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consults and pick ups

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hi Everyone,

 

I'm currently renting space but am going to be putting a 2nd kitchen in my house by summer/fall.  It will only be a kitchen and my husband does not want anyone coming to the house for pick ups and consults.  Where do people go that have this situations?  I'm trying to figure out a place that I could have consults and pick ups that's not at my home but I'm at a loss of where.  I really don't want to continue paying rent a my current space once I have my own space.  She won't lower the rent even if I'm just doing consults/pick ups (already checked).  Any help/ideas would be appreciated.   My husband said have a 'delivery only' option but some people do not want to pay for delivery and I would hate to lose an order over that.

post #2 of 14

Would there be room in the kitchen to put a small cafe table and a few chairs?  Or is it just because your hubs doesn't want strangers in your house?  I assume you'd be by appointment only, so he could make sure you had back up if something goes awry. 

 

Could you look into getting a fold down table (attached to the wall) that you can use if you need it?  Maybe some folding chairs stashed away somewhere.

 

Being a home based business myself, I make sure that my house is neat and clean when customers come to pickup cakes.  Is it a pain when you are working last minute on a cake and your place is a bit of a wreck...sure, but I, personally, would be weary of ordering a cake where I didn't have the option of seeing where it's made. 

 

I would just be thinking, the house must be embarrassingly dirty, messy, do they smoke, pets everywhere...

 

If you meet with them in the kitchen, no matter how small, you could assure them that you do all your work in there and it's kept clean.

 

And they wouldn't see the rest of your house, so who cares?

 

If you are worried about your environment (neighborhood, your yard is filled with trash, etc.), there are things you can do something about and things you can't.  You can clean up your yard, but moving surely isn't an option.  Or your neighbor's yard is a mess.  If that's the case, I would def try to hold them at a coffee shop or something.  Bring a gift bag of samplings for them to take home, I'm sure you'd be frowned upon bringing your own food.  But if you order coffee for your customer, I don't think they can kick you out for doing business...isn't that what they are for?!  I always see people meeting up at Sbucks or working on their laptops.

 

So lots of factors...do you feel comfortable elaborating?

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post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

There will be a separate door to the kitchen so that's not the issue.  It really comes down to him not wanting strangers knowing where we live and coming to the house.  He's pretty adamant about this so I'm kind of in a corner with this. I keep telling him they are just coming to get a cake; not to kidnap us!

post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakesbyMichele View Post
 

There will be a separate door to the kitchen so that's not the issue.  It really comes down to him not wanting strangers knowing where we live and coming to the house.  He's pretty adamant about this so I'm kind of in a corner with this. I keep telling him they are just coming to get a cake; not to kidnap us!

 

So when he agreed to do the rebuilding and enormous expense of adding a kitchen in your home, how did he believe that people would get their cakes.  What did you think would happen.

Of course we all have our limits, but how can you possibly find your boundaries unless you explore as far and as wide as you possibly can? I would rather fail in an attempt at something new and uncharted than safely succeed in a repeat of something
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Of course we all have our limits, but how can you possibly find your boundaries unless you explore as far and as wide as you possibly can? I would rather fail in an attempt at something new and uncharted than safely succeed in a repeat of something
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post #5 of 14

Well, the only answer now is to buy a fancy delivery vehicle . . .

 

Just kidding!  I get where your husband is coming from, though.  I happen to live in a house/neighborhood that wouldn't work for pickups either.  Neighborhood sucks - all the crappy apartment houses around us would scare off half of the population.  We however live in a very ornate, very large Victorian home, that would leave the other half of the population thinking that I had just overcharged them to pay my heat bill.

 

I would seriously try to work deliveries into your price, or find another business in town you could work with for pickups.

 

Liz

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Follow me on my Twitter handle: @Sugar_Iowa

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post #6 of 14

I don't do home pick ups as a rule.  I don't want people coming to my house, and I much prefer to make deliveries on my own time rather than sitting and waiting for someone to show up.  We also live on the far edge of town and in a rural neighborhood without streetlights with the houses about an acre apart. But my business is leaning 80% towards wedding and tiered cakes where delivery is a must and the price point of the cake makes it worth while.  Delivery is included within 10 miles of my kitchen, but I usually stretch that up to 15 if it is in the metro area. Wedding cake deliveries and tiered cake set ups are usually $25.  

post #7 of 14

This really is a problem.  My husband is great about shoveling the sidewalks and driveways, taking all his junk with him then disappearing upstairs for his nap while I'm interviewing.  For this I'm VERY grateful.  Please let your husband know that brides are casing the joint but only to find out how clean your kitchen is - not to rob you.  Others in my cake group meet couples at small restaurants and cafes but that puts you at a total disadvantage because you're away from all your stuff and can't show the bride a certain cake stand or photo you know you have in an album back at the house.  I don't have an answer for you but you have my sympathy.  The only thing you can do is try and sell cakes to small cafes & restaurants and give up consultations.  Sometimes when a spouse has a strong reaction to something - it's because of another reason.............like all the time you're spending on cakes and not on him.  :-)

post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by lorieleann View Post
 

I don't do home pick ups as a rule.  I don't want people coming to my house, and I much prefer to make deliveries on my own time rather than sitting and waiting for someone to show up.  We also live on the far edge of town and in a rural neighborhood without streetlights with the houses about an acre apart. But my business is leaning 80% towards wedding and tiered cakes where delivery is a must and the price point of the cake makes it worth while.  Delivery is included within 10 miles of my kitchen, but I usually stretch that up to 15 if it is in the metro area. Wedding cake deliveries and tiered cake set ups are usually $25.  

 

 

same. my father has two evil dogs who bark constantly and his insanely cluttered office is by the front door. i prefer to avoid an encounter that would make someone think his cake was less than sanitary. 

post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeesKnees578 View Post
 

If that's the case, I would def try to hold them at a coffee shop or something.  Bring a gift bag of samplings for them to take home, I'm sure you'd be frowned upon bringing your own food.  But if you order coffee for your customer, I don't think they can kick you out for doing business...isn't that what they are for?!  I always see people meeting up at Sbucks or working on their laptops.

 

 

This is what I do. I have a HOA that prohibits "traffic" from a home business. So I make up a pretty sweetheart tasting box and meet them at Panera, Starbucks, and once even at the mall. We have our meeting and I send them on their way with a box of treats.

 

Since I do mostly wedding cakes, pick up isn't much of an issue. My CFL requires that my address be on my label so my home is easily Googled or they could do a drive-by.

post #10 of 14
I've just built the delivery charge into the price basically. If it's 10 miles or further, then they pay extra, if not, it's built into the price. Generally everything I do is a two tier or bigger and I'm more comfortable delivering, knowing it will get there in one piece. I wouldn't want people coming by all weekend either.
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post #11 of 14
For appointments, yes, I want them to see that I actually have a place. I can't fathom meeting anywhere but at my place of business. But after that, go away! Lol...just kidding, sort of.
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post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the help/responses.  To answer mbalaska - we originally planned to continue using my current rental for just pick ups/consults but since her rent went up significantly this year, mine did too and she can't drop it for my less time there because then she can't afford her rent!  Plus, we are moving to a more rural area that will be much more difficult to find then my current location.  I guess I will try to find someone that may let me use their space for minimal $$.  Wish me luck!

post #13 of 14

Try a local florists shop.  They usually have a little consultation area and would welcome bridal traffic into their shop - good potential business for them.

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

Try a local florists shop.  They usually have a little consultation area and would welcome bridal traffic into their shop - good potential business for them.

 

Great idea!

 

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

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