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New and wandering around Cake Central

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone!
My name is Caroline and I have been decorating cakes in grocery stores for almost 12 years. I really love what I do and have started a business on the side. This website is like a candy store and I am intrigued and intimidated by it all at once. icon_smile.gif I have posted several cakes and people seem to be responding well even though my work is sometimes unconventional. I even posted a tutorial (maybe not a great one) because I got caught up in the excitement of such a large caking community. What are some of the best things to do here? Does advanced grocery store work have a place here or should I just wander in awe?
post #2 of 15

Welcome, Caroline! There are no qualifications for being a CC member. (And there's no screening committee!) If I was new here, I would wander around, use the search box for specific questions, and get to know the different forums and the personalities of our most prolific posters. And your 12 years of experience is awesome! 

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post #3 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by MimiFix View Post

wander around, use the search box for specific questions, and get to know the different forums and the personalities of our most prolific posters. 

 

Welcome Caroline!

 

Just like every forum, there are a few guidelines or ways of doing something.  Other than "please, please don't ask me how much to charge for your cake," there aren't any real specifics.  When I joined, I kind of read through threads to get an idea of how it all works.  Mimi gave you excellent advice.

 

My only other advice is to not take anything too personally.  People sometimes forget that there are exceptions to every generality.  I'm just going to say it...there will be posts where someone refers to the "grocery store decorator."  Please recognize this doesn't mean everyone who works in one.  That's where I (and many others) got their start.

 

There is a place for everyone who is willing to play nice, be considerate, and not be too serious.

www.VeryDeliciousDesserts.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Delicious-Desserts/207874222593145

 

It's never "just cake!"

 

You may get a cake for $way to little but you won't get this cake!

Animal
(4 photos)
 
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www.VeryDeliciousDesserts.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Delicious-Desserts/207874222593145

 

It's never "just cake!"

 

You may get a cake for $way to little but you won't get this cake!

Animal
(4 photos)
 
Reply
post #4 of 15
Welcome!! I joined in the past couple months. My plan is to start my own small business with a year. I've been baking for several years and finally decided to get serious. As others have said, look around the site, you can spend hours doing that alone. Awesome tutorials, great people, for the most part. Anytime I've had a question, several people have jumped into help, but there are a few who will undoubtedly burst your bubble. That said, being so new myself, I've received plenty of help, advice and encouragement!! Good luck and happy baking!
Jackie
post #5 of 15

Welcome! Your cakes look amazing. The turkey cake with the cake "stuffing" is genius. The crumbled cake really looks like stuffing.

post #6 of 15

Welcome to the squirrel-cage, and look out for the nuts. There's room here for high end custom decorators (the kind who can look down their noses at Duff Goldman), amateurs like myself who outsource a sheet of edible printing, slap the pictures on a family-style served-in-pan 9x13 sheet cake baked from an unaltered box mix, and call it decorated, and everybody in between. As an "advanced grocery decorator," you certainly fall into that range, and so long as you don't take offense when somebody says something to the effect of "send the low-budget customer to the grocer if he can't afford you," there's certainly room for you here.

James H. H. Lampert
Professional Dilettante

Web site: http://www.hbquik.com/jamesl

Flickr "baked goods" set http://flic.kr/s/aHsjvZvdTh

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James H. H. Lampert
Professional Dilettante

Web site: http://www.hbquik.com/jamesl

Flickr "baked goods" set http://flic.kr/s/aHsjvZvdTh

Reply
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 

Since I work in a grocery store and also have a side business for custom, I've seen both sides of the budget spectrum.  I've just learned what a custom cake is worth and don't compromise my price (even though I still undercharge)  I take no offense to the remark because I have used it myself. :-) I don't think there is anything wrong with that.  That is what a grocery store bakery is for.  If a client wants a centerpiece that is more for the "Ooooh, Ahhh!" than for eating, they have to pay more.  

post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks:-) The turkey cake is one of my favorites. 

post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 

That's awesome that you want to have an official business.  It has been totally worth it for me.  The best part is the tax breaks.  Even if you don't get a store front now, I would recommend becoming a legal business entity as soon as possible so you can start writing off your business expenses.  If you put an advertisement on your car, you can even write off your gas, mileage, maintenance, insurance, registration/inspection and pretty much every other expense for your car. I was able to write off around $10,000 last year JUST on the car. It cost me about $350 to get the business name, tax ID and the car advertisement but it made a $3,000 difference on  my tax return. Something to think about anyway.

post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by lunawhisper0013 View Post

If you put an advertisement on your car, you can even write off your gas, mileage, maintenance, insurance, registration/inspection and pretty much every other expense for your car. I was able to write off around $10,000 last year JUST on the car. It cost me about $350 to get the business name, tax ID and the car advertisement but it made a $3,000 difference on  my tax return. Something to think about anyway.

 

That's some pretty fancy accounting. Sorry, something doesn't seem totally right. I suggest you look into the IRS regulations. If a business owns the vehicle, then all expenses EXCEPT mileage are calculated. Mileage is used only when our personal vehicle is used for business purposes. (And if the mileage method is used, there is no requirement to have advertisement on the car.)    

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post #11 of 15
Also, remember to declare to your car insurance company that you are now using it for the business.

www.VeryDeliciousDesserts.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Delicious-Desserts/207874222593145

 

It's never "just cake!"

 

You may get a cake for $way to little but you won't get this cake!

Animal
(4 photos)
 
Reply

www.VeryDeliciousDesserts.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Delicious-Desserts/207874222593145

 

It's never "just cake!"

 

You may get a cake for $way to little but you won't get this cake!

Animal
(4 photos)
 
Reply
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 

The advertisement makes it all business because you are advertising wherever you go. Otherwise it would just be the mileage for deliveries, etc. I have a friend who went to tax school and learned the ins and outs of business write-offs. She does my taxes every year and the only time the IRS got back to me about owing was when I forgot to claim the didivends on stock that didn't even have anything to do with the business.

post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by lunawhisper0013 View Post

The advertisement makes it all business because you are advertising wherever you go... I have a friend who went to tax school. 

 

Well, good luck with that.

VISIT US at BAKINGFIX

 

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VISIT US at BAKINGFIX

 

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post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by lunawhisper0013 View Post

The advertisement makes it all business because you are advertising wherever you go. Otherwise it would just be the mileage for deliveries, etc. I have a friend who went to tax school and learned the ins and outs of business write-offs. She does my taxes every year and the only time the IRS got back to me about owing was when I forgot to claim the didivends on stock that didn't even have anything to do with the business.

Actually it does not.  Just because your friend went to tax school and the IRS has not audited you yet does not mean you are right.  As a matter of fact the IRS took a dental practice engaged in this practice to court.  The practice made this argument--advertising made every trip a business trip--guess who won? 

 

And just in case there is any doubt the IRS is explicitly clear about advertising on vehicles:

 

Advertising display on car   Putting display material that advertises your business on your car does not change the use of your car from  personal use to business use. If you use this car for commuting or other personal uses, you still cannot deduct your expenses for those uses.

 

Just in case you want to check for yourself  http://www.irs.gov/publications/p463/ch04.html#en_US_2012_publink100033921

post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 

Fair enough.  I will definitely research it further. Thanks. :-)

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