Tasting Questions~ (Organization?)

Decorating By kellertur Updated 25 Jan 2009 , 1:59am by indydebi

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kellertur Posted 24 Jan 2009 , 6:06pm
post #1 of 14

Would someone please walk me through a well organized tasting? How many flavors? Cake/icing, etc... I was wondering how to organize, plan... and I'm just very confused. (Indydebi posted photos of her selections on these little square "cups?") icon_confused.gif
I'd like these to go smoothly, where I don't come across like a Jerry Lewis character... dunce.gif

What is the process for doing tastings at the potential clients house?
I'd prefer that... I love my toddler, but she gets really upset when strangers come into our house.

Thanks so much for anyone willing to decipher this rambling... icon_redface.gif

13 replies
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shell62995 Posted 24 Jan 2009 , 6:18pm
post #2 of 14

I dont know the answer but I have been wondering the same thing. I would rather meet customers somewhere other than my home. My 2 yr dd always has toys on the floor. I would really rather not have ppl see that!

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indydebi Posted 24 Jan 2009 , 6:20pm
post #3 of 14

First, decide what your concept/view of a tasting will be.

I view it as a time when they see if they like my baking, my icing and then they decide if they like it well enough to book with me. I have 3 flavors for them to taste (white, choc and a 3rd of my choosing). I tell them my lemon cake will taste just as good as my white except it will taste like lemon.

Some people view a tasting as a time when the bride pretty much samples everything on your menu so she can decide which menu item(s) she wants in her wedding cake. (I'm not going to work that hard or go to that kind of expense for a free sampling, personally icon_rolleyes.gif .)

Once you decide what your format/concept of a sampling will be, that helps you dictate what you will offer and how you will conduct it.

To put my brides at ease, I tell them, "As I mentioned in my email, I'm not looking for a committment, a decision or a check today. You're just going to eat some great cake and we're going to talk about what you want for your wedding. Sound ok?"

I then tell them, "I'm going to take some notes while you're sampling, because when we are all done, I'll email you a proposal, based on what we talk about today. And I'm very good at asking you a question just as you get a mouthful of food or cake, so be prepared!" (Then when I DO catch them with a mouthful, I say, "See? Told ya!" icon_biggrin.gif )

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mommicakes Posted 24 Jan 2009 , 6:33pm
post #4 of 14

Hey Indy, How many times does the BTB burst out laughing when you say "told ya"???? icon_lol.gif That is just way too funny!!!

What you said really does make sense, I don't think that I have actually set it like that in my mind. I have a tasting next weekend, and I will try one of your suggestions.

I'm glad that someone posted this, because I have been kinda flying by the seat of my pants lately, and you just grounded me. thumbs_up.gif

3 flavors sounds great, how many fillings do you generally sample with them?


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indydebi Posted 24 Jan 2009 , 6:42pm
post #5 of 14

Yeah, they do kinda snort cake outta their nose when that happens! icon_lol.gif

I put out a blop of my regular white BC, some choc icing, and cream cheese icing and explain these 3 are the icings and they can also be used as fillings. Then a blop of fillings, and it depends on what I have on hand ..... red raspberry; choc-rasp (mix my choc icing with red rasp); banana; lemon; dreamsicle (mix the cream cheese with some orange oil flavoring); apple spice; strawberry. Most of these are sleeve fillings. I also explain these are not the only available flavors, but it's what I have on hand for a sampling .... but if you say that you need to be ready with a list of other flavors available (I do a mental walk down the aisle of my cake supply shop and envision what she has in stock.)

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mommicakes Posted 24 Jan 2009 , 6:57pm
post #6 of 14

I think I will have to try that line sometime. icon_lol.gif

Thanks for the info on the fillings. I don't have a regular supply place around here to purchase sleeved fillings, I would have to order them online, (or make my own) Thanks so much for your help. icon_biggrin.gif

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emiyeric Posted 24 Jan 2009 , 7:15pm
post #7 of 14

I LOVE your "tastes just like my white cake but lemon" line ... too funny!

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Mencked Posted 24 Jan 2009 , 7:22pm
post #8 of 14

I did something unusual for a tasting yesterday--I made 2 small sample cakes-single layer 6" white w/white BC and a red velvet with cream cheese icing. I then dropped the cakes off at the potential client's house and allowed them to taste without me there.....We've been talking for weeks about the cake, but this is the only way we could handle the tasting--bride is from out of town, other obligations, etc. Normally I just do cupcakes at my home.....we shall see............ I also charged $25 for this "tasting" which I will deduct from their final wedding cake bill should they book with me.

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soccermom17 Posted 24 Jan 2009 , 7:36pm
post #9 of 14

I keep cupcakes frozen (individually wrapped and in an air tight container) so I can pull them out as needed. I stress to them why I have the samples frozen, etc. but that I do my baking all fresh a few days before their event.
I have nice plates, forks, napkins and a bottle of water for each of the persons coming. I usually try to ask ahead of time which flavors they had in mind to try, frostings and if they're interested in fillings at all. Put that on their plate, have my books with my picutres in them sitting out and other books/mags for us to look through and get ideas. I also have a sheet typed out that I can put their name, date of tasting, wedding date, etc. cake flavors/filling, etc. so I can make notes of what they like, don't like, ideas, colors, etc. and I keep each event in a separate folder. No high pressure tatics here. If they want to book right then and there I accept their deposit and write them a receipt. Or write down the information for them to take with them. HTH.

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kellertur Posted 24 Jan 2009 , 7:49pm
post #10 of 14

Debi~ what are "sleeve" fillings? And where do you get those little square containers your fillings go into? What are they called?

thanks icon_smile.gif

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indydebi Posted 24 Jan 2009 , 8:20pm
post #11 of 14

Sleeve fillings: http://countrykitchensa.com/catalog/SearchResults.aspx (if this doesn't come up right, just put "filling" in the search field)

I get the 2" plates from GFS. Product #6889801 for the white ones; product #6889601 for the black. They come 50 to a pack for around $8.00. Here's another site with a pic .... http://www.pjpmarketplace.com/WNA-Comet-Petites-Black-Plastic-Mini-Square-Plate-p/344581.htm sitting next to the large plate, you can get a good idea of how petite (and cute!) they are.

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kellertur Posted 24 Jan 2009 , 10:28pm
post #12 of 14

Thank you... you are SO the best Debi... and I'm loving that book. I'm trying to "get with the program", so to speak... hense the mad rush to organize in an "organized" fashion and not just my quirky "don't touch my stuff, I know where everything is" way... ha ha.

My favorite (unspoken) line is from Taxi driver:

"one of these days I'm going to get organizized"... icon_lol.gif

Thanks again. icon_smile.gif

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athompson0525 Posted 25 Jan 2009 , 1:53am
post #13 of 14

So what would you say in your email (prior to the tasting) to the Bride? I am letting them pick two flavors so I've got that in there. But not sure what else to say. Any suggestions?

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indydebi Posted 25 Jan 2009 , 1:59am
post #14 of 14
Originally Posted by athompson0525

So what would you say in your email (prior to the tasting) to the Bride? I am letting them pick two flavors so I've got that in there. But not sure what else to say. Any suggestions?

I dont' mention number of flavors or mention flavors at all in the appt-confirming email. This is the email I send them, once we nail down a date and time. I believe it sounds serious and professional and is a direct factor in why I have almost zero no-shows (less than 8 in the last 5 years).

This is to confirm your sampling appointment at --------------------. Directions are attached. If you run late due to traffic or other circumstances, we ask that you just give us a call to let us know that youre on your way.
You are welcome to bring up to a total of four people (seating limitations).
Since this appointment can be lengthy, we dont recommend bringing children as a catering facility is not a very entertaining place for them to try to sit quietly while mom/dad conduct a business meeting.
You should plan about an hour for this appointment.
We understand that you have a million and one decisions to make and we try to keep it simple for you by offering a no-pressure sampling. My assumption is that you are information gathering, so I do not expect a decision, a commitment or a check on that day.
I DO expect you to walk away with some good information that helps you make an informed decision as you compare Cater It Simple with other caterers in the area.
If you have some photos of cakes youve seen that you like, please bring those with you.
If you have a specific color you want used in your cake design, please bring a color swatch that you can leave with us (a scrap of material, ribbon, or one bride even brought us a paint card from the hardware stores paint dept!! )

Please help us keep our samplings free. We are not a restaurant where we can just go back into the kitchen and scoop out a sample of whatever dishes are cooking. The foods and cakes for your sampling are prepared just for you and there is a cost to that. When couples cancel at the last minute or are no-shows, this affects our expenses in running a business. We understand that sometimes things come up and appointments need rescheduled . We just ask that you let us know when that happens so we will not prepare the foods for you and/or we can go ahead and schedule another couple in your time slot. We will happily re-schedule your appointment for you. Your consideration is appreciated by us and by our future brides!

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