Need To Vent Re: Wilton Classes Offered At Michaels!

Decorating By mvucic Updated 12 Jul 2005 , 4:21pm by melodyscakes

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PatS Posted 8 Jul 2005 , 11:25pm
post #31 of 53

I have been a Wilton instructor at Michaels for five years. The instructor is responsible for setting up the class schedule with the store's event coordinator. There are course handout to be given to students when they sign up and pay for the class. This handout lets the students know that to bring to the first night of class. Everyone signing up for Wilton classes should make sure they are given the supply list. It is also the instructor responsiblity to let the store know when they need to order an additional supply of course books. The store won't know what is on hand unless I tell them. Instructors are suppose to be at the store 30 minutes before the class starts to prepare for that nights lessons. I try to be prepared for each night of class. I do teach all three courses but on different nights of the week. I would never try to teach all three on the same night. Too much information to cover in a short period of time.

I agree that store employees need more training in signing up students. My students have encountered this problem too. I try to be helpful but there isn't much I can do about untrained personnel.

Michaels does accept Jo-Ann coupons, you must let the cashier know before they start your transaction that you have a Jo-Ann coupon because they are treated differently then a Michaels coupon.

Wilton sends each instructor a schedule for starting classes. I run my classes on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday each week. July class are to start the week of July 10 therefore my class are starting after July 10.
I also have a full time job so my classes are evening classes for 6:30-8:30 pm. I enjoy teaching and watching my students skills develope. I am sorry that so many people are discussed with Wilton and Michaels. Michaels has a new policy not to cancel classes, they will hold a class with just one student.

I hope this help some.

Have a great day

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eve Posted 8 Jul 2005 , 11:41pm
post #32 of 53

If you go to a reputable, prestigious cooking school, you never encounter these very unprofessional and incompetent so called "teachers", they're not even Certified Pastry Chefs.

How sad!!! Good luck with your next class. I hope it is better

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kakesbyrobin Posted 9 Jul 2005 , 12:12am
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About 15 years ago I went to a prestigious cooking school.It was a 2 year course,every 9 weeks you rotated classes.(meats,seafood,sauces and soups,vegetables,bakeshop,and charcuterie(?).

In bakeshop,(which I came down with chicken pox in) They did vey little on cake decorating itself.

It focused more on the making from scratch of breads,cakes and pastries and the different frostings.for them.
Even though I couldn't wait for this part of my course,I was kinda disappointed.

And for the record,even missing two weeks in the beginning,I still came out with a 3.8 in that class.
I have a very good understanding on making breads,pies,cookies and baking cakes,unfortunately there was very little time left over for the finer points of decorating beyond the rossettes and borders.
Though he did show me how to make a rose on the tip of a pencil eraser.

And the instructer was a master sugar crafter who had studied in europe.
The last class he gave a demo of his sugar crafting and it was amazing. icon_smile.gif

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mjarvis78 Posted 9 Jul 2005 , 2:43am
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Originally Posted by eve

If you go to a reputable, prestigious cooking school, you never encounter these very unprofessional and incompetent so called "teachers", they're not even Certified Pastry Chefs.

How sad!!! Good luck with your next class. I hope it is better

I graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in upstate NY. I can tell you that we did the basic, and I mean bare bones, decorating in class. We focused much more on the patisserie and chocolatier and bread baking.

You don't need to go to a fancy schmansy school to be a good decorator, you don't even need to take classes. You need the desire and the abilty to practice to perfect your craft. Some of the best decorators I know never step foot in a class, be it at Michael's or a culinary school.

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MariaLovesCakes Posted 9 Jul 2005 , 3:07am
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I went thru 2 teachers at Michael's as well. To make a long story short: my first teacher owned a bakery where she did wedding cakes and she was a little wacky! No shows, always late, etc.

She was "replaced" by a 2nd teacher on Wilton Class 2 with another wacky one that oh, lord, talked forever and seemed to be in La-La Land...

I finished my first 2 wilton courses and didn't even dare take course 3. I have learned fondant on my own and had no problems...

I don't think I could've taken another teacher....

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scoobam Posted 9 Jul 2005 , 3:10am
post #36 of 53

Well said mjarvis. I agree. I am also willing to bet money that there are many unprofessional and probably incompent pastry chefs out there who I wouldn't want to teach me for an hour.

Comparing going to a culinary school and taking Wilton classes is like apples to oranges.

If you aren't happy with a Wilton class it isn't as though you then decide to become a pastry chef. This is just about wanting Wilton and Michaels to get their act together a little bit!!

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niki_10 Posted 9 Jul 2005 , 3:34am
post #37 of 53

I'm sure a culinary school would be nice, but I'm just doing this for fun! I don't want to devote the time and money for an entire culinary education.

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Loucinda Posted 9 Jul 2005 , 5:13am
post #38 of 53

I must be one of the odd balls. My instructor was wonderful, and extrememly helpful. She knew what she was doing, and even gave all of us her home phone number and email address.

I took all 3 courses from her, and I still send her pics of the cakes I have done. I am waiting to hear from her ~ she is supposed to get a gumpaste class together sometime this summer.

Sorry to hear all the negative experiences. Come to central Ohio, it was great here! thumbs_up.gif

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dishguyswife Posted 9 Jul 2005 , 1:14pm
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It's too bad to hear all of the horror stories but I had to add my two cents.

I attended a Wilton Class at a particular mentioned craft store in Erie, PA and had an ABSOLUTELY wonderful instructor!!!!!!! icon_smile.gif She taught all 3 classes and I had a blast! She gave us her phone number the first night and told us if we needed anything to just call her anytime. She can decorate better then any person I know, has a wonderful teaching method and a GREAT personality. I took classes 2 years ago and am thinking about a refresher third course and can't wait! If you live in this area it would be a great experience to be taught by this teacher!! thumbs_up.gif

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Cakepro Posted 9 Jul 2005 , 11:49pm
post #40 of 53

I am a Wilton Instructor currently teaching at Garden Ridge. The problem of cashiers not knowing how to register cake students - and not caring - is not endemic to Michael's, unfortunately. However, it does seem like many of you got stuck with teachers who do not care about their students! I have had many Michael's students (and in several instances, entire classes) migrate over to my classes because their instructor(s) performed less than satisfactorily. I'm sorry that all of you who are so enthusiastic and motivated to learn this wonderful art have been disappointed. icon_sad.gif

I regularly call my store and anonymously inquire about cake classes, as well as go to the Customer Service Desk to ask about classes when I see a new cashier. If/when they cannot or will not answer the inquiry properly, they are always surprised when I tell them I *am* the instructor and then call over the supervisor on duty to train them properly right then and there. icon_biggrin.gif Heehee

~ Sherri

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Kristy Posted 10 Jul 2005 , 12:13am
post #41 of 53

The Michaels here is so scatterbrained! When I went to sign up for Course I the cashier and the manager couldn't find the Wilton book (turns out the classroom manager had taken it home) so they just found a spare blank sign up page and said "fill this out and show up on Monday." I was nervous about making sure that my name got added to the complete list, so I called back the next day and talked to the classroom manager who had no idea what i was talking about and asked the cashier whom i signed up with and she was completely clueless too! So it was a good thing i called, and left all my info with her. She told me that the class wouldn't be held if they couldn't get enough people to sign up, so it would be worth the instructor's time, and they would call me if it was cancelled. So that Monday I arrived, and turns out I was the only one in the class!
My teacher was really good, it was her first time teaching, and i think she did a good job for her first time. I certainly didn't mind the private classes either!
I went to sign up for course II and the girl at customer service was like "oh, yea i'm not sure when we will be holding that, it may be september or october." They are extremely unorganized there and it seems like there would be someone at the store at normal times who at least knew something about the classes!

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littlebubbieschocolates Posted 10 Jul 2005 , 2:47am
post #42 of 53

my mom went thru this

my mom thought it would be a great idea to take the class seeing that they dont have them here. well any where near me. so she signs up it costs her 100. plus she has to pay 30 for the books and what. i tell her thats too much and that it doesnt seem right. but shes like no no its fine. anyways the girl tells my mom that the classes really fill up quick. so my mom is like ok great.

she calls 3 days later to make sure that everything is set. they tell my mom yep the class is filled and no need to worry. my mom lives about 80miles one way so she calls the girl says ya its still on.

my mom drives all the way there. sits at the table. the girls that are working there tell my mom dont worry some ppl show up late. my mom waited over and hr and no one showed . finally one the girls tells my mom that she was the only who had signed up and the class is cancelled bc there werent enough ppl.. how messed up is that. so my mom had to drive another 80miles back. they told her that theres gonig to be another class she said screw it. they still havent paid my mom back. and she never did get the books or w/e else she was supposed to get.

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auntjan Posted 10 Jul 2005 , 3:11am
post #43 of 53

Quadcrew, I am also from central Ohio and had a great time at our Michaels. My instructor was wonderful and I still go in there sometimes on class nights to ask her questions.She is always helpful, and was super patient with all of us.

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mvucic Posted 10 Jul 2005 , 3:32am
post #44 of 53


littlebubbieschocolates, that does not seem right at all! Your mom should've received her money back and, IMO, if she could've, I would return all the stuff... $100+ seems a little steep for a Wilton course! If need be, you should talk to someone at their head office, or at least the district manager... that's just not right!

Today, I went to return my kit and get money back for my course 3. Yesterday, I called there and spoke with the manager that was on duty the night I showed up to a supposed cancelled class. I specifically asked her if she would be in today around 2 pm, as I did not want to deal with anyone else who didn't know the situation. Well, guess what? I show up at 2pm and ask for this particular manager, and the cashiers all look at me funny and say that she isn't working til later on, for the evening shift. .... hummm.... First, I hate being lied to. I'm sure she said she'd be there at that time to avoid a "confrontation" with me. (I'm not a confrontational person, honest!) Second, if you have no training in dealing with "difficult" situations, then maybe you shouldn't be a shift manager!

Well, I didn't leave until I got my money back. I feel bad for the next person that buys my kit though, as I opened it to prepare myself for the class. Hopefully they will give 'em a discount for that!.... (she wouldn't refund my class unless I gave back the kit, which cost a penny this month).

Hopefully something will come out of my rantings!

Have a good weekend everyone! Thanks again for everything!

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crp7 Posted 10 Jul 2005 , 4:01am
post #45 of 53

I encountered a lot of the same issues at Michael's here. The first place I went they never knew what was going on and had several classes cancelled because no one signed up. Of course, how can anyone sign up when the employees are so clueless and less than helpful?

I went to another Michael's across town and signed up. I lucked out because the instructors daughter was a supervisor for that store. The instructor was good and knowledgable. I was surprised though when I felt she was recruiting people as early as course II to start teaching. She was wanting to quit and open her own shop and was looking for someone to replace her.


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littlebubbieschocolates Posted 10 Jul 2005 , 4:25am
post #46 of 53

i know i told my mom that she needs to talk to someone but she keeps getting the run around. and she didnt even get anything for the class. she was supposed.

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Cake_Princess Posted 11 Jul 2005 , 5:34am
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I have come to The Conclusion that some of The folks that work at Michaels don't know their head from their tail. And I have shopped at quit a few of the stores.

Anywho, I finally decided to take The Wilton classes. Class started last week and i said well I might As well take course 1 so That I get all 3 certificates. So the Saturday drive To Michaels to sign up. The class was Starting on the Tuesday. So I decided to leave home early and drive to class then i Will have 30 minutes to browse the store. I get there and I browsed then about 10 minutes before class I asked where the class room was. I sat there for about 30 minutes and there was no one else but me. So I got up and asked where the instructor was. The clueless folks at Michaels had no clue. So they called and left her a message I waited a bit longer then the store manager (who by the way saw me sitting in the classroom all that time) said well I can't have u sitting here wasting your time. Just go To The front desk to reschedule.

So i go to the cashier to reschedule and she said to (after looking in the binder) the next class does not start until next month. I am are you kidding me? We missed A night so we have To wait until next month? Why not just make the night up? Well we have other classes scheduled. So I asked her To Get The manager to the front area and i asked him why we can't make up the night. So he said well that Might be a possibility. We will call you and let you know. Two days go by and no call so I called and Asked To speak to the instructor That was on That night and I explained what happened. She said to me oh yes i heard about that. Your instructor will be giving a make up lesson next week. So I thought to myself, "How nice of them to call and let me know."

Well this morning (Sunday) I am still in bed sleeping My phone rings. And I answered in My half awake half asleep voice. It Was the Wilton instructor sounding rather chipper. She said oh hi and gave her name then said to me Yes i was away on vacation. At which point I was a tad pissed off and told her I was sleeping and call ME back in an hour.

Ok, so She Calls me back then said to me. I was away on vacation And there Was a note in the binder stating That fact. The Michaels employees should have known that. She then went on to tell me that she called the other lady That's taking the course to inform her that she was going on vacation and the course would be starting a week later. In addition to that, she said well I spoke to the other lady And we decided to have our make up class on Monday. Is That going to be ok for you? Will you be able to make it? Stupid me said yes. I should have told her no that Monday is not good for me.

I thought it was EXTREMELY unprofessional to be taking vacation at A time when classes are scheduled to be starting. Even worse, not contacting me to let me know that there would be no class on the 1st day. I felt that it Was her responsiblity as the instructor to do that. Then on top of it all making decisions with the other person and not contacting me to let me know what Was going on.

As for the staff at Michaels if in fact they had the information that she Was going to be away. They should have also contacted the students to make sure there were informed that there would be no class the 1st week. No, I wasted gas driving there. I wasted my time going there And waiting. Then To find out they were clueless.

All in all, It reflects poorly on both Wilton AND Michaels. I have class Monday to make up and then on Tuesday. I will let you guys know how it goes.


P.S. Excuse any typos LOL
P.S.S I had To come back and edit after looking @ some of the typos

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TamiAZ Posted 11 Jul 2005 , 6:49am
post #48 of 53

Wow... I'm amazed at some of these stories... I taught Wilton for two years and I made it a priority to communicate with the students... I would call all my students the night before class to remind them of the class time and what to bring. I also called when I had to cancel a class.. I agree Wilton should probably screen their instructors better.

Originally Posted by eve

If you go to a reputable, prestigious cooking school, you never encounter these very unprofessional and incompetent so called "teachers", they're not even Certified Pastry Chefs.

How sad!!! Good luck with your next class. I hope it is better

Not all Wilton instructors are unprofessional and incompetent... I was lucky enough to have some awesome instructors.. Not everyone can afford culinary school just to learn cake decorating. Wilton is a great way for someone to get the basics of cake decorating without spending a fortune... After I took all three courses I found other classes where I learned more advanced skills... I think I've done pretty good without a culinary degree.. icon_biggrin.gif

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eryka1842 Posted 11 Jul 2005 , 8:14am
post #49 of 53
Originally Posted by eve

If you go to a reputable, prestigious cooking school, you never encounter these very unprofessional and incompetent so called "teachers", they're not even Certified Pastry Chefs.

How sad!!! Good luck with your next class. I hope it is better

I personally had a GREAT time in all 3 of my Wilton classes at Hobby Lobby. My instructor was great - not "very unprofessional and incompetent". The most I paid for a course was $15. A FAR FAR cry from tuition at ANY culinary school. And while it's no "reputable, prestigious cooking school", it taught me what I expected to learn - which was how to decorate a cake. I did not sign up for the classes expecting to be the next big thing in cake decorating immediately after Course 3.

I'm proud of what I accomplished in my classes. Just as I am sure that you are proud of what you accomplished at your culinary school. It's great that you could afford it and were able to attend. I'm guesing that gives you an excuse to belittle those who cannot.

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Angelmdljr Posted 11 Jul 2005 , 10:42am
post #50 of 53

Sort of the same kind of thing....
Actually, my only issue was with my Course 1 instructor, who chastised me because my mom had given me some of her old cake decorating items, and had found some "new" at yard sales...etc. At any rate, the instructor chastised me because 4 of the tips I showed up with were Atecco. I was told it was unacceptable and I was denied used of them. Same thing with the cake panes. ONLY WILTON. Or they were not to be used.

Luckily my best friend who I dragged into taking the first course with me, talked me in to taking the 2nd and there was a completely different instructor. She was kind, and patient and supportive to the point where I have started taking orders for cakes and next weekend I begin my certification by the health department locally....I am very excited.

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magentaa23 Posted 11 Jul 2005 , 12:11pm
post #51 of 53

i took the classes at michaels a long time ago... but when i was in culinary school at the junior college near me i took the cake decorating course.... it was through wilton... it was a 3 month course 2 days a week for 3 hours a day.... you learned everything!!! .. and it was only $250 compared to the wilton course at the wilton school which is 2 weeks long and about triple the price!

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niki_10 Posted 12 Jul 2005 , 12:41pm
post #52 of 53

Well, I took my first class at Michaels and am VERY impressed. My instructor is awesome. I can not wait to get started, and take more classes too!

So although the cashiers may be a little flighty, so far I'm totally happy!

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melodyscakes Posted 12 Jul 2005 , 4:21pm
post #53 of 53

icon_sad.gif i am so sorry that some of your experiences werent as wonderful as mine! icon_smile.gif my micheals store is great but my instructor is out of this world wonderful!!!!!! so is so kind and patient and willing to teach me everything she knows, i feel so lucky to be her student!! she tells me the dos and donts of owning a cake business and all kinds of stuff she learned from experience while she had her cake business.
if your experience is not so good, please overlook all that and get your self a cake education anyway! icon_lol.gif

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