Originally Posted by -K8memphis
first day of spring
april fool's day (make a 'spaghetti' or 'meatloaf & potatoes' cake :)
Thankyou for the ideas :) I never though of using april fool's day as an excuse to bring the whisk out - genius!
Originally Posted by BakingIrene
Sorry but there's nothing odd with that shop owner. It is not permitted for people to work for free in most shops--the minimum wage act prohibits it.
Interns are classified as "trainees" but there might still be a requirement to pay them the minimum wage. You would look online for your local labour regulations.
I sympathise with your mother in not wishing to have sweets in the house when she gets the third degree from her doctor every time she goes...
Keep looking online for bakeries and cake shops that show a "careers" button on their website, because they always have detailed info about how to get hired.
Thankyou for the reply! I never really looked at it that way, especially now you have clarified the legalities. Unfortunately my local bakery are not hiring, as are the two local supermarkets.
Originally Posted by Relznik
Thinking about it from the shop owners' point of view - why would they let you work in their shop - pick up training, hints and tips just for you to go away and start up a business in competition?
I don't mean to sound mean... just putting forward why they may have turned you down.
Having said you're doing A levels, I presume you're in the UK? Where about are you? I know that Mitch Turner (Little Venice Cake Company) has interns... I have no idea how often, and I would imagine that places are very highly sought after. It might be worth seeing if other large businesses do the same.
But thinking about all the well known cake makers here in the UK - not only are they good at what they do, but they have obviously got a very canny business sense! A degree might not seem the obvious route for you if you want to start your own cake business, but I don't think it will hurt if you got some sort of business and marketing behind you!
Very best wishes to you!
Thankyou for your reply! Similar to Irene, I had never thought of the situation that way :) Your thoughts along with the legalities mentioned above completely make sense - sounds like I was being very optimistic by the sounds of it ;) Yes I am in the UK, up north in Leeds. Irene posted further below a link t Mitch's internship but unfortunately I don't meet the requirements she asks for (I don't have the 2 year experience/qualification, nor am I training under any recognised scheme). It sounds like a fantastic opportunity though. Doh! Thankyou for your input - greatly appreciated :) I am heavily considering the business degree route, I cant belive it never crossed my mind before!
Originally Posted by BakingIrene
How did I start my own cake business? I learned from the Wilton books published 1970-1979. They are available for little more than the cost of shipping on ebay. ALL the patterns from 1977 onwards are on the Wilton website (button says "pattern locator").
I practised with non-edible stuff. I found this weird old recipe who-knows-where, using powdered laundry detergent and water whipped into the right consistency. Piped with that onto old cake tins, dumped it into the washing machine when done.
You can also mix a batch of practise icing with white shortening, sugar and water. It tastes AWFUL but you can pipe and scrape off and pipe again. Keep it in a closed tub at room temperature, and pipe onto tins. Spend a half hour every day piping--you will learn quickly enough.
I couldn't get a job in a bakery, but I did get hired to make sandwiches and assemble desserts. That was a good paid intro to foodservice. Food safety rules, how to deal with customers, how to deal with rush orders, even a job with a catering company or at a grocery store deli counter will train you in the biggest essential of all--how to NOT waste perishable food.
So I did eventually start making cakes for friends, and then for friends of those friends. The word got out that I could make not-so-sweet scratch cakes and then I had all the business I wanted.
You WILL need to get a food handlers certificate or whatever they call it in the UK. It's generally an 8-hour course and the certificate is good for 3 years. Then you will need to follow local board of health regs for home kitchens which can be the biggest barrier of all.
Hello again. Thankyou for the Wilton tip, especially the patterns! I currently own one of the very early Jane Asher books and will attempt a couple designs from there but i'm pretty sure my next book will be a Wilton one. Thats a good idea too (the laundry detergent concoction). (reading on) I really like the fake icing idea too - at least then i can get a feel of how similar it will be to piping using real icing I guess. Thanks for the last tips too. I'm not really thinking about gathering food handlers certificate and what not until I have a year or so under my belt. As mentioned earlier, I currently work at waitrose and am thinking of asking if there is a chance of me being trained to work at the patisserie counter - even though it all comes straight out of a card board box! Its all experience I suppose :)
Originally Posted by kikiandkyle
You'll also find it easier to get business loans later on if you have some business education behind you, and a few years more in age. Are there are other supermarkets in your area that do cakes? Having Waitrose as work experience will surey help you there, I presume it's still considered one of the nicer chains as it was back when I lived there!
I never considered this, thankyou very much! Haha it is indeed :) I'm just a shelf stacker at the moment but plan on asking for some hours behind the patisserie counter within the next week or so :)
Thanks for the link and all your help Irene.
Unfortunately, I don't fill any requirement to apply. What a fantastic opportunity for anyone else interested though!
Originally Posted by texascakebaker
A business degree will help you learn the basics of accounting, business law, and marketing- concepts and skills that will benefit ANY entrepreneur. There is absolutely no reason that you can't go to school and earn a degree while running a small cake business. That's what I do. In fact, people at school who saw my cakes were my first customers! Yes, everyone loves free cake. Give some cupcakes away just to let people see how great your cakes look AND taste, and you'll be receiving orders in no time! The advantage of starting small is that you can learn as you go (highly recommend reading the Wilton course books for starters and other cake decorating books as well as the Craftsy classes); you'd be surprised what you can teach yourself. In the meantime, you can still earn that degree which you will have for the rest of your life. Selling cakes can give you a little extra money while you earn your degree. (As a side note, look for scholarships!!!)
I guess what I'm trying to say is that you can have your cake, and eat it, too! Best of luck whichever route you choose!
How interesting! I guess your proving the earlier theory mentioned of uni students = guinea pigs :D Thankyou for the post, its very encouraging :)
Originally Posted by gemmal
I live in London and I just finished a beginers type course through the council, as I'm a resident in the borough it cost £77 which is much cheaper to start learning the basics than some of the bigger schools, I found out about it through the library. Bar that, the library is great for books at least for the basics. I'm lucky enough to have a boss with a sweet tooth so always gets me to make the cakes for his familys birthdays etc when I know he would be better off in Waitrose (plus the discount, his daughter works there!) but knows I want the practice. Gifts are always welcome, maybe for your friends make little 4" cakes or some thing. I know a baker that practices piping with toothpaste and sugarpaste modelling with play-doh. See if you can get a cake dummy covered in cling to practice on and work out the best recipes on smaller cakes so you don't spend much on ingredients. You should be more confident about giving away your cakes to your parents friends in no time! Theres also always hanging about when your parents friends are over and dropping into conversation how you loooove making cakes [big sigh] theres just not enough events to make cakes for to practise and oh it would be so good to make cakes for other people to know what its like to deal with requests like flavors and how to translate designs... [bats eyelids a lot]. Oh and Youtube, totally always Youtube.
Sounds like all my friends/family are receiving cakes for the next couple years as gifts *woopwoop*. Haha, if the bating of eyelids fails i'll just go with an old fashioned flash ;)
I never thought to look in my local library - nice idea there, thank you!.
Thanks for all your replies, opinions, advice and tips guys - its encouraged me a lot and given me much to think about :) However, I now blame you all for my lack of sleep since i'm so excited :P