Cake Central › Cake Forums › Cake Talk › Cake Decorating Business › How did you get your start?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

How did you get your start?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

For those who are doing this full-time as a profession, how did you get your foot in the door? What got you that start you needed? If you work for someone else, how did you get this job? 

elsewhere.
Reply
elsewhere.
Reply
post #2 of 13

a loooong time ago i took a free bread making class...in chicago!!!

 

from that i got a job as a cook at a health food restaurant called the green planet--in those days you had to have tb tests to work with food

 

i thought i arrived at the right clinic for the test (but no i was at the wrong address) and said, 'i'm from the green planet...'

whoa they looked at me very strangely icon_biggrin.gif

 

then i went here and there and worked in canada in pastry at etherea on bloor if memory serves--and etc

 

then i rented a school kitchen & sold bread

 

and got a job baking at a school..started doing wedding cakes for the students...

 

the rest is hysterical--no no i mean history ;)

 

so my first cakes were on legal grounds

 

my dear old pops drove me to wilton's in roseland in chicago to make my first cake toy purchases

 

pretty cool

 

(except i'm not currently doing cakes full time)

one baker's never ever do is the next baker's 'i swear by this'
Reply
one baker's never ever do is the next baker's 'i swear by this'
Reply
post #3 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by -K8memphis View Post

 

(except i'm not currently doing cakes full time)

 

and that's why i never responded to this thread--sorry

 

and any job i ever got after that i just saw in the classified ads in the newspaper

 

or heard about word of mouth and just applied--some i got some i didn't of course

 

some i wish i hadn't gotten!!!

one baker's never ever do is the next baker's 'i swear by this'
Reply
one baker's never ever do is the next baker's 'i swear by this'
Reply
post #4 of 13

I got into this business by accident.  I was a front end supervisor at a local supermarket.  One night we had an armed robbery.  I was injured (not shot, btw) as they made their getaway.  To make a long story short, I had quite a bit of PTSD afterward and I couldn't work around money.  The only department opening at the time was for a bakery clerk, so management transferred me.

 

I learned mostly everything I know now from the 4 years I worked at that bakery.  Back in those days we still scratched baked the bread/rolls, most of the breakfast goods, and some of the speciality (like carrot) cakes.  We made our own fillings and icings.  Our decorator had been in the business for many years, and there was nothing she couldn't make.  I was so fascinated by her work that I was allowed to watch her.  Eventually she taught me the basics via the monkey-see-monkey-do method.

 

It was the same thing in other stores.  I'd be primarily baking, but I always watched and learned from the decorators.  On their days off, I'd fill, ice, and decorate cakes for the display case.  As became more confident in my skills, I started doing custom orders.

 

Through the years I've also worked in a wholesale bakery as a decorator/pastry finisher and as a pastry chef at a local restaurant.  I've since gone back to the supermarket industry.  I still decorate, but, as you've probably read elsewhere here on CC, the business is nowhere near the same as it was when I first started.
 

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 

Wow, both great stories (except the armed robbery bit, sorry to hear that!).

 

I'm hoping to find a part-time job somewhere soon, to learn the ropes before I take the plunge myself.

elsewhere.
Reply
elsewhere.
Reply
post #6 of 13

chicago should be a great area to find some entry level grunt work

 

and i'm sure you could work your way up

 

lotta great country clubs in chitown and they need pastry peeps

 

not going to get you a gold watch & a pretty pension

 

but experience in the trenches --yes

 

hotels too--and hotels often have the benefits

one baker's never ever do is the next baker's 'i swear by this'
Reply
one baker's never ever do is the next baker's 'i swear by this'
Reply
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by kikiandkyle View Post

Wow, both great stories (except the armed robbery bit, sorry to hear that!).

 

I'm hoping to find a part-time job somewhere soon, to learn the ropes before I take the plunge myself.


I've managed to block most of it -- for instance, I can't tell you how exactly I was injured.  The only thing I remember is wandering the aisles returning product and crying every time I turned the corner and saw the front end.

 

Out of everyone who was affected by the robbery that night (the people at the service desk, the manager on duty, the cashiers, etc.), I was the only one who didn't quit their job immediately afterward.

post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by embersmom View Post


I've managed to block most of it -- for instance, I can't tell you how exactly I was injured.  The only thing I remember is wandering the aisles returning product and crying every time I turned the corner and saw the front end.

 

Out of everyone who was affected by the robbery that night (the people at the service desk, the manager on duty, the cashiers, etc.), I was the only one who didn't quit their job immediately afterward.

 

 

wow--i'm so sorry that happened and so glad you have recovered as much as you have

one baker's never ever do is the next baker's 'i swear by this'
Reply
one baker's never ever do is the next baker's 'i swear by this'
Reply
post #9 of 13

I went to culinary school, because the time was right.  (Retired early, great school in town, could finally afford it)  After graduating from culinary school, I decided I'd better do something with my shiny new degree, so three weeks after graduating I signed up for and participated in a 2 day wedding show.  I made several cake dummies, printed off biz cards on my computer and talked fast.  I sold 12 wedding cakes that first year.  It was enough to fund building up tools inventory and continuing doing wedding shows.  A few years later I had a booming biz.  Several years later I burned out.  Now I have a food truck. 

Answers to the most often asked questions re: SPS. SPS instructions are on Page 15 of the Sticky at the top of the Cake Decorating Forum. Supplies can be ordered from Oasis Supply, Global or BakeryCrafts.
Reply
Answers to the most often asked questions re: SPS. SPS instructions are on Page 15 of the Sticky at the top of the Cake Decorating Forum. Supplies can be ordered from Oasis Supply, Global or BakeryCrafts.
Reply
post #10 of 13

Well...... My daughters first birthday cake I  ordered from a decorator. Must say I was quite disappointed....  And I remember thinking jeesh I could do that. So I decided at that point to take up the hobby, I wanted to give her something special on her birthdays and figured I should be the one to do it.

 

So.... I made cakes for all of my nieces, nephews, family weddings etc every occasion I could think of to get practice, I did this for 4 years practicing while still working a full-time job, my husband was in Law school and my daughter was in every activity on the planet.  Recently I got my break!! I am still astounded by the opportunity. I ran into a family whom I used to work for years ago... and they, coincidentally, were moving from 1 kitchen/restaurant location to another and their current kitchen was going to be unused..... BAM! They OFFERED it to me, and all I do is supply them with their desserts every week for rent!! It works out to be a substantial amount for them in cost and all it cost me is the ingredients/time. And I have their orders down to an art now. haha. Since I started advertising (which is actually quite minimal) business has completely taken off. 28 weddings so far this year, and booked completely for the summer.

 

The problem is is that that kitchen is 30 min away from home. We are currently in the process of building a kitchen in our home, which was always the plan. My husband just did not think that cakes would be a good business opportunity and was always leary of the idea. He is a No-Risk kind of guy, whereas I am a Jump-in-feet-first kind of girl. Now I have the #'s and he finally sees what I have been trying to show him.

 

I knew as soon as I finished my first cake that this is what I am meant to do. I still get that same feeling every time I finish a cake.

 

Hard work really does pay off. I have a long way to go yet, but I love where I am at, and I love how my future looks!

A compromise is the art of dividing a cake in such a way that everyone believes he has the biggest piece.

 

welldressedcakesbybrett.com

 

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Well-Dressed-Cakes-by-Brett/200852383318927

Reply

A compromise is the art of dividing a cake in such a way that everyone believes he has the biggest piece.

 

welldressedcakesbybrett.com

 

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Well-Dressed-Cakes-by-Brett/200852383318927

Reply
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 

Embersmom it sounds like you have been stronger than most of us would be, I hope we haven't stirred up any bad memories for you. 

 

Brettley and Leah those are both great stories. I hope that by the time I feel I have my recipes down, and my skills up to par, a chance like those will come along for me. 

 

K8Memphis unfortunately I'm home with my son who has a developmental delay right now so I can only work weekends, I check Craigslist all the time for weekend jobs but none have really come up so far. Still checking regularly though! 

elsewhere.
Reply
elsewhere.
Reply
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by kikiandkyle View Post

K8Memphis unfortunately I'm home with my son who has a developmental delay right now so I can only work weekends, I check Craigslist all the time for weekend jobs but none have really come up so far. Still checking regularly though! 

 

 

keep the faith--weekends (often including at least a friday & usually a thursday though) are when demand is highest--you'll get there!

one baker's never ever do is the next baker's 'i swear by this'
Reply
one baker's never ever do is the next baker's 'i swear by this'
Reply
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by -K8memphis View Post

a loooong time ago i took a free bread making class...in chicago!!!

from that i got a job as a cook at a health food restaurant called the green planet--in those days you had to have tb tests to work with food

i thought i arrived at the right clinic for the test (but no i was at the wrong address) and said, 'i'm from the green planet...'
whoa they looked at me very strangely icon_biggrin.gif


I can't stop laughing!

Life is a slice of cake.

Reply

Life is a slice of cake.

Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cake Decorating Business
Cake Central › Cake Forums › Cake Talk › Cake Decorating Business › How did you get your start?