Looking For Walmart Cake Decorators-- I Need Advice

Decorating By momnzoes Updated 17 Oct 2006 , 7:35pm by debbie2881

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momnzoes Posted 17 Oct 2006 , 4:30pm
post #1 of 14

I'm thinking of transferring to the Bakery soon. I've taken the 3 Wilton classes and made quite a few cakes (I've posted some to my photos here) and I'm looking for some feedback about working in the Bakery.

I'm on 3rd shift, Modular Team right now, but the overnights and heavy stock work are taking a toll. I love decorating, but I also want to know what I have to look forward to in a new position. What kind of experience/ skills did you need when you started? Do you get much freedom to be creative? What kind of volume do you do?

So help me out if you can and Thanks.

13 replies
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jtb94 Posted 17 Oct 2006 , 4:38pm
post #2 of 14

I am also interested in this answer. Someday when I retire, I have thought about working in a chain store bakery.

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patticakesnc Posted 17 Oct 2006 , 4:43pm
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I looked at both of you guys photos and I personally think Walmart or any of the stores would be lucky to have you. Your talents are far beyond anything I have every seen at Walmart and I hope if you do go to work for them it doesn't dampen your obvious creativity. I have thought about doing the same thing and checking at Walmart but I am afraid I would get sick of doing roses and basketweaves and nothing else.

You really could boost their sales if they allow you to broaden what is offered with your talents.

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momnzoes Posted 17 Oct 2006 , 4:47pm
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I hope it will be a first step for me, actually. I live in Central Florida and there's lots of cool opportunities here. I think what I'd really like to do is work for a resort or cruise line.

However, since I'm trying to be practical, I think it would be a good idea to start at WalMart since I already have some time in with the company (don't want to lose my benefits or start the clock over for vacation, etc.). I know several of the local chains here (Publix and Kash N Karry) do really nice cakes, but that would be starting over in a new venue for me. I'm not averse to letting WalMart pay me to refine skills I can use in the future. And they already know what kind of worker I am (the Assistant Manager over our bakery used to work with me overnight- hope that helps.)

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nikic Posted 17 Oct 2006 , 4:49pm
post #5 of 14

I knew someone who did work at a chain store bakery (It was not Walmart)

She said that you have to go fast, and you have no creative input. I think she even said that they had to complete so many cakes per hour.

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lizzyanne1 Posted 17 Oct 2006 , 4:56pm
post #6 of 14

I think this would be a great way to get experience and to sharpen technique. I would love to do something like that part time in order to really get good at my skills. Good luck and let us know how it goes.

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fmcmulle Posted 17 Oct 2006 , 5:08pm
post #7 of 14

You have made some great cakes. I say go for it. I also live in central florida. How did you like the classes? I loved them and I hope within the next two years I will have my own shop. I know any bakery would love to have your creativity. Keep up the good work.

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Julisa Posted 17 Oct 2006 , 5:14pm
post #8 of 14

Hi momenzoes,
Sorry this is soooooo long.
I worked in the Wal-Mart bakery about 8-9 yrs ago. I saw your photos and you have MORE than enough experience to work there. You are very talented. All they really require is that your are able to ice a cakes smooth (if your particular Wal-Mart doesn't have them come in pre-iced), do a simple border and are able to make a spray of roses. Not very many people order anthing other than those or the charchter kits (Cars, Snoopy, etc...) and you just follow the easy picture.
Just be prepared to be a Probie/Newbie. When I started, the other decorators were all older than I was and had been there for years. I was treated like...well...a child. I got the worst sifts, evenings (which turned out to be the best because I didn't have to answer to anyone) and was put to do all the regular cakes for the display the ones that they make about 30 of (grass hopper, oreo, lemon). I didn't really get to do anycakes unless someone came up to the counter while I was there and asked for one to be done before I left. All the called in orders were done during the day by the seasoned decorators. I was able to do an 8" round with "my own" design and used the air brush. The lady watched me do it, so I was quite nervious but she loved it. I just put a price ticket from one of the grass hopper cakes on it. At that time we weren't selling any "decorated" cakes other than sheets. Usually the decorator with the most tenior (spell?) is the one who gets to do any ordered wedding cakes. She wasn't able to vary from the picture in the "book" and only had one shift to do it in and had to cut cake boards out of boxes. (I always wondered how the held up after soaking up all the shortening from the icing) She was also limited to using the small variety of cake tips that they have.
I always finished my "assignment" way before my shift was over (It is not hard to ice 17 round cakes and put crushed oreos on the sides) and made myself "looke busy" while I played with the air brush, or helped the dough nut makers fill the dough nuts. Also because I got the last cake shift of the day, I had the pleasure of cleaning up after everyone else. Washing all the bags & tips and bleaching, scrubbing/and moping the floor and counter. (They may require you to clean the walk in dishwasher and the greese traps...which ultimately led me to walk out on them)

If you have worked for Wally world awhile, you shouldn't have any trouble. Just be diligent about asking for and taking your brakes and lunches. Also keep track of your schedule to make sure they don't drop you down to "part time" to keep from giving you your benefits.

I guess, like any job, the people you work for/with are the ones who make your experiance a positive one or not. All in all, I did enjoy working there. I just wish I was able to do more actual cake decorating.
OH yeah! I don't know if your WM frouns on it but my did so don't mention to your bakery manager that you do cakes for other people.

I hope you get a good shift and have a great experiance.

Sorry if it sounded like I was B****ing,


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elliemae Posted 17 Oct 2006 , 5:27pm
post #9 of 14

I actually learned how to decorate cakes by working in the bakery at WalMart. I knew nothing when I started and they taught me everything. I was fortunate enough to know a couple of the girls I worked with, so they were very patient with me. We had a lot of turnover with cake decorators, and there for a while I was the only cake decorator, and on Saturdays that can get really stressful. When I worked there, we were allowed to be creative, within "reason"...nothing too off the wall. The job itself was fun for me, but the stress of a bakery manager that didn't like to come in until 10 or later (even on Saturdays) and the stress of co-workers not making their own decisions were the final straws for me. All in all, it was not a terrible job, but I do agree with Julisa...I wouldn't mention that you also do cakes for other people.
As far as what I had to do, the special orders came first of course, and then I was responsible for keeping the case out front stocked with cupcakes, and cakes, pies, etc. Luckily a lot of that stuff (such as the pies and the cakes like red velvet, etc.) came in frozen and ready to go. Keeping up with a good supply of the sheet cakes for the case was always the issue I had. Other than that, just regular cleaning. We used disposable icing bags, so we didn't have to wash those. Just the countertops, tips, and the floor mostly.
Hope all of that information helps.

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doescakestoo Posted 17 Oct 2006 , 5:42pm
post #10 of 14

I worked for WalMart several years ago. What they want is someone who can do assmbly line work in cakes. That means the same cake over and over again. No creative work allowed. HTH>

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kdhoffert Posted 17 Oct 2006 , 7:11pm
post #11 of 14

I didn't work for Walmart, but another grocery chain, and for the most part it was get as many done as you possibly can. If you didn't have many orders, than you decorated cakes to put in the freezer for back-up. Fortunately when I worked later, I didn't have the deli manager there. My store manager let me make cakes however I wanted for the case as long as I had my other stuff done first.

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gracy Posted 17 Oct 2006 , 7:22pm
post #12 of 14

Hi, I need help in getting my cakes to smooth. I've tried smoothing my cake with the parchment paper as I was told in a wilton class but it is not working.I've also tried it by dipping my spatula in water. Please help me I dont know what else to do

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kdhoffert Posted 17 Oct 2006 , 7:29pm
post #13 of 14

let it crust, then smooth it with a viva paper towel, or use a foam paint roller

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debbie2881 Posted 17 Oct 2006 , 7:35pm
post #14 of 14

fmcmulle I live in ocoee also, where did you take your wilton classes??

gracy once your icing has crusted take a viva paper towel lay it on the cake and smooth with your hands, you do the same on the sides. Press gently so you dont ruin the frosting but you can add a bit of pressure to smooth the cake. there are tons of threads on this method just type viva in the search and you will find them. hth & welcome to CC!!!

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