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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Customer setting his own cake price

This short post came from another cake decorator.  A world known cake artist and and an author of many cake decorating books.  Her name is Debbie Brown.

I had the pleasure of inviting Debbie to my country for seminars and I had the chance to get to know her a little bit better.  A very smart and witty woman and she knows exactly what she wants and how much she is worth.

A few days ago the following had happened to her and I asked her if I could post it on my blog.  A place where cake decorator's share their funny stories which are occurring in this profession .... :)

A prospect customer had sent her the following email...

I am very interested in the cake with the 3 babies on it for £16.99, but I would also like to add some writing on it if possible? Would there be an extra charge for this if so how much? Would you be able to provide me with the cake for the afternoon of Saturday 27th Feb?
Many Thanks

The cake was this one 

Me:  What are you thinking people? (*&^(*&%$&^$(*  !!! £16.99??? Is this Tesco? Waitrose, Sainsburry perhaps? Do you think that there is a magic wand and all of a sudden the cakes appear? Just to purchase a cake drum and sugarpaste the money is gone lady and it ain't even enough.

Sometimes we just have to look at the bright side of things and smile.... I wonder which side is the bright side in this instance?

What would you have answered this person?

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Sample the wedding cake

Customer: Hello! I wish to order a wedding cake.

Me: Yes of course.  Have you decided on the color scheme?

Customer:  I know exactly what I want.  I have a wedding planner and we have gone through everything and I know what I need.

Me:  That is marvelous.  You are on the correct track.  Do you have the design with you?

Customer: Yes actually I do. I have it right here with me.

(customer takes out a piece of paper and shows me an elaborate design of an antique/baroque ancient, too detailed design for my eyes to look at.  I get scared of what exactly she is going to tell me next and the bomb comes right after a few seconds).

Customer: I want this design, on a four tier wedding cake.  I want it all over the four tiers.  I have decided on the flavor too.

Me: Perfect.  What is the flavor you would like to have?

Customer:  I want a white vanilla sponge with strawberry filling.

Me:  No problem we can do that.

Customer:  I have one request though... (and I am holding my breath).... Can you make the wedding cake BEFORE the wedding I mean.  I want to actually see if I like it as a design.   If I do, then I will proceed with the order of the cake.

Me:  *(&^*&^&*%^*!#@$@^@*@(@)Y^^*()y#&@$$!!!!   Eeeeemmmm.... I am afraid if  you want the cake sample, you have to actually pay for it.  We are not offering a four tier sample for free !

Customer: (looking all puzzled and surprised)... then I have to think about it.  (customer left)

Seriously?? What are some people thinking? How can someone expect that a cake decorator will sample the actual wedding cake, in its original size FOR FREE.... and that would have been a four tier cake.  Do they think that the materials are free?  and what about the labor cost?? Even for a mini sample you charge and then you take it out of the final order, IF they finally order from you. Right? Am I exaggerating? What would you have done? 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Bake it?

Customer: Hello, I want to buy sugarpaste to cover a cake.  I actually want to decorate a christening cake I was assigned to make.  I just don't know how much I am supposed to buy.

Me: Oh, I am glad you are trying to decorate a cake.  How big is your cake?

Customer: Oh it's a "regular" cake.

Me: OK........ what size is a "regular" cake?

Customer: This big, (showing off with hands the approximate size)

Me: Right! Well I guess you need about 1 kilo of sugarpaste.

Customer: OK thank you.  I have one more question.

Me: No problem.  What is it?

Customer: How do I glue the sugarpaste on the cake?

Me...... (really?) @^@....... Well I don't know about that.  It depends what is the cake filling.

Customer: Oh, it's just a plain cake.

Me: ....... try some ganash.

Customer: (looking at me weirdly). I don't know, I am not an expert.

Me: Try looking up some tips on the internet.

Customer: OK. Thank you and oh, I have one more, last, question.

Me: Yes?

Customer: After I finish the cake and I have covered it, do I need to bake it? In the oven?

Me: .......... (wide eyes and shocked)...... Emmmm....... No, no need.

Sometimes it is so difficult to understand the mentality of another human and you never know what is it you are about to hear and frankly I am so frequently shocked by the questions I hear.  Undertaking the responsibility to make a Christening cake is a lot to handle, even more, when you have no idea what you are doing.  Why do it? Why risking your own sanity? I just don't understand it.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Asking for advice on a product purchased elsewhere

Customer: (on the phone) Hello, i bought
sugarpaste/fondant but I don't seem to be able to get it right.  It cracks when I put it on the cake.

Me: Oh did you purchase the product from our store? Is it our brand?

Customer: No. I bought it from "xyz".

Me: !!!!!! Well I don't know what is the problem. Try calling the other store and ask them why. 

Food for thought:  What was this customer thinking? Why would you call a store to ask for help and technical advice on a product you bought from a different shop? 

The nerve of some people is beyond me 

What would you have done?