ChefAngie... I will bet that your relatives gave out those recipes to everyone who asked.
I'm from the south and recipe sharing is a way of life. I use my grandmother's pound cake recipe, but I will bet that hundreds of people my age in Tidewater Virginia call that same recipe theirs. She freely shared that recipe with everyone, as I know that someone once shared it with her. Now that recipe is "the" pound cake recipe of many.
I am of a completely different belief system on this where goodwill outweighs the value of a secret recipe.
Not one celebrity chef has been harmed financially by sharing recipes. Just the opposite happens in every single solitary case. Think of Warren Brown and his six bakeries in DC or Joanne Chang, who opened her second bakery in Boston after sharing her most prized and unique recipes. How about Cakeman Raven? Because of their generosity, I would love to patronize their bakeries if I was in the area. And our own snarkybaker who started the champagne cake threads still going on years later... I would go out of my way to visit her shop.
You can say these are recipes from a book, but I made sure I just mentioned recipes published on the web by the chefs themselves, free for all to duplicate. I could list a hundred similar situations where the author does not have a book but the recipe made them semi-famous just for sharing.
I don't believe that I need anyone's particular recipe to succeed and no one is going to put me out of business over a few recipes. I think in this web age that an abundance of fine recipes are available for either tweaking or to aid in the practice of creating completely new recipes. Not one recipe is the Holy Grail of recipes.
This is just my opinion, but if it was not for my southern upbringing of the mass exchange of phenomenal recipes at every family gathering, the south, including me, would not be the great bakers and cooks that we have become over the centuries.
Two things happen with competitors and your recipes... either they do not possess the skill to pull them off, or they are talented in their own right and would not use your recipes. Besides that, no two bakers bake the same unless one is tutored, like my daughter.
This is just my opinion, but it is backed up by fact. So many thing come into play with a business that a recipe, although vital, is not the only aspect.
I respect all who want to keep their recipes private and I don't feel this is a right/wrong situation. I just want to throw out there that goodwill goes a long way. I won't know until next week, but goodwill may have completely changed the course of my business, again.