Here's the situation: I was contacted by this bride about 2.5 months ago because she had seen my ad at a local church to do cakes for people on a budget. We had an initial consultation 2 months ago where I prepared a chocolate cake and a white almond cake for them to sample. They wanted cake for about 50 people, so we agreed on size and design and a price of $75 including delivery and set up to a place about 15 miles from me. The wedding date was not 100% firmed up. They left without placing a deposit, I think because the date was 100% yet.
A few weeks later I hear from the bride and she wants to know if I can make this "yellow angel cake" that her friend in NJ makes (we're in VA). I tell her "not without the recipe" as I couldn't make heads or tails of what she was describing. So, she calls this week and says she has a sample of her friend's cake to bring me and could I try it. I said sure, but that's not going to help me much. She asked me to make a plain yellow cake for her to try. So, we arrange for her to come over last night.
She came and brought week old, dried out, stale cake samples that told me nothing really and said her friend didn't feel comfortable sharing the recipe. She also brought her friend's icing along, which to me tasted like what you get on a grocery store or Costco cake...that flavor and consistency, which tastes nothing like what I use. She didn't like the cake I had made.
I told her the only way I would try to make her friend's recipe would be if the friend willingly supplied it...no covert attempts by the bride to get it would be acceptable to me. The wedding has been set for a Friday afternoon. We're still talking about the $75 price.
So, after sleeping on this for the night, I am wondering if I shouldn't jsut call the bride and recind my offer to make the cake. Basically she said they weren't going to use me if I didn't make this certain cake her friend makes (which is so weird because she said the first time she was here that she doesn't really even like cake and she and her fiance seemed to think the two flavors I offered were just fine). I am just thinking that this would not be worth it for me. I'd be making a cake I am unfamiliar with (and she would probably want ANOTHER sample made), I've already put at least 4 hours of time in, the job would pay next to nothing, my husband would have to take some time off work to be home early that day...how does this make sense? I would like the experience, but this just seems like a nightmare in the making. They still wouldn't give me the $25 deposit I asked for last night and I am starting to wonder why they are do stingy with money if they are having a cocktail hour at the hotel before the reception.
Anyway, thanks for letting me vent...any opinions??
I'd say cut her loose. She sounds like a pain.
She hasn't given you a deposit and she's difficult...if you do the cake and she says she doesn't like it..she'll want a refund....I wouldn't do it...especially if you are having doubts about it...
that's my thought
Wow! I would just flat out tell her it's got to be this way or......simply find someone else.
If you have no recipe, you can't make a cake "just like this one".
I would be very nice about it saying that you understand she's under stress, etc., etc.; but making sure the cake is just right for her day is madatory to you and if she can't work with you, then she needs to find someone else.
She said she was going to make one more attempt to get the recipe from her friend and let her know that I would "get rid" of the recipe after making the cake, but even with that, I am just not sure it's worth it. She said it uses some special flour from the hispanic store and blah, blah, blah. That would take extra time and money on my part to find, etc. It seems to me that they want a bakery specialty cake for a garage sale price and I just don't think I am that desperate....
Trust your gut instinct. If you're having this many problems with cake flavors, what is going to happen with the decorations, price, etc. Tell her you've accepted another job and move on. If you would like the experience, make a cake and donate it somewhere, take it to your work or hubby's work and drum up some other business for yourself. The stress you've gone through so far is worth more than $75.
If she likes her friend's cake so much why doesn't she ask her to make the cake???
Sounds like this is already turning out to be more work than it's worth. I say cancel.
Let us know what you decide.
Simple, tell her "no deposit, no cake".
I would not do someone else's recipe without a trial run. So you would have to try the recipe before agreeing to do the cake. And since the bride has said if you can't make that particular cake, they won't use you, then no deal!!! Tell her to get her friend to make the cake!!!
She's not worth the headache!!!
I agree with everyone else. I would just cancel! I think she is the type to not like it regardless of all your time and effort and would just ask for a refund. Sorry for your troubles! Good luck
I totally agree with everyone else...dump her quick! Remember you are a professional. There isn't a bridal gown store, reception hall, caterer etc. that would book a event without at least a deposit before a wedding...(most want full payment). If she can't even pay half of $75.00...it's not woth the aggravation!
If she wants her friend's cake, she should order it from her friend.
She has given no deposit, and now she has passed an acceptable date to place an order.
She is Trouble.
It amazes me how thoughtless people are. She liked your cake...now she wants her friend's cake instead? Simply tell her that you can't work with her unless she gives you a down payment. Period.
This definitely sounds like it's going to be a pain. Trust your judgement.
Sounds to me like even if you do this wedding cake her way, with her friend's recipe, she will never be satified and she will be a probelm for you from beginning to end. I suggest rather than alienate her by saying "no deposit, no cake" just tell her you have discovered that there is a conflict for the date and you are unable to continue making plans for her wedding cake. And then make sure you are unavailable next time she calls. No need to be nasty or thoughtless just because she might be. One rude client can give you bad publicity for a long time, even if you did nothing wrong.
I am sorry that you are going through this. In my opinion, I would cancel on her. If she is giving you this much hassle already and no deposit it sounds like she is gonna be more trouble than experience. I agree with the other person that said make a cake and donate it or give it to someone to drum up more business for you and give you practice. Let us know what happens. Good Luck.
Would it be wrong to day that I think they are just craving cake? Everytime they meey with you they get samples! It makes me wonder if the friend is being so secretive and possesive about the recipe-maybe it is just a cake mix. She sounds like more trouble then she is worth and since they would not give you a deposit-you could tell them that you have accepted another cake order. That's part of the reason we ask for deposits... Good Luck!!
By all means....CANCEL! Cut your losses and run! This is not going to be good no matter what cake you make for her! Even if you manage to get the recipe.....it may not turn out the same. I think It is just a lose/lose situation, and the best thing to do is bow out gracefully!
How frustrated you must be right now! I am very sorry this happened to you, but I am sure you will have another wedding cake order in no time!
Yep, i would just cancel - not worth your time and effort - especially since you have to find this "special hispanic flour", too!
Forget about her and her dried up old cake. She sounds like a Bridezilla. They are more into the drama and attention, and you certainly do not want that for yourself. I bet if your cake does not match the Cosco-tasting cake she brought you from her friend, she will not hold back on the complaints and demanding her money back.
Some people come in with negative energy and it is best to avoid them.
I think you should tell her that you now have something else booked. I am sure you can find something to do and you do not need to tell her that it may be your laundry or something!
I agree that she will not like whatever you do. It will just be a massive pile of stress for you.
I'm with "Sugarfrosted," and all the other bakers that have replied to your post.
This is the kind of thing that just makes you lose your mind. AND--betcha dollars to donuts--Even IF your cake was the most delicious, moist and BEAUTIFUL cake she's ever seen--she'll do the "rope-a-dope" on you at the end, and ask for either a refund, or never pay you at all!
Sounds like treacherous territory to me!
I'd avoid that like the plague...Whatever you do, BEST OF LUCK!
Get out while you can! It does not seem worth the trouble to me.
Considering the cake samples and time that you've already invested, you're already in the hole. The $75 price for all that you offer is too low. Add it up. You've spent too much time with this person to not even have the NON-REFUNDABLE deposit. Kick her to the curb .
You have a few options. Tell her you can do the cake only with your recipes. If she wants a different recipe tell her she'll have to go elsewhere or she'll have to pay extra (that's if you're willing to do it).
Another option is to tell her that someone else has already put down a deposit for that date. Of course you can always just cancel, but by having the date already booked she can't keep bugging you. Good Luck and let us know what happens.
Apparently the friend can't come to the wedding AND doesn't want to transport a cake from NJ. I am thinking that maybe I will call and tell her that I am only willing to make one my cakes for the agreed upon price. If she does succeed in getting the recipe, I would make it, but only for an additional charge. Another thing is that I already have a wedding cake (my first) booked for the previous weekend and I really don't want to do two weeks in a row.
I couldn't believe they refused to leave a deposit last night...I remember when I booked my wedding cake. We had all the details figured in about an hour and I left her with full payment plus an equipment deposit. it's not that hard people!!
I wouldn't call her or make any more moves....I would just wait for her to call me, and then politely tell her that you got booked for that weekend and won't be available. What can she say to that? She sounds terribly cheap and very demanding...you don't get that demanding when you are only paying 75.00/bucks for a wedding cake.
If she was refusing to give you a deposit that should be a sign. I agree with Ellepal.
I agree, do not go chasing after her. If she calls, then you can let her know what you are willing to do, or not do.
Going forward, it might help you to draw up some rules, either physically or mentally, for yourself and stick to them. This way when customers refer, they pass along the info (the way you operate) as well.
If a customer knows they can probably finagle, they will get away with as much as they can, like leaving no deposit, lol. Good luck.
What exactly is her friend's problem anyway? Didn't you say the friend lived in NJ and you live in VA? Even with the "secret" recipe you wouldn't be stepping on her toes and trying to take cake orders from her for that wonderful "secret" recipe seeing that you don't even live in the same state. I totally agree with everybody else. DUMP HER!!!! Why, oh why, do people have to be such a pain?????
Cut her loose. And I, too, think her friend's secret recipie is a box mix.
Run..............it sounds like even if you tried to duplicate the cake she wouldn't be happy! Sometimes it's just not worth the headache.
I hope it all works out for you.