Should A Bakery Owner Also Teach Cake Decorating Locally?

Business By donna1080 Updated 17 Jun 2010 , 5:19pm by donna1080

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donna1080 Posted 16 Jun 2010 , 2:28pm
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I know a local grocery store owner and have mentioned to him that he should turn an unused breakroom area into cake decorating classes to generate extra income. We talked very briefly about it and agreed to discuss it again in detail. The store has a bakery and I'm sure one of the thoughts he will bring up is that a cake decorating class would compete with his bakery. I've known people over the years who have bakeries AND teach cake decorating classes in their facility. I'd appreciate advice regarding the "pros" and "cons" of teaching cake decorating classes in a facility that already has a bakery. Thanks.

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minicuppie Posted 16 Jun 2010 , 2:44pm
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Hi donna, and welcome to CC. I know almost all the cake supply stores have classes to generate business. Bakeries not so much. That doesn't make it a bad idea, though. Increasing traffic is always a positive business tactic. He may lose some bakery business (altho can you count it as lost if it was not there to start with?), but more than make up for it on the grocery side. Isn't the profit margin is higher for ingredients (and the occasional loaf of bread or gallon of milk the students will pick up for home).
Good topic.

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Rose_N_Crantz Posted 16 Jun 2010 , 2:45pm
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I've never done it myself, but I've heard from others that do. Several of their students with say after completion of the course, "Oh man, this is too much work for me, I'm leaving it up to you!"

Have you thought about using the room to host kid's cupcake/cookie decorating parties? Like for birthdays or something?

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mommicakes Posted 16 Jun 2010 , 2:49pm
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I'm interested in this too. I am moving into a new larger space and have the opportunity to offer some basic decorating classes. I believe that I will mainly offer them to group organizations, ie: Girl Scouts, 4-H, FFA etc. Nothing big, something like cookie deco, and cupcakes, and maybe a simple how to not get crumbs in your icing sort of thing. I think the cookie & cuppie thing will go over really well, especially around the holiday time. (I don't believe that it will cut into my sales, because I really don't love doing cuppies & cookies).

Will be interested in what others have to say as well.

I have to agree with minicuppie: Good Topic.

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dynee Posted 16 Jun 2010 , 3:02pm
post #5 of 9

I think, especially if they sell decorating/baking supplies it would be a good thing. I can't tell you how much money I have spent at HL while I was taking a class.

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LindaF144a Posted 16 Jun 2010 , 4:07pm
post #6 of 9

Planet Cake in Australia does this. They teach everything they use for their cakes and they have a book too. I don't think they worry about losing bakery business.

I would jump on the chance to take classes if they were held in my area. I told one bakery the same thing last week. I was talking to their decorator about it and I could see the owner listening with great interest. Hopefully it will happen.

I'm thinking of going to Toronto to take classes from Bonnie Gordon. If anything it would be a good excuse to get to Toronto. icon_biggrin.gif

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cheatize Posted 17 Jun 2010 , 1:50am
post #7 of 9

As long as the baker doesn't give out their special recipes, they still have an edge over the ones who attend the class.

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cakesdivine Posted 17 Jun 2010 , 4:03pm
post #8 of 9

What I have found is most average "joe" customers who take the class in turn decide it is too much work for themselves and become better customers. Only a small percentage will really do well enough or like it enough to want to further the hobby, and then you have trained a potential employee icon_smile.gif

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donna1080 Posted 17 Jun 2010 , 5:19pm
post #9 of 9

Thank you all so much for the great advice and ideas! You have all been so helpful and I really appreciate it!

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