Hey All! I just got a call from BELK'S Department store manager of our local mall. The lady said that she saw my website and loved my work and thought that I would be the perfect candidate for their bridal show this upcoming sunday! How cool is that! The best part is..........it's free for me! She said she didn't know how the turnout would be but the exposure would be great. Here's the idea I came up with.......
Set up 2 cake dummies, have my slideshow playing, cards, 60 mini cupcakes and possibly some brochures. What do you guys think about it? I didnt want to bake too much and have tons left, so I figure, first come first served. Should I do more? What's your opinion on the whole thing? I'm so excited THEY called ME! WOOOO HOOOOO!
Gosh, I need to bake you a celebration cake now!!!! lol...well how about, can you do mini wedding cakes instead of cup cakes to represent the bridal show? just an idea....
Don't get your hopes up too high The fact that they called you could mean that no one else wanted to do it or cancelled at the last minute. Sorry to break your 'happy bubble' but I've been there, done that w/not good results. Has this event been advertised or is it just being thrown together last minute?
What you are thinking about doing is fine. If you have time and energy do another one or two displays. Make one cake but decorate 1/2 one way and 1/2 another Or a sq w/each side different. Doesn't have to be big.......just impressive.
Are you licensed? Are you sure you want to do something like this? Are they providing table(s)? What about coverings to said table? A chair? Can you visit the place and see where they plan to let you set up? Just trying to give you some things to think about.
Do not try to bake a wedding cake and serve it. Quickest way to bring the health dept down on you They really frown on that.
I've done several bridal shows, and most of them are the free ones that don't have a huge turnout. But 3 new happy customers will tell at least one friend each who will come to see you, and they share, then they share...you get the drift. The only suggestion I have is to consider taking just a couple undecorated rounds, and slicing pieces out of them to serve. That way, if the turnout is low, you can take the unused rounds back and use them for something else. I used to always end up with tons of waste because we overbaked in order to have enough for everyone if the turnout was huge. We eventually learned to keep the sampling simple, especially if you already have a couple dummies and a slide show to show off your talent.
What a nice compliment to you! Did she say how she happened to find you? (which of your advertising methods is working for you on this one?)
Even if it's not a big turnout, you can turn it into a positive experience. Be sure you meet-n-greet any other vendors and exchange biz cards. I did one last-minute-free-impromptu bridal show and there were only 15 brides that came in. BUT ..... I made good contacts with the other wedding vendors that resulted in referrals for me.
Does this dept store do special events? I've done 5-6 dept caterings (mostly mini desserts) for Macy's Dept Store for their special sales, fashion shows, etc., so you never know where this will lead.
I would have the sample cakes pre-cut and in the small cups. It takes longer than you think to "just" cut a piece of cake and even if there are only 2 brides who show up, you want to focus your entire attention on them. Is this being held in the store or in the mall? If it's in the store, the smaller bite-size sample would be preferable (imagine people leaving half eaten pieces of cake on the sweater bin!)
I agree with indydebi, this may not be a big turnout, but it's definitely a chance to get to know some of the other vendors. I did one with Belk's last September and the bride turnout was pretty dismal. But, I did make contact with a new vendor who has an actual storefront and wanted to put one of my dummies in her display window. So, make the most of it. IT'S FREE!!!!
The mini cupcakes are a good way to go. You don't have to worry about cutting a cake, no mess and little waste.
........suggestion I have is to consider taking just a couple undecorated rounds, and slicing pieces out of them to serve. That way, if the turnout is low, you can take the unused rounds back ........
Almost all the health depts would stop you in a minute if they see this going on. And they DO come around.....even if you don't know it they are there. I have seen them shut places down if they see anything not right! Helath dept. rules are always changing. What might have been o.k. last yr or even just a few months ago may not be the law now.
Congratulations! Even if you get only one bride to show up, just think of how you can work with her. All attention is hers and they love that! I know when I was married, it seemed to be all about me.
You should make the most of this opportunity, keep it simple and most of all HAVE FUN! I would be so flattered and you should be too.
I'm excited for you!
Belks will have no problems with the health department for you serving samples. The question would be if you are a legitimate business. If you've gone through the proper steps to be a business, then there should be no worries about the health department. If you are "flying under the radar", then you may have some concerns.
I know where I am if you are even passing out samples you have to have a temporary event permit, even if you are legal! And you have to already be legal to get the temporary permit. It allows you to have food onsite at a non-food establishment. Check with your HD to make sure you can have samples at the event.
I'm legal and have been approved by the health department. The lady found me by looking at my website. The first bridal show I did was a very small one at a local holiday inn and I booked 2 brides for not only cake, but my wedding planning services as well! I never discount small events. I also met with a few other vendors that use me for their events all the time now and have a great friendship with. I'm going to do 60 mini cupcakes inside sample cups with a lid on them atop a silver platter. That way if they want to eat it later they certainly can and it keeps the store clean. I do have a priveledge license as well, so I can sample it without issues (thank god!). I try to look at it as a positive thing even if only 15 people show up, I'll be able to personable and attentive, elaborating on what I do. I hope it's a pretty big turnout, but even if it's not I'm going to talk to the manager and see if I can leave a cake dummy set up in their store with cards from now on, and maybe host a bridal tasting once a month there! I'm trying to think outside the cake box! Thanks to all who sent their congrats! I will post pics and updates! It's next sunday
O.k. If you had given us some of that info earlier we wouldn't have been harping so much on being licensed
Go for it I'm glad for you now knowing more facts.
Thanks kakeladi! I didn't put that in there, woopsy! Lol
Best wishes.......you sound like you have it all well thought out! I hope you get many leads from the show, let us know how it turns out.
P.S. Love your idea about monthly tastings at the store and leaving a dummy!
Hello all! Just updating you on the bridal show and how it went. Well..........I ended up not going due to my twins getting VERY sick. One of them had bronchitis, multiple asthma attacks causing her to go on her breathing machine, severe cough that caused her to throw up all night, and a fever of 103. Her twin brother had a fever of 103 and the flu! UGHHHH! I was so tired and I had to realize that although I REALLY REALLY wanted to do the show and needed the exposure, my children come first. Oh, well, I guess it just wasn't meant to be. Now I'm under the weather and they are still sick! LOL! What a single mom goes through for her kids! Well, any mom at that! At least the snow storm we're experiencing will keep us in and we can recuperate. Thanks for all the well wishes and I may be doing another one on March 19th.
Oh no!!! I'm so sorry that they are sick!! My little one (and I only have 1) was sick last week - fever of 102 - not coughing, no upset tummy, nothing like that, just so weak and pitiful - It nearly killed me!!! I CANNOT imagine have 2 that sick at the same time!! You are truely a super mom!!
Good luck - I hope you ALL get better soon!!!
Sorry to hear your family is sick.......that's just too bad.
I'm glad to hear you put them 1st I hear that flue is really bad Better luck w/the next one in a couple of wks.
Thanks you guys! They are doing much better and I have become best friends with Nyquil! Lol