Hi everyone! I am currently located in central New Jersey and do pretty well here with my newer cake decorating business. I do not have an "official" business but work from word of mouth.
I am relocating at some point this year to North Carolina. I am not sure exactly where in NC yet but I was wondering how business is there. Do people order fondant cake because I basically work in mmf not buttercream? What kind of pricing do you get for cakes there? Do you have success with out of the ordinary, novelty style cakes as opposed to sheet cakes and standard bakery style? Any information would be very helpful so I know what I might be getting into.
Please share your experiences with me!! Thanks in advance!
NC is so diverse. I live in a very rural area where there is only 1 high school in the entire county. I cannot get the same $$ here that someone in Charlotte, for example, could get. People look at you like you have two heads if you mention fondant here. Again, probably not the same in Raleigh or somewhere. As for the novelty cakes...I'd have to say that I do get orders for stuff like that. My skill level is not up to doing intricate 3D cakes, so I don't even try to market anything like that. My customers still like sheet cakes and I don't mind doing them. I think they're quite easy. Look up aligotmatt, tarheelgirl, acookieobsession (those are off the top of my head) and see what is in their galleries. One great thing about NC is that home bakers are allowed to operate here. Hope all this gives you a start.
Yeah, i have to agree...it really depends on the area. Wedding are really big in places like Asheville (just left) and birthdays are pretty lowkey. i got bday orders, but NEVER fondant (unless I knew them and talked them into it). People there were looking for bday cakes under $40 for sure. Or perhaps I did nto know the right people.
I can not speak for Raleigh yet as we have only been here for a week. however, I would say in general (not just NC) larger cities are better for larger budgets.
On side...there seem to be lots of people in Raleigh from NJ and NY....
Good luck. Julia
The customers that come to me for the most part tell me, "_____ is the theme....______is my budget...I need _____ servings...do whatever you think is best....I trust you" I don't know if they really trust me or just don't want to mess with ordering a cake. I ask them a couple of pertinent questions and don't hear from or see them until it's cake day. It started out with one customer doing that now, darn near everyone does it. Most customers I get to see them for the first time on cake day. It's gotten so...IMO...awesome...I'll get a note/letter with details...the whats/whens/wheres...and a napkin in the mail asking if I can do something for them along with contact info to offer quote and verify order. A couple of days later, payment. Too freakin' cool!
I've only had the request for fondant a couple of times. I get some that request sheet cakes. but most want something different. There's another (I'm sure there's lots more than that) cake decorator in the same town who has been doing it for years. She seems to be the 'go-to' person for wedding cakes. Although I've never met her, we refer customers back and forth.
As far as cake pricing, this town as a whole seems to be on the low range. I do try to keep aware of what others are charging but I don't try to compete with them for business nor go higher just because with my pricing.
There's oodles of cake decorators in NC....whether they're licensed/inspected, I haven't a clue. As long as you know how to use your elbows, you can always nudge some space at the table!
I agree with all4cake...most of my customers just tell me the flavor and the theme and let me create....most also do not order fondant....there are a lot of very talented decorators in this area...I'm close to Raleigh
Thank you so much for all of your replies. As odd as it may sound, in the last week it has come to my attention that we are not relocating to north carolina any longer but to las vegas, nevada. I appreciate everyones input and taking the time to answer my questions!! Will need to start a las vegas thread now I guess, lol.
all the best to you!