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Grocery Store Cakes - Page 2

post #16 of 56
I had a lady ask me some questions while I was in Michaels about fondant. I happened to be taking the Wilton Course 3 at the time so told her some of the experiences with fondant that I had .. anyway, she worked at WalMart in the past .. said she quit them.. she tried to do reverse shells for a border and was told not to do it as it took too much time to do .. she said they couldn't be creative at all where she worked.. it was all in how fast you could get the cake out..
Cheryl a/k/a ntertayneme (n-ter-tayne-me)
www.legateaux.com
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Cheryl a/k/a ntertayneme (n-ter-tayne-me)
www.legateaux.com
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post #17 of 56
yes i know i have seen them. but imjust saying some stores are trying when they have a certain amount of cakes to make a day there isnt much the decorator can do. Some grocery store in my area do a lot more elaborate decorations. We have a grocery store called brookshires her and yes a few are basic bakery cakes, however about 3 or 4 of the stores actually do chocolate dipped strawberries and chocolate dipped flowers. they have a huge variety and the cakes arent all that horrible. they arent as good as a home made one but they arent nasty. for the most part i agree that grocery store bakeries should try to make a better product but by no means iss it the decorators fault. unless they just suck then thats a differnt story lol
post #18 of 56
Even though I work for Kroger as a cake decorator, I will never purchase one of their cakes. They come in frozen, mishandled, freezer burnt, and the sanitation of some of my coworkers leaves alot to be desired. Like others have said, I do not get the time to really work on a cake, just slap some roses or balloons on it and call it done! I have actually been yelled at for being too slow, and taking too long on a cake! So I save all my good ideas for myself and my personal customers!
I have been threatened with being fired when uppers found out about my side business, even though I have never given my number to any customers to "steal" them away. It's all politics and money making for these corporations. Plain and simple!
icon_mad.gif Ok, i'm done with my rant!
Smile, It increases your face value!
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Smile, It increases your face value!
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post #19 of 56
This is getting sooo interesting...

The reason I got into cakes was because I wanted this cake done sooo bad and NO ONE could do it ... It was the BIG COMFY COUCH! From the show that had that cute clown Loonete the clown. My daughter loved that show and I asked the lady if she could do the couch and she said that she couldn't. And she made specialty cakes, but couldn't do the couch. I was willing to pay extra, but she still said she couldn't do it... thumbsdown.gif

So, I settled for just a simple cake with the colors of the theme and did a cake topper myself by buying Loonete the Clown and her doll Molly.

After that I said, HECK, I am learning this and I am doing cakes my way!!! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif
Its always about cake!!
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Its always about cake!!
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post #20 of 56
I use to work for WM before a major career change. I worked at a few different ones, and in the bakery at all of them. I actually learned cake decorating there.

The last one I was at for a little over a year. I was very very very very lucky. I worked with 3 of the best decoraters I am sure I will ever meet. They all were specialized in different types of cakes, and did everything different. I learned 3 different types of roses (including the stick method) I learned so much from them. One was more specialized in kids cakes, another in fancy cakes (learned a lot of wedding cake techniques with her) and another in imagination from nothing (since we had strict guidlines with what we were suppose to do) And I have to admit I taught them a thing or two about Cupcake cakes when WM started doing these. (These were my favorite, i thought they were the most challenging for what we were allowed to do-I have been trying to get access to a scanner so I can get some posted for you to see)

The great thing from working with these three is that even though we were only to do Certain types of cakes with in the WM policy (only so much icing, a 1/4 sheet in 15 mins... blah blah blah grr that stuff sucked) I still learned so much from them. I didn't like working in that type of bakery at all, although I learned a lot of stuff that I can carry over into my home baking now.

Ok, so I just argued both sides of the story, but over all I think a majority of Grocery Stores are so much about money they don't care about the art of it.

Leily

P.S. Just a side note about the other decorators. When they came to WM to work from other bakeries they actually had customers follow them. Not because of the cost or the taste, but because of there decorating skill. So yes there are still people out there who appreciate it!!
It's better to be Hated for who you Are,
Than Loved for who you're Not.
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It's better to be Hated for who you Are,
Than Loved for who you're Not.
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post #21 of 56
Funny topic. For the summer months I took a job as a cake decorator at a grocery store....something to do. first of all, grocery store cakes are nasty! They are not fresh...the icing is just disgusting...I could go on.
Having said that, I am still having a blast working there. I like to "spice up" the cake decorations that the previous cake decorator made. Although I wouldn't do things the same way (if I were to have a shop), I have still learned a lot. I get to make and decorate pies and pastries also!
I enjoy it very much. But I still can't wait until the fall, when I can get back into the classroom icon_razz.gif
post #22 of 56
I worked at a store bakery for quite awhile. Homemade cakes and store cakes are apple and oranges. In the bakery, my boss was all about quantity. One week our weekend decorator got sick and then our night decorator stopped showing up. We were a very busy store and when I showed up on Monday, both display cases where empty. I turned out almost 50 cakes that day (that's less than 10 minutes a cake). Mostly airbrushed color because mixing color takes too long, and then slap on a plastic toy. The one good thing about working there was being able to perfect the basic decorating skills.

The cakes were made there, but they were made with a mix, water, oil, and processed eggs from a bucket. The first time I saw our baker pouring the eggs into the mix, I stared in horror. I almost thought is was vomit, I'd never seen such a horrible thing. icon_surprised.gif

The cakes are frozen and thawed and refrozen many times. When I took a transfer to their other bakery it was even worse. They rolled out an entire rack and left it next to the decorator, and their it sat all day. What was not used was put back into the freezer at the end of the day, and the process was repeated the next day. New cakes are put on the same rack as older cakes, so you don't know which ones need to be used first.

Frosting was made in bowls so big that you could sit in them. The problem with that is when mixing, they had to stop and scrape the shortening off the sides, but there is no spatula big enough for this job, the the baker had to use a hand held scraper and stick his whole arm in there to reach the bottom of the bowl. These bakers do not wash or shave up to their elbows, so we were always pulling hair out of the frosting. We told the baker (also my boss) about the problem, he didn't do anything about it, so we told the store manager, he talked to the baker. Nothing changed and we were told to basically get over it. icon_sad.gif

Sorry, I went a little further than I was planning. Anyways, I now get to do my cakes at home. I love the fact that I can work with fondant, melted chocolates, royal, gumpaste, ect. A bakery is very limiting. Now I give a cake as much time as it needs and I can go beyond just buttercream basics. icon_biggrin.gif
post #23 of 56
I think I just lost my lunch.......
post #24 of 56
Cady
I know you didnt have the intention of offending anyone with your post you were posting your opinion/ observation. In defense of all chain store decorators i would have to saw they are generally restricted in what they are allowed to produce and some even have a prohibition on doing anything other than their store bakery list shows. I spoke to a decorator at my local supermarket on day asking how they keep their decorated cakes so low priced $17.00 for a ¼ sheet cake. He told me they only allow him to do specific patterns on the cakes and that varying from those pattern results in a reprimand. He said that for their basic ¼ sheet cake they are decorated in less than 10 min. their cakes come frozen and the icing better cream comes in 5 gallon tubs. So in defense of the underused and most likely underappreciated decorators at those chain stores they do the best that they are allowed. And I am sure that their personal cakes and the ones they do for their families are far better than what you see at the store.
Alan

If you must run away do so quietly, Screaming looks bad on the news. (unknown)
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Alan

If you must run away do so quietly, Screaming looks bad on the news. (unknown)
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post #25 of 56
Yes, sadly, it isn't the decorator's fault, it is the stores and their policies about production. Most of these folks are better decorators than they are allowed to be, but there is only so much you can do within a 2 minute time limit when your "allowed designs" are so limited.
I am sure many of the older folks, like me, remember a time when you could buy a decent cake at a grocery store, well decorated too. In fact, I remember a grocery store decorating my sister's wedding cake far nicer than the one I had paid hundreds of dollars to a professional decorator.
Sadly, it is like everything else, profit is more important than quality.
My daughter worked for one of these stores and she was just amazing, given the time limits. But the stress was just too much for her and she left the profession. She just didn't feel good about the work she was producing and the constant pressure to produce more in less time. As an assistant manager, she was forced to fire good decorators who couldn't keep up with the time limits imposed.
Over 90% of bakeries use frozen cakes. Nothing wrong with a frozen cake if it was a quality cake to begin with and wasn't frozen for too long. I don't understand why these cakes are so horrid. I have a friend that calls them, "Almost Cakes". They look like cakes and cut like cakes but they surely don't taste like cakes.
Hhmn, interesting comments about the food safety issues, makes you think twice, doesn't it? It would seem that standards are not consistent across the board.
Hugs Squirrelly
post #26 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by GinaJuarez

DISCLAIMER: Calejo and others who work at grocery stores: Please do not be offended by this thread as I have seen your cakes and they are fantastic.



Hee hee.... confession time: I used to walk by the cases of the bakeries and go, "My gosh, what the heck are they doing???" Some of the roses just looked like brightly colored pine cones. icon_eek.gif ! Others looked like they were just barely assembled and slapped on. Sad. Truly, truly sad.

I love my manager! She loves decorating and lights up whenever we talk about it! She has never once hassled me about time constraints (so long as I get the work done), and she allows me creativity. I mean, I did a 1/4 sheet of a red hat lady floating in the water, sunbathing on a raft with a gummi Happy Birthday "floating" next to her, and not a peep. In fact, it sold in less than a day! A good philosophy that I wish all bakeries shared: Trust your decorators to do what it takes (and then some) to make what sells and keep them coming back. We now have people coming by just to check out the cakes we're making.

On a side note, I TOTALLY realize this is not the norm, and I will not be quitting this job ANYtime in the near future. So, trash away. I will consider my grocery store exempt from the conversation. Because, frankly, I have seen some "hideodorous" (if that's not a word, it should be) cakes accompanied with bad tasting everything from bakeries. I am just grateful that mine isn't one of them.

EDIT: When I say bad tasting everything.... I have had cakes that were like eating a cardboard shoebox.... Well, to be fair to Nike... just a plain cardboard box will do. icon_rolleyes.gificon_wink.gif
post #27 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheilaattaway

I know! When I stated making cakes, I went to Wa**M*** and looked at their cakes. Not only are they not all that, but they dont offer anything but royal or butter cream.



This depends on the store too!!!! Some of the ones around my hometown also have whipped frosting...and if they dont Sam's Club bakeries do...it's a way that they do so they arent competing with one another... I worked at a Sam's Club with a bakery, and audited a few Walmart stores that used whipped topping. And I must say the appealingness also depends on the store...I have seen some absolutely beautiful cakes there in one area but not so pretty in other areas.
post #28 of 56
iv worked at a bakery at sams club for 3 yrs as decorator when i first started getting into it.... recently iv worked at smaller from scratch bakeries... and i know iv said this before in other posts.. but i absolutely love sam clubs cake.. lol we used to bake every cake at the bakery then freeze them... of course they then changed to getting the cakes in frozen(to cut hours) they were from the same company we got the mixes from and they were just as good.. decorating wise... we didnt have freedom at all.. however the company had cake decorating contest where u were able do lots of different designs they didnt offer....

and to sweetart who was complaining bout mixing with ur arm.... sorry to say this.. must alot of bakeries always make buttercream along with other items in xlarge bowls and scrape the bowl with their hand icon_razz.gif .. i used to make xlarge batches of white chololate mousse at my one bakery i was at.... it called for 24 qts of cream and 22lbs of white cholote and we folded in the chocolate with our arm... up past our elbows to incorporate air .. and i never shaved my arm.. lol then again i dont have a hair problem like the bakers where u were.. lol icon_biggrin.gif
post #29 of 56
Well to be honest I think that the cakes that some of the chains are getting pre made and pre iced are a bit Over cooked. thats why they are so dry(Just a thought). But when I saw all the boxes of the Pre baked/iced cakes I was like OMG!!(also thought, WHAT NERVE,, FRESH my BEEPPPP... )
~Sweet~=0)
I'm Tellin Ya What I Know! =0)
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I'm Tellin Ya What I Know! =0)
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post #30 of 56
Magentaa,
Ewwww & How funny (about folding with your arm)
Thankfully your not a "hairy lil Thing" =0)

~Sweet~ =0)
I'm Tellin Ya What I Know! =0)
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I'm Tellin Ya What I Know! =0)
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