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Officially feeling low...sorry, it's a long post.

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 

So, since my state passed a CFL, I've taken my hobby up a notch. I'm completely legal according to my state's regulations and even exceed them in that I have liablility insurance that's not required. I'd also like to make note that as a CFL baker, I had to take a safe food handling class (which I did gladly) but those who use a commercial kitchen aren't required to have any sort of food handling training, even though they can sell perishable items (not allowed under my CFL). I'll be very happy to do 6-10 wedding cakes a year. I'm not dependent on the income from cakes at all.

 

Part 1 of why I'm feeling discouraged:

 

There are venues here that only allow cakes from their preferred vendors and some of them won't allow from home bakers at all. That's completely OK, I get it, I can live with it. Two brides in the past year have wanted me to do their cakes (1 was a friend and would have been a gift) and couldn't because the venue they were using won't allow me to deliver there. Again, I'm OK with that, but when I see this on their Facebook page it just kills me. The 2 weddings that I couldn't do the cakes for had similar quality cakes.

 

https://www.facebook.com/#!/media/set/?set=a.10152754729695117.1073741827.440652370116&type=1

 

I'm in no way calling out this decorator; I have no idea who it is and I don't want to know. The cake isn't even bad, just mediocre (and crooked). It's just so frustrating to know (I'm not going to pretend a false modesty here) my cakes are so much better than this and I can barely make a go of it. icon_cry.gif 

 

Part 2 of why I'm feeling discouraged and probably why the pictures on Facebook bothered me today:

 

I did a few wedding cakes and then things kind of were at a standstill. Did a bridal fair a couple of weeks ago. It went great. The other vendors were RAVING over my cakes, with several saying they were the best they've seen or tasted, the attendees loved them, all good, all fun, all positive. I booked 5 consultations from it. So far 2 have cancelled (1 of them at the last minute) and have not rescheduled; 1 was a no show, she left me sitting in Panera with all my cake stuff, no response to email, call or text and I never did hear from her (it was a week ago); the one I had booked for tomorrow hasn't responded to my confirmation email or a text I sent today. Do I assume she's not going to show or assume that she is? I could be a loser either way. The 5th is next weekend so I don't know how that will go, I'm trying to stay optimistic.

 

Thanks for reading my long, rambling pity party. ouch.gif

post #2 of 35

Maybe you could talk to the venues now that the CFL law has passed, and ask to be added to their list.  Just go in confidently (with some exemplary samples) and let them know they should consider revising their policy in light of the new legislation.

 

We own a restaurant, and I can tell you that someone at the commercial kitchen you were referring to has to be certified in food safety, even though all their renters might not be.  I am certified for our restaurant, but our kitchen staff is not required to be by the state.  It is the job of the person who runs the kitchen and is certified to make sure the rest of the staff is following safe food handling procedures.

 

Liz

Follow me on my Twitter handle: @Sugar_Iowa

Or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SugarFineBakedGoodsAndConfections

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Follow me on my Twitter handle: @Sugar_Iowa

Or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SugarFineBakedGoodsAndConfections

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post #3 of 35

I would definitely have a word with those venues! Dress up, straighten that back up, go in with a copy of your insurance and business license, and whatever else. Show them what they're missing out on!

 

Now, me, on the other hand, I get frustrated because some of the venues here let anything in the door, when I know they're required to use licensed businesses. Ugh.

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post #4 of 35
I agree with the other ladies, you have nothing to lose by approaching venues and adding to be put on their preferred list! Take all your legal papers, insurance, porrfolio and remind yourself just how awesome you are, and go in with confidence.
I actually was just asked for legal proof for the first time ever by a venue. Ours also seem to be the opposite and let anyone do the cakes.
post #5 of 35

Oh hey, I have something to make you laugh. I have come to the conclusion that the human race is slowly but surely getting accustomed to, AND being impressed with mediocrity. I set this up last Friday at the art center for a fundraising event. I do it every year, it's fun. Now take a look at my cake. You wanna talk about false modesty, well shoot, this cake was BANGING and was the most awesome looking thing in that joint, ok?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/yuma_couture_cakes/8683068485/

 

There, I said it. Now. I had to share the table with platters of desserts that looked like they had been dumped out of boxes. Plain cookies, some sort of rolled cookie balls, and things that looked like this, but not nearly as pretty as this example:

 

http://ak.c.ooyala.com/tybmNrMTrpCc-hyujBoUQXmHHN0omcwb/promo107483353

 

I'll be danged if I didn't hear "wow, these are amazing looking, wow these are the most creative things I've ever seen, OMG who made THESE?!?" And of course most people thought I made them, so I had to repeat this phrase allllll night long. "I have no idea what those are, I didn't make them", with a pleasant smile of course.

 

icon_confused.gif Srsly? Really? I'm 2 feet from those, cutting slices out of the back (so the front was still pretty), and you're going gaga over some stupid sloppy looking tarts?!?!

 

Yeah. Mediocrity. It's an epidemic.

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post #6 of 35

Love that cake, AZCouture!  And yes, people are completely impressed by the smallest effort these days.

 

Liz
 

Follow me on my Twitter handle: @Sugar_Iowa

Or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SugarFineBakedGoodsAndConfections

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post #7 of 35

That reminds me of all the people that gather around the free samples at Costco (as if it's their last meal) oohing and ahhing over packaged bologna or whatever loaded with preservatives junk they are handing out for free. I'm pretty sure people eat anything that's free!

 

As a Chef you're often stuck standing out in front of a buffet table. They ALL make ohhing noises to you because you are unfortunately standing there, so they assume you made it......... and if they complimented how good something was, they could eat as many as they wanted with-out looking like a piggy. Free food and gluttony produces a lot of compliments.

 

I've never accepted compliments made to my face, for real. If I wanted the truth on anything I'd try to overhear the conversations people had to each other about the items they ate. I see them pig out on a buffet but as they walked past me going home.... I'd hear them converse spilling their true feelings (good, bad or whatever).

 

Seriously AZ that cake was WAY too sophisticated for the average joe to understand or appreciate!! But I'm glad you showed us cause I KNOW that cake was a KNOCK-OUT! .....and our compliments should mean more to you then a person off the streets.

 

Add me to the list of people discouraged with the lack of appreciation for quality from consumers...............the banquet halls don't care about the cake being served.....for some reason they don't think people judge their business by the lousy cake.

post #8 of 35
Thread Starter 

You're all right. I've sold myself to wedding coordinators, I'm on the preferred vendor list at an even nicer venue than the one that made me cry today. (Not that I've had any business from them yet, but I will!) I should go and sell myself to them. I bet I can change their minds. I'll flatter them, tell them their beautiful place needs cakes that do the venue justice.

 

 

Quote:

We own a restaurant, and I can tell you that someone at the commercial kitchen you were referring to has to be certified in food safety, even though all their renters might not be.

Liz, I can see your point but shouldn't anyone selling food be certified? I don't mean employees of restaurants and bakeries, but people renting a commercial kitchen for their own business, in their own name. In the case of renters, wouldn't it be difficult, if not impossible, to supervise everyone to make sure they are following safe procedures?

 

 

Quote:

Now, me, on the other hand, I get frustrated because some of the venues here let anything in the door, when I know they're required to use licensed businesses. Ugh.

AZCouture, I'm actually with you on that one. A peeve of mine is the little coffee shops and boutiques that are selling stuff (cake pops, cake by the slice, etc.) made by home bakers (it's a no-no to resell under our law). That cake is jaw-droppingly beautiful! I'm so sorry you had to put it next to the sloppy little tartlets. (And thanks for the nice comment on my timeline icon_smile.gif).

post #9 of 35

Elcee - Yes, I think that everyone should be certified, including the renters.  I am just guessing that that is what is happening - they are treating it the same as a restaurant kitchen or bakery.  We have a commercial kitchen and indoors farmer's market opening this winter in our city - I'll ask the director about how they will police that.

 

Liz
 

Follow me on my Twitter handle: @Sugar_Iowa

Or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SugarFineBakedGoodsAndConfections

Reply

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Or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SugarFineBakedGoodsAndConfections

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post #10 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by scrumdiddlycakes View Post

I agree with the other ladies, you have nothing to lose by approaching venues and adding to be put on their preferred list! Take all your legal papers, insurance, porrfolio and remind yourself just how awesome you are, and go in with confidence.
I actually was just asked for legal proof for the first time ever by a venue. Ours also seem to be the opposite and let anyone do the cakes.


Eesh, typos galore, I was on my phone, sorry.

 

It could also be that if the CFL is still quite new in your state, a lot of the venues don't understand it. I was talking to the event coordinator at one of the local hotels, and she had never heard of it, and she sees wedding cakes almost every weekend.

post #11 of 35
Every commercial kitchen rental I've seen requires all tenants and any employees who work in the kitchen to have food handler certs on file with the kitchen manager. This is not a legal requirement, it's for liability. If management finds out someone has been working in the kitchen without food safety training that's usually grounds for terminating the rental contract.

If you own your own commercial kitchen space you control your own liability, so any reputable food business will probably require some kind of food safety training for its employees, again not because of legal requirements.
post #12 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture View Post

Oh hey, I have something to make you laugh. I have come to the conclusion that the human race is slowly but surely getting accustomed to, AND being impressed with mediocrity.

"Nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public."

H. L. Mencken
post #13 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft View Post

"Nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public."

H. L. Mencken
Yep.
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post #14 of 35

Also, show the venue the cake they provided and point out the errors...some people have no idea what a beautifully done, well-executed cake looks like...they really don't...

post #15 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft View Post

This is not a legal requirement, it's for liability.

My point, why isn't it a legal requirement?

 

 

Quote:

"Nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public."

H. L. Mencken

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