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How to start

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

I am a recent culinary school graduate in Georgia.  I made a few cakes in school and recently I made a cake at cost for a friends daughters 3rd birthday (in my pictures).  It was my third cake.  I loved it, the whole process (they loved the cake too).  I had been kicking around the idea of a little home based cake business but feel I need practice.  I was thinking of offering friends and family cakes for events at cost (plus a little extra to put towards buying tools and such) while I practice and get better.  I am buying the Ultimate Cake set from Wilton this weekend with the money I got from Christmas.  I plan to enroll in the Wilton courses (I have a friend who has started them and she is amazing) as soon as I have the extra money.  I figure in a year I could start charging full price for my cakes.

I guess I am just looking for any advice (I live in Georgia, and we now have Cottage Laws which will make the legal end much easier).  I have read tons on these boards already, but can always learn more ^_^

Thanks so much in advance!!

post #2 of 14

yay

 

cool

 

a caker is born

 

i like your plan

 

consider an idea

 

going forward provide an invoice with each cake showing the real price of each cake and the generous  'portfolio discount' you are giving to each client

 

that accomplishes two things

 

  • makes you study that much harder now to get all this straight so it will be easier later
  • gives your early customer base a heads up that this won't last forever

 

be careful to collect and pay your applicable sales & use taxes

 

best of the best to you!!!

the only way to see the rainbow is to look through the rain

 

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the only way to see the rainbow is to look through the rain

 

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post #3 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeslieStew View Post

I am a recent culinary school graduate in Georgia.  I made a few cakes in school and recently I made a cake at cost for a friends daughters 3rd birthday (in my pictures).  It was my third cake.  I loved it, the whole process (they loved the cake too).  I had been kicking around the idea of a little home based cake business but feel I need practice.  I was thinking of offering friends and family cakes for events at cost (plus a little extra to put towards buying tools and such) while I practice and get better.  I am buying the Ultimate Cake set from Wilton this weekend with the money I got from Christmas. 

 

May I suggest that you review your pastry class experience? BEFORE you buy anything?  The specific reason that I say this is that many of the Wilton tubes have been discontinued.  If you enjoyed piping, then go to ebay and buy those tips that look like you would use them...because they will be a lot harder to find a few months from now. Vendor e-greatdeals is just that--reliable and good prices.

 

On a related matter, DO NOT buy those cheapo tip sets from China they are NOT good stainless steel or nickel plate.  I saw them in a local shop and they look and feel like cheap aluminum.

 

You can then add tools as you find them useful in class or at work.  I'm sure you will get picky about tools. I hate the bent spatulas...so I buy the straight kind whenever I see them. If you fall in love with gumpaste flowers, then there are North American vendors of cutters made in Argentina--fine quality and decent price.

post #4 of 14

Which Wilton tips have been discontinued ? Just curious which ones they have stopped making? I have bought so many that I probably have almost every one they have ever made.  I never realized that they would stop making certain tips.

 

Also just one note about making cakes. You can go to you tube and type in anything and everything to do with cakes, cake decorating, icing flowers and you can watch many videos about how to make butter cream flowers. I am a visual learner and learn more by watching how to hold the tip and how the flowers are made. I have learned so much from all of the videos and they are all free!!! It will help you tremendously to watch them.
 

post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by remnant3333 View Post

Which Wilton tips have been discontinued ? Just curious which ones they have stopped making? I have bought so many that I probably have almost every one they have ever made.  I never realized that they would stop making certain tips.

Many.  I have old lists at home (am writing this from work) and I will post a compilation of them on Saturday.  In the meantime if you go to the Wilton listing you will see just how many are MIA. They sold off the old stocks in the fall of 2012.

 

I haven't been in contact with Ateco the original company that developed these tubes. They may or may not continue manufacturing them either.


Edited by BakingIrene - 1/10/13 at 2:12pm
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by -K8memphis View Post

 

consider an idea

 

going forward provide an invoice with each cake showing the real price of each cake and the generous  'portfolio discount' you are giving to each client

 

that accomplishes two things

 

  • makes you study that much harder now to get all this straight so it will be easier later
  • gives your early customer base a heads up that this won't last forever


I had actually already thought of that, then wondered if it was tacky.  I am glad I wasn't the only one to consider it though.  I will probably end up doing that, so I can get a better idea for pricing. 

I have very little of my own tools, most was borrowed from my mom for schooling.  Which she needs back, one day... lol

post #7 of 14

no i think it's a real good idea

 

i understand funds are not flowing briskly at this point

 

but maybe learn about cake boss software

 

have you checked out earlene moore's website

 

www.earlenescakes.com

 

tremendously inspirational for professional home caking

 

hey--print your own invoices or get a sales order book at

 

office max/depot whatever--something like that maybe

 

your mom is a sweetie!!!

 

best of the best to you!!!

the only way to see the rainbow is to look through the rain

 

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the only way to see the rainbow is to look through the rain

 

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post #8 of 14

First get the Cottage Law rules straight, because even if you're just collecting money for ingredients that coutns as getting paid. You should figure out what you need to do to be legal.

 

Once you do that, decide what kind of cakes you want to focus on when you do start selling for real. That way you can tailor the types of cakes that you do for friends and family to the style of the cakes that you want to sell. There's no point in doing little kids' birthday cakes at cost if what you want to focus on is weddings, for example. If that's the case you could do small tiered cakes so that you at least have photos of tiered cakes, or dessert cakes if that's what you're going to be selling, etc.

 

Taking a Wilton course is okay, but there's a lot that they don't teach. I've also heard from friends who are instructors that they've changed a lot recently and the classes aren't the same as they used to be. You should watch videos on youtube to see how people do things and to learn other types of techniques that Wilton doesn't cover.

post #9 of 14
I've taken a couple of Wilton courses and felt like they were mostly commercials for Wilton products, as well as being pretty outdated in terms of style. I bought a bunch of Craftsy courses in recent sales and they've been much more informative, and inspiring.
elsewhere.
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elsewhere.
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post #10 of 14

Leslie, Welcome to the forum! 

 

About six months ago I collected a pretty extensive list of threads and links that had proved enormously helpful to me in my caking journey so far (since early 2010).  Perhaps this information may prove helpful:

 

How-To tutorials/videos for Cake Decorators

 

http://www.wilton.com/forums/messageview.cfm?catid=8&threadid=160184

post #11 of 14

Sounds like you're on the right track; you've gotten great advice.

 

A word of caution about buying your tools. When I started I bought just about every Wilton thing I could lay my hands on. I took those classes and as someone mentioned, they're like Wilton commercials, so it's easy to get carried away buying all that stuff. As I have grown I have found that some brands are good for certain things (I love Wilton icing tips and cake carriers) and I am in the process of replacing some items (like Magic line pans to replace the Wilton pans, Americolor gel pastes to replace the Wilton brand). Other things I've found I can do better without the tool. Buy as you go, and read reviews from advanced cakers before you buy.

 

I LOVED my Wilton class experience and would recommend it to anyone. No it's not going to make you a fancy caker but the basics are covered at a very cheap price. 

post #12 of 14

Agree with vgcea. I also started out doing cakes with Wilton. Doing their classes, buying their products. But I have outgrown them now. I prefer other brands over wilton now. Most wilton gel colors doesn't give the exact color. Americolor does. And their tools are over priced sometimes. 

post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by BakingIrene View Post

May I suggest that you review your pastry class experience? BEFORE you buy anything?  The specific reason that I say this is that many of the Wilton tubes have been discontinued.  If you enjoyed piping, then go to ebay and buy those tips that look like you would use them...because they will be a lot harder to find a few months from now. Vendor e-greatdeals is just that--reliable and good prices.

 

On a related matter, DO NOT buy those cheapo tip sets from China they are NOT good stainless steel or nickel plate.  I saw them in a local shop and they look and feel like cheap aluminum.

 

You can then add tools as you find them useful in class or at work.  I'm sure you will get picky about tools. I hate the bent spatulas...so I buy the straight kind whenever I see them. If you fall in love with gumpaste flowers, then there are North American vendors of cutters made in Argentina--fine quality and decent price.


Could you post the websites for the vendors of the cutters that you mentioned?

post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charmed View Post


Could you post the websites for the vendors of the cutters that you mentioned?

On ebay.ca (Canada) look for vendor bluelakefox and his store.

 

He carries Cortantes Cairo brand which are at www.cortantescairo.com in Argentina.  These come in sets and they are very nice quality when you use them.

 

 Another source is www.creativecutters.com from Canada. 

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