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Giving away instructions? - Page 3

post #31 of 143
I agree, never share your recipes with locals. I will gladly give any recipe or tip to another cc'ers but am reluctant to give out this information locally. I made that mistake one time with my wonderful salsa recipe (I know it has nothing to do with cake, but it was the same breach of trust) and then the person began making it in a local Mexican restaurant.

By the way, asanchez. I would love to have a good tres leches recipe (hint-hint). Every one I have tried just doesn't cut it for me. My bakery is in a fairly predominant Hispanic community and I just don't have a good cake to offer. I'm nowhere close to you (I'm in Oklahoma); would you consider sharing?
post #32 of 143
Well after a year of making money with my recipe, they decided to take shortcuts and cheapen the ingredients. Now the taste has changed completely based on a relative that bought the product recently 2 see if it tasted the same, he says now it taste like cr%@@ thumbsdown.gif
post #33 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loucinda

I can see it to a point. If it is someone that you know won't be able to pull it off, give them the basics. Let them fail. Then they do call you when they want something because you did try to "help them". You actuallly look like the good guy.




I've got a pretty good relationship with most of the local bakers around here that it's sort of a mutual reciprocity if we get stuck (or need a pound of isomalt). OTOH, all's fair in love and competition, so it's also the ability to sort through the tapedshut.gif sometimes...
post #34 of 143
WHy feel guilty about not giving away instructions? Isn't the person requesting being really presumptuous? Unless you are known for selling your techniques - why would people ask for them? One thing that bugs me on CC is when someone posts a great cake and is flooded with "PM me with instructions on how to make this!" comments. It seems awfully "entitled" to me, but maybe I am looking at this wrong. I mean, I get it, if there is a cool new technique none of us has ever seen before and I do LOVE tutorials, but shouldn't we be super grateful for any additional insight rather than expect it?... guess that's off thread. Personally, I like the - "make cake, sculpt, cover with fondant" answer. You can always add "good luck"..
post #35 of 143
I'm with kitagirl ..... I don't HAVE written instructions.

I gotta admit I was astonished to find out that people actually wrote down step by steps on how they made a cake. I look at a cake and figure it out. Seriously, in 30 years, it's never crossed my mind to 'write down' how to do a cake. I wouldn't know where to start. In my little pea brain head, I have Nike philosophy: Just Do It.

But when people ask for recipes, it's easy to blow them off. Just start with "Oh sure! Write this down ...... start with 18 cups of flour. What? Oh, that about a 5-lb bag minus 2 cups. 14 eggs .... what? no, it WON'T fit in a home mixer bowl. Uh? No, sorry, I dont have a 'home version'. NEver mind? Are you sure? Ok, then! See ya!" icon_biggrin.gif
post #36 of 143
I can understand not wanting to give out recipes or tips or something to potential customers. Or even other cake decorators for that matter! I would just tackfully tell them that information is priveleged and that while you thank her for the interest, you cannot give her the information. You can tell them to start at a local Michaels and take decorating classes or something like that. Or if its a specific technicque like a swag of fondant that is lace. Tell them that they can purchase the mold from you with the instructions for $$ price. Ofcourse you need to include your time, etc. so Im sure a $50 mold would cost them $100 for it and the instructions. Most people would just say thanks and walk away.
post #37 of 143
Wow... I guess I'm in the minority. I always try to help people when asked. I've been PMed on CC about techniques and recipes, and I am always more than happy to lend a hand in what ever capacity I can. I even started a cake club in my area so that local cake decorators (and whoever else that wants to join!) can learn more about baking and decorating.

I can't even count the number of times I've read about people here on CC emailing Marina Sousa/Elisa Strauss/Mary Maher/Bronwen Weber/etc. asking them for advice and the "how tos" of a particular cake. Hello!

Like someone said a page or so back, just because you give someone instructions doesn't mean they can do anything with them. Baking and decorating take a certain level of skill and talent. Yo-Yo Ma can give me all the free cello lessons in the world, but that doesn't mean I'll ever play like him. icon_rolleyes.gif

What goes around comes around. At least that's what my momma always taught me. thumbs_up.gif
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post #38 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaBellaFlor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiddiekakes

Gee Whiz.....That is almost as bad as Mom's at the school asking me to borrow my cakepans and colors to make their kids cakes because they don't want to pay my prices.... icon_mad.gif

Next...... icon_wink.gif



icon_eek.gif Speechless...almost... icon_razz.gif



DANG!!! Just when I think people can't get any more boorish they do things like this! icon_eek.gif I'm guessing you say, "Not only no, but HELL no," a lot???!!
"Mmmmmmmmm donuts." - Homer Simpson
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post #39 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loucinda

I can see it to a point. If it is someone that you know won't be able to pull it off, give them the basics. Let them fail. Then they do call you when they want something because you did try to "help them". You actuallly look like the good guy.

I had an experience a few weeks ago that fits this.....I am a home baker, I have an acquaintance that actually owns a store front. (BUT neither she nor her decorator really have much experience) They took an order for a fondant covered wedding cake that was going to a very nice venue. She called asking me for help. I told her I would come and show her how I do it for $25./hour - she agreed. I showed them how to do it, and I now have an offer of a commercial kitchen use if I ever need it and a person who will be forever grateful for what I shared. The business is about 10 miles from me - could I possibly loose orders to them? Maybe, but doubtful. We are in two different arenas - they HAVE to sell cakes, they cannot be picky, whereas, I can be. At first I kind of struggled with it, but then I thought of how I would feel if put in that same predicament - I would hope that someone would be willing to help me out.



Very smart move! Not only did you help out the acquaintance, but you made some money in the process and have solidified a new business relationship...and without "giving away" any of your expertise! Atta girl!
"Mmmmmmmmm donuts." - Homer Simpson
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post #40 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by txcupcake

Wow... I guess I'm in the minority. I always try to help people when asked. I've been PMed on CC about techniques and recipes, and I am always more than happy to lend a hand in what ever capacity I can. I even started a cake club in my area so that local cake decorators (and whoever else that wants to join!) can learn more about baking and decorating.

I can't even count the number of times I've read about people here on CC emailing Marina Sousa/Elisa Strauss/Mary Maher/Bronwen Weber/etc. asking them for advice and the "how tos" of a particular cake. Hello!

Like someone said a page or so back, just because you give someone instructions doesn't mean they can do anything with them. Baking and decorating take a certain level of skill and talent. Yo-Yo Ma can give me all the free cello lessons in the world, but that doesn't mean I'll ever play like him. icon_rolleyes.gif

What goes around comes around. At least that's what my momma always taught me. thumbs_up.gif



CCers are exceptionally generous to their fellow cakers. I still am amazed by Indy's generosity with her business plan. My peeve is when people demand instructions in the comments section - without even a "please" or seem to expect them when most folks don't write down all their steps.
post #41 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by txcupcake

Wow... I guess I'm in the minority. I always try to help people when asked. I've been PMed on CC about techniques and recipes, and I am always more than happy to lend a hand in what ever capacity I can. I even started a cake club in my area so that local cake decorators (and whoever else that wants to join!) can learn more about baking and decorating.

I can't even count the number of times I've read about people here on CC emailing Marina Sousa/Elisa Strauss/Mary Maher/Bronwen Weber/etc. asking them for advice and the "how tos" of a particular cake. Hello!

What goes around comes around. At least that's what my momma always taught me. thumbs_up.gif




I totally agree with helping out fellow cakers, CC members, etc. but my understanding from the OP was that she was getting calls from the public or from friends (or friends of friends), etc. who wanted her instructions and all the pertinent information so they could do the cakes themselves rather than pay for her cake.

I've shared instructions on a couple of my cakes with other CC folks and they've reciprocated which is fantastic and I'll continue to do so. However, if I get a call from one of hubby's co-workers or an acquaintance's sister who wants me to show them how I carved the armadillo cake so they can make it for their brother's groom's cake...ain't gonna happen.
"Mmmmmmmmm donuts." - Homer Simpson
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post #42 of 143
I don't mind sharing techniques, my contract, I've even PM'd recipes . I just don't like the show me how to do EVERYTHING, from recipes though the completion of a wedding cake. That's a bit much.
post #43 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by txcupcake

Wow... I guess I'm in the minority. I always try to help people when asked. I've been PMed on CC about techniques and recipes, and I am always more than happy to lend a hand in what ever capacity I can. I even started a cake club in my area so that local cake decorators (and whoever else that wants to join!) can learn more about baking and decorating.

I can't even count the number of times I've read about people here on CC emailing Marina Sousa/Elisa Strauss/Mary Maher/Bronwen Weber/etc. asking them for advice and the "how tos" of a particular cake. Hello!

Like someone said a page or so back, just because you give someone instructions doesn't mean they can do anything with them. Baking and decorating take a certain level of skill and talent. Yo-Yo Ma can give me all the free cello lessons in the world, but that doesn't mean I'll ever play like him. icon_rolleyes.gif

What goes around comes around. At least that's what my momma always taught me. thumbs_up.gif



There's a little difference between telling someone on CC how to do something and giving instructions to someone who emails you and says, "I'd love to have that cake for my daughter's birthday, but my budget for the cake is $20 and I know you would charge me about $200, so could you please tell me how to make it." In the time it would take to type out instructions to tell a total novice how to bake, level, ice and decorate the cake, along with instructions on supports and recipes for icing and fondant, and a list of equipment they would need, someone running a business could get a lot of real work done.

If I call up a mechanic and say, "My car's air conditioning is broke but I can't afford to pay you to fix it, will you tell me how to fix it myself?" he's going to say no because it would probably take him an hour to tell me, and he could make $50 in that hour doing real work. If I called up a plumber and said, "My sink is clogged but I can't afford you. Can you tell me how to fix it?" he's going to say no too. And nobody would even blame them for saying no or think it was mean or unreasonable. After all, they had to learn those skills and those skills are how they support themselves and their families. Can I learn how to fix my air conditioner or unclog the drain myself? Sure I can. Am I going to learn it for free from my friendly local professionals? No. I'll have to read everything I can find on the internet, maybe get a book from the library, maybe go to Auto Zone or Home Depot and ask the guys there, etc...
post #44 of 143
I get your point, I just don't believe in hoarding information. That's all I'm sayin'.
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post #45 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by txcupcake

I get your point, I just don't believe in hoarding information. That's all I'm sayin'.

I dont think telling the general public that you wont give them help is hourding information. I give away information on here all the time on how I do things. And Ive also talked to Bronwen, and a few others about how they did certain things and they were happy to give me the information. So I dont think telling your husbands boss's wife how to carve a cake and let her borrow your pans is the same. Its one thing for a person that wants to further their career by taking classes and doing clubs from the pro's and another one that wants to pinch pennys and wants a cake for free! And believe me, Ive had so called "friends" that have asked me to help them with making decorated cookies. Said sure and had them come over with enough dough to make about 6 cookies and they need for 25 people. Then after you've used your ingredients, decorated them ALL but one and then have them leave and tell people its THEIR work? Well thats a user. So learning experience thumbs up, users thumbs down!
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