Class Idea - Input Please??

Decorating By Loucinda Updated 20 Nov 2009 , 7:31pm by Price

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Loucinda Posted 19 Nov 2009 , 6:42pm
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I was wondering if I could get some input on an idea hereI have a friend who has a bakery, she has approached me with an idea of her and I teaching classes at the bakery. We would be teaching more than the basics it would be things that are not taught in the wilton courses.

We thought it could be that we supply everything, so those who take the class can just show up and learn. After the course is over, they have the opportunity to buy a kit of the items we used for that particular course. That way they can take the class, see if they like it before committing to purchasing all the items needed. We are also going to supply the cake/icing etc. We are looking at it being a 4 week course, one night a week for 2-3 hours.

What I am looking for here, is for some input. Is this something you all think would be doable, and if so, what would you like to see as classes, AND what would you be willing to pay for such classes?

I appreciate any input anyone may offer.TIA!

19 replies
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cylstrial Posted 19 Nov 2009 , 7:14pm
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I think it sounds like a good idea. I'm sure that there will be lots of people interested in taking your classes. I've noticed that there are lots more people interested in taking the cake classes since cake shows have gotten really popular on TV.

If it helps, Wilton charges $35 for all 4 classes right now. It's going up to $40 in January. I'm sure that you all will want to charge more than that. But it's something to think about.

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TexasSugar Posted 19 Nov 2009 , 7:58pm
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Carved cakes - purse cakes, flip flop cakes, the easy but cute stuff.

Gumpaste flowers.

Fodant/Gumpaste molding.

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Loucinda Posted 19 Nov 2009 , 8:27pm
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Thanks ladies, what would you be willing to pay for a class such as the ones you listed TS?

And remember,we are suppying everything - it is a come as you are and take home a done project each week.

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cattycornercakes Posted 19 Nov 2009 , 8:37pm
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I love this idea. If all I had to do was show up for class, I'd probably pay $50 - 100 for the class....depending on what you were teaching.

I'm taking into consideration that I paid about $25 for a 4 week Wilton course (on sale or with a coupon). Plus I had to buy all my supplies and take time to make the things for class each week.

As for classes, I would have liked to learn more flowers with the fondant and gumpaste. Specifically I'd want to learn how to make some of the more complicated flowers like Lillies. Or maybe assembly of a certain type of cake - wedding cake or carved cakes like mentioned above.

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cattycornercakes Posted 19 Nov 2009 , 8:40pm
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Just another thought...the Wilton website lists classes they offer at their main office near Chicago. Maybe you'd want to teach some classes similar to what they have on there. They also show how much the charge for those classes.

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Loucinda Posted 19 Nov 2009 , 10:36pm
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Thanks Catty - I appreciate your ideas! (and you are in the ball park I was thinking, but I really wanted some confirmation on it) I am getting excited about it.

We really wanted to push the point that there is no prep work for anyone to take the classes we are going to offer. I know a lot of folks just don't have the time to get ready - and if we have it all done - it just takes the hours at class away and that is it.

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tatorchip Posted 19 Nov 2009 , 10:52pm
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I think that with your skills I would gladly pay more on the high side, and everything provided for the class that really makes a big difference also. Great idea for the kit after the class also. I wish I lived close, I would sign up for a fondant flower class for sure. Good luck with the classes.

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TexasSugar Posted 19 Nov 2009 , 11:15pm
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I'd first pick what you are going to do, how many your min and max students will be, and what supplies you are going to provide. You will have to price per class I think.

I'd start with the topic and list out all the supplies that are needed to complete it. List out every little thign used and I bet that list will be alot longer than you think when you get started. Just remember this is alot like pricing a cake, you have to know how much you are spending to know how much you are making. Then factor in an hourly wage.

It is alot of money invested in the first classes because you will end up having to buy/supply/store mutplies or things. Such as rolling pins, cutters, molds, spatulas and so on. After a while you will recoup some of that back but it is something you really have to consider. Plus you have those disposiable products that they will use that you don't get back, icing, cake, cake boards, gumpaste, wire, icing colors, decorating bags, and so on. Not to mention the time it will take to bake, make the icing, color fondant, and prep everything, as well as teach the class.

Also remember these aren't Wilton classes, so I wouldn't compare the prices to that. You and I both know that the Wilton Course prices are rediculously low compared to what is out there. I would compare the prices to other classes there that are offered at cake stores and such. Maybe we can't charge Nic Lodge's class price cause we aren't him, but I wouldn't do a gumpaste flower cost, where I had all the expense and time invested for $35 bucks either.

You may want to start on the smaller end of things and build up to the classes that have alot of supplies you would have to purchase and keep on hand. That way if there doesn't seem to be a big interest for the classes you haven't already spend a ton of money.

For the holidays you can put together a candy class. Do something like the Wilton version only make it less demo and more hands on. I did this in the past with my students when we were still allowed to do generic classes.

I did a class on molding the candy melts, showed how to paint, the different things you could mold with (candy molds, cookie cutters, cake pans, cookie treat pans. I did have them bring a few items, like two candy molds of their choice, lollipop sticks, and bags to wrap the candies in. I supplied the candy melts, paint brushes, melting pots, candy clay (to put in the bottom of the container), a mug/vase to make a lollipop bouquet, and curly ribbon.

I did a second class that focused on the dipping side of things. They brought cookie sheets, wax paper and maybe a few other things to it. I supplied the other items they used. We did marshmallows, pretzels, and oreos. I also showed them how to do chocolate covered pop corn (used what was left after we did all the dipping) and pepperment bark. Oh and we did some truffles. I showed different ways to decorate the stuff.

I think I'd start with classes like that, or maybe a cookie class, so that your left over supplies could be reused for other things. You can find uses for candy melts and left over lollipop sticks if it doesn't work out. Might be harder to get rid of 20 small rolling pins.

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Loucinda Posted 19 Nov 2009 , 11:34pm
post #10 of 20

THANK YOU TS!! I don't have time to digest eveything you posted, we are leaving for a funeral in a few minutes. icon_sad.gif I will check back in either later tonight or tomorrow, I just wanted you to know I appreciated your post VERY much.

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ksmith1012 Posted 19 Nov 2009 , 11:37pm
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I would come! =) I'm in my final wilton class, but I feel like there is still so much more I would love to learn!

I like the ideas of carved cakes, fondant figures, gumpaste flowers, stenciling on cakes, topsy turvy's... I'm sure I can come up with more ideas. icon_smile.gif

Please keep me updated on what you decide to do! I would love to come and learn from you!

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JellyRoll Posted 20 Nov 2009 , 12:10am
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I would definitely take a class! You could teach gelatin like the bow in your picture. Especially if you provide everything, they get to take home finished products, and its at a local bakery! I wish I had something like that offered near me

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kakeladi Posted 20 Nov 2009 , 12:19am
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I suggest you keep the class as short as possible. After the 1st hour or 2 people do not retain what is being taught. Don't throw too much at the at once.
Some of the classes I have taught are along the same lines as TS. Also did one on figure piping; fancy borders; 3-D cookies; and buttercream flowers - actually 2 different ones, depending on the season. This was before I got into fondant/gp.
More ideas: Different things that can be done w/fondant - all kinds of little embellishes that can be made using everyday items (cookies cutters etc) and introduce them to molds.

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sherrycanary62 Posted 20 Nov 2009 , 1:41pm
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I think you should also keep in mind (and research the cost) that you will be providing everything so your output expense will be higher than a class taught by Wilton.

If you are teaching a class say on how to ice a cake and you have just a class of 4 would need to provide 4 of everything that would be required to teach the class (ie: 4 cakes, 4 batches of icing, 4 spatulas, 4 turntables...etc). You will need to know what your actual cost is to provide these items for students and charge accordingly.

I think offering classes on things that Wilton doesn't teach is a fantastic idea. You could put together a little booklet of homemade recipes like : how to make your own gumpaste, mmf, rolled fondant, mexican paste, royal icing, buttercream variations, wasc recipe variations etc and offer that for sale as well. We did little booklets at our church once for a cookie making class we had...just little cards with printed recipes all hole punched in the left corner and tied with a pretty ribbon...easy and cheap to make.

Good luck, its a great idea!!

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Loucinda Posted 20 Nov 2009 , 1:46pm
post #15 of 20

Thanks again ladies, we are all on the same wave length! icon_smile.gif We are not going to start the classes until January - there just isn't enough time to get everything all set up before then.

The one thing that is nice is that having the classes at her bakery, there is a lot more equipment available to us already there.


I would come! =) I'm in my final wilton class, but I feel like there is still so much more I would love to learn!

This is our main reason for doing this - I have SO many students that want to go further with their skills, and there just isn't much out there for them. I always tell them about the ICES DOS - but again, they are only 2X a year.

Thanks again for all the input, I am printing this stuff out so I don't forget any of it! Kara - I will let you know when we are ready to launch! thumbs_up.gif

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TexasSugar Posted 20 Nov 2009 , 4:18pm
post #16 of 20

Hey girl I totally feel you with your students wanting more. With me the ICES DOS are often in west Texas, and since I am in east Texas they just aren't practical for me to go to.

There is a group of ladies that have created a cake group in Longview (about an hour from me), but they meet during the day or in the evenings on Mondays and since I work during the day and sometimes have classes on Mondays I haven't been able to join them.

I'm seriously thinking of doing a cake group here, so myu students can learn more and can enjoy being around people that enjoy the same thing. I just have to figure out a location and all the other stuff that goes with it.

I really hope the classes work out for you. It'd be nice, and I'd so take one from ya. icon_smile.gif

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Loucinda Posted 20 Nov 2009 , 4:23pm
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We started a cake club here too (Central Ohio Sugar Artists) and just celebrated our first year anniversary! We have some very generous members who offer to share - so each meeting we all get a chance to see something new. The meetings are only once a month for 2 hours, so there isn't a lot of time to really teach something - so thus, another reason for us to do this venture. icon_wink.gif

Thank you for your help and ideas, I sure wish you were closer!

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TexasSugar Posted 20 Nov 2009 , 6:53pm
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Well then I know who to hit up for advice about a cake club. icon_wink.gif

I had thought once upon a time that I would try to open a cake supply store in my area. We really don't have anything local with out a 2 hour drive, other than Wilton. I knew if I did it I would have the kitchen AND a class room and do something like you are going to do. I really would have wanted the supplies and classes to make the bulk of the money so I cuold only bake when I wanted to. But life changes and things don't always happen the way you see them. I'm not working full time for my dad's company, which has it's benefits and I'm happy with it. Maybe when I get older if we still don't have a supply store here I will look back into it, but for now... I'm be jealous of you and come up with all those pesky questions to ask yourself. icon_wink.gif

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tmelrose Posted 20 Nov 2009 , 7:18pm
post #19 of 20

Boy this makes me want to move to Ohio to take classes. I too have only taken the Wilton classes but there is so much to learn. Things I've never heard of until I got on this website!

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Price Posted 20 Nov 2009 , 7:31pm
post #20 of 20

I have had an opportunity to take a few classes lately and it has worked out to cost about $25 per hour. For 1 class they provided the fondant and gumpaste, for the other class I supplied my own.

Wish I was in Ohio! I would love any fondant, gumpaste, modeling classes.

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