Does Free Cake Equal Return Business?

Decorating By whisperingmadcow Updated 8 Mar 2010 , 4:25pm by adonisthegreek1

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whisperingmadcow Posted 8 Mar 2010 , 1:53am
post #1 of 11

A friend of mine had her baby shower today. I told her I would do her baby shower cake for free as her gift. I also figured I might get some return business from it. I had alot of ladies tell me before we served it that it was cute and a lot of ladies told me it tasted good, but no one asked me for a card or any contact information.

I guess I am feeling a little bummed and I am wondering how often others have gotten return business from events that you make the cake for? Am I being foolish and/or impatient?

10 replies
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sttgirl Posted 8 Mar 2010 , 2:09am
post #2 of 11

Unfortunately most people really love free cake. You can look at it as an opportunity to be a blessing to a good friend and also practice different techniques. Hopefully when they have another event they will get your contact information from your friend and place an order. thumbs_up.gif

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anotherslice Posted 8 Mar 2010 , 2:11am
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I do not have a business. Baking and cake decorating is my hobby, and I love to do it, until I start feeling resentful. I have a full-time job, and this is what I can tell you. The more free cake I bring in to work, the more free cake they expect me to bring in. It's getting a bit old. Some people make a habit of asking me "So when are you bringing in more cake?"
It seems like the ones who truly appreciate it tell me that I shouldn't be bringing cakes in because people don't appreciate it, they say.
I have given away plenty of free cake and am told that it is delicious or that I should start my own business (yeah, right!), but nobody orders a cake, they just hint about getting more free cake in the future. Or they ask for my recipes.
But on the other hand, what am I going to do with a 12-inch cake round that I decorate to keep my skills up (such as they are)? I usually keep some for myself and my husband and bring in the rest to work, and share it with some neighbors and friends.

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indydebi Posted 8 Mar 2010 , 5:13am
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agree with anotherslice. When I worked a full time job, on Fridays I'd take in what I called "overbakes" ..... excess cookies from the 300/day order that wouldn't last until Monday. I wouldnt' take them in every Friday ...just when I had a significant number of overbakes left laying around.

Then I started hearing "When are you bringing in more cookies?" which then went to specific requests of "Bring some of those peanut butters next time." icon_eek.gif

I quickly began telling them, when they asked "When are you bringing in more cookies?", I'd tell them, "when are you giving me a check for them?"

Another response became, "My oven time is now at a premium. If you want on the baking schedule, I will need your check today and I'll look at the schedule to see when I can squeeze you in." Eventually I'd start throwing in "I'm currently scheduling for 3 weeks from now." icon_twisted.gif

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whisperingmadcow Posted 8 Mar 2010 , 12:25pm
post #5 of 11

Well, I guess for me its not about the free cake. I mean I am happy to do stuff like that for friends. They have bought cakes from me in the past, but when I heard she was pregnant, I said "I'll make the cake!".

I guess I was just expecting more people to be interested in getting a cake of their own. I was hoping the cake would spark conversation and the exchanging of my business card. So I guess that is kind of what I am wondering. How many new clients come from events that you make the cake for?

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chefbarbie0513 Posted 8 Mar 2010 , 1:27pm
post #6 of 11

I have done alot of my sisters kids events, for free. I get nothing from it. I have done a few baby showers and no has ever ordered. I got the same comments from people as you did. How the cake was so cute and then how it tasted so good. No one has ever called from it. Not sure why, but it doesnt seem like free cakes gets me any additional orders.

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TexasSugar Posted 8 Mar 2010 , 3:28pm
post #7 of 11

Unless someone was looking for a cake in the next month then I can understand them not really asking about who did the cake or getting your number.

Another thought is if these are people that didn't know you personally, they may have just figured you did the cake for your friend and not that you sell cakes.

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anesha Posted 8 Mar 2010 , 3:51pm
post #8 of 11

People don't usually think to ask about cake unless THEY are the ones who need it, and only if the event is happening soon. I am in the Navy, my job is cooking and baking, so any cakes I do are free anyway since they are not my supplies and are generally used for work. I do get many requests for side jobs and I always take into consideration if it will be a first time cake for me, or something I have done well before.

The key is to keep practicing no matter the cost. When people ask you to bring free cake, tell the to buy the supplies and you will gladly bring in something that won't take 2 days to accomplish. And let people know you are selling cakes, ask the customer if they wouldn't mind you putting a stack of business cards near the cake.

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sandy1 Posted 8 Mar 2010 , 3:52pm
post #9 of 11

When the ladies at the shower were complimenting you on the cake did you let them know you have a cake business? It's still early, you may get calls from her guests. You might want to ask your friend if she would hand out your business card if someone asks her about the cake.

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daltonam Posted 8 Mar 2010 , 4:00pm
post #10 of 11

This year I've started doing my niece's & nephews cakes as presents for their birthdays. One I can't afford to buy them presents & two it gets my name out there SOMETIMES. My sister in law did offer to pay me for the cake (not knowing 100% it was a gift) I told her it was her present & laughed. She looked at me & said 'I wouldn't want to have had to pay for it, would I?' I told her, still laughing 'uhhh. no' SADLY if she was going to have to pay for it, she shouldn't have let for daughter design it.......I lovvvvveeeee my niece, but MAN OH MAN I'm scared what her sister's going to draw, LMBO!!!! Also, made sure my niece knew this was her gift (tacky, yes, but I also don't care) My daughter was upset she didn't get her anything to open, so explaining made that a little easier.

I say all this basically because I just wanted to share the info....I did have a few mom's ask if I made cakes for other & so that was nice. Had one that wants me to do her daughter's....OH & this was AFTER I had to listen to 2 moms talk about how much money so & so would have charged, how that was an awful amount for a cake......OH how I was laughing inside....hahahahahahaha....I guess if she calls me about a cake, I'll just give her the price & see.... big smiles to everyone icon_biggrin.gif

Attached is what I made my niece, she was SOOOO happy & told me it was better than what she drew.....yes she drew a 3 tier cake, HAHA. (& a side note, the choc frosting is to die for, but a pain to decorate with!)

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adonisthegreek1 Posted 8 Mar 2010 , 4:25pm
post #11 of 11

If you give away too many freebies, people will take you for granted and never think they are supposed to pay. I've had that problem so I stopped.

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