Cake Supplies Rather Than The Finished Product

Business By sweettoothmom Updated 18 Dec 2008 , 11:38am by cakelady15

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sweettoothmom Posted 17 Dec 2008 , 11:38pm
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Hello all!

After spending so much time trying to find a kitchen space to be licensed by the state in which we reside we GIVE UP.

We love the art and wondered if it would be best to find a space to sell the supplies rather than the actual finished product and perhaps Cake dummies for decor purposes only.

Has anyone else had to go this way? If so please PM me any wholesale venders you know of.

Our hope is that we could blossom into a kitchen one day soon. but at the present high rent rates we would be working for free.

ANy input?

6 replies
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KathyTW Posted 18 Dec 2008 , 12:04am
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I would love it if more people would open "brick n' mortar" type cake supply stores but the internet has basically taken over. It is almost impossible to find a true cake supply store anymore - most people just buy Wilton at Walmart, Joanns, Michaels, and other major craft stores.

I've thought about trying to open a store too but I just can't see being successful enough to make rent, etc. especially now with the slow economy.

Two older supply stores in CA where I used to shop are now out of business and one here in WA that I go to now seems to have also closed. icon_cry.gif

Good luck with whatever you choose to do... icon_biggrin.gif

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jojo0676 Posted 18 Dec 2008 , 12:21am
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There is a new store opening in the town right next to me (5 minutes from my house) next month. I am so excited as I have to drive at least an hour to get good cake and chocolate supplies right now. I am curious to see what they are going to carry and hope it's what I tend to buy. I am a bit nervous for them though. I'm not sure how successful a business like that is going to be here. I hope very successful so I have a place to shop for years to come. It would be nice to be able to drive 5 minutes to buy the green chocolate I need right now instead of having to get the cheap Wilton stuff because it's not worth the one hour drive. I digress.

I think that you need to just make sure you've done a lot of market research. I'm not sure how this is done, but just make sure you have a demand before you provide the supply. KWIM.

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indydebi Posted 18 Dec 2008 , 3:00am
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KathyTW, I'm not sure that "most people" buy via the internet, but I'm sure it depends on the availability of the cake supply stores in your area.

I have a GREAT suppy store. It's pretty much the only one in the city of Indianapolis and she has EVERYTHING!!! Anyone who knows the existence of this store doesn't waste their time buying stuff at walmart, michael's or hobby lobby .... none of which carry anywhere NEAR the inventory and variety this lady does.

The downside I see to a supply shop is the cash investment needed for inventory. There is a LOT (!) of cash sitting on those shelves!

And the single reason why I wouldn't open one (and this is just why *I* wouldn't do it ... not saying you shouldn't do it) is because of one wall that's in my local cake supply store ... it's the wall of little plastic do-hickies that go on cakes. Knowing what's in, what's out, and being ahead of the fad-game so you're not stuck with a bunch of New Kids on the Block decorations. Knowing when and how much Valentine decorations to order and when .. having enough to meet customer demand and not having so much that you're stuck holding them until next year. It makes me shudder to think about it.

My cake supply shop gives cake decorating classes and she repackages some items (buys chocolate in 25 lb bags .. repackages it in 1 lb, 2 lb, 10 lb bags). Because of this food handling, she is required to have a health dept inspected kitchen area.

If you have the space and the cash availability, I might suggest that you carry the things that can't be found at walmart and michael's. If you all carry the same thing, why should I go to your place? Because you have the cool stuff that I REALLY want to buy! thumbs_up.gif

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KathyTW Posted 18 Dec 2008 , 3:20am
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Thanks for the insight.....sometimes I wish I didn't live smack in the middle of no where - even when I make a trip East or West to the larger metropolitan areas, cake supplies are so darn hard to find. I'm a tactile type person - I like to see AND touch what I"m buying!

Also, being out in the middle of no where also makes it a much smaller market for specialty shops although our local Scrapbook Store does very well - much unlike many small independently owned stores.

Oh well....when the economy recovers it may be worth looking into - til then, I'll just continue baking icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif

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all4cake Posted 18 Dec 2008 , 3:37am
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with a supplies store, you could also offer classes....students would get their supplies there as well....

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cakelady15 Posted 18 Dec 2008 , 11:38am
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If there aren't any cake supply stores in your area I would definitely look into it. I'm lucky because I have two within 15 minutes of me and I frequent both of themicon_smile.gif They both seem to do pretty well. I definitely agree with the classes. I know they bring in a lot of business from their Wilton classes and the one store also offers free candy making demonstrations. They keep the store open late after the demonstration is over and they can't keep the stuff the demonstrated on the shelves icon_biggrin.gif

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