Job Questions

Business By puppylove07 Updated 2 Nov 2010 , 2:07pm by -K8memphis

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puppylove07 Posted 7 Oct 2010 , 4:27pm
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I'm sorry if this is a topic that's been asked a million times, but I'm a newbie to this forum. Anyways, I'd love to find a job doing baking and cake decorating and I have completed the Wilton beginner course, but that's about all the experience I have. Basically I'd like some info about what to expect in the job market. I'm thinking grocery stores, Walmart, dairy queen, etc.

1. What type of experience do you need to get hired? Or is it mostly on-the-job training?
2. What type of hourly rate or salary can I expect?
3. What types of hours can I expect? I have a child in daycare M-F and my husband works weekends, so I absolutely cannot work weekends - will any retail job hire me?
4. Is this a good career choice for a working mother in terms of benefits, flexibility, etc.?

Thanks for any advice you can give me!

8 replies
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puppylove07 Posted 2 Nov 2010 , 12:49pm
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anyone? icon_sad.gif

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peg818 Posted 2 Nov 2010 , 12:59pm
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well, if you can't work weekends chances of finding a job in this type of business is very slim. Cakes are a weekend and holiday business. It just the nature of it.

As far as the wages, that depends on where you are, here the grocery stores are starting slightly above min wage. And that isn't enough to pay the baby sitter, let alone what health benefits cost.

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BethLS Posted 2 Nov 2010 , 1:09pm
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I hate to say it, but I agree with the other poster. If you cannot work weekends, work in this line is extremely difficult, or impossible to find.

Depending on what state to live in, you might be able to do this from home!

When I left Walmart in 2005, I think I was making close to 10$ an hour. (very rural part of Michigan)

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-K8memphis Posted 2 Nov 2010 , 1:28pm
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Like in Las Vegas basic pastry chefs in the hotels make about $15 $16 an hour. So that's with tons of expertise and hit the ground running. Even in my little hamlet of Elvistown Ten Oh See I made in that range for my skills after decades of experience.

Those wages were before the last minimum wage increase so I don't know how they exactly stand now. Probably about the same or less. Since the employers had to increase the wages of less skilled workers. I don't know, I doubt that pastry wages increased.

You can always make more money in LA and New York but the cost of living ratchets it back down too.

So you start out at about minimum wage or a bit more if you have speed and work up.

But 90-95% of the work is delivered and picked up on Saturday.

As a career it kinda sucks. Back breaking work long freaking hours--fight against carpal tunnel. Poor working conditions. No benefits unless you're in grocery store or big box or hotel where the demands are great. For a Mom with little kids ugh ugh

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-K8memphis Posted 2 Nov 2010 , 1:36pm
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People like to lambast the work and the people who mass produce cakes. "Ooo that's beneath me" But that is one of the places in caking where you can get the benefits and a career path. Which also points out the fact that a lot of the country is fine with those kinda cakes. Somebody's buying 'em or those stores would discontinue doing it.

Probably they barely break even or not even --which is why they push so hard and cram and beat you with the clock and some have dumbed down caking so much.

But you gotta work Saturdays.

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CakeDiva101 Posted 2 Nov 2010 , 1:51pm
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Hey there, I agree with the others here. To me, making and decorating cakes is a labor of love. YEs, I do make a profit but it is not a 9-5 job. I'm lucky that my child is older and my husband support my dream.( he does help with house chores when I'm baking orders). My last cake, I was up until 2 AM. Delivered it Sunday ( Halloween) came back and went back in the kitchen for another order due MOnday. Guess where I'm going to be New YEars Eve? Delivering a big wedding cake. I have no complains. I enjoy my cakes and it is my choice to be in the kitchen while others party. You have to decide what will work for you and your family. I wish you luck and hope that if cakes are what you enjoy doing, you can find a way to make it work for you. icon_biggrin.gif

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daltonam Posted 2 Nov 2010 , 1:54pm
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puppylove07, I don't know where you are located, so I'll give you what information I can from where I live in North Florida/South Georgia

I've had 2 different friends work for grocery store bakeries.

One was Publix, they taught her what she needed to know (I'm not sure what experience she had if any). She went in VERY early & got off around the time here daughter got out of school each day. As for weekends, I can't answer that one about her. (she doesn't have that job anymore, so I can't ask her)

Next friend (who already had the experience) works for a local small town grocery store. Same basic set up, goes in in the morning (not sure about her time) & gets off around 4ish. I do know on Saturdays she goes in & when she has filled her case full she can leave, BUT if someone walks in & gets a cake before she does leave she has to decorate another one first. She doesn't work on Sundays (that part of the bakery isn't opened).

If it wasn't for me having to drive 30+ mins to work at 4:00 in the morning I wouldn't hesitate to get a job at Publix. I may not like doing sheet cakes, but hey, I like decorating cakes. I do know that unless I didn't have a choice I wouldn't work for a bakery where I wouldn't at least taste their cakes & some grocery store cakes I won't even taste.

IT NEVER HURTS TO CALL & talk to the manager of whatever bakery you are interested in, all they can tell you is what they expect. Good Luck.

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-K8memphis Posted 2 Nov 2010 , 2:07pm
post #9 of 9

I worked for Seessel's at one point who was bought out by Albertson's and now is Schnuck's here--it's the pricey grocery store chain in town. But anyway back then thier iced chocolate cake was really really good. Without the icing it tasted like poo.

The roses were made in advance --they were piped ribbon roses with a huge rose tip. We had a speed rack or two filled with tray after tray of roses.

One department baked, another iced, an expediter in my department placed the roses at the the four corners and we got 10 or 12 speed racks full of cakes at a time and you just grabbed a cake and decorated all freaking night.

Then about 3 or 4 am you got the Germantown stores who wanted fully decorated chichi cakes but you pumped 'em out as fast as the others anyhow. So in the middle of the assembly line when your brain is asleep and your body is numb you had to pull creativity out of your butt. Fifteen hour 'days' on the weekend were the norm.

Just worlds different from home or boutique caking.

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