Putting The Brakes On My Cake Business

Business By albumangel Updated 12 Sep 2007 , 5:53pm by ccr03

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albumangel Posted 12 Sep 2007 , 3:51pm
post #1 of 11

I have just LOVED reading through this forum for the past 10 months, and have written a business plan and filled it with ideas from these posts.

Alas, I will need to put this business venture on the back burner for a while. icon_sad.gif An offer to go back to work full-time has dropped in my lap, with a salary I just can't turn down, and it involves a ton of travel. I've got such mixed feelings about it, but we're hoping that, in a few years, this money will allow us to buy a house in a neighborhood where I can build my own cake studio in the garage and have it licensed.

After working in a church kitchen to make my sister's wedding cake, I realized that working in someone else's space took a lot of the fun out of it for me. So, I suppose this is for the best. More time to practice and build my portfolio & take classes!

Any advice from those who work full-time about how to squeeze in decorating? How often do you do a cake? How do you divide up the steps when you only have a short time to work on the cake each day?

10 replies
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cambo Posted 12 Sep 2007 , 4:44pm
post #2 of 11

I wish you the best of luck....and it sounds like an excellent plan to go back to work now to be able to do what you really love later! When I worked full time I was up a lot of late nights....and to be honest, I don't think I ever learned how to manage that "well". Hope someone else that works FT can help you out....but I wanted to wish you the best of luck!

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meancat Posted 12 Sep 2007 , 4:51pm
post #3 of 11

Good Luck! I think looking at the bigger picture, you are making the right decision.

I still work full time and go to my kitchen at night - Stay up till around 12pm everyother night and then go home. It sucks, but we are just getting started and am looking at the bigger picture that I will be able to quit soon. I deliver mostly on the weekends to make it easier.

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onegr8girl Posted 12 Sep 2007 , 4:56pm
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I'm in a similar situation to what you describe. My work requires a lot of travel. You just can't overextend yourself. Don't be afraid to say no. For me, it involves late nights and lots and lots of planning. I try not to agree to make a cake on a week when I'm traveling. I also plan things backwards. That means if a cake is due Saturday, I want to finish it Friday night if it's due in the morning. (and Friday I always stay up late anyway). I try to only allow for a few hours each night (two or three max). Considering the topsy turvy cake in my photos, it was due on Saturday night. I shaped and crumb coated the cakes on Friday night and I put the fondant on Friday night. I baked the cakes on Wednesday and Thursday and then wrapped them up and stacked them in my refrigerator after they cooled. The final touches (stripes, circles and music notes) were added on Saturday and then I delivered the cake and stacked it at the party. I had put the pillars and plate into the bottom cake in advance so I just had to set the next layer down. By planning well I was able to get it all taken care of without too much stress (and still work my 40 hours) Good luck!

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JaneK Posted 12 Sep 2007 , 4:58pm
post #5 of 11

congrats on your new position...I am sure it was a difficult decision to make but if you can get that new cake kitchen in the future...then it'll have been work it...

I work fulltime (lunchtime now) and I do quite a few cakes but don't really like doing more than 2 a week and preferably just 1.

Since most cakes are for Friday and/or Saturday...here is a typical week

Sat: prepare any gumpaste and or fondant flowers/figures etc...if nothing to make then think about cake plan
Sun: finish gumpaste and fondant figures/flowers...
Tuesday evening: paint/dust any flowers etc cut out my foam core boards for the cakes..
Wed evening: bake and prepare cake board
Thursday evening: fill and flat ice
Friday evening: decorate
Saturday morning: finish last min and take pics..

If the cake is for Friday, then I move everything up by a day...
My cakes stay moist..scratch baking most of the time...

Sometimes I don't start until Wednesday for a Saturday cake ...depends on complexity....


HTH....works for me....

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illini89 Posted 12 Sep 2007 , 5:05pm
post #6 of 11

a hard decison to make, but the right one. Good Luck on the new job

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illini89 Posted 12 Sep 2007 , 5:05pm
post #7 of 11

a hard decison to make, but the right one. Good Luck on the new job

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ccr03 Posted 12 Sep 2007 , 5:31pm
post #8 of 11

I think I lucked out. At my old job I used to travel quite a bit, so this wasn't a problem. It actually wouldn't have been one anyone, because I wasn't selling cakes really. I started to sell cakes after I got laid off as a way to make a little extra cash. Anyway, now (Gracias a Dios) I've been having 1-2 cakes a week.

I don't consider many of my cakes too eleborate and I don't (haven't) worked with gumpaste or fondant (but that may change after I take my fondant class with Rebecca Sutterby). ANYWAY, this is usually what I aim for my schedule to be.

For cakes due Saturday:
Sunday: Bake & freeze (did I mention that my parents are the best!!! They bought me a GREEEEAAAT freezer back in May. It has shelves and is PERFECT for my cakes). IF I get a last minute order, I'll bake on Thursday and put the freezer on the lowest setting so it's more like a fridge.
During lunch hour breaks: buy anything extra decor I may need
Friday: make filling, prep cake boards, and decorate. If I want to go out Friday night I usually try to make it an early night so I can decorate when I get home (I'm a night owl) or if it's too late, I'll get up at 7ish on Sat.

Hmm, may I don't have it down pack

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albumangel Posted 12 Sep 2007 , 5:39pm
post #9 of 11

This helps a lot!

I've already had to say no to several cakes for next month, but every time I turn something down I tell the person to keep the requests coming, and to give me as much notice as possible.

I'm doing a wedding cake in October, so these suggestions for how to divide up the work help so much. I already negotiated to get that Friday off, and requested to stay in town that week. It's so good to hear that this is do-able, with lots of planning. icon_smile.gif

Now I just need to start the job to see how it plays out and how much I can do on the side. Thanks for all of your well-wishes and support!

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ctackett Posted 12 Sep 2007 , 5:50pm
post #10 of 11

I work full time in an Insurance agency about three blocks from my house. I am married and I watch my three year old grandchild. It is rough, but this is a life long dream and I am going to pursue it. Hubby isn't too co-operative sometimes but I am still going to do it. Last night I stayed up til 2:00 am. I did a cake to donate for a golf outing (county chamber of commerce) that means good referrals. Then the second I did was a dummy cake for display at a festival this weekend. Tonight I havea 1/2 sheet baby shower cake to make, 100 cupcakes to ice on Thursday and a 1/4 sheet poker cake for saturday. I am getting a few orders but not enough to stay home and do it full time. I try to paln far enough in advance to make sure I get everything done. Most of the time, hubby goes to bed around 9pm so I do most of the work after he retires for the night and after the baby goes to sleep.

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ccr03 Posted 12 Sep 2007 , 5:53pm
post #11 of 11

Yes, you can do it!!!

Planning goes a long way!!!

And congrats on everything!!!

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