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Approaching Bakeries - Page 2

post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by -K8memphis View Post

 

There was a caker on here a few years ago who took something like 14 hours to make a pirate ship cake. It was awesome. She was transitioning from home to an employee in a bakery. However I think she got fired or asked to leave because a bakery cannot afford to loose money like that on sucha slow decorator. Even in the chichifoofoo shops they might be more limitless in design--I know one girl got to do a large oil well that spewed chocolate--but they know how to determine the hours of work necessary and therefore how to bill for those work hours.

 

So speed is crucial. There's no way around it.

 

Another friend of mine could not believe how physical cake deco is. Back breaking, foot swelling, leg aching, arm burning hard labor.

 

As to how you should word your resume, hmm, perhaps acknowledge that you are looking forward to learning how a full time bakeshop works or something to that effect. Maybe start out in a position icing cakes and work up or offer to. Just give a bit of a nod to not being fully skilled.

 

A home decorator is both over qualified and under qualified so in your resume you want to give a nod to bridging that gap. It's like a home decorator just hatched out of a beautifully decorated sugar egg. They look like a cake decorator and talk like one but they can't walk/work like one yet. They're a snow globe the bakery would set on their shelf.

 

There's a genuine rift between bakery owners and home decorators & vice versa. Bakery owners are upset that home decorators can't function successfully in their world. Home decorators think they are better than bakeries who have been churning it out day in day out because they do not have the luxury of time that home cakers have You want to gently softly that in your resume even in a high end cake shop/bakery.

 

GOOD LUCK!!!

 

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I'll be upfront:  I've been working in supermarket bakeries in every capacity for a very long time.  I've also worked for a couple of wholesale bakeries specializing in weddings as well as occasionally doing cakes on the side at home.  In other words, I've see all sides of the OP's question, and there is a lot of truth in the "snow globe" effect:  You can talk the talk, but you have absolutely no idea what it's like doing cakes for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, or even longer, in a commercial setting.

 

Two chains I worked for refused to hire home decorators because of the time and money that would be spent bringing them up to production speed.  These two chains churned out a lot of what some may call "crap cakes" for the display case,  but those "crap cakes" demanded some finesse in a timely manner because the customers would pay accordingly for the finesse.  Whenever a holiday or graduation rolled around, we were inundated.  There was no way we could spend hours on one particular cake, so a decorator who was quick AND creative was worth his/her weight in gold to us.  Sadly, they were far and few between.

 

I broke into this business OTJ.  I started as a clerk.  The more I observed, the more I wanted to learn, so I was always asking questions like, "How do you do X?" or "Can I watch you do Y?"  Little by little I learned how to do simple cake-ing like icing, making half roses, different borders, etc.  I eventually graduated to doing decos, then, as my skills grew, I was given the occasional special order cake.  At the same time I learned how to finesse by making the display case cakes.  It didn't happen overnight, but I stuck with it.  I read anything I could get my hands on concerning decorating,  My first boss let me bring home parchment bags, icing, and cardboard rounds so I could practice.  In other words, enthusiasm and genuine interest is everything :)

 

Good luck!

post #17 of 18

OK here is my take, based on my own move from being a professional, to being a professional cake decorator.

 

In the current US economy, given your qualifications, if your primary goal is earning an income outside of the traditional work environment I would suggest you do small business accounting from home (keeping cakes as a hobby), rather than work in a bakery or build a home-based cake decorating business. I know you said you want to work in an bakery, but chances are you will be rudely shocked by how little they earn, and if you have a mortgage to pay then you might not be able to take the wage cut.

 

I'm just being realistic here. 

 

If your passion for cake decorating is your raison d'etre, and your loss of accounting job was secretly a fortuitous opportunity to now turn to the world of caking for your life's work, then be prepared to start at the bottom in a grocery store type situation, at minimum wage. (again, if you want to really work in a bakery, that is).

 

If you want to make quality custom cakes (fewer cakes per week, bigger prices, more interesting work), and you are getting no joy with the local high-end cakeries in your town, then starting your own home-based business would be another idea if it is allowable in your town and state under the pertinent laws etc. This will cost you considerably in set-up costs, however (although far less than starting up a commercial cake making business). But if you have the passion and drive and belief in your skills you can do it. (clearly you will know how to handle the books etc...and the hours and hours of non-cake-making paperwork which goes with the territory).

 

Either way you will not enjoy the income you had working as a CPA for 9 years. At least not for a few years anyway.

 

I'm not posting any of this to put you off, but to help you clarify your thoughts and prioritise your needs. You are a smart cookie who can crunch the numbers. Just make sure you know the real costs before changing tack.

 

All the best with your plans :-)

Life's too short to make cake pops.
___________________________________
www.sweetperfection.com.au

www.sweetperfectioncakes.blogspot.com.au/
www.facebook.com/sweetperfectioncakes (come visit sometime!)

Reply

Life's too short to make cake pops.
___________________________________
www.sweetperfection.com.au

www.sweetperfectioncakes.blogspot.com.au/
www.facebook.com/sweetperfectioncakes (come visit sometime!)

Reply
post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evoir View Post

OK here is my take, based on my own move from being a professional, to being a professional cake decorator.

 

In the current US economy, given your qualifications, if your primary goal is earning an income outside of the traditional work environment I would suggest you do small business accounting from home (keeping cakes as a hobby), rather than work in a bakery or build a home-based cake decorating business. I know you said you want to work in an bakery, but chances are you will be rudely shocked by how little they earn, and if you have a mortgage to pay then you might not be able to take the wage cut.

 

I'm just being realistic here. 

 

If your passion for cake decorating is your raison d'etre, and your loss of accounting job was secretly a fortuitous opportunity to now turn to the world of caking for your life's work, then be prepared to start at the bottom in a grocery store type situation, at minimum wage. (again, if you want to really work in a bakery, that is).

 

If you want to make quality custom cakes (fewer cakes per week, bigger prices, more interesting work), and you are getting no joy with the local high-end cakeries in your town, then starting your own home-based business would be another idea if it is allowable in your town and state under the pertinent laws etc. This will cost you considerably in set-up costs, however (although far less than starting up a commercial cake making business). But if you have the passion and drive and belief in your skills you can do it. (clearly you will know how to handle the books etc...and the hours and hours of non-cake-making paperwork which goes with the territory).

 

Either way you will not enjoy the income you had working as a CPA for 9 years. At least not for a few years anyway.

 

I'm not posting any of this to put you off, but to help you clarify your thoughts and prioritise your needs. You are a smart cookie who can crunch the numbers. Just make sure you know the real costs before changing tack.

 

All the best with your plans :-)

Thank you all for the responses.  I will take all of your advice and see where it takes me.  I need to clear one fact up-I was an accounting clerk not a CPA. and fortunately my husband makes enough that we will be able to manage for a while.  Since California just passed the Cottage Food Law mu county is still working with the state to figure out how to handle this.  So we will see where this goes.

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