Legit Bakery Now!! But Have Some Questions!!

Business By RobzC8kz Updated 10 Feb 2010 , 4:17am by caramelchef

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RobzC8kz Posted 9 Feb 2010 , 11:17pm
post #1 of 9

Okay ya'll, I'm finally legit in CA!! I'm working out of a bakery and paying a % for rent, utilities, etc! So far, I'm only doing it part time, but I'm hoping that volume will dictate that I do it full time! Soooo...I have a couple of questions.

1.) I normally use box mixes for the regular flavors like, chocolate, vanilla, devils food, yellow, etc. When I'm making a premium flavor, I'll do it from scratch or by modifying a box mix! So far, all of MY customers have loved my cakes! Also, by using box mixes, I can control my inventory easier, not have a lot of unused raw ingredients sitting around, and by using box mixes (Walmart sells DH for like $0.97 a box!) it's a lot cheaper for me!!

My question is - should I continue to use box mixes, or switch entirely to scratch?? The bakery I work out of is a scratch bakery (cupcakes, cookies, brownies), and I don't want them to feel like I'm giving a lesser quality cake to customers who order MY cakes through THEM, you know? But at the same time, I feel like the DH box mixes give a consistent and reliable product and I'm nervous that scratch baking would be inconsistent. What if I cant find the ingredients? What if my supply store is out of cocoa powder and I need to make a 5 tier chocolate wedding cake??

2.) I currently use fillings that are pre-made. I use the ones that come in the tubes like Bavarian cream, strawberry, etc. Again, if someone wants fresh strawberries, I use fresh strawberries, but should I switch entirely to scratch fillings??? I dont even HAVE recipes for all the different fillings!!

I already feel like Im charging comparable prices in my area, but Im worried that if I switch to 100% scratch baking, Im gonna use up all my money on rent and supplies!!

Any suggestions from people who own their own bakeries? Any cost cutting measures? A good supplier?

Any and all advice is appreciated!!

8 replies
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pattycakesnj Posted 9 Feb 2010 , 11:30pm
post #2 of 9

This question is going to fuel a huge debate, scratch vs mix. You need to go with what you are comfortable with. I do all scratch on chocolate, vanilla, carrot and red velvet. For gourmet flavors, like pina colada, champagne etc, I use WASC. All my fillings are homemade (or should I say shop made). I find it is cheaper to make from scratch but again, just my opinion.

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kjt Posted 9 Feb 2010 , 11:35pm
post #3 of 9

It it ain't broke...icon_rolleyes.gif

Why, when your customers love your cakes, you are comfortable with the "process", and unsure of the results if you change, would you want make that change?

Not being a smarty pants...just wondering...

Congratulations on the new place, and continued success with your venture what ever decision you make thumbs_up.gif !

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kiki07 Posted 9 Feb 2010 , 11:36pm
post #4 of 9

I don't sell cakes, but I would say that if it ain't broke don't fix it. At least not without a lot of testing. You don't want to give a customer one cake they love and then change the taste on them unexpectedly. This is especially true if you do tastings for weddings.
BTW- scratch is not all that difficult to do, especially the fillings! I normally use box mixes when I bake cakes, doctored or otherwise, but always use fresh from scratch fillings and frostings. When I sift the box mixes no one can tell the difference!

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CakeForte Posted 9 Feb 2010 , 11:37pm
post #5 of 9

Don't worry about the other business. Their only concern should be that you give them their monthly payment.
If the mix works for you...why change it? I use doctored mixes and a handful of scratch recipes. So in the end it doesn't matter because people try both side by side and don't say anything one way or the other....they only comment on the taste or how moist it is.

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SpecialtyCakesbyKelli Posted 9 Feb 2010 , 11:42pm
post #6 of 9

I agree, if it's not broke don't fix it.... but if you feel the need to start baking from scratch, do some at home and try different recipes until you find the ones you like. Then figure out if the scratch recipes make that much of a difference in the quality of your cakes ( in your own opinion)
Congrats on the new biz!

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RobzC8kz Posted 9 Feb 2010 , 11:52pm
post #7 of 9

Thanks everyone!! For me, I've switched to scratch only when my suppliers charge more for the premade stuff than it would cost to make it from scratch! I make all my frostings from scratch because the prices of BC got to be unjustifiable!!

I think I will stick with what I'm doing for now and as I see the need arise, switch over to scratch!

thanks for the advice and the well wishes!! I'm excited to get this ball rolling!!

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CakeForte Posted 9 Feb 2010 , 11:58pm
post #8 of 9

Yeah I do icings from scratch too. Fillings.....it just depends.

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caramelchef Posted 10 Feb 2010 , 4:17am
post #9 of 9

I also agree! Stick to what you know for me on the other hand im all scratch box mixes can run up to $7BDS {$3.50US} where i am and that doesn't include eggs nor the oil. So stick with it!

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