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Posts by jason_kraft

In Australia (and the UK) standard dessert-sized cake portions are 1"x2"x4". "Coffee" portions are half the size. http://www.weddingchicks.com/2013/01/14/coffee-or-dessert-portions/
If the customer thinks the serving size is too small, they are free to order more servings and tell the venue to cut bigger pieces. Wilton is the industry standard, at least in the US.
As long as you maintain control over your competitive advantages you shouldn't have a problem, just about everything else can be outsourced.
Wasn't this covered in another thread? I can't seem to find it. But you are right to put "business" in quotes, the baker in question is a self-described hobbyist.
I don't necessarily see a red flag here, if the chef is culinary it's not unusual to have very limited pastry experience. We offered baking lessons (focused primarily on gluten-free baking) for $70/hour, and we built curriculums around product lines we had no plans of selling in the future, with recipes sourced from publicly available books and web sites.
My wife and I ran a specialty bakery out of a commercial kitchen in CA, we shut it down for several months when my wife was about 6 months pregnant, then reopened it with an employee of ours doing most of the production. We looked at the demands of the business and the demands of a new baby and concluded that we would not be able to give enough attention on our own for both to be successful.
As mentioned above, this may not be legal depending on labor laws in your area if the commission falls below a minimum wage. In the US an hourly wage for part-time work is the norm.
It's been my experience that if someone balks at paying $20-30 for a tasting, they are probably more price-sensitive and won't be willing to pay for a premium product. It's not about confidence, it's about being reasonably compensated for your time. And if it was about confidence, one could argue that charging for a tasting is a sign of being more confident in their product since customers presumably have no problem paying (otherwise the baker would not be able to charge).
You can make your own pastry flour by mixing 50/50 AP flour and cake flour (3/8 AP + 5/8 cake flour if you want to be more precise). You may want to consider remaking with pastry flour and offering the whole grain version as an option. http://frugalliving.about.com/od/makeyourowningredients/qt/Pastry-Flour.htm
It may help to map out your production process in detail if you haven't done so already. Break out what you do into multiple roles with varying skillsets and see which components of your process are handled by which roles, what can be done in parallel, what can be done in advance, identifying slack time in your process, etc. Creating a process flow with "swim lanes" may help you: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swim_lane Your process flow will help you identify where you can...
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