Can't Find A Good Decorator

Business By Valscake Updated 6 Aug 2017 , 8:38pm by sylly

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Valscake Posted 5 Aug 2017 , 8:54pm
post #1 of 10

Hi everyone,

I am in Albuquerque New Mexico and I manage a very popular, high end cupcake / cake bakery.  I have done cakes for 16 years and I'm a good decorator, self-taught.  But I am not fast enough to do cakes in a commercial environment.  I need an experienced cake decorator who is used to working quickly in a commercial bakery.   I am having a very difficult time finding that person.  So first off let me say, if any of you are experienced, talented, fast, hardworking, artistic, and here in my area, please get a hold of me, I've got a job for you!

So I have placed a $500 advertisement in the local paper for a month.  I have an ad on Craig's list, and one on Indeed.  We are offering what are good wages here ($16-$18 an hour), part-time, flexible hours, just so long as all the cakes get done.  I bring in candidates that can show me some pics of cakes that look half decent.  They have to come in and decorate a cake, start to finish in 40 minutes. I have had nothing but..(forgive harsh nature) horrible, unprofessional, awful looking cakes.  Most cannot even do the most fundamental things, like leveling a cake, even borders, scrollwork, smooth icing, and a buttercream rose.  I've had some that decorated the cake right on the turntable (no board underneath), I've had sides falling off, humped name it.  If it wasn't such a serious situation, I would be laughing.

But...Our bakery HAS to have a decorator to be able to do well financially.  Where else should I look?  I've also tried reaching out to some decorators that are at other bakeries.  Also, I've dropped off business cards to the girls at Costco bakery and the grocery store bakeries.  I am at a loss.  Please, if you have any suggestions,  I'm willing to entertain any thoughts.

I'm getting plenty of people apply saying, "I don't know how, but I'd love to learn". This is not an entry level position. What on earth do I need to do to find an accomplished decorator?

Thanks everyone!

9 replies
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Unlimited Posted 5 Aug 2017 , 9:17pm
post #2 of 10

Call your local #351 Baker's Union.

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JCCaker Posted 6 Aug 2017 , 11:56am
post #3 of 10

Go to your closest culinary school and ask for recent grads looking for work, or get on a list to be listed as a possible employer in your area.

They are fresh, eager to learn, inexpensive to start, and have just come off learning essentials. It is customary for culinary to have an unpaid shift as a working interview, to see how they work and how you work together. It's called a trail. Tell them you want them to come in for an interview, then at the interview say you'd like them to trail for a day, or have them ready to work that day.

Good luck!

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JCCaker Posted 6 Aug 2017 , 11:58am
post #4 of 10

And is good too!

-K8memphis Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
-K8memphis Posted 6 Aug 2017 , 1:25pm
post #5 of 10

get someone to relocate? i think i'd try advertising at your universities and colleges to see if family of any of the students might want to relocate and therefore save on room & board for their student as well? they could get a place together? it's a long shot but that's where a new pocket of people are coming into range -- also if there any businesses moving into your area -- maybe some of their family?

i'd do it for you but arthritis and a thousand miles stand in my way -- but if i lived in new mexico it might cure my arthritis...blush i got skillz and wads of experience -- stamina's gone though -- somebody's gonna get a great job! wow i would love to do this -- best of the best of the best of the best to you -- just for starters!

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-K8memphis Posted 6 Aug 2017 , 1:26pm
post #6 of 10

and i'd hit day cares too -- notifying moms and workers -- 

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Valscake Posted 6 Aug 2017 , 1:27pm
post #7 of 10

Thank you JCaker and unlimited.  This is by no means,am entry level job.  We do $1000 cakes, carved cakes, tiered cakes. Etc.  I have had culinary grads from our local college come in and they cannot cut it.  Not sure if it's like this everywhere, but they only spend 3 weeks learning to bake, level, fill and frost and decorate. They ate not ready for this level of job.  Although I'd love to teach someone, we are too busy for that to happen.

We  regularly put out 800 cupcakes a day. On weekends, we have 20-30 cakes due.  This is a job where you have to hit the floor running.

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Valscake Posted 6 Aug 2017 , 1:29pm
post #8 of 10

K8Memphis... and I'd love to have you!!! 

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-K8memphis Posted 6 Aug 2017 , 5:33pm
post #9 of 10

valscakes-- just the sweet thought of it! my teaching gig is running out this week so the timing alone hearing your words -- bolsters my soon-to-be-unemployed spirit hahahahaha -- cool! thanks blush

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sylly Posted 6 Aug 2017 , 8:38pm
post #10 of 10

Unfortunately, culinary pastry arts programs don't really cover cake decorating as a career. My teacher didn't even know how to make a rose! They just haven't caught up with the times. When I need seasonal help or something, I turn to people at my local cake clubs. There's some real talent there. Also, you can try to contact your local Wilton reps and see if they have any talented grads. If you just don't have any prospects, you might need to take the time to teach. It's a good investment! 

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