Ah...the Grocery Store Bakery....

Decorating By Tellis12 Updated 4 Jul 2008 , 3:27am by jlsheik

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Tellis12 Posted 1 Jul 2008 , 2:22pm
post #1 of 14

First of all let me say that I know there are a lot of supertalented decorators on this site that are stuck working in grocery store bakeries. This is not aimed at you, for you're all much more talented than I! However, apparently none of you work at the store by me...

I was at a large chain grocery store yesterday and witnessed someone buying a half-sheet cake. The reason I noticed was that there was a group of about 5 people standing around it. The problem? Apparently they'd put the wrong colors on the cake. The girl had asked for neon colors and gotten pastel instead. The mangers were standing there, as well as bakery staff. They were all asking each other what to do, and someone asked if it was even possible to take off the icing and start over. No one seemed to know the answer to the question.

Hoping to be able to help I asked the girl what time she needed it and explained that I do cakes for my living. Unfortunately she needed it only two hours from then so I wasn't able to help. But seriously, they didn't know ANYTHING about cakes and icing!

13 replies
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Cakenator Posted 1 Jul 2008 , 2:29pm
post #2 of 14

Sounds like it was just a simple mix up on an order...

That happens everywhere.

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MichelleM77 Posted 1 Jul 2008 , 6:42pm
post #3 of 14

I don't think an error is her point. They couldn't take the flowers off and re-pipe?

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grama_j Posted 1 Jul 2008 , 7:01pm
post #4 of 14

" Sounds like it was just a simple mix up on an order...
That happens everywhere."

True, but the point is...... they didn't have a clue as how to fix the problem....

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Sugar_Plum_Fairy Posted 1 Jul 2008 , 7:04pm
post #5 of 14

I would think that even a border could be taken off and repiped if it's done with care.

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BCJean Posted 1 Jul 2008 , 7:15pm
post #6 of 14

Not all grocery cake decorators are STUCK working in a grocery bakery...some do it because they love it!

I don't know what time of the day you were in there and witnessed this but it is very possible the decorator had already gone home for the day (If it was after 2pm) and other employees, including the manager, did not know how to decorate.

Yes, grocery bakeries do make mistakes, there are a lot of clerks taking those orders who do not always write everything down that the customer wants. Sometimes the customer forgets to tell the clerk.

I always tell my customers, if they want to make sure the order is correct, come in of the mornings, when I am there and ask to talk to the decorator. I do lots of cakes and have never had any of the ones come back which I took the order for.

It was nice of you to try to help the customer out.

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Tellis12 Posted 2 Jul 2008 , 12:50am
post #7 of 14

BCJean, it wasn't meant to be offensive. Sorry it came across to you that way.
I just thought that SOMEONE there ought to know how to do it, even if they weren't the "decorator." There were just so many people who were clueless about it.

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mjarvis78 Posted 2 Jul 2008 , 3:57am
post #8 of 14

I am also a grocery store decorator, and not "stuck" there. I work at the grocery store, because they are the best in the area, are known for their wedding cakes and other specialty cakes.

They also let me work around my ds's pre-k school schedule. That is Mon-Fri 9 am to 2 pm. I am also able to take off school and regular holidays, as well as take an hour long lunch when my son has a special school activity during the day.

I also get to try and perfect different techniques on their dime, not mine!

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mjarvis78 Posted 2 Jul 2008 , 3:59am
post #9 of 14

Oh I also wanted to say, at most of the stores in my area, most decorators are gone by 2 or 3 in the afternoon. There should be a manager there, but they always dont know how to decorate.

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MichelleM77 Posted 2 Jul 2008 , 1:46pm
post #10 of 14

Yah, I assumed the OP was talking about the cake decorator, not just bakery staff. I worked in a grocery store bakery, but never touched a decorating bag except to write a name on a cake if someone pulled one from the case....oh, and to take whipped cream and add it to my hot chocolate. icon_smile.gif

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loriana Posted 2 Jul 2008 , 3:42pm
post #11 of 14

I worked in a grocery store bakery the summer I was pregnant (2nd trimester). It really works for some people:

Schedule is good for some people
You can practice on someone else's time and come home to a clean kitchen
work on your speed
make mad-fast roses
learn what a non-home-baked-frozen cake is like and how to avoid decorating rectangular sawdust icon_lol.gif
learn to use an airbrush

I think people just didnt like the "stuck" thing, but we understand what you mean. I do have to say, there were lots of times someone wanted a custom design after 2PM or 3PM, bakery hours and the deli/bakery staff are clueless.

I mean, deli folks cover for the bakery staff and slice meat and scoop potato salad all day, so they can't really be expected to know how to change a border from paster to neon, but ... yes you are right... the bakery staff should know as long as this group of people wasnt asking for a correction at like 8PM at night.

PS-the worst thing about being a grocery-store cake decorator was, part of the job was also taking pre-made doughs and rising them, and making muffins, cookies and bread. I'd say I only got to spend 25% of my time actually decorating cakes or cupcakes and maybe 10% of the time coming up with new pull-apart cupcakes or new techniques icon_redface.gif

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nosnin Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 1:13am
post #12 of 14

I work in one and I LOVE it!
I agree with the others that posted about to schedule, practice on someone else's time...
I find it very relaxing and enjoyable. I love to give people tips and info on things that they don't know about. And most decorators are early shifters, but I try to teach the afternoon people how to write on cakes and fix minor mistakes. I want the bakery that I work at to best the best around(I use to manage one) . There is nothing like hearing good things that people have said about you and your hard work!

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Tellis12 Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 2:57am
post #13 of 14

Well now see, I've heard so many complaints that I assumed, mistakenly, that people didn't like working in them. It seems I was quite wrong. But don't you get frustrated working on the same, not so pretty cakes, all the time? It just seems like you hear so many bad things about grocery store cakes that the people who make them must not like what they do. But I apologize for my mistake, ladies.

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jlsheik Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 3:27am
post #14 of 14

I am a home baker and just wanted to say a few things...I did'nt view your thread as rude but maybe your facts are a little off icon_surprised.gif) I did a beautiful cake for a bridal show in our small town and brought it to the bridal fair and was so proud...and I have to say it was a very nice cake. I came back later see my fabulous cake...much to my surprise the grocery store had set up a table with the most beautiful cake I had ever seen...what I would give to be able to pipe like that!!! The scroll work was fabulous and verigated colors of dark to light mocha. Granted those cakes don't always taste the best but I truly believe that this woman who ever she was needed a raise!!!
lol long story but...you probably get my point they get alot of practice and some of them are darn good!!!

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