Urgent Questions, Help Please!

Business By Lenette Updated 12 Jun 2006 , 1:08am by cakesondemand

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Lenette Posted 9 Jun 2006 , 10:07pm
post #1 of 13

I am looking into opening a small shop. I want to offer cupcakes and other small items but primarily will focus on custom cakes. I need to know if I can do these with cream cheese and bc icings without refrigerating them. I will only be open for walk-ins limited hours so they won't be out all day. I bake from scratch so my cakes are best served at room temp. Will this work or do I need to rethink it more?

Also, I have read mostly discouraging things about opening a shop. I am very frustrated but I really want this. I do not however want to put blinders on. There have to be everyday people out there who love baking/decorating and are successful at it. I don't care about being rich, I'm not trying to drive a Mercedes or buy a million $$ house. I want to do something that makes me happy and is profitable. I just want to cry after contacting people who have/had had a shop. Everyone says "Don't do it!" How can I not do the one thing I love? I have tried to make myself be satisfied with doing it at home but I'm not. There is a downtown location available at a great price and I want to take advantage of it. Sorry for rambling. I just feel sad and guilty for continuing to pursue this against the advice of others.

12 replies
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lsawyer Posted 9 Jun 2006 , 10:12pm
post #2 of 13

Since you seem so passionate about it, I'd give it a try. Do talk to those others to find out what their problems were, and why they say "don't do it!" Get specifics.
For BC icing, it does not have to be refrigerated. Others on this site say that the sugar preserves the cream cheese, and that other bakeries leave it out all day. If you have limited hours, then, if what they say is true, you shouldn't have a problem with the cream cheese. Check this out further. Perhaps others can provide more info. Good luck! And have fun!

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rhondie Posted 9 Jun 2006 , 10:25pm
post #3 of 13

Sorry I can't help you out with the technical stuff, but I'm excited for you to have your own shop!!! It sounds like you want this pretty bad, wish you had some pictures to post. If you open this shop and fail then at least you failed trying,If you dont even try,then you have already failed.Follow your passions !!! Also keep us posted and put your business in the yellow pages part of CC. -rhondie

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justsweet Posted 9 Jun 2006 , 10:25pm
post #4 of 13

If this is something you want to do then you need to really invest; how much is reant, insurance, ingredients, advertising, etc. Are ready to work 5 to 6 days a week. some days you may get know customers. Check other bakeries and see what they have, buy some of their product and do a test. You may have to sell more then cupcake and special cakes. Cookies or even minutre cheesecake. Little things like this can make a differance if your business does not take off right away. Have taken a food handling class? Their is a lot to a business some people go into without thinking about the extra cost. Try to a month to month lease with an option in 9 months to sign a longer lease. This way you can back out if it gets out of control

Look at business (inurance company, car dealships, office places) in the area. Meet with someone and see if they would like to buy plate of sweets once a month or every other month for thier employees. Or maybe can drop off small samples with cards and flyers for the employees to taste and take home.

also you can look on e-bay for display fridges to store some items - cupcakes with cream cheese.

the first few years of a business is hard but if you work hard you can do anything. Be patience and if you really want this then looked into everything and if you are happy with what you come up with then
*** GO FOR IT ********

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Lenette Posted 9 Jun 2006 , 10:38pm
post #5 of 13

I got my food sanitation certificate about 3 years ago. I have spoken with an insurance agent about that part and am working with SCORE also. I have a small clientele and will be meeting with local wedding planners. I did an expo recently and got rave reviews. I've lived in this town all my life and am familiar with most of the bakeries. There seems to be a great demand for "homemade" type products including the dec cakes. I have a list of ideas (inexpensive ones at that) of promotional/advertising type things to do once I get in there and get my license. Thanks for the encouragement! You don't know how much I need it.

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Mac Posted 9 Jun 2006 , 10:42pm
post #6 of 13


There is a saying and I can't remember it word for word...but it has to do with regretting things that you have wanted to do and not trying it. If it's your passion--go for it. It's better to try and fail than never trying at all!

Now, I'm not saying that you will fail--it's all about trying and doing your best. Success in life does not come from money, it comes from within, from happiness.

You know, the dates on a headstone are just dates, the most important is the dash. It's what you do in between birth and death that matter.

OK--I'm off my philosphy now...GO FOR IT!!!

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JoAnnB Posted 10 Jun 2006 , 6:04am
post #7 of 13

I am fairly sure the health department will require all your "perishables" which would include creamcheese of any kind, to be refrigerated. Part of your expenses will have to be some kind of refrigerated case.

Once you figure out how much your fixed expenses are going to be (rent, heat, lights, water, electricity, garbage, and supplies, and so much more) you have to figure out how many cakes you have to sell to make that much money. Can you physically make that many, and still stand up at the end of the day. How about a partner or regular assistant.
Some "cake shops" have taken to serving light lunches of sandwiches and soups. more cooking, dishwasher or paper supplies.

And none of that provides any pay for you, and any help you might have to hire. One way to make payroll easier, is to hire a temp from an agency. You pay a bit more, but all the taxes and reporting are done by the agency.

When I make major decisions, I try to determine the "worst case" scenario, and ask myself, can I survive that. If the answer is yes, then go for it. If the answer is unkown, re-evaluate your plan to minimize some of the risks.

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jmt1714 Posted 10 Jun 2006 , 11:11am
post #8 of 13

don't assume you won't have to refrigerate the products. Your local health code will determine that.

before you even think about renting a storefront, you need to do a business plan.

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Lenette Posted 10 Jun 2006 , 2:27pm
post #9 of 13

Thank you for your comments. I appreciate so much the encouraging and positive words. I aware that this will not happen over night and that research and planning is in order.

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johnniekake Posted 11 Jun 2006 , 12:23am
post #10 of 13

Lenette if you truly LOVE baking then GO FOR IT!!!!!!!!!!
I opened my cake shop 3 years ago...without a business plan (still dont have one)or any money.I was pretty clueless!! Iam a one woman show and at times its really tuff..........but god I lOVE ITTTTTTTTTT
The first year 1/2 was really hard....there were days I wanted to give up(still have those days sometimes icon_wink.gif )But Im happy to say it just keeps getting better. icon_biggrin.gif
My shop is strickly made to order,I keep a few things on hand for walk ins
cookies,cupcakes and such.....but you'll soon find out you can't please everyone.I leave my cupcakes out all day.....wrap up and refrig at night.
No big deal OK w/dept of Agr.
Bottom line is.........Yes you can do this,Yes its hard at times,Yes there are days I want to throw myself from a ten story building icon_surprised.gif ,But I have never been Happier,Content and truly Fullfilled then Iam right now!
and YES you can make MONEY at this.
So GIRL follow your heart it will take you were you need to go!!!!!!!!!!!

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Mac Posted 11 Jun 2006 , 12:32am
post #11 of 13


Wise words!

But you know, as said in your Bottom line--this can be true about any job. The important part is that you love what you do and that makes it worthwhile.

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Lenette Posted 11 Jun 2006 , 7:03pm
post #12 of 13

Thank you, thank you! I know I keep saying it but those encouraging words and stories mean SOOO MUCH! I can't express enough how much it helps me feel I'm not as crazy as everyone thinks I am. Now stand by for when all the questions come. icon_biggrin.gif

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cakesondemand Posted 12 Jun 2006 , 1:08am
post #13 of 13

I worked in a bakery for years and we were not required to refrigerate our cream cheese icing if you do it can take all day for it to soften again so you can use it if you have a large quanitiy. The health inspectors were in all the time and we were never told to refrigerate it. Best thing to do is ask the healh dept about it or search the net to see if there is any info.

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