Sounds Like An Amazing Opportunity.....but Scared To Death!

Business By yeastconfection Updated 28 Mar 2010 , 2:13am by emilyc262

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yeastconfection Posted 26 Mar 2010 , 7:50pm
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Hi everyone! A local high end bakery chain in town found out about my cakes and requested a meeting with me. Basically they would like to partner with me and I would provide special occasion cakes for them. They already have pastries, sheetcakes and cheesecakes...I would be doing stacked and 3d cakes. They will pay for the ingredients, & they have someone that can bake the cakes for me, & someone to wash my dishes. I would just decorate and be responsible for delivery and set-up (although some cakes would be pick up and for delivery they offered me their refridgerated truck). It would be paid on commission with my salary being $2.50/serving (they will be charging $6 + serving and will pocket the rest minus their cost for ingredients/supplies) . Of course if there are no orders, no pay. I would also be on their payroll as an employee and would fall under their insurance. Everything sounds pretty good to me...I am just so nervous about two things...I am a stay at home mom, so with summer coming up I don't know what to do with my daughter and I don't want to do daycare, and I'm scared to death that I will be overwhelmed with orders.....what should I expect this summer? How many hours would you guess I will be putting in? Is it worth it? The amount they are charging is high for our area, but their clientele is a little on the high end. They have 1000 customers daily in all of their bakeries and they intend on marketing these cakes so it is highly visible to all of their customers. I should also mention they have a girl that already works there that I could train to help me. What would you do? Is this a good opportunity? Financially my husband and I are making it although extra income is always nice so for me its not about having to make money, its more about doing something I enjoy. But first and foremost I feel that I need to think about my daughter.
Thanks guys! Sorry its so long!

13 replies
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LeckieAnne Posted 26 Mar 2010 , 8:16pm
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I really can't be any help - but, your cakes are beautiful! My only thought would be can you set a limit on the number of cakes with them to limit your hours that way. And do you have to work certain hours - or can you work when you please. This might allow you to work around having to have daycare.

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Jenny0730 Posted 26 Mar 2010 , 8:21pm
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I agree. I think you should be able to tell them how many cakes you would be willing to do on a weekly basis. I would also specify the combinations you are willing to do.....x number of wedding cakes, x number of speciality cakes, x number of 3D cakes. You don't want to say you can do 15 cakes in one week and end up having all 3D cakes.

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Marci Posted 26 Mar 2010 , 8:41pm
post #4 of 14

This does sound like a nice set-up. You need to make sure that they will pay for your taxes and look into being paid by commission because I know in the US, it is taxed at a higher rate then straight pay.

Do you have a business already? Are you shutting that down? If not, that is a huge conflict of interest.

Will you be meeting with customers to find out what EXACTLY they want or is someone else taking the orders? Can you train that person to know what questions to ask?

Will you being driving their truck? Are you comfortable with that?

The last thing I would be concerned about... since you are an employee, do you have any say in what cakes, when, what supplies you are supposed to use, etc. When I am paying someone else, I expect them to come in when I dictate, leave when I dictate and do what I want them to do. (OK, that sounds harsh.... I am actually very nice but work has to get done when work has to get done)

Again, it sounds great.... just be sure you have your ducks in a row.

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playingwithsugar Posted 26 Mar 2010 , 8:55pm
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Get everything in writing. I know someone nearby my area who tried this, and ended up on the bad end of the deal because, even though we warned her repeatedly, she wouldn't seek the advice of an attorney until it was too late, and it quickly became time for her to get out of the deal.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

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jadak Posted 26 Mar 2010 , 8:59pm
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The only thing I keep going back to is your flat $2.50 per serving and their $6+ per serving. I think if they plan to charge on a scale, you deserve to be paid on a scale. So, if they are charging someone $12 per serving, you should make $5 per serving. I guess I just figure if they can charge more per serving, it is because of all that is going into making the cake awesome and since you're going to be the one doing that, you deserve fair compensation. You do awesome work and I'd hate for you to slave away on a beautiful cake and feel like you just lined someone else's pockets...kwim? I do not do this for a living and do notknow all of the ins and outs of this business, so this is all just my opinion. icon_smile.gif Hope I'm not out of line.

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ccr03 Posted 26 Mar 2010 , 9:14pm
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Sounds like you'd be getting the short end of the stick. $2.50 per serving - like jadak said, that's not much especially when some of the cakes can get real eleborant. Imagine a cake for 100 ppl. with let's cay 50 gumpaste flowers, 4 tiers and extensive piping work. You only get $250 for at least 20 hours of works. (And I'm proabably being real conservative).

It doesn't seem as sweet to me.

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KoryAK Posted 26 Mar 2010 , 11:26pm
post #8 of 14

Yeah, make it a % of sale, not a flat per serving price

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minicuppie Posted 27 Mar 2010 , 1:17pm
post #9 of 14

Your sugar work is outstanding. I agree with OP's, you need to sit down with these people and figure out what your potential take home will be. Don't forget to touch on taxes, SSI, insurance pay ins. as well as the $6.00+. IMHO they are trying to "lasso" you...afraid you will end up with all the business and this is how they will get their LB of flesh.

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mamawrobin Posted 27 Mar 2010 , 1:44pm
post #10 of 14

A friend of mine did something like this and it did not work out well for her. Please speak to an attorney FIRST. Besides, $2.50 per serving does not sound like a very good deal to me. Your skills are worth more than that. Good luck and keep us posted.

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Ivy383 Posted 27 Mar 2010 , 2:20pm
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Originally Posted by mamawrobin

A friend of mine did something like this and it did not work out well for her. Please speak to an attorney FIRST. Besides, $2.50 per serving does not sound like a very good deal to me. Your skills are worth more than that. Good luck and keep us posted.

I agree 100%

Also your cakes are beautiful. icon_smile.gif I would suggest that you do not sign a long term contract with anyone. Maybe they are willing to sign a one year contract with you. When the year is up, you can decide if you will renew the cotract or not. Good Luck icon_biggrin.gif

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BeanCountingBaker Posted 27 Mar 2010 , 2:39pm
post #12 of 14

I would suggest an agreed upon trial period. I also agree that specific limitations might be wise. 10 tierd cakes, 5 3D cakes, etc. Check into the taxes and benefits side. If a week went by where you only did a couple cakes you might not make enough income for taxes and benefits to be deducted and you could end up owing the bakery for your benefits or find yourself owing the state or federal taxes at the end of the year. I am not a stay-at-home-mom, I am blessed to have a fabulous daycare, I am glad that my daugher goes to daycare because the socialization is really good for her. Perhaps you could find some type of activities for your children like sports or dance that could be done while you work so it wouldn't seem so much like having a babysitter for them.

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Stitches Posted 27 Mar 2010 , 7:44pm
post #13 of 14
Originally Posted by yeastconfection

It would be paid on commission with my salary being $2.50/serving (they will be charging $6 + serving and will pocket the rest minus their cost for ingredients/supplies) .

So if the average cake order is 20 servings. Your making $50.00 per average cake. If your a great decorator (as others have mentioned) you can probably do 1 cake per hour. That's $50.00 per hour!!!

How about a wedding cake....if it's 200 servings you make $500.00 per cake. I can make 2 wedding cakes a day and I'm guessing your better then me so maybe you can do 3 a day. You could make $1,500. per weekend plus all the other cakes.

Why worry about how much they make. If you had to go out and get any old job how much can you make? They assume all the risk. You could make a great wage with no risk!! I'd vote on working out the little details and you could be making a great deal. I'd take it and laugh all the way to the bank. Before you know it, you might be hiring employees to help you keep up with the work load (didn't you say they have multiple locations?). Iron all those possibilities out ahead of time, but all and all I think they are giving you a great deal.

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emilyc262 Posted 28 Mar 2010 , 2:13am
post #14 of 14

I think this sounds like a great business opportunity. However, it is also sounds like you are in a great position at home with your husband's job allowing you to stay home with your daughter. I stay home too and my husband makes just enough to support us. When I evaluate going back to work I always end up thinking that when it is all said and done I really doubt I will look back on my life and wish I had worked more. I figure jobs will be there but my kids will only be young once. That being said I have never been offered such a cool job! Good luck with your decision!

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