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Approaching Bakeries

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Hi all!

 

I just need a little feedback.  I recently lost my accounting job after 9 years.  I have been decorating cakes for the past 10 years and have taken all sorts of classes from well-known sugar artists. I feel that my skills are good enough to start in a bakery as a cake decorator.  I have approached one bakery and sent them pictures of my best cakes and a resume stating that while I have not worked in a commercial bakery that my skills and passion for sugar arts are great.  I haven't heard back from them at all.  My question is how should I approach bakeries so I can get a foot in the door and how should I word my resume?

 

Thanks

post #2 of 18

"Passion for sugar arts" is not normally used inside a bakery.  The skills that matter to a bakery are timing, multitasking, and people management.  They can teach you to decorate a lot faster than they can teach those other skills.

 

How to get your foot in the door: do your homework.  Make a table of bakeries, their style of decorating, their contact info, look carefully at their website. Look for the ones that are busiest or that take interns (many now do say that in their careers section).

 

Then call the bakeries on your shortlist and ask for the manager's name and best time to contact them.  Use google to see if there are any useful email addresses on their website.

 

Write a cover letter for your resume addressed to this owner or manager, that stresses your professional attitude and your willingness to work with customers.  Ask for  an informational interview and a tour.  Follow up with a phone call to schedule a time.

 

Put together your portfolio and take it with you to this informational interview.  Let it speak for itself.  At the tour, look carefully at the way that they have set up work areas. Look at the condition of their equipment.  Look at the stacks of their supplies and the cleanliness of their shipping area.  Look for obvious insect infestations.

 

Follow up with a thank-you letter as you would after any interview. Keep in touch with the bakeries that you found to be most appealing after you saw the back rooms.

post #3 of 18

You might be able to start at someplace like a supermarket, Costco, Walmart, etc. That would get you experience to use when you go for a more sophisticated job.

There. Their. They're not the same.

 

I hope I die before "your" becomes the official contraction of "you are."

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There. Their. They're not the same.

 

I hope I die before "your" becomes the official contraction of "you are."

Reply
post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by shanter View Post

You might be able to start at someplace like a supermarket, Costco, Walmart, etc. That would get you experience to use when you go for a more sophisticated job.


I second this.  Most stand-alone bakeries will not look at you, no matter how great your portfolio, unless you can demonstrate that you have experience in a commercial setting.  A supermarket or club job (i.e., Costco, BJs) is the easiest way to get your foot in the door.  As a poster said upthread, the major thing they'll teach you is speed and how to multitask, which are two indispensable skills in any kind of production work,

 

ETA:  You're already halfway there, as you already know the basics.  They will be thrilled not having to teach you how to ice a cake or use a rose nail!

post #5 of 18
I completely disagree!! Here, in Charleston, bakeries will not think twice about someone who lists grocery stores in a resume. They consider that to be practicing the wrong way! We've gossiped about it & how they would rather have some fresh & green than someone who had been taught how to crank out crap.

I say do exactly what you've been doing!

www.VeryDeliciousDesserts.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Delicious-Desserts/207874222593145

 

It's never "just cake!"

 

You may get a cake for $way to little but you won't get this cake!

Animal
(4 photos)
 
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www.VeryDeliciousDesserts.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Delicious-Desserts/207874222593145

 

It's never "just cake!"

 

You may get a cake for $way to little but you won't get this cake!

Animal
(4 photos)
 
Reply
post #6 of 18

One of those crap crankers won the Holiday Food Network Challenge against James Rosen in the Christmas song challenge a few years ago. The nerve of him!

 

Speed is very important in successful employment in cake deco. Playing well with others helps too- good customer service.

 

edited to say I mean James Roselle not James Rosen


Edited by -K8memphis - 12/17/12 at 10:42am
read the ingredient label

 

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read the ingredient label

 

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post #7 of 18

I certainly wasn't meaning to be offensive.  

 

I doubt seriously that he won with something he would have placed in a grocery store case.  I might also add that my "crap" reference was to the crappy cake not any person.  The Nerve to twist my words & meaning!

 

For the record, I started in a Kroger bakery.  While it did teach me speed, it did not teach me attention to detail or creativity or many of the important, vital skills needed for working in an upscale bakery

www.VeryDeliciousDesserts.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Delicious-Desserts/207874222593145

 

It's never "just cake!"

 

You may get a cake for $way to little but you won't get this cake!

Animal
(4 photos)
 
Reply

www.VeryDeliciousDesserts.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Delicious-Desserts/207874222593145

 

It's never "just cake!"

 

You may get a cake for $way to little but you won't get this cake!

Animal
(4 photos)
 
Reply
post #8 of 18

oops, just couldn't let it go....I play very well with others.  I think if you review my many posts that you will see that I take great care to be considerate.

 

I sincerely apologize for offending you.  I did not mean to imply that people, who work at those places, are crap or crappy.  I do believe, & so is my right to opinion, that those mass produced, impersonal cakes are crap.

www.VeryDeliciousDesserts.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Delicious-Desserts/207874222593145

 

It's never "just cake!"

 

You may get a cake for $way to little but you won't get this cake!

Animal
(4 photos)
 
Reply

www.VeryDeliciousDesserts.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Delicious-Desserts/207874222593145

 

It's never "just cake!"

 

You may get a cake for $way to little but you won't get this cake!

Animal
(4 photos)
 
Reply
post #9 of 18

Are you a CPA? Why don't you do book-keeping for the bakeries in town?  You probably understand their business better than most accountants and maybe you can help a few small bakeries do a little better with better financial management.  At least then you can marry you passion with your formal education in some way. 

post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparklekat6 View Post

Are you a CPA? Why don't you do book-keeping for the bakeries in town?  You probably understand their business better than most accountants and maybe you can help a few small bakeries do a little better with better financial management.  At least then you can marry you passion with your formal education in some way. 
This is a great idea, and now is the perfect time since California's cottage food law is in effect as of Jan 1, 2013.
post #11 of 18
I couldn't a
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeliciousDesserts View Post

oops, just couldn't let it go....I play very well with others.  I think if you review my many posts that you will see that I take great care to be considerate.

I sincerely apologize for offending you.  I did not mean to imply that people, who work at those places, are crap or crappy.  I do believe, & so is my right to opinion, that those mass produced, impersonal cakes are crap.
I couldn't agree more. And I knew what you meant when I reads your previous post, and took no offense, it didn't even occur to me to be offended. I worked at 3 different places decorating crappy cakes, but I tried to make them pretty and they told me to hurry up! The bakery manager actually told me,"it doesn't matter what they look like, people will still buy them. Just keep the case full." 8-0 I put in my 2 weeks notice about a week later and worked delivering pizzas because I'd rather not make a cake at all, if I have to make a crappy one.
Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
Reply
Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
Reply
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ATCakes View Post

Hi all!

 

I just need a little feedback. I recently lost my accounting job after 9 years. I have been decorating cakes for the past 10 years and have taken all sorts of classes from well-known sugar artists. I feel that my skills are good enough to start in a bakery as a cake decorator. I have approached one bakery and sent them pictures of my best cakes and a resume stating that while I have not worked in a commercial bakery that my skills and passion for sugar arts are great. I haven't heard back from them at all. My question is how should I approach bakeries so I can get a foot in the door and how should I word my resume?

 

Thanks

 

There was a caker on here a few years ago who took something like 14 hours to make a pirate ship cake. It was awesome. She was transitioning from home to an employee in a bakery. However I think she got fired or asked to leave because a bakery cannot afford to loose money like that on sucha slow decorator. Even in the chichifoofoo shops they might be more limitless in design--I know one girl got to do a large oil well that spewed chocolate--but they know how to determine the hours of work necessary and therefore how to bill for those work hours.

 

So speed is crucial. There's no way around it.

 

Another friend of mine could not believe how physical cake deco is. Back breaking, foot swelling, leg aching, arm burning hard labor.

 

As to how you should word your resume, hmm, perhaps acknowledge that you are looking forward to learning how a full time bakeshop works or something to that effect. Maybe start out in a position icing cakes and work up or offer to. Just give a bit of a nod to not being fully skilled.

 

A home decorator is both over qualified and under qualified so in your resume you want to give a nod to bridging that gap. It's like a home decorator just hatched out of a beautifully decorated sugar egg. They look like a cake decorator and talk like one but they can't walk/work like one yet. They're a snow globe the bakery would set on their shelf.

 

There's a genuine rift between bakery owners and home decorators & vice versa. Bakery owners are upset that home decorators can't function successfully in their world. Home decorators think they are better than bakeries who have been churning it out day in day out because they do not have the luxury of time that home cakers have You want to gently softly that in your resume even in a high end cake shop/bakery.

 

GOOD LUCK!!!

read the ingredient label

 

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read the ingredient label

 

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post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by -K8memphis View Post

One of those crap crankers won the Holiday Food Network Challenge against James Rosen in the Christmas song challenge a few years ago. The nerve of him!

 

Speed is very important in successful employment in cake deco. Playing well with others helps too- good customer service.

 

edited to say I mean James Roselle not James Rosen

James Roselle worked in a grocery store bakery? Really??

 

I knew he worked at Ron Ben Israel after culinary school..which would have prepared him for winning almost anything but I did not know he worked at a grocery store bakery? 

post #14 of 18

oh Sorry!! I misread that... someone who worked at a grocery store bakery won AGAINST him a contest. My mistake!

post #15 of 18

James worked for Ewald Notter too. He got a great education!!! And he's an incredible artist.

read the ingredient label

 

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read the ingredient label

 

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