cakes. I had much rather have a moist boxed cake than a tight, firm pound cake type cake any day.

But not everybody's taste swings the same way so to each his own. Just keep doing your thing and and the rest will take care of itself.
If you can't find time it do it right..how will you find time to do it over?
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If you can't find time it do it right..how will you find time to do it over?
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post #43 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

Our customers are allowed... actually it is their right... to voice or post their opinion of our products. Those of you who don't like it had better figure out a way to cope with it very quickly. The social network is here to stay and growing stronger daily.

So it's ok to look on amazon, Best Buy, or Consumer Reports to help make a buying decision based on other people's experiences, but how dare someone not like your cake?

Most of the celebration cakes I have had in my life have either been dry, taste of chemicals, or just plain not worth the calories. I haven't had it happen, but someone eventually will not like my cake. I will endeavor to win that person's approval when it happens, but I will not be mad at the customer. I will take the criticism seriously. It may be just that one person, but offering an alternate flavor to win approval is just good business. I have stopped posting marketing advice because I am usually bombarded about how I'm wrong. So I just read, shake my head, and move on. And many of you post that if it's not the person who pays, disregard and ignore the person. What makes a guest or MOB any less lethal to your business? If I was ignored, I'd get louder... to my acquaintances. Good business practices carry across industry lines. There are no baking rules of PR.



It wasn't that someone didn't like her cake. I believe the OP said a friend of a friend of the OP's was going to order a cake from her, but someone who had never even tasted one of her cakes, turned her nose up and said "ugh, she uses a box mix!" and would take her business to another bakery who who she said baked from scratch. And now her potential customer is terrified that her cakes might not be any good...yet she's never tasted them to find out for herself!

Now, should she all of a sudden abandon her previously successful recipe to cater to an individual who is basing her decision on another individual's tacky comment...someone who also has never tried her cake? I think not.

A person's recipes are their own. Instead of worrying about promoting ingredients, how you bake, and telling everyone every minute detail of your baking process, why not just say you make 'delicious cake for special occasions'. That's really all anyone wants--delicious cake--box or scratch.

And as far as social media reviews, I take most of those with a BIG grain of salt and make my decisions based on my own experiences. A business that is doing well, will have just as many...if not MORE positive reviews. So who do you believe?

If you run a business trying to please everyone, you'll please no one.

If I am ever on life support, unplug me...

Then plug me back in.  See if that works!

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If I am ever on life support, unplug me...

Then plug me back in.  See if that works!

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post #44 of 50
Scratch cake usually is a little denser than a box mix or WASC cake. People are so use to a light box cake that a lot of them prefer it to scratch because that is what they are use to. More so than in our grandmothers time. I like scratch, but have to admit some box cakes that are doctored are really good.
post #45 of 50
scp1127: can you share some of your cake pictures with us?
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