Am I Being Mean???

Business By MikeRowesHunny Updated 26 Apr 2007 , 1:35am by Jorre

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MikeRowesHunny Posted 23 Apr 2007 , 10:57am
post #1 of 25

OK, here's the situation. A couple of months ago I sold a couple of character pans on Ebay to a local woman who came to my house to collect them. We had a conversation, and she told me she was looking to get into the cake decorating business, and did I teach people (no I don't, sorry but I learned the hard way (trail & error for years) - so can she!).

Anyhoo, it turned out that this woman is the upstairs neighbour of my ballroom dancing partner, from whom I had to listen about what a brilliant pastry chef she is (good for her). I made him a cake this week to say thanks for partnering me for the last 6 months:

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-photo_419213.html

I got an email back from him saying that the cake was really delicious and he was thrilled with the design etc. (he showed it to everybody he could at the practice dance on Saturday night - and like I fool I didn't have my business cards with me!). He also told me that the neighbour came down and tried my cake and 'approved' icon_confused.gif ! Then she apparently started to spout out what, in her professional opinion, she thought the ingredients in the cake were - she was sure marscapone for the filling (wrong!). I just get the feeling that she is asking questions through my dance partner so she can get my tricks and secrets icon_rolleyes.gif ! Anyway, I replied to him that she can stop trying to guess what's in my cakes, because I've worked long and hard to perfect the recipes and tricks I use, and I'm not about to give away my trade secrets to anyone!

Is that being a total b*tch?! I actually feel bad about my dance partner being used as a go-between information gatherer more than anything!

24 replies
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thecupcakemom Posted 23 Apr 2007 , 11:03am
post #2 of 25

Yes.

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thecupcakemom Posted 23 Apr 2007 , 11:05am
post #3 of 25

KIDDING!!! I'm sorry, but I couldn't resist responding w/ just a "yes." You are perfectly within your rights to not share how you make your cakes. Coca Cola does not share their recipe and hey, they too, started out small. icon_lol.gif Don't give any info and don't worry about your partner...he is the one who chose to get involved...not you. icon_wink.gif

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pastryjen Posted 23 Apr 2007 , 11:10am
post #4 of 25

Cupcake mom - I was speechless! You got me this morning.

I agree - it does totally depend on how you say you are not sharing your secrets. As long as you do it in a friendly manner, you are fine!

The cake is wonderful. I love it!

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MikeRowesHunny Posted 23 Apr 2007 , 11:19am
post #5 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by pastryjen

Cupcake mom - I was speechless! You got me this morning.

I agree - it does totally depend on how you say you are not sharing your secrets. As long as you do it in a friendly manner, you are fine!

The cake is wonderful. I love it!




Well, in reply to my dance partner's email I said:

"I'm going to keep ****** guessing what is in my cakes hahaha - she probably never will though, all my cakes and icings are made from recipes that I've worked long and hard to develop and perfect (and I'm not about to give away my trade secrets!). There was no marscapone in that cake though!"

Was that mean? I didn't mean it to be if it is, but I suppose it's all in the interpretation of the reader (like all written things!).

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darcat Posted 23 Apr 2007 , 11:25am
post #6 of 25

I agree that it is you perogative if you wish to trade your secrets or not afterall you are the one that did the experimenting and used your time and money (ingredients) to perfec it. However if it were me I would just ignore the comments and when the dance partner would say that she said so and so I would just say something like "Oh well thats her opinion" or if she is trying to guess at your ingredients "Well I'll never tell" lol or something similar that way your not committing yourself to an answer either way and maybe she'll get the hint that you are not interested in discussing your business with her. By the way your cake is gorgeous and sounds delicious.

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nannaraquel Posted 23 Apr 2007 , 11:26am
post #7 of 25

I don't think what you said was mean, but if she does take it that way....too bad for her! She is the one who, as a supposed "professional", couldn't just leave it alone that you didn't want to share your recipes, now she's being catty about it. I say that makes her the b*tch.
As far as your partner goes, I agree with thecupcakemom, he's the one who chose to involve himself. AND he got a spectacular cake for a gift--don't worry too much about him! lol

thecupcakemom...I was in AWE when I just saw "yes" under that story! I nearly spit my coffee out when I scrolled down and saw you say that you were just kidding! LOL Fun fun!

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carrielynnfields Posted 23 Apr 2007 , 11:27am
post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by thecupcakemom

Yes.




LOL!!!!!!! icon_lol.gif icon_lol.gif My jaw DROPPED when I saw this response. Toooooo dang funny! I agree with everyone else. You are totally within your rights and I would be irritated too. I can not stand pushy nosey round about people. Drives me NUTS!! Great cake. Where did you get that sparkle dust. Mine definately doesn't sparkle like that! Yours is like a freakin disco ball!

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cindww Posted 23 Apr 2007 , 11:35am
post #9 of 25

Damn, I was going to ask for the filling recipe after reading your initial post!!
Your cake is wonderful..great job.

cindy

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playingwithsugar Posted 23 Apr 2007 , 11:38am
post #10 of 25

B**ch is good. I should know - I am an expert - I was consulted when they wrote the manual. What, you didn't read my introduction? You skiped right to chapter 1, didn't you?

And yes, she is jealous of, and feels threatened by, your talent. And yes, she is using your dance partner to intimidate you, which will eventually cause problems between the two of you. And yes, you would be better off not baking anything for your partner anymore, unless it is small enough to be completely consumed at the dance hall. No leftovers, no samples for her to try and analyze.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

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BabyC1985 Posted 23 Apr 2007 , 11:40am
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by thecupcakemom

Yes.




LOL, so funny!!
I agree you do have every right to keep your business to yourself. Im sure that we all have a little something that we keep to ourselves. Dont worry about it. I would have acted the same as you.

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MikeRowesHunny Posted 23 Apr 2007 , 11:42am
post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by carrielynnfields

Where did you get that sparkle dust . Mine definately doesn't sparkle like that! Yours is like a freakin disco ball!




Don't you just LOVE it! Not a cake leaves this house without some icon_lol.gif ! I buy mine here:

www.design-a-cake.co.uk

Search under disco sparkles by Edable Art. See - for my CC chums, I'm quite happy to share - 99.999999% are not my direct competition icon_lol.gif thumbs_up.gif

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MikeRowesHunny Posted 23 Apr 2007 , 11:48am
post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by cindww

Damn, I was going to ask for the filling recipe after reading your initial post!!
Your cake is wonderful..great job.

cindy




As I said in response to the sparkles question - my CC buddies are a different thing altogether! The recipe is very simple - I just used orange extract in place of the vanilla (or whatever you usually use), and replaced half the liquid with orange juice, and the other half with Grand Marnier. BUT, please use ALL butter in the buttercream (which should be fine for a filling - even in hot weather!), and add 1/4 tsp salt for every stick of butter you use - you will thank me for the fabulous taste if you do!

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MikeRowesHunny Posted 23 Apr 2007 , 11:53am
post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by playingwithsugar

And yes, you would be better off not baking anything for your partner anymore, unless it is small enough to be completely consumed at the dance hall. No leftovers, no samples for her to try and analyze.




Oooh, potential problem there - I've agreed to make my dance partner's grandson's first birthday cake in June! Whilst you may think that's a reason for her to get her feather's ruffled, she is doing his other son's wedding cake next year (although I was told that if he'd known I did cakes earlier - I would have been the preferred choice icon_rolleyes.gif icon_redface.gif!).

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playingwithsugar Posted 23 Apr 2007 , 12:18pm
post #15 of 25

Will she be invited? If not, then I do not see a problem there. And if she is, then so be it. Hopefully, you will be there, also, and you can set her straight.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

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Confectionary2 Posted 23 Apr 2007 , 12:34pm
post #16 of 25

Thanks for sharing the recipe! I can't wait to try it!!!!!!! icon_biggrin.gif I will think of your inquisitive neighbor when I do icon_wink.gif

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ruralepicure Posted 23 Apr 2007 , 12:52pm
post #17 of 25

I agree, you do not have to share your recipes with anyone you don't want to. I think that we're all glad that you shared with us though!!

I think you should still make the cake for your dance partner's grandson. If the neighbor is there, and is asking for recipes, tell her kindly that you've worked very hard to perfect your recipes and you'd like to keep them just that - YOUR recipes.

I have to ask, how many of her recipes has she given you??

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crumbscakeartistry Posted 23 Apr 2007 , 1:18pm
post #18 of 25

If she a supposed to be a professional in the food industry she should be used to people keeping their secret recipses well a secret. As long as you say it in a nice way you are fine. You could also try my grandmother trick when people got pushy about recipes: give them the wrong recipe. That way yours will always be better. People will get the hint that way.

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karensue Posted 23 Apr 2007 , 1:35pm
post #19 of 25

I agree that you shouldn't share your secrets if you don't want to. I don't--I figure I worked hard to get them perfected and someone else needs to work just as hard. I learned so much through the process and wouldn't want to rob them of the same opportunity.

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Kayakado Posted 23 Apr 2007 , 3:31pm
post #20 of 25

She may not be in business too long if she sells cakes made with the character pans, but I guess if she is so expereinced - she knows all about copyrights...... icon_biggrin.gif

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maryjsgirl Posted 24 Apr 2007 , 5:33am
post #21 of 25

I am sorry, but I don't really get all the fuss??? I am not trying to be rude, so please don't be offended. From what I read, which is all I can go by, I don't see this woman as being "jealous" or shady. If she truly is a pastry chef I really doubt she needs help or recipes on the cooking aspect of doing cakes. She asked you for help on decorating right? Not cooking or recipes?

She did something that I do very often out of fun, not out of foul or to steal recipes, etc. I am a foodie and have a love for cooking and baking. I always try to guess ingredients in a dish that I eat. It's fun for me, lol. If she is a pastry chef I am sure she is also very passionate about food. She could have just been trying to show off her "tasting skills". You never know that is all she could have been doing.

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sarahnichole975 Posted 24 Apr 2007 , 5:52am
post #22 of 25

Yes indeed again...you guys have got me crackin' the freak up tonight! Everyone's feeling a bit feisty and frisky all at the same time! I did a total, "wait....huh???? WHAT???? at cupcake mom! Keep your secrets to yourself and everyone keep them hits a rollin'!

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Luxe42 Posted 24 Apr 2007 , 5:04pm
post #23 of 25

"Only Buddy knows whats in the Bush's baked beans recipe....and he's not telling!"

It's not a secret that people keep their recipes secret for a reason....business!

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Solecito Posted 25 Apr 2007 , 5:48pm
post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by thecupcakemom

Yes.




icon_biggrin.gif I had to scroll up b/c I though I mis read.... icon_biggrin.gif

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Jorre Posted 26 Apr 2007 , 1:35am
post #25 of 25

Considering that she thinks you used Mascarpone Cheese....I wouldn't worry about her EVER guessing what is in your cakes! icon_surprised.gif

I'd like to see her re-create your cake (which sounds absolutely yummy) using mascarpone cheese...I don't think she would get anywhere close.

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