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Posted: 06 April 2009 12:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Thank you Julie, Roxanne and Patricia. I feel so much better now. Reading your responses made me realize I was right to stand my ground.

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Posted: 06 April 2009 11:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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i so sorry to hear this, and i think i know how you feel.  friends or friendly referrals don’t realize that the costs of a scratch home baker are higher than a commercial bakery.  also, many people often prefer a home baker because they think they can save some money.  you need to believe me how many parties i have been invited to, provided i bring the cake.  i still do so, but only whenever i truly have the time to do so.  it doesn’t matter if the event is on a 5 star venue, if you can’t, you shouldn’t.

i think the key is to do it for only so long, and after that, just truly charge for what you are worth or for how long it takes you to bake something.

i have just priced a few of my cakes, the latest around $450, and lets see who bites the hook.  what i am doing now, for cakes that i can’t do because it wouldn’t be cost efficient, is to refer the business to some local bakery.

i gave it a lot of thought and years, and i now feel a little more relieved and better understood.

good luck.

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Posted: 07 April 2009 10:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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I am in the same boat- people invite me to parties and ask me to bring the cake. Like Hector, if i have time, i will do it. But that last cake I made, while they were eating it someone said outloud “I’d buy a cake like this for $20” and i said “$20?????  I’d sell it for more than that, the ingredients alone cost $20!”. It just made me think….do they really have NO IDEA how much work is put into cakes like these?? (And mine was just a quarter sheet cake!).  Then if I WERE to charge someone, i feel like they are going to call me ‘too expensive’ because geeez, if they are thinking i’d make them that sheet cake for $20, then they are crazy. Or maybe I am crazy?

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Posted: 07 April 2009 10:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Thank you Hector. It’s nice to know others feel my pain. You are so right about people thinking they can save money just b/c we are home bakers. Thanks for the advice.

I can definitley see how one of your cakes would be worth $450. They are so labour intensive. Good luck I hope you do well. You deserve it.

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Posted: 07 April 2009 10:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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skiweaver9 - 07 April 2009 01:21 PM

I am in the same boat- people invite me to parties and ask me to bring the cake.


Ski, this used to happen to me all the time. Now they don’t even ask they just expect me to. It’s a given that I will walk in with the cake.

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Posted: 07 April 2009 01:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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someone once told me the week of Rose World Cake:  I tried to run my home bakery business and people will come as referrals with the main intention of saving money!  on the other hand, the same people is willing to go out to dinner to fancy $75 per person!

turning $20 orders down by referring them to my favorite bakery in town has helped inmenselly to educate my customer friends and to define me.  It is a nice way to say “I am not cheap.”

I don’t do sheet cakes because I feel a bakery can do it better!  My cakes are normally 9” and boxed on a 12” cake board and 12” cake box.  And the least I ask is $75 and that is already stretching it.

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Posted: 07 April 2009 01:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Do you guys charge the same for like family members though? Like what if your mother wants a cake so she can bring it to a work party. WOuld you give them a discount since its your mother??

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Posted: 07 April 2009 02:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Ski, my family EXPECTS a discount! Usually for immediate family (parents, siblings and in-laws) I just charge the cost of ingredients/materials plus a nominal amount for labor and electricity. Luckily most of the time they just want simple cakes, nothing too elaborate.

Unfortunately people do think that home-based bakers are cheaper. But I tell potential customers that I only use pure butter, real cream (as opposed to the godawful non-dairy stuff - YUCK), European chocolate, and they tend to understand, sort of… And once they taste the actual cake, they’re OK with paying. As for the ones that still insist I’m too expensive, I just suggest that they buy from one of the many local chain bakeries.

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Posted: 07 April 2009 02:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Sorry forgot to clarify that if it’s for a family do, then it’s free. Only when they need it to bring to another party/work etc, do I charge them. My in-laws have a family dinner almost every Saturday night and it’s a given that I’ll bring dessert (not always cake). But I don’t mind this as I get to try out many different recipes - there’s a willing army of guinea pigs, ahem… taste testers smile

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Posted: 07 April 2009 02:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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I don’t charge family or close friends for reasonably sized cakes, but I do consider it my gift.  I usually include a card that says something along the lines of “happy birthday, I hope you enjoy your cake”.  I have completely stopped giving cakes away for non-family or large functions - way too many expect it and the thought of compensation never even enters their mind - people LOVE them, but they don’t have a clue what goes into making one (time or expense).  I have done a few larger cakes for cost, but those are few and far between - depends completely on my relationship with the guest of honor. 

When someone thinks a home baked cake should be considerably cheaper than a bakery cake I am sure to let them know that a baker who uses boxed mixes and shortening based frosting should be considerably cheaper, but I bake from scratch using expensive ingredients with recipes that meet or beat the best bakeries around here.  They are welcome to go elsewhere, but they’re going to get what they pay for.

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Posted: 07 April 2009 02:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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for my family I make works of love, so the price tag is priceless and these cakes are my portfolio covers, center spreads, or blog topics.

if family prefers a more normal cake, then I refer them out to my favorite bakery!

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Posted: 07 April 2009 03:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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shimi - 07 April 2009 05:25 PM

Sorry forgot to clarify that if it’s for a family do, then it’s free. Only when they need it to bring to another party/work etc, do I charge them. My in-laws have a family dinner almost every Saturday night and it’s a given that I’ll bring dessert (not always cake). But I don’t mind this as I get to try out many different recipes - there’s a willing army of guinea pigs, ahem… taste testers smile


That’s a great way to try out new recipes. Usually when I try out new things my neighbours benefit from it. Unfortunately my brothers don’t live close by.

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Posted: 07 April 2009 03:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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The only people I bake free of charge for are my mum, brothers and nieces. And of course my sisters-in-law. My uncle’s wife ALWAYS tries to get me to bake cakes for her at no charge and she always asks for big cakes. She refuses to even pay the cost. I absolutely detest dealing with her. In fact my husband has forbidden me to bake for her.  LOL I know it sounds mean but she is simply impossible when it comes to money. When I bake for friends, like Patricia I give it as a gift.

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