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The Cake That Ruined a Family - Page 2

post #16 of 46

When I agree to do a cake for family, I go into it with the expectation that any cake I make will be free, so any money I do get is a bonus (when I do quote a price, any cakes I make for family are either free or 'price of supplies' which always ends up only 1/2 the price of the actual supplies.). I'm not saying this will work for you, but it saves me from getting angry or resentful because I set no expectation, and I agreed to the cake knowing it's all out of pocket.

post #17 of 46

It's politics.

I have a sister in law and an adult niece who almost never pay for cakes they order. If there's to be peace in my husband's family toward the only DIL (me) I will make the cakes and never ask for a penny. Crappy deal, but that's been the situation so I completely sympathize!

 

 They always ask " how much do I owe you?" out loud in front of the room, but the check never materializes. I think the attitude is, "Well, but don't you LOVE your nieces/nephews?.." so I guess in their mind it SHOULD be a gift. (therefore asking for money for a cake, of course, shows selfish greediness) These are the same people who I've seen pay 7.00 for a single slice of cake at Olive Garden.

 

I guess the point could be made in a conversation at a holiday get-together- Easter dinner for instance.. " Do you feel you're worth your hourly wage? (answer is always a resounding YES!)  I agree, so-and-so, I spend XX hours average on every cake, not to mention ingredients/utilities, so if it were you, how much would YOU charge?"

 

In my "in-law" family, they don't want to pay because it's ME. Case in point, Not long ago I attended my SIL's Mary & Martha party (home décor) and she had a spread laid out complete with "gourmet" mini cupcakes (1.75 ea) featured at a coffee shop here in our town. Being the well known cake lady in the room, I felt the slap. I decided to bring a real cake to the next get together to illustrate to her group what gourmet actually looks like.

 

Incidently! that clever baker who made those mini-cupcakes-I checked her out of course- is franchising her little business all over our area.  Her cupcakes, at 3.75 each, seem to be in every coffee shoppe in 3 counties. Smart girl! No brick and mortar costs! just a logo cling in the front window of the shop. Brilliant! Around here the trend is Purse shop, gifts in the front/ bakery in the back etc. Ladies splitting costs. Go ladies!

post #18 of 46

 

 

post #19 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by BomCakes View Post

These are the same people who I've seen pay 7.00 for a single slice of cake at Olive Garden.

 

 

They think that bakers who are not established should not get paid accordingly. My boyfriend's mother told me about a girl that quit her secretary job at the school to do full time cottage law baking. When my boyfriend's mom asked her for pricing she was pretty outraged at the price. She told me that why did she think she could charge almost 3.00 for a cupcake if she didn't have a "real" bakery. I had to pretty much school her on that. That changed her mind when I explained why her prices were reasonable for the product she was getting.

post #20 of 46

If all it took was one cake for you to get rid of those jerks, you got off lucky. They go on the "no cake for you" list, because they sound like the types who will forget all about this when something else comes along to offend them and they'll be asking you for cakes down the road. Tell them to go pound sand when they do ask.

post #21 of 46

i have entitled family members who would never pay more than $0.99 for a box mix let alone for a custom cake.  I once did a joint birthday cake for two of the cousins, and charged what I thought was a nominal 'pay what you can' price of $25.  She had to call me on the way over to see how much again it was b/c they hadn't cashed their paycheck and didn't have money and could they post date a check?  I gifted it, as it was already a 80% discount, what's that extra $25?  Then she started having her kids call and ask for cakes, like I wouldn't be able to say no to a child! LOL! (that backfired!!! No problem whatsoever with that!) She pretty much knows that unless I offer, either I'm booked or not doing something for free. 

post #22 of 46
Thread Starter 
I'm having such mixed feelings about all of this. Firstly, it is comforting to know that I am not the only person in the world to experience this when it comes to family members and cakes. But then there comes the secondly part, which makes me sad that there are others out there who identify with my situation....shouldn't cakes make people HAPPY? I mean, with all that sugar, someone is about to experience some sort of sugar-induced high, right?

In the end, the cake was, well...the icing on the proverbial let's hate on our brother's wife cake. It was just one thing on a lengthy list of things that his family finds objectionable about me (I thought it was weird that "charging for cakes" would even be considered offensive). In my mind, I was thinking, you might not like me, my family, my clothes, my weight, my political beliefs, my history, my personality, whatever, but darn it, just like my cakes! More shame on me for expecting to win people over with baked goods, although they usually do the trick. LOL

Fortunately, the reaction I received was a warning of things to come. If someone is able to get that upset and offended over the price of a cake (which, as we have established, was made for a more than reasonable price), imagine what else will set them off. It was a good lesson for myself and my husband that you just can't win with some people and some people just love being miserable!

There was a period of time where I really doubted myself, my talents, my pricing, everything. I even stopped baking/decorating for a few months. Then one day, a co-worker asked me to make her a cake. I was so hesitant after everything that happened with the in-laws. But she insisted, so I named her my price. She was more than happy with it, loved the cake, and I made a profit. I just needed to get over that bump, and now I am happily experimenting with new flavors and techniques. You can't keep me down! (and the husband is certainly enjoying all the samples and experiments!)
post #23 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar View Post

If all it took was one cake for you to get rid of those jerks, you got off lucky. They go on the "no cake for you" list, because they sound like the types who will forget all about this when something else comes along to offend them and they'll be asking you for cakes down the road. Tell them to go pound sand when they do ask.


 



The BEST part of all of this was the brothers got a cousin involved in all of this mess, and she felt she was overcharged for her cake as well (background: I made her son a birthday cake, 10" 2 tiered lemon pound cake with homemade raspberry filling and lemon buttercream, airbrushed to look like some swirly design from his favorite pair of Jordan's PLUS I cut the Jordan logo out of fondant for a whopping $40) since it was "dry" and "flavor-less," even though there were RAVE reviews over the free sample I gave her, but she never approached me directly about any of these problems, just complained to the brothers. WELL, when she posted to Facebook that she was looking for someone to make a princess cake for her daughter and needed a "good" and "reasonably-priced" baker, the ONLY responses she got referred her back to me! HAHA.

She ended up buying a Wal-Mart cake.
post #24 of 46

I'm so happy to hear that you are feeling better about the whole situation. Me, I'm in therapy :-P. We cant pick our family but we can pick great friends that appreciate us! Me and some of my family members will never get along and I have accepted that, even though it hurts because I know I have done nothing wrong to be subjected to their behavior. Some people are just toxic, let them be toxic alone without your fabulous cakes.

 

You keep caking girl! ;-D 


Edited by enga - 3/21/14 at 7:26pm
post #25 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by feuerrader24 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar View Post

If all it took was one cake for you to get rid of those jerks, you got off lucky. They go on the "no cake for you" list, because they sound like the types who will forget all about this when something else comes along to offend them and they'll be asking you for cakes down the road. Tell them to go pound sand when they do ask.


 



The BEST part of all of this was the brothers got a cousin involved in all of this mess, and she felt she was overcharged for her cake as well (background: I made her son a birthday cake, 10" 2 tiered lemon pound cake with homemade raspberry filling and lemon buttercream, airbrushed to look like some swirly design from his favorite pair of Jordan's PLUS I cut the Jordan logo out of fondant for a whopping $40) since it was "dry" and "flavor-less," even though there were RAVE reviews over the free sample I gave her, but she never approached me directly about any of these problems, just complained to the brothers. WELL, when she posted to Facebook that she was looking for someone to make a princess cake for her daughter and needed a "good" and "reasonably-priced" baker, the ONLY responses she got referred her back to me! HAHA.

She ended up buying a Wal-Mart cake.

That's classic,hahahahaha!
post #26 of 46

I agree.  Where was your husband in all of this?  Did he see you spending all this time making this cake?  Did he agree to pay for all these groceries for this endeavor?  He should be reading these guys the riot act about trying to make his wife their own personal slave and taking your time away from his family.

 

As for my family, I don't make cakes for them unless I am giving it away.  If they want to pay for ingredients, I give them a list of what they need to buy and let them go get the stuff.  Then, they know what it costs.  I supply only equipment and talent.  Everyone else pays for my time and I make it evident that I don't work for free.  If I don't want to do a cake because it's going to be a mess dealing with them, I price it way over what I know they will pay.  If someone came back to me that so-and-so would do it for less, I would tell them to jump on it because I don't really have the time anyway.  I begrudgingly make cakes.  Do I love to do it?  Yes, but I will never let them know it.  Just like a job, I complain about having to clean up the kitchen afterwards and when will I find time to go get all the ingredients, etc.  Then, and only then, do they realize that it is a job and an imposition to ask me to make them a cake unless they are making it worth my while and they better want it pretty bad and pay for it. 

post #27 of 46

...and keep in mind guys that this was not really a cake for family members as they were giving it away as a gift.  Bet they didn't complain about the cost of the shooting course.

post #28 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by feuerrader24 View Post



In the end, the cake was, well...the icing on the proverbial let's hate on our brother's wife cake. It was just one thing on a lengthy list of things that his family finds objectionable about me (I thought it was weird that "charging for cakes" would even be considered offensive). In my mind, I was thinking, you might not like me, my family, my clothes, my weight, my political beliefs, my history, my personality, whatever, but darn it, just like my cakes! More shame on me for expecting to win people over with baked goods, although they usually do the trick. LOL
 

Really, what it all boils down to is that THIS is the issue, not a cake. The price of a cake is just a convenient way for people who already had a gripe with you for whatever reason to focus on. Just put them on the no cake for you list and realize that not everyone is going to like you and you shouldn't care if they're all a bunch of idiots. And as long as your husband has your back that's okay. You can't choose your family members, some of them are just rotten, miserable people who you wouldn't want to hang out with anyway, so why do it? Let them enjoy their walmart cake while complaining about whatever thing is it they're complaining about this week.

post #29 of 46
What is it about baking that seems so personal?

I have been called mean names, been disliked, dismissed, a job where I am physically attacked on a semi-regular basis and NONE of that bothers me

But tell me my cake is dry, heavy or whatever and it cuts like a knife icon_lol.gif


If this were my situation, I would be having a serious talk with my husband about limiting my contact with these people, even if it means him attending family functions on his own. Life is way too short to invite that negative energy into your life.
post #30 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by howboutbake View Post

What is it about baking that seems so personal?

I have been called mean names, been disliked, dismissed, a job where I am physically attacked on a semi-regular basis and NONE of that bothers me

But tell me my cake is dry, heavy or whatever and it cuts like a knife icon_lol.gif


If this were my situation, I would be having a serious talk with my husband about limiting my contact with these people, even if it means him attending family functions on his own. Life is way too short to invite that negative energy into your life.

 

Because it's something a baker put his or her personal time, energy, effort, and talent into creating. A ding against a person's cake is essentially saying, "You're a talentless lump capable of producing only ugly, dry, tasteless things. It's a miracle you didn't burn it, but that might actually have improved it. Actually, why didn't you burn it? Can't you write down my order correctly?"

 

The person criticizing the baker is implying a level of superiority that the baker, on some level, knows hasn't been earned by the critic - but the critic is somehow empowered to take that superior position, while the baker has to stammer out apologies and justify each swirl, crumb, and crackle. It completely flips the balance of power from what the baker logically and rationally knows it should be and forces it into an illogical, farcical framework. Even worse is when that framework is being climbed by someone in the baker's own inner circle of friends and family - how often is it said here that people come to CC to get honest feedback from other bakers, because they feel their own F&F will only spew niceties? When the people who are expected to provide unwavering support break that social expectation, it smarts doubly.

 

Goofy as some of my other posts are, I feel very strongly on this subject. Family and friends often assume they can cut deeply and be forgiven quickly, simply by virtue of the positions they hold in the lives of the people they hurt. Work to remove their toxicity from your sphere of being and doing, and watch how rapidly and massively your life improves.

 

There's my Zen for the day. *Aaahhhhh-Oom!*

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