Want To Wow Them.. Need Advice!!!

Decorating By wgoat5 Updated 3 May 2008 , 7:43pm by fiddlesticks

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wgoat5 Posted 3 May 2008 , 12:30pm
post #1 of 12

I had recently posted a thread on how the athletic director at the school I provide cakes for made sure I was donating my sons 8th grade graduation cake AND the middle school sports banquet.. Which I am... She doesn't want to use me for high school because I well.. am to expensive.. HER transportation costs are high she says icon_confused.gif ... ANYWHO.. I feel bad for the graduating seniors BUT.. I want to wow them with the cakes that I am donating.. JUST SO I can show Mrs. Cheapskate she should of used me .. I know it will upset the seniors but.. I'm sorry.. anyways..

I want to do 2 cakes for the 100 people at the sports banquet.. I thought about 1 10/6 stack in chocolate with chocolate truffle filling and chocolate covered strawberrys.. Then by its side a 10/6 inch stack white/reg bc cake in their colors with a colored bow.. Does this sound like too much? I mean shouldn't I do the two stacked cakes instead of double layer sheetcakes?

Would this be a wow factor.. or just a stupidity thing on my part?

As far as the graduation cake is concerned (for the middle school) I was going to also do a stacked cake for 110. I feel as though I need to prove myself.. even though she knows how my cakes taste and look etc.

Just would love advice. Also if you all have any 10/6 stacked chocolate cakes in your photos I would LOVE to see them..

Thanks a lot!!!

11 replies
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indydebi Posted 3 May 2008 , 1:02pm
post #2 of 12

First, you don't have to "prove" yourself. Your work speaks for itself.

And when people confront her and wonder "why didn't you cake the cake from HER?", she will bluntly just tell them, "She's too expensive for our budget" and it will be done.

Those who shop by price only are never swayed by discussions of quality, design, etc. (Learned this when I worked in corporate sales and had to deal with mfg'ing purchasing agents.)

I'd say do your usually bang-up job for those who truly appreciate your work, but don't spend any time trying to "convince" her of her error in not buying it from you. She just won't get it.

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ElectricCook Posted 3 May 2008 , 1:49pm
post #3 of 12

I know what you mean. Like Indydebi said you don't have to prove yourself. However, I know you want the Seniors to say 'How come our cake doesn't look or taste like that."
You want her to also say I F*** up on that one.
I say give all you got and take pictures of your cakes and the Seniors too.
Good luck on the "I should have paid for the good cakes look on her face"

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DianeLM Posted 3 May 2008 , 2:48pm
post #4 of 12

Forgive me, but I think I'm missing something. These cakes are for public schools, right? The budget for these banquets comes from taxes, PTA dues, booster club dues and donations?

I don't understand why you're taking this so personally. The athletic department can't afford $400 for custom cakes. Big deal. There are a lot of things schools can't afford.

I still wake up in a cold sweat from nightmares of trying to stretch the banquet budget in order to provide a halfway decent function for our hockey players. (And orchestra members, band, etc..) I can tell you this, tho... the people who financed these banquets with their dues and donations would have my head on a platter if I frittered away hundreds of dollars on one detail where I could have spent less or nothing at all. With all due respect, the priority at a sports banquet isn't the cake.

P.S. If you think she's blowing smoke with her transportation budget excuse, ask to see their budget and expenditures. I promise you'll swallow your tongue when you see how costly it is to charter buses, rent vehicles to haul equipment, etc.. icon_eek.gif

Again, if I'm missing the point, I apologize and will just shut up. But if I'm understanding correctly, I hope you'll reconsider your feelings about this and concentrate your energy in a more positive direction. icon_biggrin.gif

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wgoat5 Posted 3 May 2008 , 5:19pm
post #5 of 12

Diane I totally understand your point.

I guess I am just upset about the way she put it to me. I swell up and sometimes don't think.

Sorry to have offended anybody ... I haven't been a pto president or planned an event with a school budget.. you are right.. I just don't know. And I know the most important thing isn't the cake. But I also know these students aren't rewarded enough. Sometimes when they don't "get" through the year the end of the year should be a smash.

I really am sorry if I offended icon_sad.gif

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NanaFixIt Posted 3 May 2008 , 5:44pm
post #6 of 12

I'm sorry you got your feelings hurt. It's hard for us not to take all of this personal when our creations come from our deepest passions.

But I must be missing something...if you're "donating" the cakes for your son's 8th grade grad and the middle school sports banquet, why would you then charge for the high school? Why wouldn't she just ask you to donate that one, too?

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ziggytarheel Posted 3 May 2008 , 6:10pm
post #7 of 12

I'm so sorry you had your feelings hurt over this. I read your earlier topic about this, and honestly, I didn't take what she said the way you did. I've been a part of planning huge school events, and it is all about making a little bit of money go a long, long way. You try to get absolutely everything donated that you possibly can and then that leaves you with a little bit of money to try to do the rest with and still make it special. You hit up all your contacts, your friends of friends, you give extra out of your own pocket. Simple little things still end up costing hundreds of dollars. I remember racing to the school to turn in my receipt for several hundred dollars as soon as the senior picnic was over...because I was told "When the money runs out, it's gone".

I really don't think many if any seniors would be hurt by how their cake looks. Most kids won't pay attention and will only see the slice on their plate. Most people aren't cake people and high school kids are most interested in what their peers are doing and saying.

Just make the cakes that make you happy and that you can afford. Be honored you can help in this instance. And remember that once someone knows you donated something, word will get around and you'll be asked to donate again and again. It isn't personal, it is just the way it goes, with schools and charities. And you have to remember that when you say "cake" to most people, they are thinking a cheap sheet cake. When I think "new sweater" I think the clearance rack, not the ritzy boutique. So, no worries, okay?

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CoutureCake Posted 3 May 2008 , 6:48pm
post #8 of 12

O.k. to the original poster, what to do for the cake... And I COMPLETELY understand where you're coming from after reading the first thread... I wouldn't do two separate cakes for each event, I'd just do one bigger one because this is a lot of work to do and go for the bigger tiers and make your life simple. It's a donation, so do what you want. I'd do the 3-tier off-set stacked 6,10,14, do the border alternating in the school colors, and do design deco work from there. Basically, you do both cakes the same at the base with the stacking and border colors and adjust from there. You could even do it very simply and have some flower picks made using daisies sprayed the right colors (or Luster Dust them yourself)... Don't make more work for yourself than you absolutely need to. They're going to be expecting an aluminum pan sheet cake here so even if you put two filled 11x15's together and iced them as one, you're ahead of the game!!!

I have another business that work at school events (make more doing that than I do for cakes hour per hour). The biggest thing I've learned is if they want my product/service they WILL pay for it. They go to their jobs and get paid, so am I. I've been to $100,000+ after-grad parties, one which one of the parents gave away a NEW CAR! (owned a dealership) Yes, it's a tribute to the fundraisers, but also, they still had that mentality that it was an "entitlement" and OF COURSE went back the following year EXPECTING that that same parent was going to give away another new car. Um, what's WRONG with this picture?!?!?! Also, the adults will notice all the details, the kids, not so much...

There's NO need to donate for BOTH the MS and HS because you REALLY aren't going to get ANY business from it. You REALLY AREN'T!!! Dollar for dollar it's a bad marketing investment, you're better off with a % discount that you apply for school-sponsored functions as a good will gesture...

Like Indy said, all this other person is going to say is "she's just too expensive" so the expectation is that you gouge your prices even if your prices are completely fair and competitive.

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wgoat5 Posted 3 May 2008 , 7:18pm
post #9 of 12
Originally Posted by NanaFixIt

But I must be missing something...if you're "donating" the cakes for your son's 8th grade grad and the middle school sports banquet, why would you then charge for the high school? Why wouldn't she just ask you to donate that one, too?

I donated due to my son being in the 8th grade AND being very active in the sports area. I see no reason to donate to the HS graduation because none of my children are graduating from hs. My DH on his nights off worked every ball game. We worked concessions every other game because people wouldn't help. We donated 500.00 to the school for the sports shoes.

The only reason I got hurt was because she wasn't appreciative at all. Sure if the school is in such bad shape financially you'd think they would be GREATFUL.. <---- that is what I am upset about. Doesn't matter what you do anymore.. people are not greatful.. or just appreciative.

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NanaFixIt Posted 3 May 2008 , 7:34pm
post #10 of 12

I'm sorry, Christi, I certainly didn't mean to imply that you should be donating any more than you have already. I was confused because it sounds as though she's been so insensitive to you and your talent that I was surprised she didn't expect you to "do it all" to help her out. Or maybe that's exactly what she was trying to do to you by telling you she couldn't afford to buy one of your cakes.

Unfortunately, you're right about people. It seems like the more you try to do for folks, the less they appreciate it - and the more they expect!

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Sugar_Plum_Fairy Posted 3 May 2008 , 7:39pm
post #11 of 12

Christi, I can understand where you're coming from. Part of it is pride and the other part is wanting the kids to have the best cake at a celebration that we know we're capable of supplying.

In NJ about two years ago, they passed some sort of legislation or something or other where they are no longer allowing lots of unhealthy food in the schools and my kids' school has adopted this policy as well. Due to that and the high rate of allergies, I am no longer allowed to bake for my kids' birthdays (or any of my neighbor's kids for that matter). icon_cry.gif I had always looked forward to this and somehow was able to sneak one in last year for my son (with his teacher agreeing to the ridiculousness of the "food police" syndrome), but now it's nearly impossible. I even tried to bake for the end of year/final class for CCD (religious instructions) where my kids attend a Catholic school in a different town once a week and couldn't do it there either!! icon_mad.gif (Allergy concerns.)

So I feel cheated and I know it's for good reasons, but it just seems so unfair. At least your able to bake for your child's class and sporting event! Don't know if this helps or not, but I share your pain (especially where the pride is hurt!).

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fiddlesticks Posted 3 May 2008 , 7:43pm
post #12 of 12

Christi !! I been there done that. when my 3 kids were in school and joined everything they possibly could. and also out of school activites my hubby and I were always the type to donate , work the stands, help with clean up ! and then we were also the ones to get called 1st.. yr after yr ! and most people didnt care who did it ,just wanted to show up,get it over and go home ! the only ones that appreciate it are the others who join into help to ! Just blow her off as she doesent get it ! she,ll wake up one day !

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